From FWS — Legendary artist Maynard Reece of Des Moines will be the honored guest when the next Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest is held at Drake University on Sept. 25–26, 2020.
Des Moines was where Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay N. “Ding” Darling coined the unique tax hunters pay annually for conserving ducks and other wildlife. Hometown wildlife art superstar Maynard Reece, whom Darling mentored and who holds the record for the most Duck Stamp winners, will be celebrating his 100th birthday in 2020. Reece will be honored with a special exhibit at Drake, along with Richie Prager’s extraordinary collection of winning Duck Stamp entries.
“Ding” Darling’s 1934 drawing of mallards on a piece of cardboard led to the creation of the Federal Duck Stamp Program, which has raised more than $1.1 billion for the acquisition and preservation of more than 6 million acres of wildlife habitat. His other contributions to conservation have been equally important. He helped to establish 28 National Wildlife Refuges and was the founder and the first president of the National Wildlife Federation. He drew the flying goose symbol that marks every NWR, including the famous J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, FL. Darling also conceived the Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and began the first with his personal funds. Today there are cooperative units in 40 universities across the nation.
Watch Duck Huntin’ Magazine and this website for more about the plans to honor Maynard Reece this September.