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World Show Competition Divisions & Categories

The World Taxidermy Championships is truly an open competition. Participants are free to compete on any level — Novice, Professional or Master Division–simply by making a choice according to their level of skill.

Taxidermists who choose to compete in the Master Division, Collective Artists Division, Interpretive Division and the Taxidermy Sculpture Division will have their entries judged head-to-head against other entries in the same subcategory. Single first, second and third place ribbons are awarded. The judges’ choice for the best entry from each of the sixteen major Master Division categories as well as one entry from the Collective Artists Division and one entry from the Taxidermy Sculpture Division may be named “Best in World” and the competitior earns the World Champion title.

Entries in Professional Division, Novice Division, and Youth Division are judged according to their individual merits with a numerical score and are not judged against other entries. There is no limit to the number of ribbons that can be awarded in these divisions.

How to Choose Which Division To Compete In

The World Taxidermy Championships® is a competition where taxidermists at all levels can compete.

The Masters Division, the division from which World titles are selected, is usually competed in by seasoned competitors who have earned more than one First Place at other competitions. This is a single-ribbon division where many excellent, high-scoring pieces will not place.

The Collective Artists Division is for entries that are worked on and prepared by more than one person. Studios, where several people work on a piece, can compete for a special World title. It’s also the division where friends can unite their efforts to produce a truly outstanding piece. This is a single-ribbon division with six categories and one World Title awarded.

The Interpretive Taxidermy Division is where a competitor can take his or her artistic talents and a fertile imagination to a new level and see what happens. Some of the technical burdens of conventional competition are lifted because the display will not be scrutinized with a flashlights and/or finger-probing. The goal should be to convey the essence of the species in an artistic presentation.

The Professional Division, which offers multiple ribbons in twelve categories, usually has the most entries in the World Taxidermy Championships. This division is for professional taxidermists, even for those who have never competed.

The Novice Division is for beginning taxidermists who feel that their skills have not developed enough to compete effectively in the Professional Division. Multiple ribbons are offered in ten categories, with the main emphasis on teaching the competitors.

The Youth Division is open to taxidermists who are 14 years or younger. Multiple ribbons are offered in ten categories, with the main emphasis on teaching the competitors.

The Live Taxidermy Sculpture Division is open to eight entrants who will be sculpting a lifesize mammal or gamehead within a 24 hour time period. This is a single-ribbon competition with one World Title awarded.

The Taxidermy Pre-Sculpted Division is open to any sculptor who would like to enter a completed taxidermy clay sculpture. This is a single-ribbon competition with two categories.

World Taxidermy Championships 2017 Competition Divisions

MASTER DIVISION CATEGORIES:
(16 Best in World titles, possible)

Category 1. Medium-Small Mammals (smaller than 75 lbs. [coyote/peccary]). Note: Juvenile mammals will compete in a subcategory of comparable size. Example: a newborn whitetail deer would compete against small mammals, whereas a 2-month-old whitetail deer might compete against medium mammals. The Competition Chairman will make all final decisions on which subcategory a juvenile animal would be entered.
      1. Small mammals, less than 25 lbs.
      2. Medium mammals, lifesize weight from 25 to 75 lbs.
      3. Small mammals group

Category 2. Large Mammals (larger than 75 lbs.)
      4. Large mammals (long/thick hair)
      5. Large mammals (short/thin hair)
      6. Large mammals group

Category 3. Whitetail Deer Heads
      7. Whitetails long/thick hair, open mouth
      8. Whitetails long/thick hair, closed mouth
      9. Whitetails short/thin hair, open mouth
      10. Whitetails short/thin hair, closed mouth

Category 4. Medium-Small Gameheads (smaller than 75 lbs.)
Same rules apply here for juvenile mammals, see Category 1 Note.
      11. Small gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of 25 lbs. or less)
      12. Medium gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of 25–75 lbs.)
      13. Half-lifesize gameheads (must include front feet)
      14. Gameheads, group

Category 5. Large Gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of more than 75 lbs. or more)
      15. Large gameheads (long/thick hair)
      16. Large gameheads (short/thin hair)
      17. Half-lifesize large gameheads (must include front feet)
      18. Gameheads, group

Category 6. Game Birds
      19. Pheasants
      20. Grouse
      21. Quail
      22. Migratory game birds (doves, rails, coots, cranes)
      23. Game birds, group

Category 7. Non-Game Birds
      24. Small birds (magpie and smaller)
      25. Large birds (crow, rook and larger)
      26. Raptors and owls (birds of prey)
      27. Non-game birds, group

Category 8. Turkeys
      28. Turkeys, strutting
      29. Turkeys, open wings
      30. Turkeys, standing
      31. Turkeys, group

Category 9. Waterfowl
      32. Diving ducks (mergansers, stiff tails)
      33. Puddle ducks
      34. Geese and swans
      35. Waterfowl group

Category 10. Warm Water Fish (skin mounts)
      36. Sunfish, perch, walleye, crappie, other bass
      37. Other, 12 inches or smaller
      38. Other, larger than 12 inches
      39. Saltwater
      40. Group

Category 11. Cold Water Fish (skin mounts)
      41. Trout, salmon, char
      42. Pike, muskellunge, pickerel
      43. Other, 12 inches or smaller
      44. Other, larger than 12 inches
      45. Group

Category 12. Largemouth Bass (skin mounts)
      46. Largemouth bass (single)
      47. Largemouth bass (group)

Category 13. Reptiles, Amphibian, Other (skin mounts)
      48. Reptiles, amphibian, other (single)
      49. Reptiles, amphibian, other (group)
Note: Any reptile incorporating any part of its skin or shell will go into one of the above subcategories.

Category 14. Reproductions
      50. Fish
      51. Reptiles, amphibians, other
      52. Mammal
      53. Group
      54. Miscellaneous–This includes antlers and horns. If a competitor enters an antler or horn in this master division category, he must include the original antler/horn that was cast for judges to have a reference of comparison. If the original is not available, the reproduction antler/horn will have to be entered in the professional division.

Category 15. Re-Creations
      55. Mammals
      56. Birds
      57. Miscellaneous
      58. Re-Creation Group
Note: Re-creations, for the purpose of this category, are defined as renderings which include NO natural parts of the animal portrayed. A re-creation may include original carvings and sculptures. A re-creation may use natural parts, provided the parts are not from the species being portrayed. For instance, a re-creation eagle could be constructed using turkey feathers, or a cow hide could be used to simulate African game. For an extinct species, copies (reproductions, including carvings) of skulls, bones, teeth, tusk, antlers, or horns may be used to reconstruct the re-creation, or can be used as part of the re-creation. In the Master Division, entries in the category of re-creations must be animals that have been scientifically named that are now extinct or presently living on earth. Mythical re-creations, such as centaurs and dragons, will not be accepted in Master Re-Creations.

Category 16. Mixed Group
The intent for this category is to create entries that interact with different animal classes, such as mammals—with birds, or with fish, or with reptiles.

      59. Mixed Group is a combination of two or more of the four different animal classes (a. mammals, b. bird, c. fish, d. reptiles/amphibians). Examples: for a bass chasing a frog, the piece must be entered in Mixed Group if both are to be judged, but a mountain lion attacking a mule deer would have to be entered in Lifesize Mammal Group. If a piece contains one coyote and one quail, you can enter the coyote for judging in the Lifesize Mammal Category and the quail for judging in the Bird Category. If you wish to have only the coyote judged, you may do so and enter it into the Lifesize Mammal Category. If you wish both mounts to be judged together, they must be entered into the Mixed Group Category. You must specify your wishes at the time of entry.

Competitors are not allowed to change into this division after they have already entered the piece into one of the single categories. Example: if you have a bass chasing a frog and have entered this piece into the Fish Category, you cannot come back later and change to Mixed Group.

Mixed Group pieces will be scored as follows: Each class of species in the composition will be judged by one judge using the appropriate score sheet. The score sheets for each class of species involved in the mixed group will then be averaged to give a final score. Example: in the case of two coyotes chasing a quail, a single score sheet will be used by a mammal judge to score the coyotes and one score sheet will be used by a bird judge to judge the quail. The two score sheets (1 mammals and 1 bird) will be averaged together to determine the final score.

COLLECTIVE ARTISTS CATEGORIES:
(1 World title)

a. Lifesize Mammals—may include single or group pieces.
b. Game Heads—may include single or group pieces.
c. Birds—may include single or group pieces.
d. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians (skin mounts)—may include single or group pieces.
e. Mixed Group—may include a combination of mammals (lifesize or game heads), birds and/or fish.
f. Re-Creations and Reproductions—may include single or group pieces. This will include reproduction fish or reptiles, re-creations, carvings, and replicas of any animal.

INTERPRETIVE DIVISION :
Single first, second, third place ribbons chosen by the five Interpretive Division judges.

PROFESSIONAL DIVISION CATEGORIES:
(Multiple first, second, third place ribbons will be awarded)
First Place: 90 or above. Second Place: 80-89. Third Place: 70-79.
      a. Lifesize Mammals
      b. Whitetail Deer Heads
      c. Game Heads
      d. Birds
      e. Fish Skin Mounts (see Master Division Rule 11.)
      f. Reptiles/Amphibians/Invertebrates Skin Mounts
      g. Reproductions: Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Antlers, and Horns
      h. Re-Creations/Replicas/Miniatures
      i. Mixed Group (see Master Division Category 16)
      j. Skeletons/Skulls
      k. Rugs (See rule 9, Professional Division)
      l. Freeze Dry (includes all species)

NOVICE DIVISION CATEGORIES:
(Multiple first, second, third place ribbons will be awarded)
First Place: 90 or above. Second Place: 80-89. Third Place: 70-79.
      a. Lifesize Mammals
      b. Whitetail Deer Heads
      c. Game Heads
      d. Birds
      e. Fish Skin Mounts (see Master Division Rule 11.)
      f. Reptiles/Amphibians/Invertebrates Skin Mounts
      g. Reproductions: Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Antlers, and Horns
      h. Re-Creations/Replicas/Miniatures
      i. Mixed Group (see Master Division Category 16)
      j. Skeletons/Skulls
      k. Rugs
      l. Freeze Dry (includes all species)

YOUTH DIVISION CATEGORIES:
(Multiple first, second, third place ribbons will be awarded)
First Place: 90 or above. Second Place: 80-89. Third Place: 70-79.
      a. Lifesize Mammals
      b. Whitetail Deer Heads
      c. Game Heads
      d. Birds
      e. Fish Skin Mounts (see Master Division Rule 11.)
      f. Reptiles/Amphibians/Invertebrates Skin Mounts
      g. Reproductions: Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Antlers, and Horns
      h. Re-Creations/Replicas/Miniatures
      i. Mixed Group (see Master Division Category 16)
      j. Skeletons/Skulls
      k. Rugs
      l. Freeze Dry (includes all species)

LIVE SCULPTING DIVISION CATEGORIES:
(1 World title)
      a. Gameheads
      b. Lifesize Mammals

TAXIDERMY PRE-SCULPTURED DIVISION
(Multiple first, second, third place ribbons)
      a. Gameheads
      b. Lifesize Mammals

MASTER OF MASTERS DIVISION
(Single first, second, third place ribbons chosen by the Master Division competitors)

Open to current or former World Taxidermy Championships judges, alternate judges, former winners of a Best in World title or First Place Master Division winners in any category.