Next weekend I will be attending my first taxidermy competition(Iowa), and I'm alittle nervous.Five years ago I attended Joe Meder's gamehead course, and have ran a gamehead only studio since then. I will be entering a whitetail deerhead in the professional division. It is a closed mouth mount on a Meder semi sneak form with eyes looking straight ahead, not rotated to the right or the left. I was going to rotate the eyes, but felt I would do better for my first entry, by entering a head in a more simple pose. The mount turned out sweet. I started out with a flawless mid oct. cape and 160" antlers. You can't see or feel the seam, the eyes are the correct shape and symmetrical from side to side, muscled earbutts, cape taxied were it should be, etc. It is my absolute best mount to date, but I am concerned with a couple of things. It is just a basic wall hanging head mount with no habitat, although I may add a panel. Will it hurt me score wise with such a basic mount? Also, my septum is not transparent and veined. I dremeled out the nose cavity to the proper shape, but finished it with flesh colored apoxie sculpt. I searched the archives after I mounted the deer, and everybody seems to be useing replacement noses, or casting septums on thier competition mounts. Other than this the mount seems to be alive. I used tons of reference. How bad will they dock me for the septum? Would it lower a first place mount to a second? I know I shouldn't be concerned with the score, and more concerned with learning, but hey doesn't everybody want to win? I am sorry to be so long winded, but to anyone who has competed before, I would really appreciate your views. Thanks, Shannon.
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It does not matter, if you used a replacement nose or dremmeled it out. You will be judged on wither you did it right or wrong. You can do a replacement nose wrong or dremmel it to look perfect. Just don't leave the mount at home over something this petty. You are trying to look into a judge's mind before he even looks at your mount. Guys and gals baulk or chicken out over the little stuff and do not bring any mount at all out of fear of a tiny flaw. The judge is judging the mount, and not judging you. Will adding a habitat fix or make up for flaws in the mount? I do not think so. If you want a habitat to show your artistic skills, go for it, but do not force one on to the mount out of desperation. I would leave it off in the pro division, it is not needed. If you have a killer mount next to perfect, you will beat a marginal mount that has a great habitat. However, in the masters a habitat is expected.
better put your money in your pocket if youv been in business for 5 years you sould no were you stand .been there it doesnt matter .99% of your custamers wont see the extra detail .unless you point it out .let all the other pro taxidermist in your naborhood sweet it I DO$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Don't try to figure out how judges will look at your work before the competition. Last year I entered a whitetail in the professional division. It had a nice cape, dremeled and textured my nose etc.. but there were a few technical issues that brought it a second place. This year I entered again (different judge, different pose and both were entered without habitat). I felt the mount's serious problems were corrected from the year before (ear butts mostly)and was a better entry except that the cape was scarred (customers mount). I used a McKenzie replacement nose and had a good finish to it. However, this year it takes a third. Here are a few of the judges comments:
1. He did not like the form that I used (full sneak)
2. Cape was not in prime condition
3. He did not like the nostril wings (I used a replacement nose)
4. He thought that I should have been entered with habitat
which will set it apart from other entries.
Confusing to me was that a mount not far from mine received a second but yet the nostrils were filled in, the ears were at strange angles and the nose was painted black and was not textured. However he had a beautiful short haired cape and it was very well groomed. So, the moral of this long winded story is do your best and don't try and predict what a judge is thinking because you can't and next year you will have another judges opinion to digest anyway.
I have seldom seen a taxidermist that does not go to comps that is worth a darn.
The main reason for going should be to improve your work and meet other taxis.
You are only competing against yourself.You may or may not agree with the judge but that is beside the point.Something they tell you WILL help you improve your work.Be objective and enjoy the fellowship!
Trust YOUR judgement! You know if its sound, if its good, if its alive to look at. Joe runs an exceptional training program. His forms are very good. His students always do well. Almost all judges judge fairly, and encourage you guys to excell. They wont hang you up on a septum thats less than transluscent. While veining does exist, its not always visible. Go have a ball, and good luck. Dont forget to call Joe and tell him how well you did!
That responded. All of your comments helped with the jitters, and to see what comps. are all about. I don't know any of you that responded, but I respect and value your opinions. By the way, after looking at the pictures, Yox Yacks is one of the first things I read when I recieve a new Breakthrough Magazine! Thanks again guys! Shannon
I entered my first comp this year and I believe ks is talking about me in his post! If it was me I received a third with a 73 and was happy. As the ears at weird angles deer do a whole lot more than have alert ears! If you keep your ears meeting at the correct spot on the form a deer can do alot of things with his ears. I recieved a B on my ears. I learned alot and I am preparing a deer for a future show. The deer I took was a commericial mount for a customer but I went for the learning exp. and to find out what judges look for in a mount. If you would like to see the deer I took to the show feel free to visit my website and any comments would be appreciated, www.bucksnbeardsllc.com. As far as the nose on my deer it received a D as what ks talked about with it being a commerical mount. Thanx, Doug
No matter how good You are,competition will make You better,and You will meet great People.In My first comp. I met Gene Smith,Tommy Hall, and Chris Barnhart to mention a few,and was truley inspired.
I think I sat at your banquet table. Your deer looked awsome in my eyes. I'm yet to mount one with that short of hair. Was nice meeting you and your husband. Drop me a email if you get a chance I have some questions about the Meder coarse.