Congratulations to Mike Zillgitt, southeastern Minnesota artist, for winning the 2013 Minnesota Trout Stamp contest. The winning design, a brown trout about to strike a lure, was announced August 9 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
A life-long artist, Mike is no stranger to the charms of outdoor life in southeastern Minnesota. A youth spent sketching, drawing, hunting and fishing in the headwaters of the Root River, lends strong authority to Mike's current gallery of artistic creations. In addition to Mike's winning entry in the Minnesota 2013 Trout Stamp contest, was tied for first place in 2012 (and runner-up in the tie-breaker competition) with his turkey stamp contest entry. In winning the Trout Stamp contest, Mike joins the ranks of other distinguished Minnesota artists in bringing their perspectives of the outdoors to the attention of the public at large, and outdoor enthusiasts, in particular.
The Minnesota Trout Stamp is one of five "habitat stamps" that the Minnesota DNR makes available to hunters, fishers, and collectors. Some of these serve as extra cost "validation" for a license to hunt and fish for persons 16-64 years of age. Others are vehicles for donations to the DNR in support of management projects to restore or create new habitat for fish and wildlife. Statistics on the number of stamps sold provide important economic and management information, enabling resource management agencies to understand the specific interests of their hunting and fishing clientele.
Once again, our heartiest congratulations go out to Mike for his creativity and generosity in sharing his view of one our most precious natural resoures.