The 2017 WASCO Award Winners

The 2017 convention season has come to a close, and for the 25th 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.

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 25 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 2017 winners of the WASCO Award for the Most Artistic Entry, which are listed below.

The 2017 WASCO Award Winners – Listed in date order

Steven Reynolds's Mallard

Mallard Drake by Steven Reynolds.

Steven Reynolds, Jackson, GA
Mallard Drake
February 18th, 2017 – Georgia Taxidermy Association

Josh Lengacher's Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey by Josh Lengacher.

Josh Lengacher, Washington, IN
Wild Turkey
February 18th, 2017 – National Wild Turkey Federation

Jason Vanderpool's Bufflehead

Bufflehead by Jason Vanderpool.

Jason Vanderpool, Tulsa, OK
February 25th, 2017 – Arkansas Taxidermist Association

Mike Orthober's Hazel Grouse

Hazel Grouse by Mike Orthober.

Mike Orthober, Egg Harbor, WI
Hazel Grouse
February 25th, 2017 – Wisconsin State Taxidermy Competition

Darrin Mosser, Minot, ND
March 4th, 2017 – North Dakota Taxidermists Association

Hayward Cloud, Napa, CA
Marble Teal and Wood Duck Cross
March 4th, 2017 – California Taxidermist Association

Jason Krause's Timber Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake by Jason Krause.

Jason Krause, Pine Grove, PA
Timber Rattlesnake
March 11th, 2017 – Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association

Ryan Cook's Blacktail Deer Group

Blacktail Deer by Ryan Cook.

Ryan Cook, South Weber, UT
Blacktail Deer
March 18th, 2017 – Utah Taxidermists Association

Steven Dotson, Jackson, MO
March 18th, 2017 – Association of Indiana Taxidermists

Terry Weick's Brown Trout Group

Brown Trout by Terry Weick.

Terry Weick, Hopkins, MI
Brown Trout
March 18th, 2017 – Michigan Taxidermist Association

Shawn Powell's Brown Snow Goose

Snow Goose by Shawn Powell.

Shawn Powell, Tappahannock, VA
Snow Goose
March 18th, 2017 – Virginia Taxidermists Association

Ben LeNoble's Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch by Ben LeNoble.

Ben LeNoble, Freemont, WI
Yellow Perch
March 18th, 2017 – Illinois Taxidermist Association

Ben Korshidnam, Alberta, Canada
Hungarian Partridge & Goshawk
March 18th, 2017 – Canadian Taxidermy Association

Lance Johnson, Castleton, ND
Ringneck Pheasant
March 18th, 2017 – South Dakota Taxidermy Association

Chris Krueger's Ringtail Cat

Ringtail Cat by Chris Krueger.

Chris Krueger, Phoenix, AZ
Ringtail Cat
March 25th, 2017 – Arizona Taxidermy & Art Association

Doug Roffers, Oneida, WI
Black Bear
March 25th, 2017 – Iowa Taxidermy Association

Sam Cahoy, Aberdeen, SD
March 26th, 2017 – Kansas Association of Taxidermists

Garrett Sunram, Detroit Lakes, MN
Dall Sheep
April 1st, 2017 – Minnesota Taxidermy Guild

Kurt Ainsworth's Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer by Kurt Ainsworth.

Kurt Ainsworth, Independence, KY
Whitetail Deer
April 1st, 2017 – Ohio Taxidermy Association

Alan Veuilleux, Baie-Comeau, Quebec
Brook Trout
April 1st, 2017 – Quebec Taxidermy Association

Kyle Landry, Grand Isle, LA
Ring-Necked Duck
April 1st, 2017 – Mississippi State Taxidermy Association

Tim Cooley's Green Wing Teal

Green Wing Teal by Tim Cooley.

Tim Cooley, La Salle, CO
Green Wing Teal
April 8th, 2017 – Wyoming Association of Taxidermy Artists

Josh Saville, Scipio Center, NY
April 8th, 2017 – United Taxidermists of New York

Robert Major, Las Cruces, NM
Pedestal Gemsbok
April 22nd, 2017 – New Mexico Taxidermy Association

Rich White's Brown Trout

Brown Trout by Rich White.

Rich White, Billings, MT
Brown Trout
April 29th, 2017 – Montana Taxidermists Association

Matt Pigliavento, Schenectady, NY
Hybrid Hartebeest
June 3rd, 2017 – New England Association of Taxidermists

Todd Kranau, Blue Hill, NE
June 3rd, 2017 – Colorado Taxidermists Association

Jeremy Simon's Peacock

Peacock by Jeremy Simon.

Jeremy Simon, Elkins, WV
June 9th, 2017 – West Virginia Taxidermy Association

Jay Parke's Fighting Sandhill Cranes

Fighting Sandhill Cranes by Jay Parke.

Jay Parke, Rigby, ID
Fighting Sandhill Cranes
June 10th, 2017 – Idaho Taxidermists Association

John Paul Barber, Boerne, TX
Cinnamon/Blue Wing Teal Cross
June 10th, 2017 – Oklahoma Taxidermists Association

Sam Cahoy's Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail by Sam Cahoy.

Sam Cahoy, Aberdeen, SD
Scaled Quail
June 10th, 2017 – Nebraska State Taxidermist Association

Joshua Jackson, Moody, AL
Ringneck Duck
June 24th, 2017 – Alabama Taxidermy Association

Cody Benge, Oregon City, OR
Blacktail Wall Pedestal
June 24th, 2017 – Oregon Association of Taxidermists

Brandon Zahn's Pintails

Pintails by Brandon Zahn.

Brandon Zahn, Boling, TX
Pintail Ducks
June 24th, 2017 – Texas Taxidermy Association

Scott Ferguson's Hen Mallard

Hen Mallard by Scott Ferguson.

Scott Ferguson, Easton, PA
Hen Mallard
July 15th, 2017 – Garden State Taxidermy Association

Jeff Mourning's Golden Trout

Golden Trout by Jeff Mourning.

Jeff Mourning, Littleton, CO
Golden Trout
July 15th, 2017 – National Taxidermists Association

Dave Tuttle's Wood Duck

Wood Duck by Dave Tuttle.

Dave Tuttle, Wilmore, KY
Wood Duck
July 29th, 2017 – Kentucky Taxidermist Association

Jake Rouse's Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer by Jake Rouse.

Jake Rouse, Raleigh, NC
Whitetail Deer
July 29th, 2017 – North Carolina Taxidermist Association

Carmen Helmer's Blue Goose

Blue Goose by Carmen Helmer.

Carmen Helmer, DuQuoin, IL
Blue Goose
August 5th, 2017 – Missouri Taxidermist Association

Alex Harrington's Bobcat and Snowshoe Hare

Bobcat and Snowshoe Hare by Alex Harrington.

Alex Harrington, Milan, NH
Bobcat and Snowshoe Hare
August 6th, 2017 – Maine Association of Taxidermists

If you wish to add missing photos to this list, or correct any errors or omissions, please email and I will be happy to update the page.

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The Legacy of Jan Van Hoesen

It is indeed sad to see the great artists of our industry pass. On the first of December, one of my biggest taxidermy heroes left the world of the living and, in that instant, became a legend of our industry, to be remembered for years to come for her enormous influence.

I had been friends with Jan Van Hoesen for over twenty years. I feel blessed that I got to spend time with Jan at the World Show in 2017 and I am even more grateful for the extended visits we had at the 2016 UTA convention. Jan was so many things to so many people; a compassionate friend, a teacher, a judge, an active force for advancing the art of taxidermy and improving the politics of our profession. Sweet, but strong. Shy, but fearless. Soft spoken, but powerful. And amazingly generous with her knowledge and her friendship. But when I think of Jan, I will always remember her most as a great artist; one who almost singlehandedly brought mammal taxidermy from the level it was at before her to the level it is at now. Read the rest of this entry »

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NTA 2017 Major Award Winners

At first, I was a little bit skeptical when I heard the The National Taxidermists Association decided to call their 46th annual convention the NTA Rocky Mountain Taxidermy Extravaganza, but after attending last week, I realize that they could not have picked a better name. It was indeed an extravaganza of fantastic displays of taxidermy, informative seminars and the west’s biggest trade show in many years!

Last week, I was privileged again to return as the show photographer, and as the amazing mounts kept rolling in during the registration period, I realized that this would be a spectacular competition. Well over half of the entries were large floor pedestals with artistic representations of lifesize mammals, bird groups, and fantastic fish. The spacious competition room quickly filled up with over a hundred large floor displays, which were cleverly arranged to spell out the initials NTA. Read the rest of this entry »

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2017 Texas TTAI Award Winners

I just returned from the 2017 Texas Taxidermy Association Inc. convention held in Killeen, Texas. As usual, the Lone Star State organization put on a great show, which drew a large crowd of enthusiastic attendees, an impressive display of taxidermy competition entries, outstanding seminars, and lots of fun activities. The Killeen Civic Center was a ideal venue, and the adjacent hotel was convenient, clean and accommodating. Each year I look forward to the Texas show, as it is consistently one of the most fun conventions I attend. The warmth, enthusiasm and hospitality of the organizers and members always make it it an especially great experience.

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Joe Meder Lifetime Achievement

On May 19, 2017, at the World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships® awards banquet held at the Peoria, Illinois Civic Center, Show Chairman Larry Blomquist and Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight presented the fifth ever World Show Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Meder of Solon, Iowa.

Honoree Joe Meder of Iowa (left) with Master of Ceremonies Russell Knight of Alaska (right).

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