Taxidermy Judges

World Class Taxidermy Judges

Over the years, the WTC has earned a reputation for having consistent judging, year after year. Ribbons are earned solely on the quality of the work. With this consistency comes validity; an award earned at the World Taxidermy Championshps will mean something, now, and twenty years from now. It is not impossible to win, as hundreds of competitors have demonstrated, but the judging is always of the highest calibre.

The world-class judges working at the 2017 show will be among the largest group of taxidermy judges ever assembled for a single competition. The following judging assignments have been established for the 2017 World Taxidermy Championships. Changes are possible and will be based on the actual workloads for various categories.

2017 World Taxidermy Championships Judging Administration

      Judging Chairman:
      Data Processing:
      Taxidermy Competition Operations:
      Taxidermy Competition Operations:
Wesley (Skip) Skidmore
Richard Graves
Dan and Becky Snyder
Brenda Duvall

11 Mammal & Gamehead Judges
      Wendy Christensen (Wisconsin)
      Cary Cochran (Ohio)
      Dawayne Dewey (Wyoming)
      Jack Emery (Illinios)
      Jean Roll (Michigan)
      Skip Skidmore (Utah)
      Don Stevens (Alabama)
      Jessica Stevens (Alabama)
      Phil Soucy (Montana)
      Fred Vanderburgh (New York)
      Marcus Zimmerman (Pennsylvania)

6 Bird Judges
      Cary Cochran (Turkeys)
      Tony Finazzo (California)
      Joe Kaiser (Arkansas)
      Billy Ollie (Louisiana)
      Danny Owens (Texas)
      Harvey Ziegler (Illinois)

2 Fish Judges
      Frank Kotula (Pennsylvania)
      Mike Kirkhart (Florida)

2 Reptile Judges
      Matthew Zimmerman (Pennsylvania)
      Skip Skidmore (Utah)

3 Akeley Award Judges
      Wendy Christensen (Wisconsin)
      Ken Edwards (Georgia)
      Jeff Mourning (Colorado)

3 Collective Artists Judges
      Jeff Mourning (Colorado)
      Danny Owens (Texas)
      Marcus Zimmerman (Pennsylvania)

5 Interpretive Taxidermy Judges
      Kathy Blomquist (Louisiana)
      Ken Edwards (Georgia)
      Don Frank (Missouri)
      Jeff Mourning (Colorado)
      Danny Owens (Texas)

2 Novice Judges
      Don Stevens (Alabama)
      Jessica Stevens (Alabama)

Master Division Judging Procedure

For 2017, each entry in the Master Division will be independently scored by two judges and the scores averaged together. Once first places are determined in the subcategories, a competition supervisor will gather all category judges (five for most categories) to vote for eligible entries for Best in World titles. They will each cast a secret ballot for Best in World. The judges will be allowed to discuss and confer about the eligible entries before casting their ballots. If two entries receive equal votes the judges will be asked to vote again on those two entries only. The results will be kept secret and announced at the World Show awards banquet.

Competitors vying for the Best in World titles should pay very close attention to the subcategories. Some of the subcategories will be heavily competed in, while others may only have one or two entries. Remember — to win a Best in World title you must first have a First Place ribbon in a subcategory. You may want to consider competing in several of the subcategories to increase your chances of being considered in that final decision.

Each Collective Artists entry will be judged by a team of judges. After placements are determined in each category all taxidermy judges will evaluate the eligible entries for Best in World Collective Artist and cast individual secret ballots. Since this is one of only two divisions in which judges can compete, any judge competing in this division will not be eligible to judge in this division, nor cast a vote for Best in World (in that division).

Master Division Judging Assignments

1. Medium-Small Mammals (smaller than 75 lbs. [coyote/peccary])
      a. Small mammals, less than 25 lbs
      b. Medium mammals, lifesize weight from 25 to 75 lbs.
      c. Small mammals group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Wendy Christensen, Jean Roll
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Wendy Christensen, Jean Roll, Jessica Stevens, Fred Vanderburgh, Marcus Zimmerman

2. Large Mammals (larger than 50 lbs. [cougar/deer])
      a. Large mammals (long/thick hair)
      b. Large mammals (short/thin hair)
      c. Large mammals group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Dawayne Dewey, Phil Soucy
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Phil Soucy, Dawayne Dewey, Wendy Christensen, Skip Skidmore, Marcus Zimmerman

3. Whitetail Deer Heads
      a. Whitetails long/thick hair, open mouth
      b. Whitetails long/thick hair, closed mouth
      c. Whitetails short/thin hair, open mouth
      d. Whitetails short/thin hair, closed mouth
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Cary Cochran, Jack Emery
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Cary Cochran, Jack Emery, Fred Vanderburgh, Don Stevens, Dawayne Dewey

4. Medium-Small Gameheads (smaller than 75 lbs.)
Same rules apply here for juvenile mammals, see Category 1 Note.
      a. Small gameheads (based on estimated lifesize weight of 25 lbs. or less)
      b. Medium gameheads (based on estimated lifesize weight of 25–75 lbs. )
      c. Half-lifesize gameheads (must include front feet)
      d. Gameheads, group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Wendy Christensen, Jean Roll
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Wendy Christensen, Jean Roll, Jessica Stevens, Phil Soucy, Skip Skidmore

5. Large Gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of more than 75 lbs. or more)
      a. Large gameheads (long/thick hair)
      b. Large gameheads (short/thin hair)
      c. Half-lifesize large gameheads (must include front feet)
      d. Gameheads, group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Marcus Zimmerman, Fred Vanderburgh
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Marcus Zimmerman, Fred Vanderburgh, Jack Emery, Dawayne Dewey, Phil Soucy

6. Game Birds
      a. Pheasants
      b. Grouse
      c. Quail
      d. Migratory game birds (doves, rails, coots, cranes)
      e. Game birds, group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Danny Owens, Joe Kaiser
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Danny Owens, Joe Kaiser, Tony Finazzo, Billy Ollie, Harvey Zeigler

7. Non-Game Birds
      a. Small birds (magpie and smaller)
      b. Large birds (crow, rook and larger)
      c. Raptors and owls (birds of prey)
      d. Non-game birds, group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Tony Finazzo, Joe Kaiser
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Danny Owens, Joe Kaiser, Tony Finazzo, Billy Ollie, Harvey Zeigler

8. Turkeys
      a. Turkeys, strutting
      b. Turkeys, open wings
      c. Turkeys, standing
      d. Turkeys, group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Cary Cochran, Danny Owens
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Cary Cochran, Danny Owens, Billy Ollie, Harvey Zeigler, Tony Finazzo

9. Waterfowl
      a. Diving ducks (mergansers, stiff tails)
      b. Puddle ducks
      c. Geese and swans
      d. Waterfowl group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Billy Ollie, Harvey Zeigler
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Jary Cochran, Danny Owens, Billy Ollie, Harvey Zeigler, Tony Finazzo

10. Warm Water Fish (skin mounts)
      a. Sunfish, perch, walleye, crappie, other bass
      b. Other, 12 inches or smaller
      c. Other, larger than 12 inches
      d. Saltwater
      e. Group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart, Jeff Compton

11. Cold Water Fish (skin mounts)
      a. Trout, salmon, char
      b. Pike, muskellunge, pickerel
      c. Other 12 inches or smaller
      d. Other larger than 12 inches
      e. Group
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart, Jeff Compton

12. Largemouth Bass (skin mounts)
      a. Largemouth bass (single)
      b. Largemouth bass (group)
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart, Jeff Compton

13. Reptiles, Amphibian, Other (skin mounts)
      a. Reptiles, amphibian, other (single)
      b. Reptiles, amphibian, other (group)
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      Matthew Zimmerman, Skip Skidmore
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Matthew Zimmerman, Skip Skidmore, Jeff Mourning

14. Reproductions
      a. Fish: Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart
      b. Reptiles, Amphibians: Matthew Zimmerman, Skip Skidmore
      c. Mammals: TO BE DETERMINED
      d. Group. TO BE DETERMINED
      e. Miscellaneous. TO BE DETERMINED
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      SEE ABOVE
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Frank Kotula, Mike Kirkhart, Matthew Zimmerman, Cary Cochran, Joe Kaiser

15. Re-Creations
      a. Mammals: Wendy Christensen, Skip Skidmore
      b. Birds: Tony Finazzo, Harvey Zeigler
      c. Miscellaneous: TO BE DETERMINED
      d. Re-Creation (group): TO BE DETERMINED
Judges for 2 score sheets:
      SEE ABOVE
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      Wendy Christensen, Skip Skidmore, Tony Finazzo

16. Mixed Group
Judges for 3 score sheets:
      WILL BE SELECTED ACCORDING TO SPECIES ENTERED
Judges who vote for Best in World:
      WILL BE SELECTED ACCORDING TO SPECIES ENTERED

These judging assignments will be followed as closely as possible.

IMPORTANT: If you plan to compete, you should read ALL of the competition rules.