World show ethics QUESTION------ judging

Submitted by WETNWILD on 4/12/05 at 3:39 PM. ( )

Need to know your opinion on the ethics of the situation as you read it here. A judge at the world show who is well known in this industry, is judging a parcticular category at the show. His good friend, is also competing at the show. This parcticular judge, takes a car trip with his friend to the show for two days. All this while, the judge being able to see what his friend is bringing. Now during the judging of the show, the judge is then responsible for judging his friends piece, even though the judge knew beforehand who's piece it was. Is this ethical? I would think at the least, the judge should have disqualified himself from scoring this parcticular piece and have someone else do it. Now to make matters worse, for various reasons, this piece should have been disqualified from judging because the part of the animal that neede to be seen to be judged, was buried deep inside the habitat and was not visible. Sort of like sticking a deer head in the sand and asking for it to be judged, alongside all the others. The piece when examined by many past judges after the ribbons had been handed out, had so many flaws(fatal flaws) it shoul;d not have even taken a ribbon, never mind top honors and best of category. Doers something seem fishy here? Honest opinions only! I cant imagine the two day ride home with the competitor and the judge if the piece was scored honestly! LOL

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This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/12/05 at 3:47 PM. ( )

This is not a single opinion of mine, but by many others who attended the show, and are so dishearted by this partticular lack of ethics by this judge that they are contemplating not going to reno. TYrying to get ahold of Larrty about the matter as so are others, but he is away for another week on vacation. Had to post here so that not to much time gets washed by without this topic being brought to the forefront

Yes the judge should have DQ him/herself from that piece.

This response submitted by Been there too on 4/12/05 at 4:08 PM. ( )

If there is not enough of the mount in view to judge all aspects the best it could score would be a third place IMHO. That would also be noted on the critique sheet. Sound like the judge has an problem.

What about the rules?

This response submitted by Evelyn on 4/12/05 at 4:28 PM. ( )

Aren't there rules in place that would prohibit a judge from having contact with a competitor prior to judging in that competitors category? I thought that was the norm, no judges will have any prior contact with competitors. If it is not a rule it definitely should be one.

This situation is not right. Even if there is no such rule, I consider it totally unethical. I belive it needs to be dealt with by the World show commitee, otherwise it is an open invitation to future cheating as far as I am concerned.

Now This Is Just Me

This response submitted by Trapper on 4/12/05 at 4:34 PM. ( )

I'm not trying to be anti anything ok! I competed for a couple of years straight (about 8 years ago) and stopped going. Its not because of the Judges (talk about a no win sh*t job), it was not because of the people (just about all were great). It was what I can only deem as "show mantallity'. Who could possibly know better whats wrong with a piece than you? (the artist) After all it was you who put it together,right? I've heard so much pissing and moaning about who did this and who got that..yada..yada...yada. On my last ride home I started thinking about all the time,money and effort spent to go there and how much better off I would have been spending it on a hunting trip or vacation with the wife and kid. I always brought home ribbons, regardless what catagory I entered...could have been luck?, I really dont know and really dont care! My point is this Monday is the start of turkey season for us here in Michigan. I've got the time,money, and will put my effort into shooting a tom and looking for morels. Had I gone to the show I would'nt be able to. Matter of priorities? Perhaps...but the only pissing and moaning that I plan to hear will be if I miss a bird. If your going to keep competeing, learn to ignore the negitive and focus on the positive! Other wise it'll get your goat...sounds like it has right now. Or you can take up turkey hunting and save your self a lot of self imposed grief and some money as well. This has been my opinion,I'm sure that others will differ.

my complaint

This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 4/12/05 at 5:00 PM. ( )

My top complaint at the world show was indeed the judging. Yes, I understand that the judges must look at a piece extra hard, BUT to have someone judge your piece that does not even know the animal is MESSED UP! My judge did not even know correct muscle structure in a horse's neck, and then dinged me for it because he doesn't know what a horse neck is supposed to look like! I was not even given any extra points for making my own form! I was upset, but what do you do? I recieved a 73 on my horse. I wonder what I would have recieved had the judge actually known what a real horse looks like and how it bends. Yes, I know I had some problems around the muzzle and nostrils, but come on! Anyhow, I just wanted to vent, too.

I hear ya

This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/12/05 at 5:07 PM. ( )

The guy who judged my piece had absolutely no knowledge of the species anatomy. Reptile skin other than snakes does not stretch. If you caliper a tail for girth, then tube it and refill it, it will be the same as your original measurement. How can a lizard tail be hit for a deduction for being to fat at the juncture of the rear lergs? Excuse me! This is the fattest part. It is also where they store there fat! Hello! Also when you caliper an eyey to the exact 3mm size, order and have custom made up a 3mm eye to match, how can the judge say your eye is too big? Go figure! Very dissapointed with some of the jmnudging in ALL categories, but mostly by one unnamed judge for NOW who will not be mentioned yet!

"Ethics", huh?

This response submitted by George on 4/12/05 at 5:14 PM. ( )

Seems as if I've heard that word used here someplace about "copyright infringement". LMAO

world show, I've been there

This response submitted by PA on 4/12/05 at 5:55 PM. ( )

Judging is not easy. Expenses paid then you get a free meal and you can still compete? Judge has to put in long hours viewing mounts, longer hours filling out paperwork, and then talking with everyone who wants to learn and grow.....complain.

I'm not a judge, won't ever be one.

Judging competitions is like the PA Game Commission regulating the Taxidermy Business. It's all about opinion and feeling for the day.

Competition is not a science. It is about being artistic and being flexiable....VERRY flexiable.

I wish good trails for all and I have not competed beyond Novice/Amature division.

Got family and hunting to do.

God Bless you all.


This response submitted by Dawn on 4/12/05 at 5:56 PM. ( )

Now you have me looking back through my pictures - Reptile?

Thats funny George

This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/12/05 at 5:57 PM. ( )

I also heard a speach about ethics and infringement from somebody who BUYS from that company. Any ideas who I am speaking about?


This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/12/05 at 6:09 PM. ( )



This response submitted by Dawn Again! on 4/12/05 at 6:19 PM. ( )

I understand your questioning ethics involved here but there are many scenarios that often come into play with competitions.

Example: Most pieces that make it to the world show are often pieces that have already made the circuit beforehand. Most of the judges already know who the piece belongs to when they get ready to judge it. Then you have to hope that those judges use ethics when the do judge that piece. You hope they don't use favortism because they are there friends - and you also hope they don't judge them unfairly because they don't like them.

When the picture of your mount graces the front cover of Breakthrough Magazine every judge out there has seen the cover and knows who mounted it by time the piece arrives at the World Show. And most often that same piece doesn't fair well at that level because it has trekked around so much.

And there are many signature pieces out there that you can put the name to as soon as you see the piece. So the judges know who the piece belongs to without ever having had seen it before.

Yes it would make it hard on the judge and the competitor if they were driving together or if the judge did let his friendship with the competitor influence the outcome of the judging.

But it is also very possible that the piece was crated and the judge never did see the actual piece prior to the judging. I guess it is hard to answer your question or give an opinion when all the facts are not present and the rules of competition are open to interpretation.

If a judge cannot know about the identity of a piece prior to judging than the piece should end at the national level after it is viewed by most everyone in the industry (and minimally the judges) or if your mount makes that cover of a trade magazine it would have to be retired from competition.

This isn't practical - so all we can really hope for is that the judges use ethics and not personal considerations in choosing the best piece for the best ribbon.

First off, the PA above is not me.

This response submitted by The real PA on 4/12/05 at 6:21 PM. ( )

I wasn't at the show and don't mean to get into the fray, but I do have an angle that was not discussed here.

There are only so many qualified and professional judges in the US, which provides most of the judges for the World show. Also, many pieces that enter the World competition have been previously entered and judged at a State or Regional competition, perhaps modified slightly, then re-entered into the World Show. I would bet dollars to dimples that quite a number of pieces that were judged by Judge X at a State show, was again judged by Judge X at the World show - heck if the taxidermist entering the state show was on the ball, he cornered the judge and had a 10 minute conversation on the particular piece. Should that judge be also dis-qualified?

The only way to have a totally unbiased judge base is to not have suppliers or even taxidermists judge the pieces. It has been discussed a number of time on the forum, and been discounted as unreasonable. Judges are only people, and bias can leak into even the most moral judge.

By the way, lizard skin does stretch depending on the species.

Thanks Wet!

This response submitted by Me again. on 4/12/05 at 6:22 PM. ( )

I know what piece you are referring to now. Thanks.


This response submitted by PA on 4/12/05 at 6:25 PM. ( )

pratical..........politics.........not two words that will ever blend with logical or resonable or fair or non-personal.

Any competition is political and personal. Male ego has alot to do with this.

Not dealt with

This response submitted by Tom B on 4/12/05 at 6:26 PM. ( )

If this is not handled correctly the future of this wonderful show will be in question.
Tom B

PA (not sure which one - lol)

This response submitted by Dawn on 4/12/05 at 6:38 PM. ( )

I did use the word practical - and I stated it wasn't practical - Politics - never used the word in my post so I have no idea what you are talking about.

But the Male ego I understand. See what happens when Men run things. (lol)

Why not just say who it is?

This response submitted by Drew on 4/12/05 at 6:55 PM. ( )

Why dance around the facts? What piece and what judge are you having a problem with? It is not a crime to voice your opinion you know. Some of us would like to know.


This response submitted by wet on 4/12/05 at 6:59 PM. ( )

I agree, what i should have stated is not in the tail area. It will burst and tear rather than be over filled>

Where are you hunting turkeys?

This response submitted by Shane on 4/12/05 at 7:18 PM. ( )

Who said you could spend less money hunting turkeys? I can spend a fortune hunting turkeys if I have the time and resources.

Lets get it out in the open

This response submitted by Kim on 4/12/05 at 7:21 PM. ( )

Please be specific and name names, what where, when, how.....

Interesting posts. Someone wants and needs support!

first things first

This response submitted by wetnwild on 4/12/05 at 7:44 PM. ( )

While I know the names dates and where the bodies are buried, I think it is more important and fair for now to first make Larry Bloomquist aware of the problem seeing as it is his show.Then we'll see how it is handled. After larry is notified, I have no problem coming back and letting the cards fall where they may.

Who should judge................

This response submitted by was there on 4/12/05 at 10:19 PM. ( don't have one )

And who is going to judge the pieces that are at the show that have been on the cover of magazines or in articles in the publications and everyone knows who did them? Peole spend way too much time trying to figure out why ribbons fell the way they did. They have been laid and the shows over, if your ego was damaged, too bad, don't go back. Lots of great pieces got nothing, thats the way it is.

Judging isn't easy

This response submitted by Jan Van Hoesen on 4/12/05 at 10:42 PM. ( )

I was a judge there and I know you aren't talking about me. I was too busy to know what else was going around at the show. I hate to think one of the judges was enethical but sometimes it happens. What you do is just don't get that judge again. I hate judging pieces of friends and I sure would rather not know. But you would have to live in a vaccum not knowing whose pieces belonged to who in many cases. I'm always afraid that if I judge a friend's piece on the easy side I'll hear about it from everyone. So I usually tend to judge them on the harder side. Judging taxidermy is like judging figure skating or gymnastics it's not all clear cut. I do know a couple judges who I wouldn't want to judge any show. I hate it too when a judge doesn't know the animal as well as I do and knocks me for something that I know is correct. But that is all a part of competing. Do let Larry know and I'm sure he will make ajustments.

"Was There"

This response submitted by Greg on 4/13/05 at 12:18 AM. ( )

In defense of wetnwild, this is not a case of a damaged ego. Granted there were a lot of great pieces that did not take a ribbon. But surely if you were at the show and know the piece that wetnwild is talking about, I believe you would see the point. Along with the pieces that did not receive a ribbon, there were plenty there that left me scratching my head as to why they did win. I guess a lot of controversy could be eliminated if more than one judge scored each piece, with an average score being the final result.

be careful of reverse descrimination

This response submitted by you can guess who on 4/13/05 at 1:11 AM. ( )

Judging a person a bit harder because you know them, or for fear of being accused of playing favorites, is just as bad as going easy, only in reverse! One standard, one level, consistency, these are things that even the best anatomy specialists must learn in order to be an effective judge. Sadly, that and an agenda, makes it a rare atribute indeed...

Not you Jan

This response submitted by wet on 4/13/05 at 3:48 AM. ( )

Jan, I had the pleasure of meeting you and it was My thrill. You are well known to be an honest and ehtical judge, and a pretty damn great taxi too!

Maybe reference photos should have been submitted

This response submitted by ? on 4/13/05 at 7:27 AM. ( )

with the competition pieces?

Naming names

This response submitted by Carl E on 4/13/05 at 8:08 AM. ( )

I was at the show and had a great time. I didn't compete, but I overheard a few critiques and can see that it could be a dificult situation for both sides. Certainly the judges have a dificult task. An accused should have the right to face his accuser however, so when and if wetnwild reveals the name of the judge in question, he shoud also reveal his name as well. Openess and comunication go a long way in a situation like this. Just my two cents worth.

Jeanette just look around.

This response submitted by Seem judges who dont know the animal on 4/13/05 at 10:33 AM. ( )

I understand you, I have seen Zebra with ear butts that sure are not equine ear butts and some of those mounts have been by the big name taxidermist.

Many people class equine as a prey animal. They have never seen what a horse can do to a Cougar and even 350 lb bear. They dont have any idea how mean and deadly a 1000lb horse can be.

They sure donot have any reference materials to judge the equine with.

This is where you as a competitor need to supply tons of pics and even casting to show the judge what to hell they are looking at.

I molded a fish once entered the replica and a well known fish judge said Largemouth bass dont have bugged out eye and fatal flawed this fish. I did not supply the photos. My problem! I also had another tell me fish eye donot move independantly. This guy still judges, he dont know fish. Hell even duck eyes move independantly one bigname judge has an ego problem and he swears birds cannot do that.

Sometimes you have to supply the reference for that judge and they have only a couple choices, accept what you rpovide and then judge your skill in replicating it and judge the quality of your craftsmanship or say "I donot know!" when the later happens that is an ethical judge, when they interject you have the neck wrong and they dont know then the judge is on an ego trip.

As for the mount being wet sometimes a good leather does not get hard. This happens a lot when the skin is supple and fits the form, little glue is needed and thats the down fall.

Where is the competitor gets the benefit of the doubt.

How about some seminars tell judges these things are acceptable?

Wet and wild.....

This response submitted by tj on 4/13/05 at 10:37 AM. ( )

You must not come here often if you don't know who Tom is...... lol

How can...

This response submitted by Mike on 4/13/05 at 11:07 AM. ( )

someone's piece be judged harder if that person is a "friend"? Maybe because the criteria is subjective? If opinion is weighted that much in judging, then that's the nature of the beast and we will all just have to live with it. If the criteria are more objective and have definite standards that must be met, then all pieces should be judged on the same scale regardless of who is who. Is this the problem? Doesn't sound like much fun being a judge.

Satisfied customer, only judge needed!

This response submitted by BG on 4/13/05 at 12:21 PM. ( )

Look up thankless job in dictionary and you will find word Judge. From Chili to Taxidermy to Schiavo it's the Judges fault he/she doesn't agree with your opinion. However, the judge, was requested to render his/her opinion on the facts or object to be Judged.
The easiest critique is it was fixed, Judge paid off, bla bla.
Politics? Racism? Prejudice? Judge Uninformed? Judge just plain nuts?
Judge doesn't see things my way!
Wonder why anyone would want to be a judge. Remember:
Judge not and ye shall not be judged.

Everbody should just get a "Best of Show" for entering. Then thay can take the award and show it to a customer and say see this stuffed chicken! I Won Best of Show Turkey with it.
Now what do you want your deer mount to be? A deer, Bobcat, Lion?


This response submitted by Five-O on 4/13/05 at 12:22 PM. ( )

I know this is gonna stir the pot but it's just one guy's opinion and It's not personal to Jennett. Why would a Judge have reference material for a horse. I couldn't believe that they let that in to the show. To me it's like allowing dogs and cat's. I was under the impression that Taxidermy was to preserve the hunters trophy or catch. Not to put old yeller in the house forever. For those who provide a living with taxidermy the sportsmen pay the bills. Sorry in advance for offending some of you. It's just the way I feel.

the reason...

This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 4/13/05 at 2:41 PM. ( )

I mounted a horse is because I have lived, breathed, and been around horses for pretty much every minute of my life. I have not lived with whitetail in my back yard where I could interact with them every day. Nor do I have a pet coyote to study. I have horses. I feel that is the best animal I can mount because I know horse anatomy inside and out. I felt that I could do justice to the animal I know best than trying to mount a deer head that I really don't know the anatomy as well. I cannot carve a deer neck anywhere near as acuarately as I can a horse. With that being said, now I will give you another reason for it. Many people would like to have show, race, and family pet horses mounted. Hardly anyone does it. I have my own line of horse manikins that I can use with just about any horse. It is a great way to make money and do something I love. I can get $25,000 for a life size horse mount. How bout you, Mr. won't post your name? Can you get that for a crummy deer mount? I also mount pet cockatiels and macaws. That's not a game animal that are taken by sportsmen. GEEZZZZ! Broaden your minds, people! Tell ya what, you keep doing your deer head for $175 a haed and I will keep mounting horses and NON game animals. Is that OK with you?

I agree Jeanette

This response submitted by ByGolly on 4/13/05 at 2:53 PM. ( )

Since there are no deer in California worth mounting, one must resort to household pets and maybe Uncle Remus to make a living. If you can make money doing it then it's ok, after all isn't that what art is about money.

My name is DAN

This response submitted by Five-O on 4/13/05 at 2:55 PM. ( )

sorry to offend you. That wasn't my intent. I get 425.00 a deer head and 2,500.00 for a life size. I know that is a far cry from 25,000.00. I was not getting personal about your horse. I thought I explained that. I see you took it that way and I'm sorry. For those that know me know that I'm a good person with good intention. I know you Jeanette,and I think you are a good person.....

I am not offended

This response submitted by Jeanette Hall on 4/13/05 at 4:19 PM. ( )

I'm making a hell of a living for myself and can afford to go to shows and hunt out of the country. Most of all I am doing what I love. On the other post about judges a guy is going off about non game animals should not be allowed in competitions. I thought you might have been him, Dan, since you did not post your name. I get so tired of the cowards that come on here and hide behind their computer while throwing rocks at everyone. Anyhow, I'm happy to hear you are charging appropriately for your deer heads and I realize you were not trying to get personal about my mount. The horse belonged in the show just as much as the zebra and every deer in the room. I am not sure why you feel differently. Taxidermy is taxidermy.


This response submitted by Dawn on 4/13/05 at 5:04 PM. ( )

Dan really is a great guy and honestly would never intentionally offend you. I have known Dan for quite a while now and he has never said anything that could be remotely construed as offensive. The world is a better place for having people like him in it and I am truly glad that I call him my friend.

Happy trails.

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