2021 NTA Major Award Winners

After cancelling the scheduled 2020 convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NTA came roaring back to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the 50th annual National Taxidermist Association convention, competition and trade show. The NTA had been at this facility three times before, in 2005, 2011 and 2019, and each time I was impressed with the Ramkota facility and staff. It was a great place to host the 2021 National Taxidermy Championships.

Everyone was happy to be back at a national convention and eager to reunite with all of their old friends and colleagues. The enthusiasm was noticeable and the competition did not disappoint. The entries were among the highest calibre that I had ever seen at a single show.

I was honored to return for the 31st time as the official show photographer. As the winners were announced and $13,250 in prize money was awarded by Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight, photos of the winning entries were projected on the big screen. Here are the studio photos of the major award winners from the 2021 NTA competition as they were shown when the awards were handed out on Saturday night, July 24, 2021.

NTA 2020 Major Award Winners

Taxidermist of the Year
The Theodore Roosevelt Lion Award – $1,000.00
JERRY HUFFAKER Abilene, Texas 196 Sable

The Breakthrough Best of Show Award
Judges’ Choice Best of Show – $1,000.00
WES MOTE Tuttle, Oklahoma 356 Whitetail Deer

The WASCO Award
Most Artistic Entry – $250.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 127 Aoudad

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 262 Cuttbow Trout
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 260 Westslope Cutthroat Trout
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 261 Westslope Cutthroat Trout
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 263 Brook Trout

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 284 Wild Turkey
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 285 California Quail
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 286 King Eider
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 287 Northern Shoveler / Wigeon hybrid

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
LANCE VAN DUSEN Lawson, Missouri 219 Axis Deer
LANCE VAN DUSEN Lawson, Missouri 220 Silver Fox
LANCE VAN DUSEN Lawson, Missouri 221 Gemsbok
LANCE VAN DUSEN Lawson, Missouri 222 Whitetail Deer

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 249 Black Bear
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 250 Black Bear
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 251 Black Bear
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 252 Black Bear

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Third Place – $250.00
ERIN KRINGS Hawkings, Minnesota 157 Bobcat
ERIN KRINGS Hawkings, Minnesota 158 Pine Marten
ERIN KRINGS Hawkings, Minnesota 159 Whitetail Deer
ERIN KRINGS Hawkings, Minnesota 160 Fisher

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Open Division – $100.00
KENT ALLARD Sydney, Nebraska 208 Black Bear
KENT ALLARD Sydney, Nebraska 209 Mule Deer
KENT ALLARD Sydney, Nebraska 210 Prairie Rattlesnake
KENT ALLARD Sydney, Nebraska 211 Red Crested Pochard/Speckled Teal Hen

Distinguished Taxidermist Award
Entry has previously won a Judges’ Best of Show at another qualifying competition – $150.00
JENA EVERAGE Versailles, Indiana 191 Whitetail Deer

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
First Place – $250.00
CRAIG WESTBROEK Plain City, Utah 131 Common Goldeneye

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Second Place – $150.00
LANCE VAN DUSEN Lawson, Missouri 220 Silver Fox

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Third Place – $100.00
BILL NEUMAN Bismarck, North Dakota 347 Steinbok

NTA Best of Show Collective Artists
Judges’ Choice for Best Collective Artists Entry – $300.00
JAMES BENSON and JARED GLIMSDAHL East Grand Forks, Montana 177 Bighorn Sheep

Master’s Choice Award
Selected by convention attendees
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 248 Shoveler

Henry Wichers Inchumuk Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal, Size of Squirrel or Smaller – $100.00
ROSS RICHARD Herriman, Utah 274 Raccoon

Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Whitetail Deer – $100.00
WES MOTE Tuttle, Oklahoma 256 Whitetail Deer

Chris Barnhardt Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Gamehead – $100.00
JERRY HUFFAKER Abilene, Texas 196 Sable

Brian Harness Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal – $100.00
BILL NEUMAN Bismarck, North Dakota 347 Steinbok

National Wild Turkey Federation Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Turkey – $100.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 284 Wild Turkey

North American Champions

North American Champion Turkey
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 284 Wild Turkey

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
WES MOTE Tuttle, Oklahoma 256 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
JENA EVERAGE Versailles, Indiana 191 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Large Gamehead
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
JERRY HUFFAKER Abilene, Texas 196 Sable

North American Champion Large Mammal
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
JOHNNY RISINGER Mt. Enterprise, Texas 339 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Small Mammal
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
BILL NEUMAN Bismarck, North Dakota 347 Steinbok

North American Champion Coldwater Fish Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 262 Cutbow Trout

North American Champion Bird
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 129 California Quail

North American Champion Habitat
First Place in the Division of Excellence – $200.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 127 Aoudad

NTA Best Habitat Award
Judges’ Choice for Outstanding Habitat – $100.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 127 Aoudad

National Champions

National Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
TIM SCHROEDER Huxley, Iowa 309 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
TOM HANSEN Windom, Montana 300 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Small Gamehead
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
ABEL EVERAGE Versailles, Indiana 337 Coyote

National Champion Large Gamehead
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
PAUL KLAR Broadus, Montana 254 Pronghorn Antelope

National Champion Large Mammal
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 251 Black Bear

National Champion Small Mammal
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
ERIN KRINGS Hawkins, Wisconsin 160 Fisher

National Champion Reptile Skin Mount
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
ROYCE DAKE Ulm, Utah 279 Prairie Rattlesnake

National Champion Warmwater Fish Reproduction
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
SCOTT LULA Wisdom, Montana 288 Shevelnose Sturgeon

National Champion Waterfowl
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
TIM COOLEY Akeney, Iowa 302 Pintail

NTA Best Bird Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Bird – $100.00
TIM COOLEY Akeney, Iowa 302 Pintail

National Champion Bird
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
TIM COOLEY Akeney, Iowa 303 Ringneck Pheasant

National Champion Habitat
Highest Score in the Open Division – $100.00
CRYSTAL HALFHILL Scottsdale, Pennsylvania 137 Groundhog Habitat

Other Awards

NTA Impact Award
Sponsored by Champions Choice – $200.00
ERIN KRINGS Hawkins, Wisconsin 160 Fisher

NTA Virtuoso Award
Sponsored by Pro-1 for excellence in “Molding & Casting” – $200.00
WES MOTE Tuttle, Oklahoma 256 Whitetail Deer

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Whitetail Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
WES MOTE Tuttle, Oklahoma 256 Whitetail Deer

NTA Best of Show Novice
Judges’ Choice for Best Novice Entry – $100.00
MICHAEL RYSAVY Brookings, South Dakota 244 Black Crappie

People’s Choice Award
The Charley Haynes Memorial Award – $100.00
JAMIE BRINCKS Council Bluff, Iowa 334 Horse

Delia Akeley Award
Best entry by a female competitor selected by convention attendees – $100.00
JAMIE BRINCKS Council Bluff, Iowa 334 Horse

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Lifesize Mammal Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
JAMES BENTON East Grand Forks, Minnesota 178 Moose Calf

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Fish Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 262 Cutbow Trout

The Polytranspar Award
Highest Scoring Fish Painted with Polytranspar – $100.00
RICHARD WHITE Billings, Montana 262 Cutbow Trout

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Reptile Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
ROYCE DAKE Ulm, Utah 280 Ball Python

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Bird Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 284 Wild Turkey

NTA Best of Show Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
BILL NEUMAN Bismarck, North Dakota 349 Marco Polo Sheep

People’s Choice Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
BILL NEUMAN Bismarck, North Dakota 349 Marco Polo Sheep

NTA Best of Show Original Art
Selected by the judges collectively from all first-place winners in the five Original Art categories – $100.00
TIM HECHT Jackson, Minnesota 318 Elephant

People’s Choice Original Art
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
CHARITY NEWMAN Shadehill, South Dakota 126 Pencil Drawing

NTA International African/Exotic Award
Judges’ Choice for Best African/Exotic Mount – $100.00
DEAN SCHULTE Coalville, Utah 145 African Lion

Van Dyke’s Award
Most Creativity Mammal, Gamehead or Whitetail Entry – $100.00
GARY WEIR Montrose, Colorado 165 Whitetail Deer

Youth Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Youth Division – $100.00
DAGEN HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 138 Raccoon

Children’s Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Children’s Division – $100.00
HYATT HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 176 Muskrat

The 2019 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The 2018 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Springfield, Illinois

The 2017 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Layton, Utah

The 2016 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

The 2015 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The 2014 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Springdale, Arkansas

The 2013 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The 2012 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Rogers, Arkansas

The 2011 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The 2010 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Springfield, Illinois

The 2009 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Huntsville, Alabama

The 2008 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Lubbock, Texas

The 2007 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Louisville, Kentucky

The 2006 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Billings, Montana

The 2005 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2194

NTA 2019 Major Award Winners

With 240 competition entries, this was by far the biggest show in the past 12 years for the NTA. Sioux Falls, South Dakota was the location for the 48th annual National Taxidermist Association convention, competition and trade show. The NTA had been at this facility twice before, in 2005 and 2011, and each time I was impressed with the Ramkota facility and staff. It was a great place to host the 2019 National Taxidermy Championships.
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2178

2019 Texas TTAI Award Winners

I always look forward to the Texas Taxidermy Association convention. It is easily the best state show in the country. Every year I am amazed at how smoothly this huge convention is run and how it continues to improve over time. This year was no exception as the TTAI produced a record number of entries as well as a record number of new attendees and new members. While many associations around the country are shrinking in numbers, Texas leads the way by proving that a successful convention is achievable when dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to improve the experience for participants.
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2166

Frank Newmyer Lifetime Achievement Award

On May 3, 2019, at the World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships® awards banquet held at the Springfield, Missouri Civic Center, Show Chairman Larry Blomquist and Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight presented the fifth ever World Show Lifetime Achievement Award to Frank K. Newmyer of Gladwin, Michigan.

Honoree Frank Newmyer of Michigan (center) with Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight of Alaska (left) and World Show Chairman Larry Blomquist of Louisiana (right).

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2153

The 2018 WASCO Award Winners

The 2018 convention season has come to a close, and for the 26th consecutive year, the judges have chosen the WASCO Award winners. I think that 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. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2137

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