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South Carolina's 25th anniversary duck stamp next season will feature wildlife artist Rodney Huckaby of Simpsonville, making him the only four-time winner of the annual competition.

Huckaby's painting of a pair of canvasback ducks flying over the ocean with a shrimp boat pulling its trawl nets in the background was judged the winner of South Carolina's 25th annual State Duck Stamp Contest on Oct. 14 in Columbia by members of the S.C. Migratory Waterfowl Committee. The stamp competition is a program of a program of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The winning artwork will be featured on the 2005-2006 S.C. Migratory Waterfowl and Hunting Stamp next season. Huckaby, who paints only one or two pictures a year, is the only four-time winner of the South Carolina duck stamp contest in its 25-year history.

Artists from 19 states submitted 34 entries, including 11 South Carolina artists in the South Carolina contest. Huckaby's painting, along with the top four entries from the stamp contest, will be displayed Feb. 18-20, 2005, during the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, in the Galliard Auditorium.

Huckaby, 56 of Simpsonville, works in the engraving department at Springs Mills in Lyman and said he painted the canvasback ducks in a position that he had seen some geese flying in while watching a television program on waterfowl migrations. "I had a picture taken at the beach a few years ago of a shrimp boat, and I thought that looked like South Carolina," Huckaby said. "I had a picture of the ocean with the light like that, and I had painted canvasbacks three or four times before for duck stamp competitions, so I kind of know what they look like."

Huckaby previously won the South Carolina duck stamp contest in 1995, 1997 and 2002. His 2002 painting featured a pair of wigeons flying over a South Carolina coastal scene with a chocolate lab superimposed on the left half of the picture. That was Huckaby's first attempt at painting a dog. At the time, he noted that the top two or three entries in recent years had featured dogs, "so I decided just to give it a try." Currently he is trying some other wildlife art and said he is working on a painting of an elephant.
 

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I myself am pretty fond of the 1988 South Carolina Duck stamp. Got the signed print and stamp framed and hanging at the house. To me, it was the best Killen art ever, but afterall, I am biased.
 
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