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Pocomoke Artist Wins Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest

Peaceful Swim by Paul Makuchal

Peaceful Swim by Paul Makuchal

Paul Makuchal from Pocomoke won the 39th annual Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest with his painting of a Lesser Scaup titled Peaceful Swim.

“It’s a wonderful surprise to learn my artwork was this year’s winning entry,” said Makuchal.

A panel of judges selected Makuchal’s work out of 21 entries from 11 Maryland artists. They judged the entries before a crowd on March 24 at the 24th Patuxent Wildlife Art Show, held at the National Wildlife Visitors Center in Laurel, Md. The contest is the fourth oldest in the country and is restricted to Maryland residents only.

Makuchal is now a two-time Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Contest winner. In 1998 at the age of 21, he won his first Maryland title with a painting of a pair of pintails, and again in 2006 with his Canada Goose entry. At 17 he placed third in the Junior Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

The Makuchal name is well known in the world of Maryland art. Paul’s father, Wally Sr., was a long-time commercial artist by trade. His brother, Wally, is an accomplished wildlife artist as well and won Maryland’s “duck stamp” contest in 1999 and 2009. Paul, who prefers to work using acrylics, does a lot of commissioned art and custom painting.

In addition to his past successes in Maryland, Paul’s artwork has won the 2000 Oklahoma Duck Stamp Contest, and earned him Maryland Ducks Unlimited’s “Artist of the Year,” a feature in Ducks Unlimited Magazine and a spot in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Calendar.

The Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest showcases the talents of Maryland’s gifted wildlife artists while raising funds for the conservation. Migratory game bird hunters are required to purchase these stamps and the proceeds are used to fund migratory game bird research and habitat enhancement on the State’s public lands. More than $6 million in stamp sales have been spent on migratory game projects since the beginning of the stamps in 1974.