Mr. Louque, who also won this contest in 1993, 1996, and 1999, beat out 17 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 1 meeting as the 2013 winner.
Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Va., who has won the Virginia State Duck Stamp contest 3 times since 2005 placed second, and Dale Pousson of Egan, La., who won this contest in 2003, took third place. Last year, Jeff Klinefelter of Noblesville, Ind. won the Louisiana contest.
Ron Louque was born in New Orleans and grew up in south Louisiana where he was captivated by the beauty of nature through hunting and fishing. A professional artist since 1974, he won the 2003 Federal Duck Stamp competition, and this win marks his 30th conservation stamp victory. His painting of a mallard pair resting on the roots of an old stump along a wooded bayou will be featured on the 2013 Louisiana Duck Stamp.
"The department was extremely happy with the number of high-quality entries this year," said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds. "Louque’s painting combined an amazingly detailed depiction of the mallard pair, a favorite species of waterfowl hunters everywhere in Louisiana, with outstanding habitat features."
For the fourth consecutive year, LDWF held an open contest that allows the artist to choose any migratory waterfowl species known to winter in Louisiana for entry in the contest. Only northern pintails, wood ducks, and American wigeon, which were featured on the 2010, 2011, and 2012 duck stamps respectively, were not allowed.
The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands and other worthy programs that benefit Louisiana’s ducks and geese. This program has generated over $11 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $270,000 from last year’s stamp sales alone.
The 2013 stamp, featuring Louque’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2013. The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.
Judges for the competition were Dr. Tommy Michot, Luke Laborde, Bonnie Camos, Jerry Bower, and Michael Patterson. Michot is a long-time wetland/waterfowl research biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S.G.S. National Wetland Research Center and is now a faculty member at University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Laborde is a Ph.D. candidate in Wildlife Ecology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU and past National Art Committee Chairman for Ducks Unlimited; Camos is an exhibiting artist, curator and art instructor in Lafayette who was an official Festival International de Louisiane artist in 2010; Bower is the owner of Stitch and Frame art studio and frame shop in Lafayette, and has been an active participant of the Louisiana State Duck Stamp Program since its inception; and Patterson is a financial consultant for Lee, Dougherty, and Ferrara Investment Management and is the incoming State Chairman-elect of Ducks Unlimited.