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.

This year, I was privileged again to return as the show photographer (for the thirtieth time!), and as the amazing mounts kept rolling in during the registration period, I realized that this would be a very special competition. Many of the mounts were also familiar, as several past World Show winners brought their pieces to be entered for the first time in the National competition. Jeff Mourning had designed some beautiful new medallions for the North American Champion winners and all of the Division of Excellence competitors were vying for this honor. Wisconsin taxidermists made a strong statement by winning many of the major awards.

During the awards banquet, the two newest members of the Taxidermy Hall of Fame were inducted. Cary Cochran of Ohio and Mike Orthober of Wisconsin were honored with this recognition, and Mike’s big night got even better as he won many of the top competition titles. As the winners were announced and over $13,000 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 2019 NTA competition as they were shown when the awards were handed out on Saturday night, July 27, 2019.

NTA 2019 Major Award Winners

Taxidermist of the Year
The Theodore Roosevelt Lion Award – $1,500.00
MIKE ORTHOBER Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 287 Hazel Grouse

The Breakthrough Best of Show Award
Judges’ Choice Best of Show – $1,200.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer

Distinguished Taxidermist Award
Entry has previously won a Judges’ Best of Show at another qualifying competition – $150.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 281 Wood Duck

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
First Place – $250.00
MIKE ORTHOBER Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 287 Hazel Grouse

The WASCO Award
Most Artistic Entry – $250.00
MIKE ORTHOBER Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 287 Hazel Grouse

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Second Place – $150.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 280 Wood Duck

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Third Place – $100.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 245 Otter

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 151 Bobcat

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 152 Bobcat

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 153 Arctic Fox

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 154 Gray Fox

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
TYLER HOFFMAN Missoula, Montana 201 Oldsquaw

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
TYLER HOFFMAN Missoula, Montana 202 Common Eider

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
TYLER HOFFMAN Missoula, Montana 203 Harlequin

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
TYLER HOFFMAN Missoula, Montana 204 Valley Quail

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Third Place – $750.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 276 Wood Duck

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Third Place – $750.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 277 Wood Duck

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Third Place – $750.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 278 Wood Duck

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Third Place – $750.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 279 Wood Duck

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 241 Otter

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 242 Coyote

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 243 Weasel

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 244 Squirrel

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 110 Yellow Perch

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 111 Wigeon

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 112 Whitetail Deer

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 113 Black Bear Cub

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Third Place – $250.00
TOM HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 126 Antelope
TOM HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 127 Antelope

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Third Place – $250.00
TOM HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 128 Skunk
TOM HANSEN Windom, Minnesota 129 Skunk

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Division of Excellence – $100.00
TYLER ERICKSON Brookings, South Dakota 319 Whitetail Deer

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Division of Excellence – $100.00
TYLER ERICKSON Brookings, South Dakota 320 Perch

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Division of Excellence – $100.00
TYLER ERICKSON Brookings, South Dakota 321 Whitetail Deer (Lifesize)

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Division of Excellence – $100.00
TYLER ERICKSON Brookings, South Dakota 322 Goldeneye

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Open Division – $100.00
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 110 Yellow Perch
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 111 Wigeon
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 112 Whitetail Deer
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 113 Black Bear Cub

Henry Wichers Inchumuk Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal, Size of Squirrel or Smaller – $100.00
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 243 Weasel

Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Whitetail Deer – $100.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer

Chris Barnhardt Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Gamehead – $100.00
BRIAN OLSON Platteville, Wisconsin 290 Mule Deer

Brian Harness Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal – $100.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 153 Arctic Fox

National Wild Turkey Federation Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Turkey – $100.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 199 Turkey Hen

North American Champions

North American Champion Turkey
First Place in the Division of Excellence
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 199 Turkey Hen

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence
LARRY O’MALLEY Hayfield, Minnesota 312 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Gamehead
First Place in the Division of Excellence
BRIAN OLSON Platteville, Wisconsin 290 Mule Deer

NTA Best Habitat Award
Judges’ Choice for Outstanding Habitat – $100.00
BRIAN OLSON Platteville, Wisconsin 291 Mule Deer

North American Champion Small Mammal
First Place in the Division of Excellence
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 153 Arctic Fox

North American Champion Reptile Reproduction
First Place in the Division of Excellence
JEFF MOURNING Littleton, Colorado 264 Crocodile Lizard

North American Champion Reptile Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
ASHLEY TOWNE Prior Lake, Minnesota 117 Western Hognose Snake

North American Champion Warmwater Fish Reproduction
First Place in the Division of Excellence
JOSH KELLY Lone Oak, Texas 251 Leopard Stingray

North American Champion Warmwater Fish Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
PETER JOHNSON Ely, Minnesota 269 Walleye

North American Champion Coldwater Fish Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
JEFF MOURNING Littleton, Colorado 263 Colorado River Cutthroat Trout

North American Champion Waterfowl
First Place in the Division of Excellence
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 276 Wood Duck

North American Champion Bird
First Place in the Division of Excellence
MIKE ORTHOBER Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 287 Hazel Grouse

NTA Best Bird Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Bird – $100.00
MIKE ORTHOBER Egg Harbor, Wisconsin 287 Hazel Grouse

National Champions

National Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division
MARK HERNANDEZ Sabinal, Texas 283 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division
JENNA EVERAGE Versailles, Indiana 247 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Gamehead
Highest Score in the Open Division
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 242 Coyote

National Champion Small Mammal
Highest Score in the Open Division
JESSE HAESE Clinton, Wisconsin 243 Weasel

National Champion Reptile Skin Mount
Highest Score in the Open Division
JOSH JAHNER Bismarck, North Dakota 158 Snapping Turtle

National Champion Warmwater Fish Reproduction
Highest Score in the Open Division
ERIC KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 110 Yellow Perch

National Champion Warmwater Fish Skin Mount
Highest Score in the Open Division
CORY FOTH Peabody, Kansas 228 Largemouth Bass

National Champion Coldwater Fish Skin Mount
Highest Score in the Open Division
RICH WHITE Billings, Montana 137 Brown Trout

National Champion Waterfowl
Highest Score in the Open Division
MIKE PENDZIMAS Andover, Minnesota 261 Harlequin

National Champion Bird
Highest Score in the Open Division
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 317 Ringneck Pheasant

Other Awards

NTA Virtuoso Award
Sponsored by Pro-1 – $200.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Whitetail Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer

NTA Best of Show Novice
Judges’ Choice for Best Novice Entry – $100.00
DYLAN DIEBERT Bismarck, North Dakota 162 Skunk

People’s Choice Award
The Charley Haynes Memorial Award – $100.00
DANIEL MENG Bismarck, North Dakota 309 Tiger

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Life-size Mammal Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
DANIEL MENG Bismarck, North Dakota 309 Tiger

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Fish Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
JOSH KELLY Lone Oak, Texas 251 Leopard Stingray

The Polytranspar Award
Highest Scoring Fish Painted with Polytranspar – $100.00
JOSH KELLY Lone Oak, Texas 251 Leopard Stingray

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Reptile Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 150 Diamondback Rattlesnake

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Bird Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply – $100.00
MIKE NAKIELSKI Iron Ridge, Wisconsin 276 Wood Duck

NTA Best of Show Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 149 Gray Fox

NTA Best of Show Original Art
Selected by the judges collectively from all first-place winners in the five Original Art categories – $100.00
VIC HEINCKER Zebulon, North Carolina 318 Elephant

People’s Choice Original Art
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
VIC HEINCKER Zebulon, North Carolina 318 Elephant

People’s Choice Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
MAC McLANE Suffolk, Virginia 250 Fox

NTA International African/Exotic Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Large African/Exotic Mount – $100.00
DIRK BAWDEN Erda, Utah 119 Brush Tail Opossum

Delia Akeley Award
Best entry by a female competitor selected by convention attendees – $100.00
JENNA EVERAGE Versailles, Indiana 247 Whitetail Deer

Van Dyke’s Award
Most Creativity Mammal, Gamehead or Whitetail Entry – $100.00
STEPHAN WOOLDTENHUKLME Coalville, Utah 275 Bobcat

Youth Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Youth Division – $100.00
OSCAR KALLIS Kalispell, Montana 115 Yellow Perch

Children’s Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Children’s Division – $100.00
CHANCE FARRELL Prior Lake, Minnesota 116 Ball Python

The 2018 NTA Major Award Winners Gallery – Layton, Utah

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=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

NTA 2018 Major Award Winners


Kathy Blomquist told me, “Pulling into the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois felt like coming home.” I know exactly what she meant! Arriving at the NTA’s host facility was a familiar experience. In fact this was the eighth week that I has spent at this beautiful hotel attending taxidermy conventions. It could not have been a more perfect place to host the 2018 National Taxidermy Championships. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2112

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