Richard Clifton, a wildlife artist from the Milford area, won the Delaware waterfowl stamp contest for the 10th time with his painting of a wood duck in bottomland swamp. /DNREC photo
Two accomplished artists have again won top honors in Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp art contests, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Best in Show in the DNREC-sponsored contests went to a painting of a wood duck in bottomland swamp by Richard Clifton of Milford, Del., which will grace the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, and to a painting of a brown trout by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., to be featured on the 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp.
The annual stamp art competition drew 13 entries for the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and 12 entries for the 2023 Trout Stamp. The Waterfowl Stamp contest specified that submitted artwork must include the motif of a wood duck in bottomland swamp. Trout Stamp artwork entries could depict a rainbow, brown or brook trout.
As the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp winner, Clifton receives a $2,500 cash prize and 150 artist’s proofs of the limited edition print series of his first-place entry. Clifton, who resides on an historic family farm in the Milford area near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, is an avid hunter and self-taught wildlife artist who works in acrylics, with waterfowl among his favorite subjects. He has painted 53 winning duck/waterfowl stamps, including 10 Delaware Waterfowl Stamps, the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp, and the 2007/08 and 2021/22 Federal Duck Stamps. Clifton’s work has appeared on magazine covers, a commemorative beer stein, engraved on shotguns for Ducks Unlimited, which named him 2018 International Artist of the Year, and has been displayed at top wildlife art shows throughout the country, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Easton Waterfowl Festival.
As the 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp winner, Klinefelter receives a $250 cash prize and retains the rights to reproduce and sell prints of the stamp artwork. Klinefelter, a graduate of Indiana University’s Herron School of Art, has painted professionally for more than 20 years, and has won numerous stamp art contests – including three Delaware Waterfowl Stamp Art contests and seven Delaware Trout Stamp Art contests. Klinefelter also received an honorable mention in the 2023 state trout stamp contest for his painting of a brown and rainbow trout, and an honorable mention in the 2023/24 waterfowl stamp contest.
Other winners were:
- 2023/24 Waterfowl Stamp – Second place: Guy Crittenden, Richmond, Va.; Third place: Caleb Metrich, Lake Tomahawk, Wisc.; honorable mentions: Jeffrey Klinefelter, Etna Green, Ind.; Frank Dolphens, Jr., Omaha, Neb.; and Jonathan Milo, Monroe, Conn.
- 2023 Trout Stamp – Second place: Dennis Arp, Box Elder, S.D., rainbow trout; Third place: Tory Farris, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, brown trout; honorable mentions: Tory Farris, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, rainbow trout; David Weaver, Gettysburg, Pa., brook trout; and Jeffrey Klinefelter, Etna Green, Ind., brown and rainbow trout.
Artwork in each contest was judged by a different set of five judges, with each judge separately evaluating and scoring the respective contest artwork in person.
The winning 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp will be available for purchase July 1, 2023, and the winning 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp will be available for purchase Jan. 1, 2023.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, started the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and print program in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $3.6 million has been raised. A Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and hunting license are required for most waterfowl hunters.
Delaware began requiring trout stamps for anglers in the 1950s, and a Delaware Trout Stamp and a general fishing license are required for most anglers to fish in designated trout waters during certain seasons. Funds from the sale of the stamps are used to purchase trout to stock in select streams in northern New Castle County and in two downstate ponds.
Delaware hunting and fishing licenses along with state waterfowl and trout stamps are sold online through the DNREC e-permitting system and by license agents statewide. Agents who sell hunting licenses also sell state waterfowl stamps that are required in addition to a license for hunting ducks and geese in Delaware. Agents who sell fishing licenses also sell trout stamps required in addition to a license to fish for trout in Delaware.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.