Compition Was a Joke

Submitted by Paul on 3/18/02. ( )

I just went to my first Michigan Taxidermy Association competition. I have been practicing taxidermy for about 5 yrs. and was considering entering the competition next year, but I first wanted to see what it was all about. What I saw was disgusting. I attended with another taxidermist that has a good eye for detail and we were both baffled by the poor quality mounts with blue ribbons hanging next to them. One blue ribbon deer head in particular had eyes that weren't symmetrical, ragged looking ears, and a nose from hell. The cape was also faded out due to shoddy tanning and the hair patterns were all messed up. It still won the master's division though! Basically, the nostrils on every winning whitetail were laughable. Most were painted pink and white with brush marks visible from 10' away. I've been looking closely at deer noses for 20 years and have never seen one look like that. When I asked the MTA people about the details that judges were looking for or a score sheet, or any written judging guidelines, they wouldn't give me any details at all. Instead, they just said that I would need to enter a mount and then learn what the judges are looking for. No thanks, I told them, I already learned enough. I learned that the MTA state competition is a joke and the ribbons they give out are strictly political and have nothing to do with rewarding taxidermists for creating a lifelike, high quality mount. Also, I have now lost most respect for taxidermists that toot the "award winning taxidermist" horn.

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Well next time

This response submitted by terry vining on 3/18/02. ( )

Let us know when you are coming and we will all line up, get down on our knees and say "we are not worthy"
Wow, 5 years and you won everything without entering a single mount. You are truly a MASTER. If the "other taxidermist" has such a good eye, maybe he should use both of them.
Please go easy on our state, we are all trying to do the best we can. Would you like to give a seminar on how you mount your deer or birds or maybe fish? I know your time is valuble, and you don't want to waste it on us, but please help us.
Oh, and my e-mail address is real.

Paul, show a deerhead and prvoe it to them.

This response submitted by JOhn C on 3/18/02. ( )

I really don't think that all the claims you are making are true. Ten feet away you could see brush marks in the nose.

Hey eagle eyes, have you 100/20 vision?

It is easy to sit back and critisize the the group, but you have yet to prove yourself, other than your running mouth.

I here lots of people claiming to be taxidermist running their mouth about shows, but those are poor sports that have never proven the quality of thier mounts.

Ove twenty years have went by for me in this business and to date I have seen only one taxidermist that could back up what he claimed. "This cannot teach me anything about Taxidermy." That man invited me to his shop, he was right he did great work! thats great but show your work, you make big claims, run down a lot of hard work.

The NTA is coming up, why dont you prove your worth there?

"How to make Friends and Influence People", by Paul

This response submitted by hagan on 3/18/02. ( )

You made me laugh really hard this morning with your chip-on-the-shoulder diatribe. Just because you are an expert in public relations and tactfulness, does not mean you have to rub it in our faces. Your words strongly reflected immaturity, low self-esteem and obvious proof that you need to get back on your medication.


This response submitted by Randall Desormeau on 3/18/02. ( )

I agree with you. Not judged the same in all categorys. Check out what I had to say 2 days ago when i had to leave the show early. Under Competions towards the bottom of the page. Randall Desormeau

What the hell is a compition?

This response submitted by PaulB on 3/18/02. ( )

Hey Paul,
Did you mean competition? Heck if your going to criticize an organization you obviously know absolutely nothing about, at least learn how to spell. Enough on that. Why don't you put up or shut up. If you have such a great eye for detail and such a intimate knowledge of the whitetail deer, bring in your mount and I will pay all your entry and registration fees and we'll see how you measure up. It's funny how politics are always brought up on competitons. I have found that it is usually always by a second rate taxidermist who wouldn't stand a chance at a ribbon anyway. Could that be you? Why don't you come down to the Grand Center today at 4:00 pm, I will be there tearing down the display area. I would like to meet you and I will be happy to give you a score sheet.

It does take a "big man" to put down an association for who knows what reasons. I would really like to see some of your work and see if it backs up your "big words".

Paul Borkowski-- MTA for 15 years, and damn proud of it!

Com to TX

This response submitted by Superpig on 3/18/02. ( )

I've been going to many competition over the last few years. Some are better than others. Remember, competition is "one man's opinion on a friday afternoon". But until you enter a mount and proof yourself as the "Greatest" don't throw dirt on the other who are out there to learn everything they can and try to better themselves.


This response submitted by Paul on 3/18/02. ( mifishinfo )

Let's set the record straight. Some of the mounts in the competition were indeed excellent, however many were not worthy of winning anything, yet they still wore a blue ribbon. I'm sure that many people work very hard in the MTA, but the judging of the competition reflected poorly on the organization. Now lets address what some of you had to say:

Terry, you're right, my time is valuable and I don't have time to waist on MTA competitions. If I knew going in what the judges would be looking for, I could then create a mount to meet their standards, otherwise it would be a waist of time and it would take me two long trips to Grand Rapids over two years just to have a chance at winning. Also, I did provide my "real" email address Terry, so why would you say otherwise.

John, you inferred that I lied about being able to see the mount flaws at 10'. The fact is that some of the detail work was so bad, that I could have seen it from a much further distance. Some of the mounts were only a few feet away, but I still had no trouble seeing the ones on the back wall and I will stand by my original comments. As for proving myself, the MTA made that impractical when they wouldn't provide any judging details. I will not condemn any other competition including the NTA, but if they will not provide judging details either prior to entering, then what's the point in wasting my time?

Hagan, I do not have a chip on my shoulder, but it sure sounds like you do. I guess that you have to resort to childish insults to get your point across and I won't lower myself to your level and demean myself by responding to your comments.

Paul Borkowski

This response submitted by Paul on 3/18/02. ( )

Paul Borkowski, why wouldn't anybody give me a score sheet when I was there on Saturday? Grand Rapids is a long drive for me. I'm sorry that my spelling offended you, but some of your comments are offensive to me as well. But since you brought it up yout spelling of "competitons" is also wrong. If you're going to critique someone's spelling, please make sure you know how to spell yourself. Considering your comments, I wonder what my chances of winning would be with you being the "impartial" judge? You've got me more convinced than ever now that the MTA competitions are a joke.

Paul Whatever

This response submitted by Paul B on 3/18/02. ( )

I'm glad you feel that way, your the type of taxidermist that spoils what we try to provide at our conventions anyway. We will do fine without your support and others like you that like to try to hurt our membership. We had a great turnout this year (198 mounts) and will continue to have great conventions in the future.

Paul B

And my spelling error was not in my heading.The heading is like a first impression. I saw it and I said to myself " this should be good". I guess the joke is on you!


This response submitted by Dale on 3/18/02. ( )

Children...Play nice. This is a great website where most of us enjoy spending time. I also use it as a learning tool and not a place to air grievances. Everyone take a deep breath and stuff something.

Paul come and raise the bar

This response submitted by Mike B on 3/18/02. ( )

for the rest of us inept taxidermist. Come next year with your Whitetail mount so I know just how bad my mount is. Why do you need a score sheet with all of your wisdom? You already know how to recreate a living animal with anatomy in its proper place,colors blending well, fillers used properly,no drumming of the skin,and so on, you know the rest being your the best taxidermist in MI.
also please bring a bird,fish,and a mammal so we can all marvel at your world class work.
What do you have to lose? If you take best of show it will even be worth some money. That should be no problem for someone of your caliber.

opinion, anyone?

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 3/18/02. ( )

I can tell you that Ive attended the Michigan show twice. I can also tell you that its the feeling of many judges that the Michigan show is one of the more fun shows, and the quality is above average. I was very dissappointed to read what Randy D. had posted a couple days ago, it seemed to undermine what he as a judge has tried to achieve, but thats his issue. Ill just shake my head and move on, thanks. But when a person like paul comes in here and posts this kind of comment with NO thought of improving, just bitching, I have to automatically doubt him. In a different tone, maybe his words might have some credibility with us. I can name too many taxidermists from Michigan whose work is superior to doubt the direction of their show. Yeah, maybe we all know a past board member who liked to chum with the judges, but his work was already better before his actions. Show me a show where the worst guy hangs with the judge, and then wins. Thats the point someone is trying to make. Michigan runs a good show, and I personally wont listen to someone who hasnt entered and experienced the system criticize it. If his attitude and tactfulness here was indicative to how he behaved at the show, I understand this story much better, including his lack of answers or a scoresheet. Terry, Paul, Jan V., Brenda and others run a very good show, one Im happy to say Ive been a part of in past years, and sorry to say I wasnt able to attend this year due to prior committments.

One more opinion ?

This response submitted by Paul Czarnecki on 3/18/02. ( )

Like it or not here's another opinion. I too, have judged the Michigan show, and can honestly say it was one of the finest I've ever attended. While judging it last year I saw none of the political BS that has been spoken of here. I found the Michigan Board of Directors to be very considerate, knowledgeable people who had the best intentions for the membership. After reading the post that started all this and his subsequent posts I can see why he was treated the way he was. If he were to come to Pennsylvania with that attitude he would be treated the same way. He should just continue to put on his own personal shows for his family and hunting buddies--that way he'll never have to deal with "jokes" like the Michigan show. Keep up the good work Michigan! Looking forward to seeing you again!

Food for thought

This response submitted by Paul on 3/18/02. ( )

I received a bunch of emails from other taxidermists that all supported what I had to say. I can now see why they wouldn't post their opinions with all the insults, innuendoes and sarcasm people have thrown my way. It only serves to strengthen my arguments though. Just to set the record straight, I went through the Michigan Room display first with a taxidermist friend of mine, and then later again with my wife. Both times I was very polite asking for information and was told that MTA has a policy of not giving out score sheets or written guidelines. They said this policy was in force because they didn't want all the mounts to look the same. I was told to come back later when someone, I'm assuming one of the Judges, could walk me through the process. I came back twice and my questions were never addressed. Here's some constructive advice that I would agree with taken from another post:


This response submitted by Frank J Rivett (Cheyenne Taxidermy Studio, on 3/17/02. ( )
Randy, When you mention the Michigan Taxidermy Association , you are talking about a house of confusion. Has been that way for many years. I was one of the original members and their competitions have been
plagued with discontent from the start. I am a taxidermist with thirty seven years experience. One of the first to certify masters
with the IGT. I tried to be a member of the MTA on several occasions
but couldn't remain after observing the conduct of the different boards. Some of the misconducts I personally observed were, board
members present in the competition area when judging was taking place. Not a problem, unless that board member has mounts entered .
Judges who were paid for room and board staying at the residence of
board memberes. When those board members had mounts entered in the very category that their house guest was going to judge. On two seperate occasions , mounts that received nothing at the MTA, not even a horrible mention, were re-entered at the World Taxidermy Competition . One received a third place and the other a second place in professional division. Similar awards won with the same mounts at the IGT competition. Exact duplication has occured many times over the years. Examples. One deer head competition was judged by Dale XChristoforo. What an uproar! Ribbons awarded 1st place, three second place, five third place. When Dale was questioned his response was that, that was his directions from the MTA Board. Forget is called politics. When the board was asked, why this decesion, responded, "WE want Michigan ribbons to mean something,". I , on different occasions, competed in the Illinoi and Wisconsin shows. What a difference. It was apparent those two associations were there to encourage and help the taxidermist. Big "Atta Boys" for
those two states. Crying and complaining are fine but provide alternative solution at the same time. Michigans problems can be solved without much effort. We only ask, "What can be done to correct the problem?" Simple answer. The Michigan association needs to formulate,vote and pass a definite set of rules and guidelines for thrir competitions. These guidelines should be unchangeable except for majiority board action. These guidelines should explain clearly the criteria for judging. ie. Whose judging form will be used and demand judges to fill in all the blanks correctly. Rules for the judging area during the judging. Critique sheets for contestants to submit their opinions and actually take the time to evaluate these critiques. Clearly stress the degree of scrutiny the judges will be performing. If comparisons will be used, then inform the contestantants. ie. Tough as the World Show ! Remember the awards at the Nationals and World demand extra point assignment due to higher standards. If Michigan wants to judge as tough as a World or National show they should petition to have extra points given for their awards. All said Randy, my friend of many years, use your efforts on the Big Three. The Nationals, The World and the I.G.T. The competition is severe, as you already know, but fair and intelligent.

Guess I'm a minoirty

This response submitted by the other curmudgeon on 3/18/02. ( )

because it's been my limited (by choice) experience that comps are very politically motivated. I'm a pretty nice guy. I like to visit - talk and listen both. I respect the pecking order and know my place amongst the masters in this or any other vocation. But, I attended two competitions - both state level. I even entered a mount in the second one for the "educational opportunities". What I discovered really turned me off to investing any further time just to have one individual having a bad day pretend to label me with a number or ribbon that ill-reflected my skills as a taxidermist in such a way as to motivate or de-motivate me (whatever the case may be) and my future efforts.
Like Paul, I could see a myriad of errors and fatal flaws in nearly all the mounts that took blues (I took a red), and was bewildered about why or how until the comp room was open and the artists each stood by his/ her mount. The awards ceremony was an "I love me" party for three or four guys, all longtime members with marginal skills, and all past officers of the association. After the first three awards were given out, the rest was just more of the same and the same guys... over and over and over again. You'd think that someone would figure out a way to offer some sort of incentive for less experienced taxidermists who would really like to win something despite the fact that they aren't friends with the judging staff.
You can argue the point with me, but it's been my experience that each of us has a particular way of doing a species, i.e., deer mounts. I can generally tell who did a mount by noting various nuances in its appearance - the eyes, the nose detail. Whatever. And it's me opinion that the judges look for this too, or they've been advised during the night-before social hour about "so-and-so's cool mount with the deer antler rising from the mock sandstone habitat... a definite gotta-see."
Like I said, I'm a nice guy. But I hate cliques and the association to which I am a future ex-member is nothing but. All the guys stand around in little huddles like school girls whispering about this and that and are just rude as hell. Heck, they haven't even gotten the spelling of my name on my newsletter right since I joined. Small issue? Well, your name is the first thing you're given when you're born and the only thing that is uniquely yours and which you keep with you when you die. The least people could do is respect you enough to get your name right for chrissakes. I offered an officer a way for the association to make a lot of money and he presented it to the Board like his idea. He got attaboys and pats of the back and I got shunned by the school girls. Oh well.
So, Paul, I agree with you on most points and submit to you that you don't waste your time stroking the egos of folks in cliques when that energy will be better spent on your customers.
One other thing about all those clique-ers - the biggest share of them live close enough to me that we're competetitors for the same customers and at least a dozen of my new customers this year switched to me because of the skill level in my work. So, let the customers do the deciding and screw the judges.
And you guys need to lay off on the spelling arguments. Even if you're offering a great rebuttal, you're no novelist yourself and switching from a valid argument to personal attacks for such petty things as misspelling a word or two just strips you of your credibility. It isn't like you have to go to bed early and sleep late in the morning to recover from the mental exhaustion resulting from deciphering someone else's version of he English language. Or maybe it is.

Bill Yox

This response submitted by Randall Desormeau on 3/18/02. ( )

Hi Bill
I agree MTA is a great orginization and I do love all the members.
I have Judged it also and gave many seminars there ask anyone about me. My charater. But I still do not know what happened there were mounts there that should not have had ribbions on in masters including mine I brought one mount there one of my first repros 15 years old it got a second place in masters also a white fish that I put fins on backwards got third place also had a brooky I did special for the competionthat got a second perch same burbot same brooky same lamprey same Skin Brooky same 3 bass Ist Lion Fish Same Ist Still wondering what happened. I think I was on drugs or someone else was What happened? Dont get me wrong I dont hate anyone But what Happened
Also There were mounts that should have had higer scores including mine. Example Blue Gill Could not see laterial line It was a repro
What is the fish doing It was in a frying pan eyes look dead fins look alive dectuct 16 points score 84 second place 3 areas on score sheet. My question was and still is what happened at this show. No one could answer me judge or assoication.

Alrighty Paul

This response submitted by hagan on 3/18/02. ( )

I will not take this opportunity to utilize my sarcasm, but your original post was just uncalled for. Every person is different and has different tastes, but to bash an organization, is to bash the members in that organization. And most of those members are taxidermists, so you are on a taxidermy website bashing other taxidermist. What is wrong with this picture? Surely you must realize that your statements were highly exagerated and you painted an awful broad stroke of condemnation. Why did you go to the show anyway? I respect your right to your own opinion, but you were not fair. Nobody likes a sour apple.

Sorry To See This

This response submitted by Elmer on 3/18/02. ( )

I have enjoyed competing in Michigan, Iam not a master but the wt that won looked real good. The rest of the work was many taxidermist trying their best in one way or the other. Time schedules or overlooking something happens. But the wt with blue ribbons deserved them in my opinion. They looked good. The Tiuger trout that won the WASCO award and polytranspar ward deserved it. Those who say that the work looked bad put your mount where your mouth is. Are you afraid. I don't see the politics you are talking about I see a bunch of board members working their rumps off to pull off a good show as far as wgat the judges look for . If you have been doing this for X amount of years you know or do ya. Reference is your guide and get it as close as you can. If you think this is not a good orhganization then what are you doing about it. Do you come to the quaterly meetings or offer any help. Or run for a board position. I don't have time to run for the board but I certainly do appreciate the work our board puts in. I saw some really classy mounts at the show. I saw some mounts with out ribbons I saw some 3rd place ones and I saw some 2nd place ones and some outstanding work done by some fine artist including Randy. But any mount that was there if they didn't get with the judge then they missed out on the opportunity to learn from being there. I also saw a lot of taxidermist communicating and learning from some seminars and having a good time sharing ideas and techniques. I alsowould like to thank Clark Schreibis and Rick Carter for sharing info with me along with Tony Rysecki(hope I spelled it right). Jon Cart,Jan Vanhoosen,Jeannie Roll,and many others that I might have forgot. Now as a member thanks to the board and MTA Officers for giving up your time to this organization. Kepp up the good work. There is never a way to please everyone no matter what you do people are not going to agree with everything and what you say is your opinion but Its kind of tough to be slamming somone when you don't want to be involved and see what you can do or proprose to make changes to improve a organization. One last thing someone with some very good knowledge gave those Blue Ribbons on the WT deer that someone was picking apart from 10 feet away. I spent a couple hours in a seminar with Rick Carter I have a tedacy to think he knows what he is talking about. Along with the critique he gave me and listened in on others. I would have to say as a whole each World Show I have attended the mounts from Michigan have held up under fire from closer scrutiny where they start splitting hairs to award any kind of ribbon.
Enuff said.

NTA scoresheet

This response submitted by terry vining on 3/18/02. ( )

Paul, the MTA use the NTA scoresheets for our competition. If you want one I will be happy to bring it to you. I would love to see your work. I don't mind driving to see good taxidermy.
I would also like to know if you happened to get any of the names of the people you talked to. If you could give me the time frame that you were at the show then I can find out who was at the front table and wouldn't help you with information. Your request about how the show was judged should not have been hard to answer.

Randy, why would you put fins on backwards and enter a show? I have always enjoyed your work. I can't believe you would do it and not know it was wrong. Were you messing with the judge? :)
Randy, knowing you and your level of skill and knowledge about taxidermy, I take your comments seriously. I will try and find out more about this and get back with you.
Hey it's good to see you on the taxidermy net


This response submitted by terry v on 3/18/02. ( )

I didn't write anything about your e-mai. I wrote that mine was real. Sorry if you read somethig else into it. I was done being sarcastic at that point.

one more and then I'm done

This response submitted by terry v on 3/18/02. ( )

Paul, we have to pay for the scoresheets. Tne NTA put a lot of work into making them. We pay for the right to use them. I will still bring you one if that is what upset you. Or come to the summer meeting a Jean Roll's farm as my guest. I won't tell anyone who you are. LOL. Maybe we are not as bad as you think.

same old bullsh*t, different show

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 3/18/02. ( )

OK, Ill say it, cuz it doesnt really hurt me any. Some guys get it, some dont...period. If you LIKE the surroundings at the show, its fun, educational, fair, etc. If you DONT care for it, of course its a clique, political, etc. Thats just the way we are. When you get a guy like myself, who has enjoyed 98% of them, yet bitched about a few, well, thats an interesting perspective, and one that most others cant argue. Horsecrap DOES happen at these shows, Id be lying to say it doesnt. But I CAN tell you its not just happening when you lose or dont like the crowd, and all OK if its YOUR friends. At least Im not buying that explanation. Randy, Id rather not go further with our exchange, lets just say that you are dissappointed, and I feel that as a judge we only undermine whats still good when we make statements. Leave it at that to save any embarrassment. Heres a great idea for all concerned. If folks like paul and that bunch of email support he received felt the show blew that bad, Im thinking that next year youll find something else to keep you busy. For the majority of you who DO enjoy a show of this level, be sure to re-up your membership and watch for next years dates...even if they DO spell your name wrong on the membership list...Cant do much else then that! And, to the guy who signed as curmudgeon, give me a break! If they call em sour grapes, you are beyond raisins! As a judge, Im not sure if Im insulted or amused! Id love to sit down and talk to YOU, as you offer a perspective so out of wack, its hard to accept. Unless you were to take every bad experience from every show ever put on, and condense it all into one "show", like a concentrate, for cripes sake!

bill yox

This response submitted by hagan on 3/19/02. ( )

From what I read, you are a nice guy and a very fine taxidermist, but you are lousy at answering your emails. My cousin has written to you at least three times and no answer. I wrote a couple of times and would have just called you, but it costs to much and you are 3 hours ahead of our time. It would be nice to pick your brain.

Respond Bill Yox

This response submitted by Randy Desormeau on 3/19/02. ( )

Bill, Thank you for your response. The only thing I can say is that I was confused and I'll let it go at that. Just my opinion.
Randy D

figth ya bugger''s

This response submitted by kiwi on 3/19/02. ( )

must say it takes the boardem out of my day reading some of the post here good fun! keep it up! Sorry jerry springer show you will have to take a back seat to the taxi net! hey maybe thats thougth why dont we get Mr Roof with all his money to start up a new talk show it can be call Taxidermist moaners and grissler's IM better than you are haha nan'nana!

kiwi's O/P

PS you can nock the crap out of me for my spelling! Im the first to say i caint spell for crap!


This response submitted by Ken Onken on 3/19/02. ( )

Paul - I thought I should drop a couple of lines, mostly about the MTA. You made such harsh statements about an association which you only had a brief contact with. I can vouche that this association has made me a better person and a talented taxidermist. The MTA officers, board members and members work hard and fair for the whole association. The activities planned out for the whole year, from the summer picnic to the spring competition, from who's going to make the coffee to making sure that all the bills are paid. MTA also is known to get world class judges. If you seen the list from 1983-2002, you would definitely agree. I disagree that there are politics in judging. The individuals that have judged my pieces through the years have passed a great deal knowledge to me, along with other members of the MTA. As for the whitetail in the master's division, if you only would have known what it took to get there, I'm sure you would have appreciated it more. I would like to suggest you take a different look at our association and join the MTA. Signed - 1st Place Master Division Whitetail

to hagan

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 3/19/02. ( )

I remember you. You mentioned something in a post that caught my eye, and I responded to it via email, telling you I lost an email from you that same week. I received no reply to my inquiry, and assumed that was that. I have not gotten three emails from anyone and not responded, sorry. Anyone in here knows I spend a great deal of time answering emails about a variety of subjects. Have your cousin try again, if he is interested in doing so. I would suggest putting something about taxidermy in the subject box so that I might know its not just another forward. Hell, I just dump the forwards, even from my mother. Boy that pisses her off, but I warned her, too. Actually, I AM a nice guy, the taxidermy might be debatable, but I do try to answer the email. Maybe he or you goofed when sending it. I promise to keep an eye out for both of you...By the way, at 5 cents a minute calling, Im worth it, hahaha. Randy D., no hard feelings, we just see things differently, and we can respect that!


This response submitted by Randal R. Waites on 3/19/02. ( )

I have been a card carring member since 92 or 93. I never had time to compete, being selfemployed in the excavating buisness. I heard complaining from various people and that kept me away. But finally I wanted more, I wanted to find out what a state association, was, for the taxidermist, and myself.
I attended for the first time in 2001, I went with an open mind and a closed mouth and left my opinions at home. What I found was a hard working group of people for the benifit of myself and many others. I was given praise by total strangers for my entry, I was given hints by total strangers.
I use to go to U.K.C. coon dog events, and you did not get the hospitality that I recieved from the M.T.A..
Well everyone and everything can have a good day. So I went to some meetings, and the picnic, and to the 2002 Convention. I found more of the same, hard work and time put into the convention for the benifit of myself and many others. I had already new what was wrong with my pieces, and was happy that I was right about the faults they had, I will do better. I also found out more about other problems I did not see, and, I will be better next year.
I can see why you would think it is political, a lot of the people who help put on the show won. But do you know them, do you know how long they have been there? They are there because they are serious, and when you are serious, and have the experience, you know what it takes, and you are not going there with anything less then the best of your ability, and knowledge.
I can only hope you come back with an open mind, if you really want to learn more you will. I also hope that you get involved, and win, and find yourself right where you put all the people who worked real hard to put on this convention, for the benifit of myself, and many others. rw


This response submitted by K Perry on 3/19/02. ( )

You know its awfull funny how someone with only 5 years of taxidermy experience knows so much about anatomy etc. of mounts. As far as brush mark on a mount that would be a huge deduction in the masters division. A picture of the mount will be on the web page for all to see what is truly in the mount. It is easy to stand back and say this or that is wrong without showing your own work. Mich is a hard state as far as judging goes. Paul, I personnally invite you to show your work. Maybe you are an exceptional wildlife artist, Lets see first hand. Randy D, As far as you leaving the show early,you yourself told me and a few others that you actually had the wrong medicine(a bad batch as you stated) and had to get back to get some good medicine. As far as paying someone to take your mounts back. Tony R. did it at no cost and was planning on doing that from the start. Randy, if you are not satisfied with what you got, I had already personnally offered to buy you the ribbons of your choice. It is funny how people would like to get credit for something even though it is wrong. As far as the gentleman that reqested a scoresheet at the show, contact me and I will see to it you get one. (None of the board or officers recall such a request.) My phone number is on the MI web page. As far as the rest of the crying goes, I have one thought to extend to all. Why do we all do taxidermy? Is it for the ribbons and glory, or is it because of the art that we all truly appreciate. THe world show don't just throw out ribbons based on a popularity contest why should state shows. State organizations are set up to advance its members in the art. Do you really want false hopes. Bottom line is that you are paying a judge for his opinion, whether you agree or disagree its all in what you do with that info. that matters. If we all thought we were "Joe taxidermist" and didn't need any outside help, what would happen to the quality of the mounts. Remember back when you first started learning. You all probably thought you knew it all until someone started pointing out what was wrong. Without that type of input where would you be now. The officers and board of the M.T.A. have high hopes and High expectations from the association. WE do not believe in Cliques etc. as stated. No matter who you are, all members are valued the same. People that have not been around in years have no idea of what is going on. I invite you to come and see for youself before you run your mouth. There is new leadership with a new outlook. Look me up personally and we will show you around. Thank - you for your time, Kevin Perry - President M.T.A.

My 2 cents!

This response submitted by Kirk Graham on 3/20/02. ( )


That is my first impression on this one! I just want to know if I see this the right way, and correct me if I am wrong (it wouldn't be the first time)

1. You think That the MTA show is a Joke? especially in the whitetail divisions? You think that the mounts where jugded poorly? and where of poor quality?

2. That must mean that you think Rick Carter is a Joke? He was the one to judge the whitetails at this show if you didn't know! Not the MTA Board.

3. Did you know that Rick Carter Is a World Champion with whitetails?
and did you know that he has judged many world class competitions, IGT,NTA? He is also this years NTA whitetail judge! He is also a sculptor of forms. ( I kind of think he might know a little about whitetails?)

With all this I think you might want to rethink what you have stated. Rick Carter gave his opinion on these mounts and gave them all the score he thought they deserved. He is a very respected judge and his opinions are very well respected by all competitors!

So the mount you thought so little of (1st place masters whitetail) was highly liked by Rick Carter, or else he would not have give it a 1st in the Masters. (The Most difficult division you can compete in!)

As for being political, How can that be? please explain this to me.

-you have a mount
-you have a judge with a score sheet
-I see nothing political about this, your mount is either right or wrong ( judges always use live reference pics to determine this, not there opinion) in all the areas on the sheet and your score is tallied at the end. 90 + 1st 80-89 2nd 70-79 3rd simple as that!

- you want to know what the judges are looking for? (here is a little tip for you) Look at a deer - then recreate what you see and feel, simple as that!

I hope this clears up some things for you! Taxidermy is a wonderful art, and competitions are the best way for us to continue to improve our art form. By the way thats the Reason we compete right? to learn first! win awards second.

The MTA is a great organization with great people running it! please do not cut down the MTA and it members because you disagree with a judges opinion. The MTA does not judge the show!

I hope you rethink the MTA!


Kirk Graham


This response submitted by Warren "Toad" Stutesman on 3/20/02. ( )

I am glad to say that there was definately no politics in the awarding of the ribbons. Dont believe me, look at my ribbon for the Turkey Vulture. If I was into politics I would have at least went for a second.
I was a board member last year and was busy enough at the show that I did not get even one picture.
Sure had a good time though, really nice to see folks and get a chance to chat.
See you all at the next meeting TOAD


This response submitted by Paul on 3/21/02. ( )

For the record I did not mean to condemn the MTA or its general membership in my posts. By beef was strictly against the 2002 competition. From what I've heard and seen the MTA is a fine organization. I also never stated that my work was superior to anybody else's' but I do have a good eye for detail, 20/20 vision too. I don't see myself entering any future competitions, but I would love to be a judge. Let me know if you need my judging services for next year.

It's about learning

This response submitted by Jason A Baushke on 3/21/02. ( )

I have compeited and been a member of the MTA for the last four years and I wish I would have joined sooner because I've learned so much. All the members are great. Everybodys so helpfull. All the board members that donate ther time to give seminars and go out there way to make shure it all runs smoothly they do a great job. We had a good turnout this year and got a lot of new members. I talked to alot of them just like the membership welcomed me four years ago. As for Paul you must be a real expert after 5 years so come to the show next year so I can learn from YOU. I'll be there to learn some more and meet new people after all thats what it's all about. LEARNING ! see'ya at all are meetings Jason A Baushke PROUD MEMBER OF THE M.T.A.

Wanna Be

This response submitted by Steve H on 3/25/02. ( )

Hey Paul I have a few guys like you in my area. Yep they talk the same way you do. Funny thing is they never show their work either. But they always seem to be the first to say I'm the best. 5 years doing taxidermy, wow you are the greatest

5 years huh?

This response submitted by Mick on 3/29/02. ( )

I was waiting for this trial to complete itself. Paul, you've been tried by a jury of your peers, and we've determined that the only joke here, is YOU! lol
I'm surprised so many were sucked into this, this post is either bogus, or this guy's nothing more than a clown with a huge chip on his shoulder. Paul, if, and I mean IF, you manage to make it in this business, you come back and see us in fifteen, twenty or twenty-five years, possibly your words will have some value then. Oh, and keep that great sense of humor!

Who's the Best

This response submitted by Paul on 3/30/02. ( )

Well it looks like many of you insult throwers will have to eat crow again. I stated that I've been doing taxidermy for five years. That is true, but actually I started doing taxidermy over 25 years ago and have only been in business full time for the past 5, almost 6 years. And as for all the sarcasm on how I think I'm the greatest taxidermist, well I never, ever claimed that, but that issue will never be settled in any MTA competition, I'll guarantee that. To me the best taxidermists are able to charge the most amount of money for their work and they keep very busy. I charge $550 (and up) for a deer head and turn away more business than I take in every year. I know of others that are able to charge more than me and stay busy, so I am not the best. Now for all you blue ribbon winners, how much do you charge for your work and where do you really stack up?

Still no complete name or email address

This response submitted by Randal R. Waties on 3/31/02. ( )

Paul, we are all big boys here, this is just everyones opinion of what they saw, heard or read. But, I do not know why, you do not have the guts to let us know who you are. That is why I will never take you seriously. This is the real world, no one is going to come over to your yard after school and want to beat you up, you are doing that yourself. You started this, and all I am asking for, is who are you. When you put that in writing, I will say, ok, Paul _ _ _ _ finally had the guts to leave his name.

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