Submitted by Tom McNeal on 3/19/02. ( )

I've read with great interest, the last few hi-volume posts on the subject of taxidermy conventions and competitions. The pros, the cons, the ups and downs, the reasons why and why not... Many great and thought provoking posts, I must say, but really very little that hasn't been discussed and argued before.

When all is said and done, the people make the show! The association's members and their families, the competitors, the judges, the suppliers. If you want to see what a taxidermy association and convention can be... don't miss the 22nd Annual ITA Convention and Competition. If you haven't made your plans yet, Act now! We gear up on Thursday evening with competition entries accepted until 10:00 AM on Friday. ITA membership fee is waived upon a showing of membership in your state's taxidermy association.

March 21-24, 2002
Holiday Inn 1-800-243-7171
Mount Vernon, IL
I64 and I57

As many will attest, the ITA show is one of the best in the country. Great Show! Great People! Great Judges! Great Taxidermy! Great Seminars! Great Friday Night Bash! Great Awards Banquet and Auction!

You want flashlights and serious "hands on" judging? Enter the Professional or Masters Division. In either case, getting a Blue Ribbon at the ITA show, means you've earned it! If you can't justify the time spent on a "full blown" competition piece or you'd just rather not have your critics judging your work that closely, enter a piece in the ITA's Commercial Division. Whatever division feels right for you, you can be sure that each judge will be available for their opinion, suggestions, and an honest critique of your work.

For those 16 or younger and just getting started, the Youth Division provides the opportunity for our youngsters to compete, and learn and be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments.


Bill Yox - Whitetails
Bill returns to Illinois to share his knowledge and sharpen your skills in the whitetail division. Bill's whitetails, gameheads and mammals have won numerous ribbons at the National and World level. Bill has been judging and teaching seminars for the past 13 years. Bill frequently has articles published in the "Breakthrough" magazine. A real edge in the competition field is having live reference material...he is a true believer in the this...just check out his live deer. If you are interested in personal instruction, he offers classes in his studio in Brockport, NY. Bill has not made a final decision on his seminar topic. One option is to make a study cast of Jody Green's face and head as a slip cast so the hairs stay with the mold. The second possibility is critiquing - showing how judges use the score sheet. Be sure to attend his seminar and see which topic is selected.

Steve Henthorn - Fish and Reptiles
Steve returns to the ITA judging staff. Steve has been very busy competing since he judged our show last year. His accomplishments include, Lifetime Award, Best International Fish, Best over all Fish, Best Traditional Fish and Best All Around International Taxidermist. Steve's seminar will include mounting a fish. Particular detail will be given to proper skin alignment, head junction, fin setting and tail butts.

Mike Orthober - Birds and Waterfowl
Mike is another repeat judge for this year's competition. Mike has been awarded 110 ribbons from State, National and World competitions, 5 WASCO Awards, Best of Show in Wisconsin 4 times, Best of Show in Iowa, North American Champion, Best in World and Master of Masters at the World Competition. Mike has judged many state competitions, as well as the Nationals, European Nationals and the World Competition. Mike really enjoys meeting people at the various competitions. Helping competitors become better taxidermists is a top priority for him. His seminar will feature the assembling of a grouse with no skin showing.

Todd Kranau - Mammals and Gameheads
Todd has been a full time taxidermist since 1991. In 1993, he started competing in various state and national taxidermy events. By 1996, Todd had won numerous state champion titles in the professional division and advanced to the Masters division. To date, Todd has won 22 state champion titles, 6 judges Best of Show Awards and 2 WASCO awards. In April 2001, he won the title of Best in the World - Gameheads, and in July 2001, he won North American Champion - gameheads. As a Master Taxidermist in gameheads, birds and life size mammals, Todd attributes his success to using the most advanced products, supplies and techniques available and incorporates these items into all of his taxidermy mounts. Todd offers Advanced taxidermy workshops with deer heads, gameheads, and life size mammals. As a devoted taxidermist, Todd looks forward to the challenges that our Illinois Taxidermists will present for his judging skills. Todd's seminar will feature in-depth anatomy interpretation. This will include large mammal carcass research, mannikin alterations, reference and reproduction casting.

THURSDAY March 21, 2002
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM PEGBOARD SETUP Your help is needed! Please bring your cordless screwdrivers.
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM Convention and Competition Entry Registration
FRIDAY March 22, 2002
7:00 AM - 10:00 AM Convention and Competition Entry Registration NO ENTRIES ACCEPTED AFTER 10 AM
10:00 AM Judging begins. COMPETITION AREA CLOSED
10:30 - 12:00 PM General Membership Meeting, Voting for Competitor's Choice will take place immediately following the meeting.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM SEMINAR: ITA Members "Share a Tip". Our own ITA Members and your favorite Suppliers will share their special tips on how they do... what they do well!
6:30 PM - ? Friday night banquet and bash including the world famous ITA Auction.
SATURDAY March 23, 2002
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Convention Registration (Seminars Only)
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM SEMINAR: Todd Kranau - In depth anatomy interpretations, large mammal carcass research and manninkin alterations.
10:00 AM - ? ? ? KIDS SEMINAR - Creating Habitat (Must Pre-Register)
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM SEMINAR: Steve Henthorn - Mount a fish; detailing proper skin alignment.
6:30 AM - 7:30 PM Saturday Night Banquet
7:30 PM - ? 2002 ITA Raffles and Award Presentations. Judges will be available to critique mounts, following the presentation of awards. Competition Room Re-opens to members.
SUNDAY March 24, 2002
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM ITA Board Meeting (All members welcome)
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Registration (Seminars Only)
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Ladies Craft Class (Pre-registration a must)
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM SEMINAR: Bill Yox - Competition Whitetails; critiquing from a judges viewpoint.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM LUNCH BREAK
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM SEMINAR: Mike Orthober - Assemble a Grouse with no skin showing.
3:00 PM Mount Dismissal Begins. (No Mounts released before 3:00 PM) Peg board knock-down after all mounts removed. Door Prizes and drawings!
Schedule and Seminars times are subject to change.
SATURDAY 10:00AM - 5:00 PM
SUNDAY 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
ADULTS - $2.00

For further information contact the current ITA secretary, Audrey Cygan at 618-397-1981
or, email me at "" if I can assist you.

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Have a GREAT show.

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

Have a great show, wish I could make it. Good luck.

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