Shakopee wildlife artist Mark Thone has won the 2020 turkey stamp competition of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Thone’s painting will be featured on the DNR stamp, available for sale March 1, 2020. The DNR uses stamp revenue for wild turkey management and research.
“There are so many good Minnesota artists, it’s a privilege to win,” said Thone.
The turkey stamps are among several fish and wildlife stamps used to fund DNR programs. The Minnesota legislature authorized the stamps in 1996 at the request of turkey hunters.
The stamps cost 75 cents, and are included in the price of a turkey hunting license. They also can be purchased as collectibles.
The two turkeys featured on Thone’s winning stamp were at a wooded Bloomington park last spring, Thone said.
“I was staking them out with a camera,” he said. “These turkeys were strutting their stuff to compete for the attention of the female.”
The DNR sponsors annual stamp contests for walleye habitat, trout and salmon, pheasant and migratory waterfowl.
Thone had previously won the DNR’s stamp competition for migratory waterfowl in 2018. The Shakopee artist has carved a niche for himself in stamp illustrations.
He has won wildlife stamp competitions in states such as California, Delaware and Connecticut, as well as the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Finalists in the 2020 turkey stamp contest were Stephen Hamrick, who took second place, and Sam Larsen, who took third place.
The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner. But the winning artist retains the right to reproduce limited editions of the work and retain the proceeds.
For more information on stamp contests, guidelines for submitting work, and to sign up to receive regular e-mail updates on stamp contests, visit mndnr.gov/stamps.