WTC question

Submitted by Cornfussed in Cali. on 4/4/05 at 6:46 PM. ( )

Why are they so many ribbons giving out in the professional Division? Im confused on this. Im also confussed how a coyote(with a winter looking coat) stalking a Fawn(most fawns are born in the spring/early summer) won third place. Does everyone get some type of Ribbon just for showing up? Dont get me wrong the photos I have seen so far are really awesome. Including the coyote/fawn. I have never been to a comp before. So hopefully I am not speaking out of turn here. But it makes me wonder if the ribbons are really as improtant as I originally thought. And makes me wonder if I should attempt to enter copm anywhere.

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Competitions are awesome

This response submitted by Dawn on 4/4/05 at 7:08 PM. ( )

And no - ribbons were not given out to everyone. Guess you should have attended to find that out yourself. You are right about the coyote/fawn. I noticed a winter coat coyote stalking a new born fawn myself - Last time I knew - fawns were born in the spring of the year. But ribbons given out - no way. Some of the Best of Categories weren't handed out this year because their weren't any winners. I would think if they were handing out ribbons they would have handed them out in the big categories to say the least.

I had the great honor to work with some of the greatest people this year in the competition judging room. Those judges were hard and meticulous on those pieces. You couldn't have asked for a more sincere group of individuals to judge these pieces. The general population never sees what goes on behind those closed doors - All is serious in that competition room.

Every piece there that got a ribbon deserved it for one reason or another. Every piece merited the color it received - because that is how that particular judge interpreted it. You may see things about mounts that you don't agree with but that is your opinion only and you aren't being paid to judge. Judges are hired because of their expertise and they obviously seen enough good things about particular pieces to warrant the ribbon placement.

As for the amount of ribbons issued - I don't know the exact number compared to pieces but there were many pieces that didn't receive ribbons. But when you reach the world level it woudn't seem out of the realm of possibility to see many ribbons - after all, the majority of competitors brave enough to throw a piece in at this level have probably been around the competition arena for quite some time and it only makes sense that these seasoned pro's should place at the World.

You should start with your state association and plan on attending your next state competition. You will learn a lot about the field of taxidermy as well as the competition arena and what it is all about. And by all means - ENTER - You can't beat a great critique to help you improve. And once the bug bites - it is hard to give up.

The single peice

This response submitted by Elmer on 4/4/05 at 7:19 PM. ( Tops )

The other thing to consider is even though the coyote had a winter coat it was judged on its own merit not as the coyote and fawn together did the fawn get a ribbon?


This response submitted by Dawn on 4/4/05 at 7:30 PM. ( )

The fawn did not receive a ribbon but I don't know if it was actually judged - the coyote could have been the only piece judged. Like you said - the coyote is judged strictly on its own merit.

Some additional information. There were 709 entry numbers assigned at the show - not all of them were used but there were close to 690 entries actually there. (excluding the woodcarvers) 496 ribbons were issued. That includes Masters down to the youth division. So obviously not everyone who entered received ribbons.

I was the one with the coyote and the fawn

This response submitted by Amy Ritchie on 4/4/05 at 7:42 PM. ( )

First off, I did not have the fawn judged, only the coyote.

The mount is judged stricly on its own merit and should have nothing to do with the habitat or other animals it is mounted with.

Yes, the coyote had a thick coat but could a coyote not have a coat that thick even in the spring? I'm sure the coats are still pretty thick on northern yotes in the spring.

And finally, fawns *can* be born in the fall. Although it is not common, that coincidentally is what happened with the fawn that was in the piece. A friend of mine shot a doe last november and when he went to gut her, there were two full term fawns inside (dead), which he gave to me. The best of the two was mounted for the piece. A sad story, yes, but goes to show that is is possible.

Not trying to be defensive here, just stating the facts. I put more time and thought into that piece than any piece ever.


It's easy to see pictures or go to a show and think....

This response submitted by Dan Hudzik on 4/4/05 at 8:14 PM. ( )

that wow, I can do better than that. Guess what, you probably can't! Thats a great beginner mistake in my opinion. It is usually people that have never competed that think they can do better when in reality they more than likely can't. I made this mistake when I first started. I thought my stuff looked good too. Sometimes you think your stuff looks good because you are proud of it. Then there is reality where you let a judge get his or her hands on your piece and let you know exactly how bad it is. It's not a bad thing, it's a good thing as long as you learn from it. Some people can't handle critiques and think the judges are wrong but most of the time in my opinion you need to remember they are a judge for a reason. Ribbons don't mean anything but the critiques do and so do the points you earn for them. I suggest you enter one and see how good you do, you may be surprised especially if you are one of the people that don't receive a ribbon. Good Luck to you. Dan Hudzik

I agree

This response submitted by John M on 4/4/05 at 8:38 PM. ( )

with Amy, you can have a very thick fur animal in the spring, and not just bears.


This response submitted by Shane on 4/4/05 at 9:23 PM. ( )

1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons do not represent best three in a category. The ribbons are earned on score 90+ being a blue, 80-90 being 2nd and so on. The top dog wins an additional ribbon / engraved panel stating "best of show", "best of category", "best professional entry" and so on.
The "best of ****" would have been the highest scoring in that particular category. For example, a mount may have been scored at a 98 qualifying for blue and winning "best of ****" just beating out another mount with a 97 that also qualified for a blue.

Shane - Don't confuse him

This response submitted by Dawn on 4/4/05 at 10:13 PM. ( )

Ribbons at the World show are based on scores in the Professional level with there being multiple ribbons given (based on scores)

1st place: 90-100 (plus bonus points)
2nd place: 80-89
3rd place: 70-79

But in the Masters however.............

Only single ribbons are given out and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons do represent the best three in category.

Example the top three people in blue would take the ribbons in order respectively. The person with the score of 98 would be 1st.
The person with a score of 96 would place 2nd and the scorer of 92 would take the third place ribbon.

But in the professional level where multiple ribbons are issued the ribbons reflect the range of scores on how a piece did.


This response submitted by Elmer on 4/5/05 at 8:06 AM. ( Tops )

I thought that the coyote was judged on its own in reality that was a nice piece with running water. yes it is all true about late fawning in the fall or late shedding of northern coyotes. So just remember that even if the jusge mentioned any thing on the hair length which I doubt the presentation and the idea was nice and well thought out.So ribbins in Prof division and ribbons in the Masters are different as you stated Dawn,in the masters the three highest gets the 1st 2nd and 3rd on whitetails or other categories it could be a 96 a 94 and a 93 all Blue ribbons in Prof and Novice but not in Masters. Multiple in Prof you are competting against yourself and others too. Because they look at the overall how the competition pieces look then they start splitting hairs on anatomy presentation etc. A lot of Masters from the state levels compete in the Prof division at the world show some don't have the confidendce to get in the masters at the world level some rules limit them as in you have to cast your own Jaw sets if open mouth cannot use store bought some in the masters even sculpt their own forms and make major alterations and a lot of time involved.

But in the Masters however.............

This response submitted by gary pegg on 4/5/05 at 8:41 AM. ( )

Only single ribbons are given out and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons do represent the best three in category.

well not necessarily,,,,,,in masters an exhibitor cannot "sweep the pool" so to speak, so, second place could be awarded to the "4 th " highest scoring entry, and 3rd to even the 6th highest score, pending on who owns 2,3,5 etc
l have seen this happen


This response submitted by Dawn on 4/5/05 at 8:51 AM. ( )

You are right Gary - But it would take way too long to "split hairs" to explain to newcomers how the ribbons in masters work. My example was just that - an example. I didn't feel like posting a 48k post on how the ribbons work at the show. You can read about that intricate detail stuff in the rules. In general it would work that way. I wasn't taking into account someone putting three gameheads in the same category - yes that is avoided so that the person in question doesn't sweep the category.

So for confused - this is general information about ribbons - if you are serious in wanting to know about the real nitty gritty about ribbons get a hold of the rules and guidelines. Read those and you can see why Ribbons are not given out.........

Amy's Taxidermy

This response submitted by John @ vermont valley on 4/5/05 at 9:44 AM. ( )

Your piece was beautiful. I have shown it to may people since I have been home. I couldn't agree more with Dan Hudzick. It is easy to sit back and think your work is as good or better than what you see. I also have found myself guilty of this. But to "Corfussed of Cali" how can you even critique something when all you have looked at are pictures? I guess that is why you didn't write your name on this posting.

To all Competitors of the WTC, once again, thank you for your inspiration and ideas. Every last entry was beautiful, right down to the novice level.

I know this won't be a very popular viewpoint...

This response submitted by marty on 4/5/05 at 10:22 AM. ( )

First off, I am DEFINITELY NOT saying I could do better - let's just get that straight. But from what I'm reading, 5 out of 7 entries go home with a ribbon! In my mind that sure diminishes the meaning to the winners in the Masters division and the "Best of" Categories. (And probably a few others that I'm forgetting). I'm pretty sure I understand the meaningful levels and category winners, but it sure ain't going to make any sense to the common public. Why not just give everybody a ribbon? You're almost there already! Seems to me that if you've got the money to enter and "compete", and pick the right category that you stand a pretty darned good chance of "placing" in the professional division. I never realized that the percentages of winners to entrants was that high at the World show. Somebody PLEASE tell me those ratios above are incorrect!


This response submitted by Dawn on 4/5/05 at 11:38 AM. ( )

Whether the ratio comes out 5 out of 7 or not - the pieces that won ribbons at the World show deserved them. Period.

The professional division is the largest division at any show - state, nationals or world. Period.

The masters division is for the minority and the elite. That is why it is called the Masters Division. Period.

When you compete in the Professional (or open) division you are not necessarily competing against another individual unless your work is spectacular enough to receive a BOC award. It's like golf - you compete against yourself to hopefully better your score over time so maybe someday you make it to Masters.

The majority of people at a competition will enter the professional division (especially if you do taxidermy commercially) and the ribbons are placed according to the scores of the piece.

In no way does the ribbon placing in the Professional division diminish the winners in the Masters Division. The Masters too at one time were Professionals and they received the same ribbons with the same scoring. Those who compete in the Masters Division know they are competing for single ribbons and that their piece better be better than their competitors if they want to place. That is what makes them elite and makes them seek the award of Best at World.

Now here is another scenario that takes place. Many of your state Masters compete at the World show by dropping back into categories such as Professional. Maybe some are ribbon chasing but the rules are the rules and there is nothing to stop them from doing so. For those who are Masters and truly want to be the best in the world - they take the chance and give up the ribbon chasing and chase after the big goals. That makes those Masters the elite of the elite.

There are those that should be in the professional categories and drop back into the novice. Fair. Definitely not. But there are no rules to stop it. Only a persons ethics are involved here.

I, for one, went with my piece for the professional division. I am not in my states master category (yet - maybe someday). Many of the state masters dropped down into the professional category with the hopes of a high score blue ribbon as well as World BOC titles. This set the bar high for those who fight it out to receive a ribbon in the professional division. These pieces set the standard at that point for the Pro division. Even against the masters in the pro division I held on for a 3rd place and was very excited to receive that when I knew I was competing against Master taxidermists.

The ribbon ratio definitely would have been smaller if division dropping was eliminated. But the rules allow for state masters to drop back if they haven't competed at the world level at masters.

But because of the situation - for you to diminish the hard work and time that we in the pro division put forth on our comp pieces is truly sad. That competition was hard - and if we deserved a ribbon who are you to take that away because you feel too many ribbons were given out. In a perfect world your ratio would be lower because Masters would stay in Masters and the ration would surely drop. But your perfect world doesn't exist and I don't have a problem with the way the competition is run. Just makes me a better artist. And like I said earlier when I compete, that critique means more to me then the color of my ribbon.

And noone in the Masters division has ever told me or my peers that those of us who compete in the Professional division diminish their awards.

As for the public - they are capable of educating themselves. And if they wanted to pay the price (yeah right) and only have Master taxidermists mount their pieces then I would say commercial taxidermist like yourself would be out of business. The Michigan show has beautifully printed plaques that are put out for the public to eduate them on the different categories and what they mean and how they are judged. They are very aware of who the Masters are and who the Master of Masters are. But they are just as excited about the work put out in the Professional division. To each their own.

But it is a shame that peers like you would diminish the hard work of your peers while great Masters like Rick Carter, John Matthews, Stefan Savides, and the other 23 judges at the World show did their job fairly and recognized these same peers for their hard work and talents.

Kudos to those of my peers who are well informed - and my apologies to those who aren't.

Spinning like a whirlwind good and bad!

This response submitted by Cornfussed in Cali on 4/5/05 at 11:44 AM. ( )

"But to "Corfussed of Cali" how can you even critique something when all you have looked at are pictures?"

I say there John, I do not beleive I critiqued this item. And furthermore I have yet to say I am better than anyone!

"690 entries actually there. (excluding the woodcarvers) 496 ribbons were issued"

Does this statement include the 56 awards that was giving out? Some with cash money? If so now this figure has grown to 552! That means 138 that didnt get a award/ribbon. Marty is correct here! BAD RATIO my friend!

"Ribbons don't mean anything"
Good statement Dan Hudzik! It is obvious your on the right path! 690 competitors and 552 awards/ribbons!

"A friend of mine shot a doe last november and when he went to gut her, there were two full term fawns inside (dead)"

This does not justify natural birth. Would the dead fawns have been born or would the doe have died?

"First off, I did not have the fawn judged, only the coyote"
That was the answer here that made the most sense!

Enclosing, I would like to say that I never said I was better than anyone else. And even the masters have people better than their selves(in thier respective fields)! I respectivly apreciate all of the quality work that these people have put into their mounts. And it does seam I am not the only one here that feels this way. But with all the defending going on. That is proof it's self,theres something wrong here. Then again, maybe I dont know nothing and all these self proclaimed people know what they are talking about. I guess Im just not in the "CLIC" and my work speaks for itself and not some judge Im in co-hoots with. Surfs up dude!

The World Show IS very generous with the Ribbons

This response submitted by -- on 4/5/05 at 12:49 PM. ( )

maybe the few that didn't get a ribbon should have gotten an "Honorable Mention" Ribbon. It is a private venue, so it makes sense to have as many entrants as hopeful as possible and return to the next show.


This response submitted by Shane on 4/5/05 at 1:05 PM. ( )

Your reasoning is all wrong. The 56 awards you mentioned were within your 496 ribbons so the number did not grow, but the only awards that I would consider "won" would be the 56. The 496 ribbons, especially in the professional division, are not "won". I think it is more appropriate to say they were "earned" or the piece "qualified" for whatever ribbon. The 56 awards are the only awards that are actually competed for. The ribbons are earned on judging system comparing your mount to live animals not the other entries in that category. If someone chooses to proclaim they won their ribbon then OK, but I wouldn't get my shorts in a wad over it.

Dawn - "the public is capable of educating themselves"...

This response submitted by marty on 4/5/05 at 1:22 PM. ( )

PALEASE! You have got to be kidding! This is the heart of the point I was trying to make. The public does NOT know the difference between a blue ribbon at the WTC's and a ribbon at Joe's Crab Shack. THAT is the problem. And now you throw in all these different categories/levels that one can acquire a ribbon at supposedly the Superbowl of taxidermy - the public knows no difference. Heck, I didn't even know that the ribbon to entry ratio was SO HIGH. It DOES diminish the meaning of the top guns' ribbons because of this. Now throw in the fact that their commercial work comes nowhere near the quality put forth in most competitions and the general public can trip over their tongues they're SO CONFUSED!

Heck, I've got a guy locally that took 3rd in the WTC's last year in the professional division. I'm not going to get any more specific than this. But the guy wears a jacket around with all this "WTC" information emroidered on it. (He looks like a major dork btw!) NOWHERE does it say on his jacket that this award was in the "B" bracket. Nor does it say there was only 4 entries. Furthermore, his commercial work is doo-doo. But, what do you think the public is going to think when they see that ribbon/jacket and his so called "achievements"?

Many people compete so that they can get a ribbon to further advance their commercial businesses. And I think this is very deceptive to the common public. I've always taken ribbons with a grain of salt. They should be. Heck you can go look at many taxi websites and see how many display their ribbons as marketing tools. Many are very undeserving. But I have always placed much more value on the ribbons acquired at the WTC's. And now some of those ribbons have slipped into the grain of salt category in my mind.

Now I know I'll get a bunch of responses from folks on their reasons why they compete. No need to - I know there are many folks that compete for the right reasons. But I believe that there are also many that choose to compete to further their commercial business and I think it's deceptive.

I know Dawn that I probably won't make a ton of friends with my comments. But if you've been around long enough you know that I'm not afraid to speak my mind - whether politically correct or not. 71% receive an award! Heck, my 9 year old wrestles and he only has a 50% chance of going home with a medal! PERIOD...

I found two fawns this morning walking the turkey woods

This response submitted by No to far north on 4/5/05 at 3:32 PM. ( )

Walking out of the turkey woods this morning I found two live fawns as I crossed the edge of a mountian meadow. The fur bearing animals still have pretty good coats, well the ones I am live trapping for relocation do, these dont not include coyotes, but do inclede racoon, opossum, skunk and squirrel mater of fact the tree rats are awesome! The opossum have joeys in the pouch.

So yes I would say Amy is correct the coyote could have winter fur and the fawn be young.

Maybe you couch potatoe, armchair hunters should spend a bit more time in the woods that behind the computer bitching.

Your reasoning

This response submitted by Shane on 4/5/05 at 3:48 PM. ( )

is still backward. So, your saying that the WTC is at fault because some individuals are deceptively promoting their business with their ribbons and because of your lack of an understanding of the procedure used to judge an entry they are also at fault.

Let me guess, if you shot yourself in the foot with a gun, it would be the manufacturers fault for not informing you it would hurt like heck if you did it. Or maybe it is a car manufacturer's fault for not educating you about their vehicle if an individual sells you a car that won't get the gas mileage the individual claimed it would.

Place the blame where blame should be placed, on the individuals who deceive or who fail to educate themselves when required, not the WTC. I'ts not their job to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. They provide a set of rules that are abided by and if you don't like them don't participate.


This response submitted by marty on 4/5/05 at 4:48 PM. ( )

...Your analogies are cute, but not really pertinent. I will agree that I haven't read all the R&R's, nor do I care to take the time.

I guess in some ways - yes, I am blaming the competition for dilluting the water by having so many awards and/or so few entries. You don't give out 10 trophies at the Superbowl. In March Madness you have a final crowning, the elite 4 and the sweet 16. Each level shows some accomplishment because it's out of 64 teams. I don't hear the top 50 being hailed (a like comparison to the 71% who recive ribbons at the WTC's).

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how they could even come up with so many categories to give out that many ribbons. I don't even like the fact that they separate it out into two levels - Masters and Professional. Why not just have one level (Masters) and award points to every entry based on the same criteria. And possibly award ribbons to 8th place. It doesn't matter how the system is set up. Just as long as the end result is about 20% (I'm just throwing this number out there) receive some type of an award. Not 71%. In every comeptition that I can think of the final awards go to a chosen few where it's meaningful. The way they hand out ribbons at the WTC's it truly diminishes the meaning of a ribbon. You say it's not their job to make ME feel warm and fuzzy! Ha! I say it's the "competitors" that they want to make feel warm and fuzzy...

You still aren't getting it!

This response submitted by Shane on 4/5/05 at 5:33 PM. ( )

There aren't that many categories. There were a lot of entries into the same categories. Each entry is judged against the real thing. If an entry is graded to be a 90+ it is given a blue ribbon. There are multiple blues given out in each category. They do not signify winners, but a score against a standard. The only thing signifying winner is BOC, which is given to the highest score. It makes no difference the number of entries. If there was only three entries they could still go home with no ribbon because his or her entry did not score high enough. They aren't guaranteed 1st 2nd or 3rd. This is clearly explained in the rules.

And my analogies "while cute" are pertinent. It's reasoning such as yours that takes the easy way out. "Its never my fault its always someone elses fault." Instead of confronting your real beef, the guy down the road deceiving your potential customers, it's easier to blame the establishment.

I guess the ribbons should have a disclaimer stamped on them.


This response submitted by marty on 4/5/05 at 6:10 PM. ( )

...Categories/Entries - WHATEVER! You sound like a damn lawyer. Avoiding the main topic via throwing in some insignificant point that you attempt to make.

Bottom line, what I am attempting to explain (and perhaps not doing a very good job of it) is that with 496 ribbons out of 690 entries, that something is wrong. Perhaps the standard needs to be raised at all levels? Wasn't it Sexton that said that he couldn't win a Best in World by today's standards? The competition has gotten greater in recent years therefore the standard should be adjusted. Or did 71% always win ribbons at the WTC's?

All I'm saying is make the ribbons meaningful. Currently they are not. The numbers are skewed. They need to adjust those numbers (ribbons) so that the ribbons do have some meaning. At least at the WTC's. They are a dime a dozen. And you're damn right, I DO blame the establishment! How can I possibly "confront the guy down the road" when there's another one around every corner? When 71% of the ENTRIES are rewarded with a ribbon then what does that ribbon mean? Not much. Certainly not much to me.

I suppose if I were a smart man, I wouldn't fight the system and I'd go out and "win" me a ribbon or two so I could cash in too! But I choose not to participate in the charade. I do okay even with "Mr. 3rd Place WTC winner" man 2 blocks from my shop. I confront him by attempting to educate my customers when they ask about competitions and awards. And I confront him by pulling many customers 2 blocks in my direction...


This response submitted by Shane on 4/5/05 at 8:00 PM. ( )

How do we raise the bar above the live animal? Is that not what we are trying to duplicate?

I'll humor you just a little. I guess maybe they could adjust their scoring system to deduct more points for errors or be more critical of the mounts. But, thats what they did when they created the Masters division. And the WTC is more critical than most state shows.

Have you ever been to the WTC and actually seen the kind of quality that is there? The Masters detail things down to almost microscopic detail. Your work may be fantastic, but until you have been to the WTC you can not imagine the quality. I'm not just talking mounts here either but the entire display. The entire show does not fit the category of your guy down the street.

This is starting to repeat itself so I'll bow out here. We just have different oppinions. Nothing here is personal.


This response submitted by marty on 4/5/05 at 10:06 PM. ( )

Let me just make one thing clear Shane. And that is that I agree wholeheartedly with you in that some of this stuff is simply awesome.

I think my biggest problem really stems down to the two divisions. I don't see a need to have the two. But if you're going to have a "B" league, then why not call it the "Novice Division" or something similar so that it clearly states that this is not the top division. After all, the "professional" division is the tops in almost any other competition or sport. I think it's misleading. And a simple title change would probably make me sleep easier - lol!

to marty and cornfused, as you spell it

This response submitted by tired of the bitching on 4/5/05 at 10:30 PM. ( )

to those of you who are critical of the weren't there and probably never will be. The reason there were so many ribbons was that the very best work was present. Also there is no gaurantee that there will be that many ribbons in master's because they still have to earn the score to get the first through forth ribbons. Talk about cry babies !

Then don't read it!

This response submitted by marty on 4/6/05 at 9:05 AM. ( )

DORK! You're probably one of those people that bitches about a radio station yet still keeps the dial tuned. You are right, I probably never will be there. Maybe I'll stop by and have a few drinks at the closing party and meet some of the regulars that have something of value to contribute to these forums. And I definitely would check out all the mounts. I'm not crying about the whole deal. And I understand the process, so no need to explain (again) as it has been explained several times in the above threads. I simply don't agree with it - which you can also read in the above threads.

"Guarantee" btw...

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