My question is if someone that is a part time taxidermist and is getting paid for their work would like to submit a piece for a competition but has never entered one, should they enter into the professional category?
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Several versions of State and Regional competition rules state if an individual receives remuneration of any nature, for their time, reimbursement of supplies, tanning, etc., they are NOT considered a novice or amateur. However, if a rule is not written with regard to these criteria, a competition committee could decide or the competitor could choose where they feel they should compete.
Go into the pro division if you are being paid for your work. You owe it to your customers to be able to at least ribbon in the professional division. If your work is novice quality, the judging will tell you, and how to improve. The novice division is not as strict in the judging area; they only look at the basics. Moreover, you need to be better than just the basics if you are taking money. Be brave and enter in the pro division. It will show you where you stand with you're quality and skills , the novice division will just give you a pat on the back. IMO
I always have believed that you should enter at least the professional category at a taxidermy competition. You will be judged a little harder and the leap in quality will help you learn faster.
At the Ohio State Taxidermy Championships we let everyone decide for theirselves where to enter. When a newbie comes to the show and asks me I always say enter the professional.
Sure, in the amateur you will probably win a "better" ribbon but so what. You will be deluding yourself. The difference in quality between the divisions is large.
Personally I would throw out the amateur division. I would have:
Childrens(16 and under)
Then again I think competitions have gotten too easy these days. I like to be judged hard. It makes you learn a lot faster. it makes you hungry.
The amateur division gives people a false sense of accomplishment. In fact most of the amateur entries suck.
Thanks for the input, I'll be ready for comp. next year. See ya at the show next week Jim.
I hope Rick Carter judges a whitetail for ya someday. Then you'll see how easy a competition is!
You should enter in whatever division you feel comfortable in. With each division the judge looks for a better understanding of the species and the taxidermy process.
I believe Jim you have some input into the ohio show. Have the judges judge to a higher standard. As you are aware, generally there is some discussion at the judges meeting about this.
Understand that what I post are my personal beliefs, not necessarily the beliefs of our Board Members or the Professional Taxidermists of Ohio.
I always have believed that taxidermy competition should be judged to the highest standard at all times. I never believed in the concept of judging each show by itself.
Unfortunately, since we have no real "standards" that a judge can use to score a piece it is often left up to them to make the decision. It is a very difficult task for a judge these days to get a show to fall where the "association" wants it to. If a judge does the right thing and judges hard he's going to be hammered during critiques. Many Associations also ask that judges score "hard" or "moderate" depending on where.
In order to attract more members taxidermy competitions have gotten softer IMO. Especially in the area of second place ribbons. From what I have observed is that the really good pieces are still getting the blues. Second place ribbons have become commonplace. Many competitions I have been to have been giving out third place ribbons to pieces I would be ASHAMED to give my customers.
Until we set up a real "standard" that is to be followed by every judge and every association we can't improve the situation.
So many people want you to GIVE them a ribbon. They don't want to earn them. I have seen a HUGE amount of EGO and apathy in even BEGINNERS at the shows.
Everyone thinks their piece is a first and they are gonna FIND OUT WHY they didn't get one.
I always say that we should just forget paying judges these days and just have a box of ribbons for you to take what you think you deserve. I'll bet we have to buy more BLUES every year LOL!