The 2016 WASCO Award Winners

The 2016 convention season has come to a close, and the results are in! To me, the most compelling part of each competition is when all of the judges get together collectively pick what they feel is the most artistic entry in the entire show. I have been in on many of these lively discussions and the judges always make it a point to give a great deal of thought and consideration to fairly choose the entry they feel is most deserving of this prestigious award.

The WASCO Most Artistic Entry Award is presented to the most artistic piece in a taxidermy competition. The winner is chosen collectively by all of the judges from the entire competition. WASCO Award winners receive a polished acrylic award and a gift certificate from WASCO (Wildlife Artist Supply Company).

The winning entries were chosen by the following criteria:

1. Exhibition of Taxidermy. The entry should tastefully display both the subject as well as the taxidermy profession in a favorable light. The taxidermy should be of good competition caliber, without any obvious flaws to the casual observer. The close scrutiny of a judge’s flashlight should not be as important as the overall impression of the piece from a normal viewing distance. The main requirement is that the animal portrayed looks “alive” to the viewer.

2. Creativity. Artists who try something new or difficult should be rewarded for their efforts. The concept of the piece should not copy previous winner’s ideas. Original ideas, successfully executed, should be given high consideration for this award.

3. Artistic Merit. The entry should be judged as a three-dimensional art piece, just like a painting or fine sculpture. Basic art concepts, such as composition, color, dynamic impact, contrast, texture, negative and positive space, and general artistic appeal should be carefully considered.

I am so pleased that McKenzie has continued to support the WASCO Award, which for the past 23 years has honored taxidermists who took risks and inspired us with their creativity. To read about the history of the WASCO Award and how it came into being in 1993, check out this blog entry: The Birth of the WASCO Award. Our congratulations go out to the talented 2016 winners of the WASCO Award for the Most Artistic Entry, which are listed below.

The 2016 WASCO Award Winners – Listed in date order

Scott Staton's Oldsquaws

Oldsquaws by Scott Staton.

Scott Staton, Jacksonville, FL
February 6th, 2016 – Florida State Taxidermists Association

Troy Piotrowski's Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys by Troy Piotrowski.

Troy Piotrowski, Amherst, WI
February 15th, 2016 – National Wild Turkey Federation

John Lee's Bufflehead Drakes

Bufflehead Drake by John Lee.

John Lee, Hoboken, GA
Bufflehead Drake
February 20th, 2016 – Georgia Taxidermist Association

Mike Nakielski's Wood Duck

Wood Duck by Mike Nakielski.

Mike Nakielski, Iron Ridge, WI
Wood Duck
February 21st, 2016 – Wisconsin Taxidermists Association

Mickey Bowman, Lawton, OK
Brook Trout
February 27th, 2016 – Arkansas Taxidermy Association

Nate Miller, Merrifield, MN
Oldsquaw Drake
March 6th, 2016 – North Dakota Taxidermy Association

Chris Horne's Wild Boar

Wild Boar by Chris Horne.

Chris Horne, Mount Joy, PA
Wild Boar
March 12th, 2016 – Virginia Taxidermists Association

Dale Robertson's Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion by Dale Robertson.

Dale Robertson, Young, AZ
Mountain Lion
March 12th, 2016 – Arizona Taxidermy Association

Mike Nakielski's Crow

Crow by Mike Nakielski.

Mike Nakielski, Iron Ridge, WI
March 13th, 2016 – Illinois Taxidermist Association

Tim Gorenchan's Brown Trout

Brown Trout by Tim Gorenchan.

Tim Gorenchan, Escanaba, MI
Brown Trout
March 19th, 2016 – Michigan Taxidermist Association

Justin Jones's Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks by Justin Jones.

Justin Jones, Dixon, CA
Wood Ducks
March 19th, 2016 – California Association of Taxidermists

Vince Spellane's Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer by Vince Spellane.

Vince Spellane, Saltsburg, PA
Whitetail Deer
March 19th, 2016 – Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association

Keith Goodrow's Antelope

Antelope by Keith Goodrow.

Keith Goodrow, Fremont, IN
March 20th, 2016 – Association of Indiana Taxidermists

Kip Love's Warthog

Warthog by Kip Love.

Kip Love, Riverton, UT
March 20th, 2016 – Utah Taxidermists Association

Cory Foth, Peabody, KS
March 20th, 2016 – Kansas Association of Taxidermy

Tyler Erickson's Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch by Tyler Erickson.

Tyler Erickson, Brookings, SD
Yellow Perch
March 20th, 2016 – South Dakota Taxidermist Association

Alain Veilleux, Bale-Comeau, Quebec
Brook Trout
March 20th, 2016 – Canadian Taxidermy Association

Ben Lenoble, Fremont, WI
April 3rd, 2016 – Iowa Taxidermy Association

Ted Wyenberg, Combined Locks, WI
Wood Duck
April 10th, 2016 – Mississippi State Taxidermy Association

Brian Noody, Garden City, NY
Fighting Impalas
April 9th, 2016 – United Taxidermists of New York

Allen Malaise's Alaskan Moose

Alaskan Moose by Allen Malaise.

Allen Malaise, Cody, WY
Alaskan Moose
April 11th, 2016 – Wyoming Association of Taxidermy Artists

Mike Nakielski's Black Ducks

Black Ducks by Mike Nakielski.

Mike Nakielski, Iron Ridge, WI
Black Ducks
April 16th, 2016 – Minnesota Taxidermy Guild

Royal Robillard's Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon by Royal Robillard.

Royal Robillard, Gatineau, Quebec
Chinook Salmon
April 17th, 2016 – Quebec Taxidermy Association

Timothy Gorenchan's Brown Trout

Brown Trout by Timothy Gorenchan.

Timothy Gorenchan, Escanaba, MI
Brown Trout
May 1st, 2016 – National Taxidermist Association

Jeff Mourning, Littleton, CO
Cutthroat Trout
May 1st, 2016 – New Mexico Taxidermy Association

Dale Manning's Blue Grouse

Blue Grouse by Dale Manning.

Dale Manning, Missoula, MT
Blue Grouse
May 1st, 2016 – Montana Taxidermists Association

Matt Tainter, Westby, WI
May 31st, 2016 – Nebraska State Taxidermist Association

Brian Brew's Mergansers

Mergansers by Brian Brew.

Brian Brew, Springhill, TN
June 4th, 2016 – Tennessee Taxidermists Association

Josh Gustad's Bobcat

Bobcat by Josh Gustad.

Josh Gustad, New Castle, CO
June 4th, 2016 – Colorado Taxidermists Association

Ryan Rhodes' Black Duck

Black Duck by Ryan Rhodes.

Ryan Rhodes, Stockton Springs, ME
Black Duck
June 5th, 2016 – New England Association of Taxidermists

Korey Alleman's Gadwall

Gadwall by Korey Alleman.

Korey Alleman, Breaux Bridge, LA
June 11th, 2016 – Oklahoma Taxidermists Association

David Ferguson's Mule Deer

Mule Deer by David Ferguson.

David Ferguson, Harrisville, UT
Mule Deer
June 25th, 2016 – Oregon Taxidermy Association

Shane Smith, Bridgeport, AL
June 26th, 2016 – Alabama Taxidermy Association

Eric Perry, Gold Hill, NC
July 30th, 2016 – North Carolina Taxidermy Association

Jeremy Simon's Snow Goose

Snow Goose by Jeremy Simon.

Jeremy Simon, Elkins, WV
Snow Goose
August 5th, 2016 – Maryland Taxidermy Association

Cole Cruickshank's Bluegill

Bluegill by Cole Cruickshank.

Cole Cruickshank, Cameron, MO
August 5th, 2016 – Missouri Taxidermy Association

Ryan Rhodes, Stockton Springs, ME
Black Duck
August 7th, 2016 – Maine Association of Taxidermists

Kurt Ainsworth, Independence, KY
Whitetail Deer
August 9th, 2016 – Kentucky Taxidermist Association

Help fill any empty spaces! If you have a photo of a 2016 WASCO Award winning entry that we do not have a picture for in the list above, please email it to me at and I will add it to this article. Thanks.

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