Mark Kness of Albert Lea won the Minnesota Pheasant Habitat Stamp contest and Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville won the Turkey Habitat Stamp contest. Both of the annual contests took place Sept. 19 and were sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
This was the first time Mark Kness has won the pheasant stamp contest. His painting, selected by judges from among 11 submissions, will be featured on the 2020 pheasant habitat stamp. Other finalists were Mark Thone of Shakopee in second place, Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville in third place, and Nicholas Markell of Stillwater in fourth place.
In the turkey stamp contest, Hamrick’s painting was selected by judges from among nine submissions, and will be featured on the 2021 turkey habitat stamp. Other finalists were Micah Hanson of St. Charles in second place and Mark Kness in third place.
The pheasant stamp validation for hunting is $7.50 and is required for pheasant hunters ages 18 to 64. For an extra 75 cents, purchasers can receive the validation as well as the pictorial stamp in the mail. It also is sold as a collectible. Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to pheasant habitat management and protection.
The 1996 Minnesota Legislature authorized the turkey stamp at the request of turkey hunters. The DNR uses stamp revenue for wild turkey management and research, and incorporates the cost of a turkey stamp into the price of the hunting license – no additional purchase is required.
A pictorial turkey stamp costs 75 cents and can be purchased with or without a turkey hunting license.
More stamp contest information is available at mndnr.gov/stamps.