Our View on 100% NTA

Submitted by Tony Finazzo on 5/8/01. ( finazducks@aol.com )

As a charter Board Member and Newly elected Pres of California
Association of taxidermists I Can tell you what our members voted.
I am A Life Member of the N.T.A. and I love what they do for members.
I am a big fan of our National association. Our Members however voted
very convincingly to not accept the demands by the N.T.A. that all
state associations be 100% affiliated. Our members stated that if
the N.T.A. doesn't want us the way we are, than so-be-it.We have over
300 members and we are not going to sacrifice any of them, because the
N.T.A. says we have to be 100%. As much as I believe in the N.T.A.
we will not accept this demand. Our members would like to continue
being affiliated,but not at this price.
Tony Finazzo

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This response submitted by George on 5/8/01. ( georoof@aol.com )

Would you mind telling us exactly what "demands" the NTA levied on Californians? There was never any demand that I know of. If you are a life member, you surely know that the original charter specified that in order to be a state affiliated chapter, all members had to be NTA members. In the misguided notion, much like what I hear you saying about your state now, it became more important to have NUMBERS of members than it did to have MEMBERS who would be willing to add to the organization. Understanding that misguided logic, the NTA decided to revert back.

The NTA accepts that your 300 members are not interested in being affiliated. That's going to be accepted, but of those 300, I'll ask a rhetorical question: how many of them are active and agressively work for your organization. That same fraction also applies to the NTA now and by requiring membership, we will stop the Little Red Hen syndrome where many want to ride on the hard work of the few. Once your 300 members find that their dues are going to have to increase to cover the incidentals they've garnished off the NTA, will they be proud of it, or voice those same opinions you've just heard about the "demands" of the NTA? How many of your current members who, like you, are Life Members or regular members of the NTA will decide that maybe Nevada, Oregon, or Arizona might offer them more in their membership? At the last National, California was well represented and I suspect it will continue to be regardless of the decision. I for one, wish you well and am sad to see those who do leave, go. We could use you now and we'll certainly look forward to your coming back someday soon.


This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 5/8/01. ( finazducks@aol.com )

George our members are adiment that: weather they are an N.T.A. Member or not is their decision. They don't want to be dictated to. I go to the Arizona Show. They have 100%, but I'll guarantee California has more N.T.A. Members than Arizona and we will never be 100% affiliated. If the N.T.A. can't accept that than so be it. Sometimes "part of a lot" is more than, "all of a little". If we had twenty members it would be easy to impose 100% on our members. I don't think we are the only state that feels this way, but if we are we are.
Thanks for listening

You are not the only big state Tony

This response submitted by BobB on 5/8/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

At our Wis meeting, we also turned down the NTA mandate. From speaking with members of ILL and Mich, I understand they also did not accept the NTA. Iowa (50 some members) did vote a one year trial.

Hopefully it does not hurt their membership totals, as they need the income generated from every member to stay finicially alive. Regardless of what some say here, your State is not alone in feeling we either had to force our members to join or part ways with the NTA.

Parting Ways?

This response submitted by Kim Owens on 5/8/01. ( )

Am I reading the previous post correctly? Just because your state votes not to become NTA affilated does not mean a 'parting of the ways'. If this is the way it is being positioned to your membership then we are all gonna be in a world of hurt. What it means is this and only this--your state voted not to be 100% affiliated and at future conventions you will use your own score sheets and the points earned by competitors will not be counted for their Award of Excellence. Your state will also not recieve any of the benefits that the NTA gives affilated states. That is it. Period. If state associations are going into meetings and telling their memberships that if they don't go 100% , they are parting ways with the NTA then as an industry we could self destruct. Members will not join the NTA on their own because they will think that because their state did not go 100% that that means they can not join on their own. I truly hope this is not what is going on in these association meetings. Full-time, part-time, half-time,hobbyist-- we need the NTA. Whether you know it or not- they are working for us and our rights to bear arms, hunt and do taxidermy. I wish all states would vote for the 100% but I know some have and some won't. It will make no difference to me or the way I feel about the state or the people or that state. It will be their decision. What will make a difference to all of us, in one way or another, is having no NTA and no lobbying group for us. Wait and see- You never know what you've got til it's gone.

Kim, maybe I'm confused...

This response submitted by BobB on 5/8/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

We were an affliated association, but once we could not meet the 100% mandate, the NTA no longer wanted us as an affliated association. So even though we could not meet the 100% mandate, we would have been happy to remain an affliate.

That however is not good enough for the NTA, so please tell me who actually caused us to stop supporting the NTA? It was not us, nor most likely any of the big states who face the same decision.

The NTA choose the all or nothing campaign. Luckily the NTA will still accept ind state members, even though they now must travel out of state to continue earning NTA points.

Strangly enough, our members may also have to travel out of the midwest to get those points. Yes our neighbor Iowa, is on a 1 year trial, but their show is the same weekend as ours.

Bob, Tony, How is it you don't Understand

This response submitted by George on 5/8/01. ( )

The NTA is not demanding anything. And your arguments are really lame in defending your statements. You both admit that "many" of your members remain NTA members. The NTA WINS - hands down. Now the NTA has members in a non-affiliated state that pay dues that can be used by the NTA but NOT BY YOUR STATE. Sure you'd be happy to be affiliated without 100%. That's about as logical as having someone give you a car without you ever having to make payments. Neither your state association nor your state's NTA members will be affected one whit by this vote you seem so proud of. Your NTA members will still receive every benefit an NTA member is eligible for and will be able to compete in regional and national NTA events as well as events sponsored by NTA affiliated states. The only people who will be shortchanged is your NON-NTA members who now must pay their own way as will you non-affiliated state associations.

For the life of me, I don't understand the furor or the cheering for "putting the NTA in its place." The NTA IS in its place and the decision has been made to set standards for an association to claim that it is NTA Affiliated. It seems like a no-brainer. Your state does not desire to be a part of the NTA's sanctions and have shown that by your votes. It was a democratic choice, you made your decision, THE END. The NTA is surely no happy to lose any state affiliation, and even less, viable, valuable members. But that's the decision each person voting has the right and obligation to make. So be it.

I've said it here before and you can ridicule it if you like, but remember, the NTA members of your state are no more obligated to your state association than they are to the NTA. IF they so desire, nothing stops them from forming their OWN state affiliated chapter. I understand the decision NOT to become affiliated in some states was only by a very few votes. What happens when the worm turns and those members quit. Now over half your members will be FOR affiliation.

Either way, this vote in no reason to rejoice for EITHER side, but it was a logical business decision that HAD to be made by the NTA. You are either part of the PROBLEM or part of the SOLUTION, and there's no fence sitting allowed. The NTA is satisfied with its decision, and we've established OUR rules. No one has ever hinted that you can't make your own under your own umbrella. I, for one wish you well, so why are so many people bitter at an organization they no longer want to be a part of?

I must be one dumbass!

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 5/8/01. ( )

Now George, if Kim just told us that non affiliated states will NOT be able to use NTA score sheets, and that that state's members will NOT be able to have points counted towards thier award of excellence, isnt that just a bit sh*tty? How 'bout sitting at a membership meeting and wanting to earn your A of E and watching as the state elects not to become affiliated, so the NTA in a sense tells you that because of this vote, your points will no longer count? Please explain this to me...

George and Kim

This response submitted by Kevin on 5/8/01. ( trails_end_tax@hotmail.com )

Please read "why go 100%" posted under NTA 100% started 5/6/01. Then explain to us the NTA stand

Me Too

This response submitted by Mark C on 5/8/01. ( srceight@i2k.com )

Not wanting to jump on the band wagon here, but I am a new member to the NTA. I was not made aware that my state earned points would not count toward certification in the NTA. Although I will remain as a member, at least for now, the certification program fits with goals I've set for myself and is one of the things that attracted me to the NTA. I don't know if I will be able to travel each year, to an affiliated state to earn points, or even if there are any affiliated states within easy travel distance, from MI, here in the midwest. Geezz, this just got real expensive! Aside from the travel, will these states rules allow me to enter a mount in their competition after I've already competed with it in my home state? I know some states won't, so now I will have to choose one over the other, or double up on comp mounts. Now this is really getting expensive!

Sorry but it's hard enough to keep up when customers come first and then I will hopefully have time for display stuff and comp mounts. You've said it before George, that you don't compete, so maybe all this doesn't mean much to you, but it means allot to me. I want to learn and achieve a higher standard for myself. I also understand that the NTA is about more than competing, but for now, that is what I need from it. So now my question becomes, am I the type of member the NTA doesn't want to attract or keep?

Funny, if I am, they just made it very difficult.

George, simple question....

This response submitted by BobB on 5/8/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

please give me a simple answer. (I agree a national organization would be a wonderful thing - but only by choice).

Here's the question;
You said "Now the NTA has members in a non-affiliated state that pay dues that can be used by the NTA but NOT BY YOUR STATE."

Ok, for accounting purposes the NTA gives $2 back to the affliated states. Are you saying that of the remaining $48 the NTA is providing affliated states back additional funds? Let's skip the convention perks for the association president, cause truly the average state member does not get to use that membership perk.

guess what!

This response submitted by john barber on 5/8/01. ( crittergedder@yahoo.com )

I have just returned from the louisiana state show where they voted down the N.T.A. 100% .it failed by a small margine there are some NTA
board members that live in this state and were not at that meeting .OH it must not be that important to them they did not show
and they are on the board that wants this done. so will they show up when our rites are in question MAYBE. I am a lifemember of the NTA and try to support them but we dont have the # to get any attention in congress.there are people out there that dont belong to any association get them involved .We do need to support the NTA but I think I have a point here just dont think IM clear on it sorry.

John, your point is very clear

This response submitted by BobB on 5/8/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

Was the vote close enough to have gone the other way? Can't believe they don't even show up to vote on such an important issue. Maybe just like with the 100% mandate, they were hoping someone else would do their work (of getting new members).

And these are NTA Board members?

You're reading things into the facts

This response submitted by George on 5/9/01. ( )

An NTA member gets all the NTA perks even if he lives in PUCKHAM. But I want to ask each of you diehards that keep flogging this dead horse a question that I'll steal from Frankie Thompson. If you think the NTA should be obligated to allow non-members to enjoy the same benefits as members do, why does your state association charge dues? Why is it more important for the National organization to give someone a free ride than the individual states?

Mark, I understand your concern. One day, maybe sooner than later, these NTA floggers are going to realize that same fact. Currently, those goals you have set are the only ones available to us regular taxidermists. Please don't think that just because I don't compete, it think competitions are one of the most valuable resourses this industry has. I learn a great deal by admiring the beautiful work of others and trying (most times in vain, LOL) to achieve that standard in my commercial work. I know for a fact that a commercial piece by Bill Yox looks better than any show piece I could try and there's a stand even I can try for. I can't imagine any taxidermist who wouldn't give his eye teeth to be National Champion just once. The NTA will acept your mount, regardless. If an individual state association has rules to preclude your entry, I'm not sure about that, but I'm sure most NTA affiliates will be more than willing to work with you.

I understand

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 5/9/01. ( finazducks@aol.com )

George I do understand. I understand that the members of my association don't want to be dictated too. I think it is a tragedy that the N.T.A. Board will impose this 100% to be affiliated. The members that want to go for their "Award of Excellence" will still go for it, until they get it and then no more. Your comment about how many members do the work is a good one. There is a core of workers as in any organization. Then there are members that pay their dues and not much else. There are also the members that take advantage of everything the association offers and don't help with other things. We believe they are all important to our organization. We do more for our members than most state associations . This is not to knock other states, because I am or have been a member of many state associations. I havn't really contributed much to most of them other than attending their conventions. They all seemed to appreciate my participation. To tell you some things we do. We provide an excellent newsletter five times a year. We put on at least three workshops a year with outstanding instructers free of charge. All they have to do is "be a member." For the past three years we have provided at least one $500 scholarship a year to a family member of one of our members. All board members phone numbers are listed and feedback from members is encouraged. Some of our Members don't attend our show every year. Why don't we say if you don't come to the convention you can't be a member. Because it's not right. And for the N.T.A. to say we need 100% to be affiliated is not right either. I wont say I'm not a betting man, because i've been known to loose a buck or two, but I'll bet This will hurt the N.T.A more than it does the States. We are now affiliated. We payed our dues. If they kick us out, because we don't have the 100% than It's on their heads. I guess it will all come out in the wash. I don't want to see the N.T.A. or our state hurt I have supported both for a long time , and I beleive in the N.T.A.. But that is my choice, not the N.T.A.'s Just one more comment. George. No association, club,organization government, or society gets every member to contribute, but all are considered an asset

Very close....

This response submitted by Tina on 5/9/01. ( crittergedder@yahoo.com )

Bob, it was a very close vote. Had the NTA board better represented itself than it may of went the other way. I personally find it hard to believe the NTA board has our best interest in mind by the example they set in Louisiana. There are several board members that are from this great state and not one could make a apperance? So much for unity! I guess thats goes to show us that they have their prioritys wrong. Franky Thompson did a great job representing the NTA. My husband and I are life members of the NTA. I think alot of their ideas are great. But I think this 100% affiliate vote is hurting us all. I think our State and National orginazations will both suffer when this is all over and done with.We will remain members of our state assoc. and the national assoc. I just don't agree with the way the NTA is going about this.

John, Get Your Facts Straight

This response submitted by George on 5/9/01. ( )

And Don't Feed Bob,
The Louisanna association explicitly asked that the local board members NOT be the ones to explain their decision. Aside from that, I know for a fact that the individual who DID come from several hundred miles at his own expense, was told that he'd only be allowed 30 minutes to make his points. At the appointed time, only a fraction of the members were present, and he was forced to use 10 miutes of his allotted time to wait on lollygagging members. Still, the vote was close. Seems like some Clintonesque politics going on to me. Why couldn't the local members present the NTA position, why whas someone from another state then made to pay his own accomodations to come at your request, and then why was he limited to 20 minutes? I know who came and what happened. This fine gentleman never groused about a single issue I'm bringing up, but I refuse to see his name and our organization besmirched by comments completely out of context.

And Bob, you make light of the $2 return the NTA gives you on memberships. If you have 300 members, is $600 chump change? This is money the state gets back from the individuals dues. If your state is paying the $58 that's one thing, but if the member is required to pay the $60, that's money you could, can, and do give back to your membership.

Now, I'm finished on this subject. For every valid response, there'll be another nitpicker who wouldn't be happy if he were hung with a new rope. As I said earlier, from an NTA standpoint, this is no longer an item for discussion. You've all been presented with the pros and cons; there is no hidden agenda or under-the counter deals, and are free to make your own decisions. States will fall in line with their majority membership, and I certainly uphold their right to do just that. The majority of NTA members have also spoken, and I can only wish you'd give us that same respect.

George its strait

This response submitted by john on 5/9/01. ( same as above )

frankie talked all day at a booth for a day and a half before the vote what i am talking abut is participation at the state level for NTA board members that live in that state fact made mr. man!

No response from NTA

This response submitted by Jim Silva on 5/9/01. ( jsilvaftaman@gateway.net )

Seems some people at the top of the NTA can't see the impact their decision has made on the entiire affiliate network. I have been the state president of California for the past 6 years. When this outrageous idea was first thrown at the affiliates our members response was just the same as it was at our most recent convention, no way do they want to be dictated to in any form or manner. I bet not all doctors belong to the AMA. That is there choice, and that is all that this argument gets down to. I personally wrote letters to the president stating our states concern, they went unanswered. We offered anyone to come to the podium at our convention and explain all the great benefits being 100% would do for our association. NO one came forward. We have over 300 members, most are NOT NTA members.And the concensus amongst them is that they don't want to be or have no intentions of being an NTA member at this time. That may change down the road. I have been a professional taxidermist for over 15 years. I have done the competiting route and have even attended a few NTA conventions. That was of my own free will and I chose to attend. We have several lifetime members also in our state, all of them agreed that this was not in any associations best interest. When you have people that are lifetime members, meaning they love taxidermy and the NTA, and they all state that this is a very ill concieved idea, then someone better put their thinking caps back on and take a deeper look at what they have done. I believe that if you are a professional, or even part time, and are a serious taxidermist that you should, if you so desire belong to the NTA. In no way should it ever be the NTA way or the highway. At our convention we went one step further than the NTA. Our board had voted unanimously against 100% affiliation from the get go. But our board of directors wanted to make sure that they wer'nt making the decision for the association at large. That is why we had the vote taken at our membership meeting at our convention. The participating members voted not to be 100%, not our board of directors making the decision for them. The NTA after listening to all the fallout should have regrouped and thought this whole scenario over, but they just kept their heads in the sand and said a decision is a decision. So be it. I was asked to run for a directors postion in the NTA,I declined because of all the fallout over the past years with good directors quitting because of a small group of hard headed individuals that keep forgetting that this is a National organization and not a Southern organization. I know damn well that if I was on the board the vote certainly wouldn't have been unanimous, like the NTA said it was. I would never vote for such a motion. You can all confuse us with your by-laws interpretations and whatever else you use to justify your point of view. Apparently their are many states that have decided to say goodbye to the NTA. Who loses? EVERYONE! One of these e-mails said it simple, and said it all.The NTA should quit messing with the ones that are already members. They aren't the problem. If you want the NTA to grow and bring in new members, then the board has to work their butts off to figure out how to entice new members into the NTA. Don't irritate the members you already have. Let taxidermists make their own choices, not a board of directors, with nothing to lose, try to make them for them. This whole issue is extremely sad, and I am truly dissappointed to see what is going to happen to all of us in the future. Our state is extremely strong. We will continue to support every taxidermist in our state that wants to belong to our association. We provide a great number of benefits to our members. If the NTA wants to increase their membership, and their numbers, then by all means burn that midnight oil at those directors meetings and start pounding the pavement, knocking on the doors of those taxidermists who don't belong to any association and convince them to join the NTA. Unless the officers of the NTA have their heads in the sand, taxidermists are an extremely independant group of individuals. In our state alone there are well over 3000 taxidermists, yet we have only 350 plus members. Go figure. We gave up a long time ago trying to convince many of these individuals to join our association, we were about 95% unsuccessful.The old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, kind of applies to taxidermists in general. We will continue to put out all the information to the taxidermists in our state and we will continue to let THEM decide whether or not they want to be a part of our state association. The NTA should take the same policy.

George, Do You Really Want Me To Starve?

This response submitted by BobB on 5/9/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

With your comments "Don't feed Bob", you show everyone here, that you are arguing this issue personally. George as this post has already demostrated better than any other NTA post - IT IS NOT YOU AGAINST ME.

Nearly every post here, is from an NTA member or state member. It is obvious to all (except you) that we believe that the NTA is a great concept and could be a wonderful organization, if only it was allowed to be. The creation of this 100% mandate was a major error.

Now pride keeps it from being corrected. In other words the NTA board knew of the negative reaction this mandate caused, yet they voted to stand strong at their Feb 2001 board meeting. That is either pride or ignorance. They believe that the big states will come around.

That will not happen, maybe as you suggest small splinter groups will form, but how will that benefit the NTA? Especially if those new groups were already NTA members.

I am sorry George that you take this issue so personally that you feel you need to be the defender of this mandate every time the issue arises here in the forum. You are in the minority. With 98,000 taxidermists not belonging to the NTA, and only roughly 2000 belonging and of those 2000, another large percentage still agree the mandate is wrong, you my friend get left holding the bag.

You talk of us 98,000 non-NTA members as being the problem, not paying our way, etc. Do you really believe that? Before this mandate arose only the minority belonged to the NTA, so have we always been the problem?

About benefits, I looked in to them, as I gathered research for an article for my state's meetings and magazine. I will gladly forward you a copy, after I send NTA President Mike Kirkart his. Out of respect for Mike, I promised him a copy before it goes to my publisher or anyone else.

George it really does sadden me, that you think of me, as the anti-NTA mouthpiece, I am not. What I am (just like several authors here) is a strong voice for my state association. I like others here, felt from the beginning, that this mandate would only harm the membership rolls of the big states.

With only 14 members, you simply are not in our shoes, so your security allows your passion to tell us we are the problem.

I just thought of something

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 5/9/01. ( finazducks@aol.com )

Have we been told everything? It just dawned on me that the N.T.A. board with it's infinite wisdom and quest to do what's best for all taxidermist surely included the following in it's mandate that all affiliated states be 100%. "ALL MEMBERS OF THE NTA MUST ALSO BE MEMBERS OF THEIR STATE ASSOCIATION". HAS THIS PROVISION BEEN CONSIDERED?

Bob B, you aren't going to believe this........

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/9/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net )

but, I can understand your position here. Now, I don't have a side in this issue, since I am non-aligned. I am not a member of a state or national organization for some of the reasons outlined herein.

I watched dissention split Safari Club into several factions, with Texas pulling out and Californians forming another organization. I have been to too many Wildlife federation meetings involving the same issues. My association with organized taxidermy ended over a very personal and bitter argument that took place long before some of the members of this forum were born.

Bob, you and George have both made some very good points here, but the business of this industry does not need a "big brother" standard. It is easy for some folks to get too politically involved in any organization, from the DAR to the American Legion. Sometimes the lead dogs of any movement begin to believe that all members possess their zeal for unity and standardization. Human nature prevents it from happening, especially in America. Dedication and blind involvement can cause some to replace rational thought with an Espirit de corps that is perceived to be blind alligence by some of the membership.

I had entertained the thought of joining the ranks of the NTA myself recently, until I read the threads of this post. I personally believe that loose coalitions get a heck of a lot more accomplished for the good of the whole than do restrictive mandates.

Before anyone tells me that this is none of my business, think about the fact that this kind of debate causes hesitance on the part of potential enlistees, myself included. There are overtones of dictatorship here that I just couldn't accept. Organizations are composed of people, and the individual member's concerns should matter much more than the rites and rules of the governing body.

why take sides?

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 5/9/01. ( )

First off, George, we did NOT say that non members should enjoy the same priveledge, just that individual members in good standing should not be penalized just because thier home state couldnt affiliate. Period. I am strongly opposed to this mandatory affiliation, as most of you all know. But Im NOT anti-NTA. Im like the AofE program. Well, that certified taxidermist thing is another story, but...Anyway, the fact that they mandated this, and are now failing miserably is really a shame. Whats worse is this. I CANNOT mention names, but theres folks involved in the NTA now that werent there when this mandatory joke came to pass, yet they have to sheepishly support it. They have NO exit strategy when it does fail, as I have frequently stated here before. In fact, come to think of it, NONE of my statements have been addressed here, have they? I WILL say this, though. I personally am not wanting to take these CURRENT officers and hold them completely accountable for this whole mess, as they unfortunately are soon going to look like the scapegoats for those who dreamt this whole mess up. I am PRO NTA, I am PROUD of my past NTA awards and recognition, and I will sooner or later get my NTA dues sent in. Yes, mine are always late! I hope we can support the NTA when they do get beyond this failed project, and move ahead, as a positive group.

Tony, the answer is NO

This response submitted by BobB on 5/9/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

Apparently do to a legal opinion, the NTA says that they can not force their members to join a state association. Is that not ironic?

In Wis, only about 12 NTA members do not belong to our state assoc. Of our nearly 300 members, something like 40 belong to both organizations.

Bill G. I certainly appreciate not being sliced and diced. I would suggest that you owe it to yourself to join at least one taxidermy group. You will not regret it. But that is only a suggestion, not a mandate.

If you are anywhere in IL, Iowa, Mn, or Wis, please consider a visit to our Wis summer "Midwest Taxidermy Rendezvous" You need not be a member of any organization to attend. Totally free, no cover charge at all.

It will be held Aug 17, 18, 19th in Prairie du Chien (near the intersection of Iowa, Mn, and Wis. Last year our free seminars, included such things as Mike Othober finger painting a bass. We will again have seminars, suppliers, and fun this summer.

This years competition is a Ruffed Grouse - Judged by the 5 foot rule, judges can not touch the mount or use flashlights. Just plain old fun, great way for many to get their feet wet competing, or even just fun for the seasoned pro.

We also have a hog roast on the banks of the Mississippi (wider now than hopefully this August) on Saturday night for only $3 a person. Our association takes care of the rest.

As everyone says belonging is great (if you choose to) and hopefully we also make it fun. This summer event is just for taxidermists to enjoy, no strings, no obligations. It is our states way of promoting ourselves and just another benefit our group gives it's members.

I think we NEED to take a side

This response submitted by Leanna on 5/9/01. ( scardeer@cornernet.com )

Am I just not understanding this NTA thing? You can become a member of the NTA whether or not your state is 100%. You get the magazine the insurance if you cut off a limb, the support of a bunch of people holding the same interests, points for competition adding up to greater title holdings, other little perks, and the insurance of HAVING taxidermy as a career in the future because the NTA does fight for such things, right?

And the only drawback, which to me does not seem like an unexpected drawback, is that those persons will not get the NTA points in competetion, in their own state who is not 100%. Somehow that seems fair to me. Because your state also, needs to pay for THEIR perks.

We as taxidermists in general request a fair price for our mounts, if people don't want to pay our requested price, they don't have to and it's no water off our back, or rather it shouldn't be. If the NTA "requests also" not demand 100% affiliation, I think it seems like a good way for a great group of people to unite and make ourselves greater. We don't HAVE to do it, but we can only grow and become stronger it seems. Or we can nitpick the piddley assed and become more divided. To me if the NTA requests us to join and we don't, I really don't think it hurts the NTA. But I believe it may hurt us. I think we have more to gain than to lose if our states become 100%.

You can also obtain points outside your states association who are 100%(if you join their association) if you are an NTA member, is that right? Not to mention the Nationals. Yes that may be getting expensive, but everything has a price and are we not used to that? It costs to go to shows, it costs something for supplies, it costs to wipe our noses. As long as I can remember, I've paid for everything in my life that required it. Why should this be different?

Am I missing some other valid points here? I'm serious when I ask this because I really can't understand all the negativity in this subject. I can't find anything horribly unreasonable. I've been reading and re-reading this stuff to try and decipher some hidden facts and I can't find them.

And now I am sure I will "pay" for submitting this response! LOL

Enlighten me if I need it!

NTA 100% affiliation

This response submitted by Jim Silva on 5/9/01. ( jsilvaftaman@gateway.net )

Let me say that here in California we keep our points records of all our members who compete at our show. We only send the points to the NTA of those members who are current in the NTA. This has always been the case. Most all competitors start at the state level. Some don't even know what the NTA is. We provide them with the information and knowledge they need to make the decision whether or not they want to become NTA members. Again it is their decision, not ours. I guess now the NTA is saying it won't even accept the points from their own members competiting in a non-affiliated state show. Kind of sounds like the NTA just decided by their mandate to penalize thier own members. NTA Board of directors, think about that one.

Points Shmoints

This response submitted by Jim Tucker on 5/10/01. ( bigjims@adelphia.net )

So you get all your points and what do you get? Another plaque or ribbon to hang on your wall. I have never had a customer notice my National ribbons over my state, or Piedmont ribbons. They just don't give a crap. I personally think the competition thing has gone way beyond its original intention as a learning tool. Sure, seeing the great pieces at the shows is fun, but in the end it don't mean diddly. I live about 30 miles from Buckeye Mannikin and there are FOUR World Champions there, but 99% of the people around don't know or care. I feel the $$ used to promote the shows and the winners could be better used. By the way, 98000 taxidermist in the NTA what a pipe dream. As it goes now, even if I give every state two hundred members (that is pushing it, some have more, most way have less), and give every state a org. (there aren't), that makes 10000 members times $50 or 500,000. That isn't enough cash to buy a pardon for Clinton's brother in law. Our hope lies with BIG groups with BIG $$$ like NRA or SCI. The NTA, even in our wildest dreams cannot competet, there just are not enough of us.

one question here

This response submitted by Frank Kotula on 5/10/01. ( basswtrout@aol.com )

What would you do if the NRA said every hunter must belong to the NRA?
Just a thought.

Frank, they can't

This response submitted by BobB on 5/10/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

They have no legal grounds to do so. They are a private organization not a governmemntal. If on the other hand your state said you must attend a Hunter Education Class to hunt, they could do that.

Governmental bodies can regulate our privledges (yes hunting is a privledge - not a right). They control when we hunt (seasons), what we hunt (species), who can hunt (min age).

Now every state has somewhat different hunting regulations and some are currently addressing versions of a hunters/fishermen bill of rights (to protect hunting). But none would ever entertain the thought of requiring all hunters to join the NRA.

No governmental body would ever give the NRA that much punch.

Jim T, the 100,000 taxidermist numbers comes from the NTA, based on mailing lists for all the supply companies, publications, etc. I agree that means a HUGE percentage of those taxidermists will never even join their state group, much less a second join based 1/2 a country away.

According to my state DNR, they only know of approx 1500 legally employed people doing taxidermy in Wisc. One has to guestimate that a state with our huge whitetail herd, and great fishing must certainly have a high percentage of that 100,000, even if divided by 50, we should at least have 2000 known taxidermists. Yet our state organization only has roughly 300 members and the NTA can claim roughly 60 members throughout Wisc.

For all we do now, for our members (at $30 annually), we can not attract more. The thought of now raising our dues to $80 will certainly not bring in any more new members and could easily cause us to lose a large percentage of those we have now.

Bob B

This response submitted by Leanna on 5/10/01. ( scardeer@cornernet.com )

For your last paragraph.....If explained what is gained by the increase, it should save alot of members and gain more it seems.

If positively talking up this 100% thing, we MAY all gain something. I think we should at least try it and then go on from there. We've never even given it a shot yet. Let's try it and THEN bitch about it if doesn't hold water.

I'm only trying to be open minded here. Change does suck. But alot of times it is for the best.

Here we go again

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 5/10/01. ( WILDART@prodigy.net )

Getting off center. Comparing the NRA to the NTA gets everyone right back to the Apple and orange cart once again. First of all, the NRA is not about hunting, it is a vangaurd organization in the fight to retain the right to keep and bear arms, or arm bears, (hard for me to keep that straight.) Jim Tucker, kudos for a mineral water clear thread.

Let me see if I have this straight: The base argument is about the mandate levied by the NTA that state level organizations require 100% membership enrollment in the NTA. The state organizations have voted on the issue and, like most ladies I have met, some do and some don't want the solidarity of marriage in this instance.

Now the issue is unraveling into threads about fee splitting and who did or does what to whom, so much for solidarity in the issue. The better comparison of the NTA would be with the National Wildlife Federation. I am a life member of several state organizations which are loose coalitions of private and public sportsmen's clubs. At no time have I ever been required to become a member of the National Wildlife Federation to retain privileges and benefits at the State or local level.

It would seem to me that a simple solution would be to have a convention of State representatives to decide on several of the issues at hand, to include national organization structure and purpose and an arrangement to preclude any argument about who belongs to what. I would think that a portion of the state membership fees could be assigned to the national organization in return for automatic membership by all pledged and duly paid state members, or are there too many egos involved here to prevent that from happening? I am just curious why so many folks with common goals and needs can't resolve what seems to be a simple issue, at least to me. I'll take all the elucidation on this issue you can offer....please!

And don't fight children, defend and demand, but keep it on the issue, the more arguments there are here, the more it sounds like family, not industry.

Leanna, What is gained by the $50 NTA dues.

This response submitted by BobB on 5/10/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

The NTA provides a list of benefits, those state members already NTA members know the list, our state did not hide the list from our members. They knew what they were voting on and unlike LA our state vote was one-sided.....NO, NO, NO.

Leanna, could you better enlighten our members (before next years meeting after the mandate is implemented) in case we look at this issue again. I mean can you do it better than the NTA or the WTA did?

Remember only about 25% of our state members compete at our own show, so even a smaller number compete at the NTA. So to suggest they (the organization)are losing out on competing for NTA points will not sway the majority.

Leanna, if they WANTED to be NTA members, they would have joined prior to being told they have to join. Does that make any sense. I also sent you an email, hoping to clarify a few other things.

But Bob

This response submitted by Leanna on 5/10/01. ( )

They don't HAVE to join.

And thanks for the email, I've sent you one back and continued in there.

Leanna, That is the point !

This response submitted by BobB on 5/10/01. ( foxranch@hotmail.com )

They DON"T have to join. As a group we decided (as did many other large states) that we don't have to join!

Don't bite the hand that feeds you

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 5/10/01. ( finazducks@aol.com )

Bill, If I do stray from the issue to make a point please forgive me. The NTA has a strong core of supporters, myself included. These supporters are members, they believe in, and they argue for the NTA. The only people that will be hurt by all this are these supporters. We have many members in our state association that would never join the NTA, for whatever reason. But they do choose to be State Members. It seems to me that the NTA could care less about the states, as long as they boost their own kitty. Some great arguments have been made on both sides of this issue. Some people donít care about points, but would like to improve their work. Others join both groups, so they may take advantage of the points. Georgeís argument about not needing the people that donít work is a little lame, to borrow the expression from him. Every association thrives on numbers. The high numbers are what allow you to achieve goals of your association. I know this is an attempt to boost numbers and revenue and I understand the need. If this 100% rule cuts the numbers of a stateís members, whether the numbers grow later or not is unfair. We have tied to figure out why our association has grown to be so big. The light is coming on. Itís because there is a group of people in our state that care about the rest of the group. Jim Silva was a big part of that. His comments about the NTA board getting to work on ideas to bring new members are valid. The number one argument I get when I try to get people to join the NTA is ì They donít offer anything I need.î I tell them about, the ìOutlookî about the ìAward of excellence Programî about the insurance program. They still donít think they need it. I became a life member for many reasons, some personal, but mostly to show my appreciation for the things the NTA did for me. I guess my whole point is this. We, as a state association, became so big and strong without even knowing why. I t just seemed to happen. In retrospect there were many reasons for it. And making unreasonable demands on our members was not one of them.

Well said Tony

This response submitted by J Lumsden on 5/10/01. ( )

CTA has it together, and it's not a mystery to anyone who has visited your association!

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