The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting its annual art contest to select the design for the state’s 2022-2023 upland game bird stamp. The California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest is open to all U.S. residents ages 18 and older, excluding current and former CDFW employees. Entries will be accepted from Oct. 31 through Dec. 2.
This year’s stamp will feature the chukar. First introduced to California in 1932, the chukar is native to India and Pakistan. This agile gamebird with a cream-striped underbelly and distinctive banding on its head, neck and flanks blends in well among rocky outcrops and sandy washes of the central Intermountain West. Chukar are social birds and vocalize loudly with clucks and squeaks that accompany a variety of behaviors. Anyone who has attempted to approach a chukar knows that they are powerful runners, moving fast afoot to higher elevations when alarmed. If flushed, chukar will glide downslope to safety, easily outpacing most predators.
Entries must include at least one chukar, preferably in a habitat or setting representative of California. Entries will be judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.
The contest will be judged by a panel of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. The winning artist will be selected during a judging event in December.
An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The money generated from stamp sales is dedicated to upland game bird-related conservation projects, education, hunting opportunities and outreach. CDFW sells over 150,000 upland game bird validations annually. Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectible stamp by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. For collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps, an order form is also available on the website.
For contest information and entry forms, visit wildlife.ca.gov/upland-game-bird-stamp.