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.

This year, 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 an impressive 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. There were also many new spectacular entries as well. The whitetail deer entries alone were among the strongest that I had ever seen. I did not envy deer judge Larry Blomquist’s task of choosing the best among this close a competition.

During the awards banquet, photos of the winning entries are projected on the big screen as the winners are announced. Here are the studio photos of the major award winners from the 2018 NTA competition as they were shown when the awards were handed out on Saturday night, July 14, 2018.

NTA 2018 Major Award Winners

Taxidermist of the Year
The Theodore Roosevelt Lion Award – $1,500.00
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 190 Snapping Turtle

The Breakthrough Best of Show Award
Judges’ Choice Best of Show – $1,200.00
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

Distinguished Taxidermist Award
Entry has previously won a Judges’ Best of Show at another qualifying competition – $150.00
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Second Place – $150.00
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

The WASCO Award
Most Artistic Entry – $250.00
BRETT WINGFIELD Spirit Lake, Iowa 245 Largemouth Bass

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
First Place – $250.00
BRETT WINGFIELD Spirit Lake, Iowa 245 Largemouth Bass

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
First Place – $1,500.00
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 190 Snapping Turtle Skin Mount
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 191 Snapping Turtle Reproduction
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 192 Baby Rabbits Recreation
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 193 Toad

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Second Place – $1,000.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 148 Scaled Quail
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 149 Turkey
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 150 Greater Prairie Chicken
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 151 Turkey Hen

NTA Competitor’s Award – Division of Excellence
Third Place – $750.00
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 208 Yellow Perch
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 209 Yellow Perch
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 210 Black Crappie
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 211 Pumpkinseed

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
First Place – $1,000.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 238 Whitetail Deer
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 239 Whitetail Deer
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 240 Whitetail Deer
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 241 American Bison

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Second Place – $500.00
DAVE SCHMIDT Palmyra, Wisconsin 131 Black Bear
DAVE SCHMIDT Palmyra, Wisconsin 132 Black Bear
DAVE SCHMIDT Palmyra, Wisconsin 133 Wolverine
DAVE SCHMIDT Palmyra, Wisconsin 134 Wolverine

NTA Competitor’s Award – Open Division
Third Place – $250.00
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 186 Whitetail Deer
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 187 Whitetail Deer
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 188 Ringneck Pheasant
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 189 Ringneck Pheasant

Best All-Around Taxidermist
Highest Combined Score in Four Categories in Division of Excellence – $1,000.00
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 222 Raccoon
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 223 Whitetail Deer
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 224 Perch
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 225 Ringneck Pheasant

Challenge of the Art of Taxidermy
Third Place – $100.00
THOMAS HANSON Windom, Minnesota 142 ELK

NTA Master’s Choice Award
Selected by convention attendees
SCOTT HUMBLE Springville, Utah 231 Cutthroat Trout Carving (Miniature)

Henry Wichers Inchumuk Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal, Size of Squirrel or Smaller – $150.00
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 192 Baby Rabbits

Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Whitetail Deer – $150.00
DARIN BRINCKS Washburn, Iowa 235 Whitetail Deer

Chris Barnhardt Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Gamehead – $150.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 241 American Bison

Brian Harness Memorial Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Lifesize Mammal – $150.00
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 106 Gray Fox

National Wild Turkey Federation Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Turkey – $150.00
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 149 Turkey

North American Champions

North American Champion Turkey
First Place in the Division of Excellence
SAM CAHOY Aberdeen, South Dakota 149 Turkey

North American Champion Re-Creation
First Place in the Division of Excellence
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 192 Baby Rabbits

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence
DARIN BRINCKS Washburn, Iowa 235 Whitetail Deer

North American Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
First Place in the Division of Excellence
SCOTT ROSCOE Wentzville, Missouri 204 Whitetail Doe

North American Champion Small Mammal
First Place in the Division of Excellence
BRIAN HENDRICKS Scottville, Michigan 106 Gray Fox

North American Champion Reptile Reproduction
First Place in the Division of Excellence
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 191 Snapping Turtle

North American Champion Reptile Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 190 Snapping Turtle

North American Champion Warmwater Fish Reproduction
First Place in the Division of Excellence
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 208 Yellow Perch

North American Champion Warmwater Fish Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
BRETT WINGFIELD Spirit Lake, Iowa 245 Largemouth Bass

North American Champion Coldwater Fish Skin Mount
First Place in the Division of Excellence
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

North American Champion Waterfowl
First Place in the Division of Excellence
KENT REEDY Dixon, Iowa 220 Baikal Teal

North American Champion Bird
First Place in the Division of Excellence
JONATHAN WRIGHT Mantachie, Mississippi 160 Ringneck Pheasant

National Champions

National Champion Whitetail Deer Open-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 238 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Whitetail Deer Closed-Mouth
Highest Score in the Open Division
SHANE MARTINDALE Pigeon, Michigann 242 Whitetail Deer

National Champion Gamehead
Highest Score in the Open Division
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 241 American Bison

National Champion Large Mammal
Highest Score in the Open Division
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 195 Black Bear

National Champion Small Mammal
Highest Score in the Open Division
RON FERGUSON Petoskey, Michigan 213 Badger

National Champion Warmwater Fish Skin Mount
Highest Score in the Open Division
TYLER ERICSON Brookings, South Dakota 207 Walleye

National Champion Waterfowl
Highest Score in the Open Division
BRENT COLLINS Lewistown, Illinois 153 Mallard

National Champion Bird
Highest Score in the Open Division
LANCE JOHNSON Hunter, North Dakota 189 Ringneck Pheasant

Other Awards

NTA Virtuoso Award
Sponsored by Pro-1 – $200.00
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 238 Whitetail Deer

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Whitetail Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
CLINT RICKEY Dodgeville, Wisconsin 238 Whitetail Deer

NTA Best of Show Novice
Judges’ Choice for Best Novice Entry
JACQUELINE LANGSTON Sedro Wooley, Washington 247 Widgeon

People’s Choice Award
The Charley Haynes Memorial Award – $150.00
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 222 Raccoon

Van Dyke’s Award
Most Creativity Mammal, Gamehead or Whitetail Entry – $100.00
GREG CUVELIER Arlington, Iowa 222 Raccoon

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Life-size Mammal Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
NICK GENEREUX Crookston, Minnesota 195 Black Bear

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Fish Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

The Polytranspar Award
Highest Scoring Fish Painted with Polytranspar
TIMOTHY GORENCHAN Escanaba, Michigan 230 Sockeye Salmon

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Reptile Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
RODNEY SCHREURS Cedar Grove, Wisconsin 190 Snapping Turtle

Taxidermists’ Choice Best Bird Award
Sponsored by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
JONATHAN WRIGHT Mantachie, Mississippi 160 Ringneck Pheasant

NTA Best Bird Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Bird – $100.00
JONATHAN WRIGHT Mantachie, Mississippi 160 Ringneck Pheasant

NTA Best of Show Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $150.00
BEN MEARS Mantachie, Mississippi 166 Whitetail Deer

People’s Choice Taxidermy Sculpture
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
BEN MEARS Mantachie, Mississippi 164 Whitetail Deer

NTA Best of Show Original Art
Selected by the judges collectively from all first-place winners in the five Original Art categories – $150.00
SHANE MARTINDALE Pigeon, Michigan 243 Red Fox Scratchboard Drawing

People’s Choice Original Art
Sponsored by the National Taxidermists Association – $100.00
SHANE MARTINDALE Pigeon, Michigan 243 Red Fox Scratchboard Drawing

NTA International African/Exotic Award
Judges’ Choice for Best Large African/Exotic Mount – $100.00
BEN LeNOBLE Waupaca, Wisconsin 170 Impala

Delia Akeley Award
Best entry by a female competitor selected by convention attendees – $100.00
AMANDA WEATHERS Ridge Farm, Illinois 101 Whitetail Deer

NTA Best Habitat Award
Judges’ Choice for Outstanding Habitat – $100.00
KURT AINSWORTH Independence, Kentucky 146 Otter

Youth Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Youth Division – $100.00
ELLIOT BRINCKS Washburn, Iowa 237 Bluegill

Children’s Horizon Award
Judges’ Best of Show Children’s Division – $100.00
ASHTYN MARTINDALE Pigeon, Michigan 244 Whitetail Deer

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=2112

2018 Texas TTAI Award Winners

If there was a Best in World award for the most outstanding state taxidermy convention, Texas would surely take the gold medallion. It is amazing how a show this good continues to improve year after year, but it does! The 2018 TTAI convention was the biggest and the best so far, with over 200 superb entries and probably well over 500 enthusiastic attendees. The Board of Directors works tirelessly to make everyone feel welcome and keep everything running smoothly. The Killeen Civic Center and adjacent Shilo Inn and Suites Hotel are a perfect venue, and with several years of experience at this location, the logistics of the show went smoothly without a hitch.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2094

2018 UTA and OKTA Winners

I just returned from the 2018 United Taxidermist Association bi-annual Expo which was held in conjunction with the Oklahoma Taxidermy Association’s annual convention. I had always heard about what a great show the OKTA puts on, but this was the first one I had ever attended. I do believe the board members of the OKTA are among the hardest working crew in the industry, as they worked tirelessly to accommodate all the attendees and put on an excellent show. The Reed Conference Center was a teriffic venue, and the attached Sheraton hotel was very convenient.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2072

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2046

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 »

Permanent link to this article: https://www.taxidermy.net/ken/?p=2018

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