Taxidermy Seminars

See the Best Taxidermy Seminar Lineup Ever Assembled!

One of the major highlights of the World Taxidermy Championships is the seminar program. Through the years, many outstanding taxidermists have shared their techniques for the first time at the WTC Seminars. The world-class instructors for this year’s lineup represent some of the best seminar instructors ever assembled for one event, with some making their North American debut. There will be three separate seminar areas upstairs in the Peoria Civic Center, which will allow participants a choice during each seminar session.

2017 WTC Seminar Coordinator: Brenda Duvall

Tuesday Evening WTC Seminar
May 16, 2017


Seminar #1
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. — Tuesday, May 16, Room 401
Ken Walker: Techniques to Improve Your Mammals, Big and Small
The reputation of World Champion taxidermist and sculptor, Ken Walker of Canada, in mammal and recreation taxidermy is known worldwide having traveled to several continents sharing his talents and experience. In this seminar, he will explain in detail many of his tricks for accurately mounting and recreating animals of the world. Ken is a master at making original mannikins out of a piece of foam. This is a super seminar to start off your World Show experience!

Wednesday Morning WTC Seminars
May 17, 2017


Seminar #2
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 401
Matthew Zimmerman: Mounting a Rattlesnake
Matt is a two-time World Champion for reptiles and one of the reptile judges at the 2017 WTC. He will take you through his step-by-step process for mounting a rattlesnake showing you the techniques that helped him win these prestigious titles. In his second seminar on Friday afternoon, Matt will demonstrate his finishing techniques for this rattlesnake and other reptiles.


Seminar #3
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 402
Travis De Villiers: Taxidermy Sculpting and Molding
Travis is from South Africa and a gifted taxidermist and sculptor. In the taxidermy sculpture division at the 2013 and 2015 World Shows he has won the Best of Category for lifesize mammals. His seminar will be on carcass molding and casting with discussion and examples of sculpting fundamentals. Travis will also explain how to build a fiberglass mold for small mammals.


Seminar #4
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 403
Mike Kirkhart: Painting a Largemouth Bass
Two-time world champion fish taxidermist Mike Kirkhart of Florida will demonstrate his award-winning method for painting a largemouth bass.

Wednesday Afternoon WTC Seminars
May 17, 2017


Seminar #5
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 401
Vincent Fleming: Mounting a Whitetail Deer
Best in World Whitetail Deer Champion Vincent Fleming of North Carolina will demonstrate his techniques for mounting a whitetail deer shoulder mount.


Seminar #6
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 402
Clay Wagner: Pedestal Bobcat
Texas taxidermist Clay Wagner won a National Championship title in 2013 with a pedestal bobcat mount. In this seminar, he will show how he did it.


Seminar #7
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 403
Jeff Mourning: Painting a Coldwater Fish
Five-time gold Akeley medallion winner Jeff Mourning of Colorado will reveal his techniques for painting a beautiful coldwater fish during this live seminar demonstration. No one does it better!

Wednesday Evening WTC Seminar
May 17, 2017

Seminar #8
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. — Wednesday, May 17, Room 401
Robyn Rocke: Minding Your Business
his seminar is for the full or part time taxidermist who would like to make a good living at what they do. Robyn will explain how to calculate your shop rate, your productive hours in a day, business profit margin, materials mark up, and what it costs to run your shop. Robyn owns his own studio and has done taxidermy full time for 33 years, with and without employees. This could be the most important seminar you attend. Don’t miss it!

Thursday Morning WTC Seminars
May 18, 2017


Seminar #9
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 401
Gene Smith: Whitetail Deer Competition Techniques
Two-time Best in World Whitetail Deer champion Gene Smith of Georgia will reveal the techniques that he uses to put life into his deerheads.


Seminar #10
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 402
Dale Manning: Competition Bird Techniques
World Champion Dale Manning will reveal his tips and tricks on how to achieve the most success in mounting birds for competition.


Seminar #11
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 403
Dave Sherwood: Ice and Water Habitat for Waterfowl
Dave has been a instructor at previous shows on mounting waterfowl. This year he will be showing his procedures for putting ducks in natural looking water and ice habitats. He will show techniques for placing birds in plexiglas, applying snow, making ice sickles, water ripples and splashes. Dave is a great instructor and loves to share his knowledge.

Thursday Afternoon WTC Seminars
May 18, 2019


Seminar #12
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 401
Frank Newmyer: Design and Composition
The most award-winning taxidermist in history, Frank Newmyer of Michigan will present this discourse on design and composition for taxidermy displays.


Seminar #13
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 402
Shane Davenport: Mounting a Gray Fox
Shane Davenport of Texas will reveal techniques and tips that will enable you to perfect your next life-size fox mount.


Seminar #14
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. — Thursday, May 18, Room 403
Jacob Clark: Mounting a Flying Turkey
This award-winning Arkansas taxidermist will mount a flying turkey. He will demonstrate his procedures used for both commercial and competition turkey taxidermy. Many speciality techniques like cleaning the skin with a pressure washer will be discussed.

Friday Morning WTC Seminars
May 19, 2017


Seminar #15
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — Friday, May 19, Room 401
Mike Orthober: Mounting a Ruffed Grouse
Mike is a past World Champion for fish, but is very talented and versatile in all areas of taxidermy. Mike will mount a standing ruffed grouse in this seminar showing his techniques and answering any questions you may have. Mike has given may seminars at past World Shows and is a very popular instructor.


Seminar #16
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — Friday, May 19, Room 402
Jeff Mourning: Mounting Techniques for Coldwater Fish
In this second seminar by four-time World Champion Jeff Mourning, he will demonstrate the techniques that he uses for both his commercial and competition taxidermy. Jeff’s expertise covers all areas of fish and reptile taxidermy including reproductions. This is the perfect seminar to get your questions answered.


Seminar #17
8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — Friday, May 19, Room 403
Ken Walker: Techniques to Improve Your Mammals, Big and Small
Ken’s reputation in mammal and recreation taxidermy is known worldwide, having traveled to several continents sharing his talents and experience. At press time we had not determined the exact subject of this seminar, but you can be assured Ken will make it educational and entertaining. Our posters on seminars placed around the Civic Center will give you more details at the show.

Friday Afternoon WTC Seminars
May 19, 2017


Seminar #18
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — Friday, May 19, Room 401
Matthew Zimmerman: Finishing a Rattlesnake and Other Reptiles
Pennsylvania’s Matthew Zimmerman, a 2017 World Show judge and two-time World Champion will finish the rattlesnake he mounted on Wednesday in his first seminar. Matt will also answer all your questions and discuss variations in finishing other species of reptiles like lizards, turtles, and frogs.


Seminar #19
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. — Friday, May 19, Room 402
Mike Noonkester: Casting and Sculpting a Whitetail Deer Shoulder Form
Mike Noonkester of Virginia has sculpted and molded many commercial lines of whitetail deer mannikins and game heads. In this seminar he shows you how to do it.

Friday Night Awards Banquet
May 19, 2017


Special Event
6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. — Friday, May 19, Peoria Civic Center (top floor)
2017 World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships® Awards Banquet and Presentation
Be there to witness $36,000 in cash awarded to winning taxidermists and fish carvers from all over the world! A unique musical presentation of taxidermy in film clips will keep you entertained during dinner as the excitement “mounts” to see who will win the big cash awards this year. We are very happy to announce the Master of Ceremony for the 2017 award program will again be Alaskan taxidermist Russell Knight, star of the History Channel series “Mounted in Alaska.” Russell’s quick wit and savvy will make for a very entertaining evening.

Joe Meder, one of the top experts in taxidermy, will be awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. Joe has 40 years experience as a taxidermist, sculptor, and instructor. Joe is from Solon, Iowa.

This is the most prestigious awards ceremony in the world for the taxidermy industry. Proper attire is strongly recommended.

Friday evening, May 19, 2017 • Peoria Civic Center (top floor)
Cocktails 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. • Dinner 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. • Awards Show 8:00p.m.–11:00p.m.
Tickets $39.00 available at the WTC registration desk.