Feb, Arkansas Taxidermisy Assoc. Convention
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John C
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Location: Between South Africa and America.
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« on: February 03, 2016, 08:19:18 PM »


Jan. 2016 Newsletter

The Arkansas Taxidermist Association is ready to rumble on their 35th Annual Convention and Competition to be held February 25-27, 2016 at DeGray Lake Resort Lodge and Conference Center in Bismarck, Arkansas. This years convention will be in the same place as the 2015 Convention, located at 2027 State Park Entrance Road. The resort is located off Interstate 30, at Exit 78 for Caddo Valley, then north 6 miles on Highway 7. This is a State Park so camping is available at a rate of $19/day. Lodge room rates are $85 per night. Reservations may be made at (501)865-5850. The lodge has a restaurant and bar so there is no need to leave. However, fast food is available 6 miles away in Caddo Valley. There is also a Walmart down I-30 at Exit 73 in Arkadelphia.
Registration Form and Schedule of Events are included in this newsletter.

The ATA is pleased to announce that Mr. Jack Emery of Carmi, Illinois will be judging the Whitetail Deer Division at the 2016 ATA Competition. Mr. Emery won the Best in the World Title for Whitetail Deer in 2013 as well as National Champion Gamehead in 2011 with a caribou, and National Champion Whitetail in 2012. He has been well-respected in the taxidermy industry for over 30 years. The Illinois Hall of Fame lists him in two separate divisionsWhitetail Deer and Gameheads.
Mr. Randy Holler of Hettinger, North Dakota will be judging the Waterfowl and Upland Bird Divisions. Mr. Holler has been in taxidermy since 1997, working in all species but specializing in birds. He has won multiple times in Best of Show and Judges Choice. Mr. Holler has won the North American Champion Bird award in 2008 and again in 2011. In 2009, he won Best in the World Gamebird.
Judging the Life-size Mammals, Gameheads, and Fish Division will be Mr. Bob Schnettgoeke of Grafton, Illinois. Mr. Schnettgoeke has been a fulltime taxidermist since 1989. He has won many awards in state, national, and world competition levels including 14 Best of Category in the Masters, 3 State Champion Awards, 2 Best of Show, and a host of others.

The Arkansas Taxidermist Association was well represented at this years Big Buck Classic in Little Rock held this last weekend (January 22-24). Dennis Huggs, John Creager, and Kerry Tabor gave deer head mounting demonstrations while Rodney Harper, James Stewart, Marshall Pinchback, Cindy Creager, and Jared Harper talked to the general public about membership to the ATA. A large crowd was present all three days, asking questions about quality taxidermy work and where to find them in Arkansas. There were over 50 registration forms given out and many people expressed interest in attending the state show and convention in February.
The Big Buck Classic is held every January at the State Fair Complex in Little Rock. Hunters bring in their deerheads and antlers for competition in many categories. This years competition had almost 300 entries. Over 200 vendors were present promoting hunting and outdoor gear, hunting trips, and handicrafts. An exact number of visitors was not available, but several fair employees estimated 10,000 to 12,000 visitors for the 3 day event.

ATA President Dennis Huggs mounts deerhead at Big Buck Classic as did Kerry Tabor and John creager


Hi, my name is Rebecca Wilcher and Im from Ashdown, Arkansas. My husband, Larry, and I run a full time taxidermy business named Woods n Wetlands Taxidermy. Ive been doing taxidermy for seventeen years now. The fascination with taxidermy started when I was a little girl visiting my grandmother, who kept a large Muskie in the back bedroom. I would have to go see it every time I visited. Thats when the fire was ignited. When I was in my early twenties, the passion for it was still there. I had a gentleman by the name of Larry Hobbs teach me the basics of mounting a deer. I started getting involved in my state competition, which then created an addiction! I love the competingalways trying to outdo myself every year.
Hunting bull Tahr in New Zealand has always been a dream of mine. That story begins at the 2011 World Championship Show where I met wonderful, and now great friends, Vern and Louise from New Zealand. From there, my dream would be fulfilled.
My hunt was amazingthe helicopter ride, snow, five days of sleeping in tents, frozen boots, and brushing my teeth with freezing water. I wouldnt trade it in for anything!
I was blessed to harvest two bulls at 460 yards, thanks to Vern and his 7mm rum! My second bull was taken just behind our camp. Vern had glassed him and asked if I wanted to take him. Of course, there was no hesitation on my part! When I took the first two shots, I didnt think Id connected but when I took the third, after an adjustment on the scope, Vern said that I hit him. I wasnt sure. I told Vern not to worry about it. The weather was getting bad and it was getting dark. That night and the next day brought in a nasty little storm so there was no leaving the tents. The day after was a beautiful day and our last hunting day. Louise and I went down below camp looking for chamois because we both had killed tahrs. Vern went back where we had taken our bulls earlier above camp. After an uneventful day, we headed back to camp. It was getting near dark when we arrived. Then we heard Vern on the radio that he had found my tahr that I thought Id missed! Needless to say, I was a little excited! He had skinned him for a pedestal mount.
I mounted him up for the world show this year and received second in the world in gameheads. I wasnt even planning on going to the NTA show in Tennessee, but I thought it might be my last chance to win North American Champion. Well lets just say I was very surprised to receive all the other awards that my tahr had won! On top of the North American Champion, there was the Sinclair Clark Memorial Award, first place Challenge of the Arts, Judges Best of Show, and Taxidermist of the Year which came with a beautiful lion sculpture! I cannot put into words the emotions I felt that night, especially when I received a standing ovation when I won Taxidermist of the Year!
I cannot express my gratitude enough to those people who have helped me achieve this goal. This honor belongs to them more than it belongs to myself. Vern and Louise, without you guys taking me in and putting up with me for 27 days, this wouldnt have been possible. A big thank you to all my teachers, judges, mentors and friends who have taught and supported me. To Larry and Kathy Bloomquist, if it hadnt had been for the world show, those doors wouldve never been opened for me thank you! I will never forget my biggest fan, my husband Larry, who endured 27 whole days without me! It wasnt good! He deserves sooo much more, I love you babe. Thank you for believing in me from the very beginning. Oh! Lets not forget my Heavenly Father who has blessed me with wonderful talent and giving me these great opportunities. Its funny how God has great things in store for us! I owe it all to Him!
By Rebecca Wilcher


8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. SET UP (HELP IS NEEDED)
9:00 a.m. 12 noon Registration
10:00 a.m. 12 noon Competitors check in mounts
10:00 a.m. 12 noon Suppliers set up
10:00 a.m. 12 noon SEMINAR #1 Bob Schnettgoecke MAMMAL ALTERATION
12 noon 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. Registration and Competitor Mount Check-in continues
1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. SEMINAR #2 Jack Emery WHITETAIL EARBUTTS, NOSE, EYES
3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. SEMINAR #3 (Part 1 of 2) Mark Wicker HANDS ON BIRD MOUNTING
5:00 p.m. until  SOCIAL (Pizza and Drink $5 per person) Business Meeting with
Elections and Round Table Discussion on Shop Business, Tax Status,
Competition Rules, and New Bylaws

8:00 a.m. Noon Registration
8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. Check in Mounts (NO MOUNTS ACCEPTED AFTER 10:00 AM)
8:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. SEMINAR #4 Rebecca Wilcher - Olaus Lyons Vandyke's McKenzie Setting eyes. My understanding is for 20 people, Thank you to Olaus for McKenzie/Van Dykes for supplies for this.
8:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. SEMINAR #5 Randy Holler WATERFOWL PRESENTATION
11:00 a.m. 12:00 noon Lunch
12 noon 1:00 p.m. Peoples Choice Voting
1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. SEMINAR (Part 2) Mark Wicker HANDS ON BIRD MOUNTING
1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. SEMINARY #6 Jake Carter MOUNTING A DEER


8:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Competition Room Open to the Public ($2.00 per person)
8:00 a.m. 12 noon Critiques with Judges (for competitors)

12 noon 2:00 p.m. Mounts released and Breakdown (HELP IS NEEDED Please dont leave
it to just a few people)

8:00 a.m -12 noon Seminar Fish works, with Rodney Harper National Champion Fresh Water fish. You don't want to miss this seminar!

February 25 27, 2016
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 08:27:29 PM by John C » Logged

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