This is the artwork used on the current 2016-17 Alabama waterfowl stamp.

Waterfowl hunters throughout the country must have what is commonly known as a federal duck stamp, a general term for the federal waterfowl stamp required to hunt the migratory birds.

The federal stamp has been around for more than 80 years. It raises money for migratory bird projects and land acquisitions. It is one of the most successful, consistent and, despite a few detractors, embraced models of conservation in history.

Some hunters buy a couple of extra stamps each year, in part to chip in for conservation and also if they happen to lose theirs. You can buy them online or at U.S. Post Office locations. Smart thinking, for sure. Federal stamps are required to be signed in ink across the face so they cannot be transferred to another hunter. And some folks collect the stamps, working to get every one of them back to the original created by Ding Darling.

Many states have their own waterfowl stamps, too. Alabama is one of those and each year holds a contest for artists. I was honored to be a judge for the contest about 20 years ago and it’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, interest has dwindled and the number of entries has fallen off in recent years.

Artists who know this is an annual event prepare for it ahead of time. If you’re an artist with an interest but didn’t know, you may consider prepping for the 2018 event unless you can whip up something in a few weeks. It would be cool to see this contest regain strength in interest and entries.

Waterfowl hunters must have in possession while hunting a federal stamp and many states require a separate state stamp. Money from the stamps is used for conservation efforts.

Here is the press release from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources about the contest and entry specifics:

Alabama artists are invited to enter the 2017 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp art contest, which opens January 1, 2017. The winning artwork will be featured as the design of the 2018-19 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required along with the Federal Waterfowl Stamp when hunting migratory waterfowl in Alabama. Like the federal waterfowl stamp, revenues from the sale of Alabama stamps are used to purchase, establish or improve migratory waterfowl habitat.

Entries will be accepted from January 1 to February 15, 2017. The competition is open to resident Alabama artists only.

Only original horizontal artworks depicting a species of North American migratory duck or goose will be eligible. The Mallard, American Wigeon, and Canada Goose — depicted in the winning artwork of the three previous year’s contests — are not eligible as the subject for the 2018-19 waterfowl stamp.

All eligible entries will be on display March 11, 2017, at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Decatur, Ala. Following the showing, three judges from the fields of art, ornithology and wildlife conservation will select the winning waterfowl art. The public is invited to attend the judging.

The judging criteria will emphasize uncluttered design suitable for printing as a stamp, anatomical accuracy of the illustrated species, and artistic rendering. Close attention must be given to tone and detail, since those aspects are prerequisites for printing artwork as a stamp. Wing and feather construction must be particularly well defined. Entries may be drawn or painted in any medium. Entries cannot exceed 9 by 12 inches (15 by 18 inches matted).

For contest information and entry forms, contact Seth Maddox, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, 234 County Rd. 141, Hollywood, Ala., 35752, by email seth.maddox@dcnr.alabama.gov or call 256-437-2788.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.  To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

Anything fishing related will be on display and up for grabs when the River City Antique Tackle Show comes to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Decatur Riverfront Sept. 23-24, 2016.

Now in its 21st year, the River City Antique Tackle Show attracts collectors from across the southeastern United States and beyond who bring thousands of antique fishing items dating back to the mid 1800s to display and sell.

nflccThe River City Antique Tackle Show is a chance to meet with collectors and buy a variety of vintage fishing tackle including rods, reels, lures, fish scales, old minnow buckets, and tackle boxes.

Continue Reading »

The HudsonAlpha Foundation has received a $100,000 gift from Loretta Spencer to support the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine. To recognize Spencer’s generous gift, the clinic’s triage room (a room where our doctor meets with and evaluates new patients) is named in her honor.

spencer donationLoretta Spencer served as the mayor of Huntsville, Alabama from 1996 to 2008 and is actively involved in many local nonprofit organizations, including HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Spencer was the mayor when HudsonAlpha broke ground in 2005 and she has supported the Institute from the beginning.

With her donation, she is expanding her support to include the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, the first clinic in the world to use whole genome sequencing exclusively to diagnose rare, undiagnosed and misdiagnosed disease.

“HudsonAlpha means so much to me because I developed Research Park West when I was the chair of the Huntsville Planning Commission in the 1980s,” Spencer said. “I got research companies to come here, but establishing HudsonAlpha was the crowning glory that put biomedical on the Research Park map.”

Continue Reading »

The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) is pleased to unveil the new North Alabama Craft Beer Trail and the North Alabama Craft Beer Passport. The Trail Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 4.54.09 PMinvites craft beer enthusiasts on a self-guided tour of eight North Alabama microbreweries offering hundreds of unique flavors custom to the region.

Available on www.northalabama.org, the self-guided tour features eight microbreweries and tasting rooms located in Florence, Huntsville, Madison, Cullman, Guntersville and Gadsden.

“Designed for residents and visitors to enjoy, the North Alabama Craft Beer Trail is a unique attraction highlighting Alabama-made beer while providing a boost to the North Alabama economy,” said AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist. “The Trail spotlights fresh, locally-brewed beer and is another opportunity to give visitors a unique destination experience that can only be enjoyed in North Alabama.”

To see all the breweries, click below:

Continue Reading »

On a ridge in the Freedom Hills of Northwest Alabama, in a clearing among century-old oaks and “piney” woods, one may visit the graves of more than 300 coon hounds, all tried and true. For most of the year one hears only the peaceful sounds of nature.

On Labor Day, however, the quiet is broken when folks gather for the annual Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration. They come to have a good time and to pay tribute to the dogs and to those who loved them, especially the cemetery’s founder, Mr. Key Underwood, and the first dog buried here.

Continue Reading »

Bruno Event Team a Birmingham-based sports marketing and event management company announced today that DeeDee Mathis will be joining the team as senior vice DeeDee Mathispresident of marketing. Mathis will oversee Bruno Event Team’s Creative Works Division and Ticketing Division.

“We are thrilled to have DeeDee join our team,” stated Gene Hallman, Bruno Event Team president and CEO. “She is a strategic thinker with a wealth of industry knowledge in marketing, digital media and advertising and we look forward to what she has to bring to the table.”

Most recently, DeeDee was vice president of digital sales for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., one of the top publishers of local news and information in the United States. Prior to that position she spent 11 years an Alabama media group leading a statewide team of digital marketing executives, managers and directors.  

“I’m excited to join Bruno Event Team,” Mathis said. “I have always admired the tremendous talent of this group, and I am looking forward to working with one of the leaders in this industry.”

Mathis received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Alabama. She resides in Vestavia Hills, Ala. with her husband.

Source — Bruno Event Team

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report on 2016 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by FWS and the Canadian Wildlife Service, shows overall duck numbers in the survey area are statistically similar to 2015 and remain steady.

DU Waterfowl outlookTotal populations were estimated at 48.4 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area, which is 38 percent above the 1955-2015 long-term average. The 2015 estimate was 49.5 million birds. The projected mallard fall flight index is 13.5 million birds, similar to the 2015 estimate of 13.8 million.

The main determining factor for duck breeding success is wetland and upland habitat conditions in the key breeding landscapes of the prairies and the boreal forest. Conditions observed across the U.S. and Canadian survey areas during the 2016 breeding population survey were generally poorer than last year.

The total pond estimate for the U.S. and Canada combined was 5.0 million, which is 21% below the 2015 estimate of 6.3 million but similar to the long-term average of 5.2 million.

“In light of the dry conditions that were observed across much of the northern breeding grounds during the survey period, it is reassuring to see that the breeding population counts were little changed from last year,” said DU Chief Scientist Scott Yaich. “But, with total pond counts similar to the long-term average, and with hunting season and winter mortality being a relatively small part of annual mortality, it’s not surprising to see that populations largely held steady.

“What’s not reflected in the report is that there was fairly significant improvement in habitat conditions after the surveys were completed,” Yaich said. “In some key production areas, heavy June and July rains greatly improved wetland conditions. This could benefit brood rearing and the success of late nesting species, as well as give a boost to overall production through re-nesting by early nesting species.

“Watching the changing habitat over the spring and summer this year underscores the importance of two things: First, we must simply accept that habitat and populations are going to vary over time. They always have and they always will. Second, that’s why we need to keep a steady hand on the course of our conservation efforts. Our job is to steadily make deposits into the habitat bank account so that when the precipitation and other conditions are right, the ducks will do the job that they do so well, which is to produce more ducks and provide us all a nice return on our investments.”

The spring surveys provide the scientific basis for many management programs across the continent, including hunting regulations. Individual states set their hunting seasons within a federal framework of season length, bag limits and dates. Hunters should check the rules in their states for final dates and bag limits.

View all the data and get a species-by-species breakdown at www.ducks.org/DuckNumbers.

SOURCE — Ducks Unlimited

%d bloggers like this: