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competition pieces being done at seminars/schools???

Discussion in 'Training' started by RDA, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. The more I hear of this happening, the more it disapoints me. It is one thing to have someone help with a mount by giving advise, like on this site, and another when physically sitting with an instructor. Sure, on here, somone may suggest to move eas, widen eyes, etc, but that is no more help than looking at a reference picture or looking at pictures in a book. They can not touch it or stand over you guiding you on how to pull the skin, amount of pressure to apply, saying "stop" when you have reached the correct position of something.... or worse yet actually touch the mount and place something for you.... That is CHEATING.

    Copmetitions pieces need to be made by the competitor alone. And I mean ALONE, as in no one even in the shop with you while mounting. If you cant taxi the skin, place the wings, adjust the ears, or even groom and finish a mount by yourself, then you should not be entering in a show at all. You still have too much to learn.
  2. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    That is one of the reasons the PTA used in eliminating the old PGC exam. As an examiner I was seeing very nice deer, fish and birds that students freely admitted were done at school under the supervision of the instructors. There was nothing the examiners or the PGC could do. We were allowed to judge ONLY what was put in front of us. What really took the cake was a student standing there with what was an OBVIOUS blue ribbon deer and when I asked him what technique he preferred for skinning his deer he told me that he had NEVER SKINNED A DEER! I had to pass him.

  3. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    If it is within the rules of the competition there isn't much you can do about it. It then becomes up to the competitor to decide what is right, and if he/she doesn't see it as a problem, then it is what it is. I know a few states have in their rules that these mounts are not allowed, and if the competitor were to enter a workshop piece in on of these shows, it is blatant cheating, it's criminal, and is punishable by law. I know KS had a rule that says these pieces can be entered, will be judged and ribboned, but are not eligible for any other major awards. I like this rule, so guys like stuffer2000 can get the critique they seek, but it isn't unfair to the other competitors. I think it's a great common sense rule, and would like to see more shows adopt it.
  4. stuffer2000

    stuffer2000 New Member

    What pisses me off is that I feel I have been labeled a cheater and wont get a fair shake with anyone for any of my birds because I did one at a one day school. I havent even sent in my entry fees and dont think I will. I have worked hard on 3 other birds that I am proud of and excited about but this whole fiasco has left me a whole lot less enthused about competing.
  5. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    New Book:

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  6. seitzb

    seitzb New Member

    ok.. so rda beings this is getting to be such a big deal. if you have a new student just came in and got done... a week later he calls you back and doesnt have all the equipment to do his stuff let alone a place to do it in. Then he asks if he can come to your shop and put some comp pieces together not using any of your help is that still cheating in your eyes?? to me i dont think it is your there doing your own thing no one is helping you so what would be the big deal?
  7. kbauman

    kbauman Active Member

    This is a post I started a while back... Obviously, I am opposed to it also.
  8. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    I love the guys that post pictures of pieces and admit that they were aided with and then post the same piece with a show ribbon a month or two later. Do they think these post disappear?
  9. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    Stuffer, it wasnt my intention to make you feel bad or have second thought about competitions....Im in the opinion that competitions are an excellent learning tool and a great way to get together and share...If yiou have birds youve worked on by yourself then by all means enter them ... I just wanted to bring to light the possible ramifications of doing show birds with instructors.. Really,,, the Instructor should have told you about this himself... Im all for competitions but I also know what will work and what just might bring greif upon one....Take those lessons learned from that instructor to create your own technique and pieces and the rewards will make you feel accomplished and not just a good mimick... ;)

    and seitzb, in the case you mention, as long as I never said boo to the competitor that would not be cheating as I didnt coach him or her through it. But any time I do hands on instruction with some one, telling them each step and how to do this and that,, then the line was crossed..... ;)
  10. Now what about habitat? Habitat molded and casted by others.....painted by others, but glued on by you.........then you win a WASCO? I think that's messed up. Everything on my piece was done..........BY ME, and that's the way it should be, IMO.
  11. RDA

    RDA Active Member

  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Why are taxidermy issues like a mobius strip?
  13. If someone dont have the place to mount a bird, well,... that just makes NO sense. Heck, I cover my table in the house and mount birds while watching TV. The question seems invalid and has nothing to do with the issue. Working in someones' elses shop is totally diffrent than working WITH someone else.
  14. seitzb

    seitzb New Member

    i agree with you gravity if you dont have the place to mount a bird that doesnt make sense unless you are renting an apartment like myself right now i cannt tumble,flesh,and paint so if i was to take the bird that i want to do for comp. to another guys shop do all of that and put it together there is that still considering cheating for a comp. piece?? even when they are not helping what so ever?
  15. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I cant help but think you all jumped the gun on this newest can of worms. Before we all become holier then thou, think. Whats the diff? Guys routinely call me and many others like me for advice about mounts going to a show. Some just ask about reference, or a particular pose or feature. Some are more specific, asking a variety of questions. And, there are some who pretty much wanna be coached all the way through a mount from start to finish. Hell, I know Ive passed the PA test in the past, almost half my students come from PA, especially when they still required testing. I ask students of mine to NOT take their mount done here to any shows. Not because I did the work, I didnt, they did. Its just because too many people only see the half empty glass. Why cant a competition just be won by the best mount? Why cant a best mount ever be legit? Why does the peanut gallery insist on discrediting all others? Truth be told, 99% of the instruction mounts are not show peice quality anyway, as time limits prohibit us from finishing and doing the most accurate mount possible anyway. Im sorry to say this, as many vocal opinions here are made from friends of mine in this post, but it sounds more like sour grapes. Sorry, I say it as it seems.

    IF a guy truly did set up and complete a show peice under the direct supervision of someone better than him, yes, that could be viewed as wrong. I just dont think it happens to that degree of accuracy too often. Influenced? Sure! Most all of you have been. I have, too. Where are you all going to draw that line? Let me know when you plan to shut down taxinet, then. Oh, its me who is getting carried away? Lol, hey, put aside your defense for a minute, and think of this like I just did, and youll see my point.

    When is influence unfair, at what degree?

    Im not defending anyone here, Im just saying, this isnt so cut and dry, it gets thrown around alot, but try literally applying it. It just doesnt always exist as stated.
  16. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    Bill,, I think the majority of us know the rights and wrongs and where that line needs to be drawn....It was fairly specific of competition pieces being put together undr direct supervision from an instructor whom obviously does this as a routine....If someone does a project under my supervision in a seminar setting, I explain to them that this is a colaborative effort and under no circumstance do I want to see it in any competition....(minus the collective artists catagories.. :D) I think thats a pretty obvious no brainer when it comes to competition ettiquette....Yes we all ask opinions and thought on our pieces, but I dont call you up and say Hey Bill,,,, mind if I come over to the shop and have you help me with a white tail for the upcoming comp?? :D I myself have never asked for a critique or advice on any competition piece Ive ever done from the first to the latest..Nor do I copy styles, Like Stephans which seems to be a very often repeated style... As an instructor,, You are responsible for not only teaching taxidermy but the values and ethics of competitions as well. This thread was not started to simply whine and bash, but rather to bring to light something that was obviouly heading south. It is for the good of the students and maybe a wake up for said instructors...Can you really compare something that was done with an instructor with something like oh say Gravitys Lamb?? Who did all the work solo including the mannikin?? No way no how.....And might i add that in this day where many organizations now have cash prizes,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the law falls into play!! :eek: Litterally and technically it would be fruad......Ive seen guys at bass tournaments being cuffed and stuffed over the same basic thing.....
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    EVery time I say that "Taxidermists are the dumbest people in the world" and that "Taxidermy is an unprofessional profession", I'm assaulted by the same group who insist on keeping their heads in the sand. Bill is dead on and he's being nice. I'm not going to be.

    You guys defended dressing like slobs at convention banquets and now you're going to lament somebody winning something "unfairly". Lets just call a spade a spade here for once in your sheltered lives. Taxidermy competitions have been dying since the early 80's and will continue to do so simply because we provide a service to a dying group of people. Wave all the flags you'd like, but facts are facts. We have TWO national organizations simply because we, as taxidermists don't play well with others. Those two organizations bleed memberships each and every year. The members of BOTH organizations combined make up less than 2% of what national figures list as "working taxidermists". THIS WEBSITE has more members to it than both those organizations COMBINED. HELLO!!! When are you guys going to admit you don't play well together?

    We hold competitions that are basically closed to the public and give each other backrubs and a few paltry ribbons that we've decided that show our talents better. Yet the hacks learned long ago that you could go to the State Fair and call yourself an "award winning taxidermists". It impresses some of the clients, but most are simply using you because (1) they know you, hunt with you, or you're family or (2) MOST IMPORTANTLY, you're cheaper than someone else. That last bunch doesn't care any more than the first bunch what your awards were. The guy who buys a bird from Todd Huffman and wins at a show doesn't care. If he gets caught, just what are you going to do about it? He'll still go home and have his same clientele and those are the people who paid his way to the competition in the first place.

    Many times this exact excuse is used by people to elevate their own egos. It's really easier to justify you not getting an award by claiming that the other guy "cheated" than admitting your own frailties. A perfect example that I'm going to use and apologize ahead of time is just such an example of what this witch hunt you guys are on and how indescriminate and tacky it can be. Harvey Zeigler is a world class bird taxidermist. As all of you who have children know, some of your children take extreme interest in your work and want to be "just like dad/mom". (Isn't that the American dream?) Well Ryan Ziegler was just such a young man who gloried in his dad's work and as a teenager decided he'd mount a snow goose piece for competition. The piece won everything and IMMEDIATELY Ryan was accused of having his dad mount the birds for him, having his dad critique them, having his dad correct him and even having his dad help him. Ryan Ziegler could have been one of the best bird taxidermists the world had known. But he isn't. The ridicule and the embarrassment and out right lies spread about him turned him away from taxidermy. And some of you wonder why I say "We eat our young!"?

    If Ryan was the only one that had happened to, I wouldn't feel nearly as sick when I think about how damaging and destructive petty jealousy and greed can be. How many other people have we destroyed by rationalizing over our own egos?

    My advice to all of you is to live up to YOUR standards. Be concerned about YOUR work. And be extremely critical of what YOU do. Anytime you rake mud, you manage to get mud on yourself as well.
  18. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Still doesn't make it right, just like steriods in baseball - it ain't right, but it will continue. Gotta be true to yourself. I, personally, could not take credit for something I didn't do. If I fail, I do it alone. I just don't understand why someone would want an award they did not earn themselves, I know I don't. I guess everyone has a different set of values.
  19. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    Well your last sentence Is EXACTLY what this thread was about George, not rumors nor mud slinging...It was posted that a student was doing his show pieces during instructuion then another comes on saying the same thing.. This does not compare to Harveys situation... It was about competition ettiqutte and how to avoid problems, as its become obvious that many would-be competitors are not aware some these points.....And IF I have possibly helped by bringing these to light then Ive done my job... ;) There will ALWAYS be rumors and chit chat- , but for those that Have followed proper ettiquette, the y will survive and thrive, becuase thay can repeat the techniques for award winning pieces consistantly..
  20. Ted B

    Ted B Active Member

    Ron, as hard as people may try, its not easy to make someone hold themselves to the standards or values that you or others have set for themselves.