The Federal Duck Stamp is the only U. S. stamp whose design is traditionally chosen through an art contest. Each year, hundreds of wildlife artists from all over the country enter the Federal Duck Stamp Design Contest. The winning design appears on the following year's stamp.
Although the winner receives no money from the federal government, the artist can expect to earn hundreds of thousand of dollars, mostly from the sale of limited edition prints of the original artwork.
Accomplished wildlife artist Bob Hines was chosen to created the 1946 Federal Duck Stamp. Until 1949, the stamp was designed by an artist appointed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1947, Hines was hired to administer the program, a position he held for 32 years.
The original artwork for the 1946 Federal Duck Stamp, an ink drawing by Bob Hines, shows a male Redhead Duck landing amid a small swimming flock. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service returned Hines' first attempt, requesting that he take out a second flock of ducks.