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No world champion in 8 divisions?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Dan Gill, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Sorry George you know I love you, but I do not agree. Once you win, you won...period. Every two years we get to do it over again, not continue to rejudge the last winners. Personally, I feel many areas are showing a weaker field the last couple years. Doesnt that suck when I come up with answers like this? Hahaha, simply put, when youre being EVALUATED against what we are striving to imitate, using (we wish) the best evaluaters available, we only earn the points we can earn. If its not enough, no live animal, past winner, or show sponsor ought to change that. Now, at the state level, while we try so hard to keep a MEMBERSHIP, yes, sure lets offer other divisions, lesser categories, anything, entry level standards to allow people of ALL skill and knowledge levels to compete, learn, and participate. We want them to return, and we want them to improve if they can. Thats not the World show, however.
     
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Nope, just proves the ultimate point. Taxidermy isn't a sport and isn't an "art" and isn't a real "job". Everything is subjective depending on the particular judges present at the time of the event. That means it's always going to be some doubt of a judges personality and ego and why there SHOULD be a World Champion at every World Championship. It's not the competiors fault that the judge's OPINION is skewed. Gotcha again. BUT - we both know it ain't OUR show and the guy who owns it seems satisfied with the outcome AT THIS TIME.
     

  3. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    So, George you're saying that even though there were fewer entries AND (if I'm reading the above correctly) 3 judges in 7 categories (21 judges?) egos all got in the way in their ability to score fairly? That sounds like a lot of stars falling into alignment at the same time to me...
     
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Now Marty, I know you don't want to go there. Remember, I don't compete but I'm not dumb enough to believe that SOME judges have a predisposition to how some errors can be overlooked and others not. That's called "human nature". I can bet you, since I've heard from several unimpeachable sources, that every piece in those big awards competiton areas was known by what taxidermist had done them. As I said, it's not my show HOWEVER it would seem prudent for EVERY WORLD Taxidermy Championship (You know, like WTC) have a person named as WORLD Champion in each category. Even Bill admits that talent levels differ from show to show, so what's the WORST thing that could happen if a World Champion HAD to be named in each category? The guy who won it would damned sure crow about how difficult it was to achieve, and the ones who didn't would be squawking about how they'd been cheated. No matter the level, the psyche's and the egos remain the same. As one noted taxidermist implied, Jesse Owens was the Fastest Man In the World in 1937, Today he probably wouldn't make the Olympic Team, but if whomever won was the best at the Olympiad, you can bet the farm that he'd get a GOLD MEDAL, even if his speed wasn't better than Jesse's.
     
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh, vedddy interesting George. I'm sure that what you say is true to some extent. But 21 judges? (Again, that's what I'm reading IF my math is correct) I would think that at least a couple of them have enough integrity to be unbiased and judge things honestly - no???

    And I still haven't heard any overall numbers as far as entries go. Statistically speaking, if 1/3rd of the players don't show up, it only makes sense that the best team will not be assembled???

    Jesse Owens - with the proper training (and steroids) would do fine in today's world - lol!
     
  6. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I dont know how to highlight quotes...George wrote..."Nope, just proves the ultimate point. Taxidermy isn't a sport and isn't an "art" and isn't a real "job". Everything is subjective depending on the particular judges present at the time of the event. That means it's always going to be some doubt of a judges personality and ego and why there SHOULD be a World Champion at every World Championship. It's not the competiors fault that the judge's OPINION is skewed. Gotcha again......"

    Ok, George? I agree. I dont think there shouldve been some best in world titles given out either. Are we saying the same thing here? For sure I dont agree with the foot race or baseball comparison, though. Certainly some egos have dictated some results in the past. Hell, the people involved having said so. As for this World show, I dont think it did, as I wasnt there, and always hope for the best. I saw some work that wasnt deserving of any titles though. And to Marty, nah, even if only two entries showed for the whole show, if one of them nailed it, well...it should earn its title.
     
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    That's one of my points Bill. Unlike flipping a coin - where every flip it's a 50/50 chance regardless of the previous flip, statistically speaking if fewer people showed up, then it makes sense that the overall scores wouldn't be as high either because some of those folks (that didn't show up) were bound to have been competitors. I agree - IF they all happened to meet the standard, then they are deserving.

    Oh btw, to do the quote thing, just click on "quote" on the post you want to include in a box (in the above case it would have been George's post) And it'll automatically go to a "quick reply" window where you can add your verbage. You can delete some stuff out (of George's quote if all is not pertinent) if you want as long as you keep the front and back "quote" text.

    Btw, as a moderator you should be slapped on the top of your fuzzy noggin for not knowing that - lol!!!
     
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The only thing "pointed" about you two is your opinions. Intrinsically, phonetically,grammatically,literally, geographically, institutionally, and practicality deems that if you HOLD a World Championship you MUST have a World Champion. Otherwise, in proper diction, this is but the World Taxidermy Challenge. Now unless you two are fluent in some other language than I, then you're simply pissing in the wind with your rationalizations. Every movie ends with "The End", every opera ends with the fat lady singing, and every WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP has to, by definition, HAVE ONE. I need to introduce you two guys to Bill Haynes and Frankie Thompson. LMAO
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

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    yuck. I am agreeing with George again.
    Anyway, here's websters definition of (championship) "a competition in which a champion is named.
    This is why I don't compete. That and I work 80 hours a week.
     
  10. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    For the most part, I have to agree with George on this one. With the intensity and effort that I know goes into the Masters Division entries, I have a hard time believing that there were THAT MANY divisions without World Champions. Even if the number of entries was drastically down, like I've been told, it really seems like a lot of vacant titles. that in itself doesn't bode well for the next "World Championship".

    When it comes to state shows I can EASILY see where ribbons are not given out, so I can and DO know what Bill means when he and others talk about "competing against a standard". As a judge I've always felt that my first job was to go in and rank the entries from best to worst. After that was done I try to work with the state association in what they are trying to do for their members. If that meant putting a blue ribbon on a mount that didn't deserve it, so be it. If it meant no blue ribbons in a category, that was OK too. The officers and competition committee have to answer to the membership long after I'm gone. But I've never felt that I was doing any individual member a favor by giving them a blue ribbon that wasn't completely deserved. On the other hand the association may have benefited by an increased number of entries the next year because the membership went home with the idea that they should compete the next year because it would be easy to take home a ribbon. AND I've seen not giving ribbons work to the association's benefit, too. The members went home determined to do better the next year.

    The World show is Larry's show, so ultimately if he's happy with the results that's all that matters. It could hurt his next show, it could help it, only time will tell. Unlike the officers of state organizations he doesn't have to answer to the membership as to what the judges he has selected do with the titles. If the quality of the entries was down along with the numbers then maybe they were right. If on the other hand, the entries were equal to the previous World entries then they were wrong and there should have been titles awarded. I wasn't there to actually see the entries so I can't give an informed opinion in that regard.

    But I still AGREE with George on this one. There are lots of competitions that DON'T involve a score or a timed race like athletic competitions, that DO award a first place even if there is only one entry. Carving competitions are one of them. Did the World Fish Carving Championships leave any awards unawarded if there was even one entry in the competition? Livestock Shows, Car Shows, Dog Shows. These all come to mind. They all have standards don't they? Yet they all seem to award a winner, even if it may not be perfect. There have never been any "perfect" mounts that received World Champion recognition in the past, so I don't see why this years awards shouldn't have been given. It's not a state show where the objectives may be quite different.
     
  11. finazducks

    finazducks EJ is not the only one to have two Wasco Awards

    I would like to shed some light on this type of competition. There are three Divisions in World competition. In the novice if you make it look good you have a chance. In the Professional there can be more than one first second and third in the category. The best first place is Best of Category.
    In the Masters there is a scrutiny like no other. You are told to give the competitor the fairest chance you start with three judges and each piece is looked at by six judges. This actually works against the competitor. More eyes will find more things wrong. Some will even tell you things are wrong you know are not. Lets face there is always some things wrong. The person that does the mount spends the time to look and research the species he is mounting. The judges may or may not have reference. Here is the problem as I see it. The same thing used to happen at the NTA Competition before we changed it. If you have a competion that has five top quality pieces in the show only one can be first second or third. If your piece is according to the judges the forth best, but still meets the standard you get nothing The fifth best gets nothing either. Why then shouldn't the competitor get a break when there is less than three top quality pieces. In the Division of Excellence I once scored a 92 and got no ribbon that year. I know that's the way it goes. But the judges aren't always right on and the benefit of doubt should go to the competitor. Paul Simon was interviewed by a reporter that said his Graceland Album could have been done by Michael Jackson. He said " You know Michael Jackson could have done it, but he didn't" I found that very provocative. The judges at the Worlds have the Best of both Worlds. Their pieces don't have to stand up to the scrutiny of a judge and the best piece in several categories wins the award if they get the most votes. If they have the only piece they win by default. I am a judge, and I have the belief that a standard is needed, but any doubt goes to the benefit of the competitor. I have no bad feelings, In fact I'm thrilled to get third place in the masters where no first was awarded, and there were more than just the two pieces in the category. I just think that if the top gun isn't there the next in line should have a chance. The top guy could have been there ,but he wasn't.
     
  12. Dan Gill

    Dan Gill New Member

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    As far as, giving a blue to a piece that doesnt deserve it doesnt do anyone any good. You could be right, but in my case. I had competed for about 10 years, and really stunk. I tried really hard. So in my mind, I was going to my last show, to collect my 983 rd white ribbon. At that show, I won a blue ribbon, best of category, polytranspar, Montana challenge, and starfish. A judge was fair enough to give my fish the benefit of the doubt. That was the shot in the arm I needed to go on, and say, it could happen again. I owe a big -BIG- Thank you to Richard Jeppson, for keeping me in the game a little longer. then after some classes at A.R.T. I went to nationals, and won National Champion. Maybe my fish wasnt "all that". but it won, again Jeff Brain was a judge who did right by me. Thank you Jeff. I gave me the opportunity to judge, and share knowlege with others.
    I had a great visit with Gary Bruch this morning, and He explained to me, what I had asked in the initial post. It is a World show, and the piece has to deserve the title. He explained he judges hard even at a state show, I always tried to judge easy. neither of us get many judging jobs, so what do competitors want? I guess I still would have liked to see the titles awarded if they were ........well good enough, but then who decides that? they did, they werent, and they didnt.
    thanks for all the responses.
    Dan
     
  13. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

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    As I said in another post, my son Cameron mounted a Rock Bass and scored a 79 in the youth. Don Stevens was very nice to Cameron and gave him an excellent critique. I personally would have given it about an 82 or 84, but thats just me. Cameron was very excited about getting that ribbon, but at the same time, he wondered why he should keep doing fish if there are no blue ribbons! He couldn't believe that some of the fish there just took 3rds in Professional. At 12 years old, the kid is pretty good at critiquing other fish. He took his fish and his ribbon into school today and it is hanging in the science room. He was asked to give a speech about it in that class, and was let out of every class for ten minutes and gave the same speech every hour today. He is SOOO proud of his ribbon. Now, I've been mounting fish for 36 years now and will encourage him to keep competing with fish, but it was kinda ironic that he said what he did about the fish not getting ribbons! Our kids are seeing it, that kinda bums me out. He told me today that he wants to do a bird for nationals, and maybe a fish. He's only mounted one bird so far, and that rock bass was his fourth fish that he mounted. Don Stevens told him he was well on his way, and that he wanted to judge his fish over on the long table one day. Well Don, I believe Cameron will take you up on that one!
     
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Well then explain it to him M.T.! I coach kids wrestling that work very, very hard for 6 months (many year round) to become the best they can be. Believe me, there is no other sport that offers the level of physical and mental challenges as wrestling. And guess what? Only one gets to walk away with the State Championship/Gold Medal. So you think that 1st place winner worked THAT much harder than the second place winner? Your son got taught a good lesson in life, reality. That ribbon IS achievable with hard work and dedication. And apparently there weren't any others WILLING to put forth that effort and/or posess the talent to snatch it. Soooo, in otherwords that ribbon is HIS for the taking!!!!

    O.F. You make some very good points (for both sides of the debate actually!)

    I still think handing out awards for the sake of handing out awards would diminish the meaning of the WORLD TAXIDERMY CHAMPIONSHIPS. My opinion, doesn't matter. The thing that I think needs to be reiterated - and several brought up this point, is everyone KNEW the rules going into the show. So, what's the point of this debate? You don't like it, don't enter. It's as simple as that...
     
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    It all goes back to the inability of taxidermists to understand the language they're trying to use. I keep hearing "THE STANDARD:. Judges use it as magical shield to protect their "judging very hard" (Funny how this particular judge mentioned refused to enter a peice in a competition because he said that none of the judges were "qualified" to judge his piece. Hmmm.) You guys have to get over this "standard" crap. You actually mean a "base line". There is no such thing and never will be such a thing as a "standard" in taxidermy. The envelope is always in flux.

    Now before you try any more rationalizing to contradict that, remember a "standard" is simply an "acceptable average". Since, using what Bill Yox just said, "the qualiity has gone down in recent years", then by necessity, the STANDARD has also gone down. If, in fact, the quality had increased over that same time, then the STANDARD would have, by necessity, gone up. So using the word "standard" is simply the only word judges can use to justify their subjectivity.

    And regardless of how you cut it, this was the World Taxidermy CHAMPIONSHIP and it finished with NO WORLD CHAMPION in several categories. In any other sport, the "players" would be showing outrage and the host would be looking for different "judges".
     
  16. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    George, I don't think any of us disagree with the definition of "standard" and that in this case it's a moving target. I think we all agree on that. One point however that I brought up (that you seem to be avoiding answering) is the fact that 7 categories named no winners. Now , if it were one or two I could see possibly blaming the egos of the judges, but SEVEN categories and how many judges??? Statistically speaking, the "conspiracy theory" doesn't fly here.

    Holding the show in a non-centralized location was a mistake. There were fewer entries and therefore fewer pieces QUALIFIED to be winners. If you want to lower the standard and give out awards regardless of how many entries and/or how they graded, that's fine. I don't think there's any rules on starting your own World Show???? I'm sure many would love to show off their 1st place ribbon to their customers, but I'll bet most would leave out the fact THEY were the ONLY entry - lol!!!
     
  17. Dean

    Dean New Member

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    My turn. I agree with Bill. After helping bring in and set up mounts I got to see a lot of them close up. not as close as the judges. On the out side some of the mounts looked good but had anatomy problems. On the inside, the stuff you need the flash light for is where things were separated. I was not impressed with most of the stuff in there. Ususally there are a few show stopping pieces that you look at and say WOW. There was not a piece in there that impressed me enough to have me stop and stare. I'm an anatomy freak and if anatomy is off the whole piece turns me off. I don't care how good the finishing is. Maybe it's because I used to raise birds and I look at my deer every day. The quality is down and things are going toward the way of being cute and dramatic and not accurate. I discussed that topic with a couple bird taxidermist friends. They agreed with me completely. I also think quality is down in part from so much being premade for the taxidermists and the ease to assemble parts. They are becoming taxidermy assemblers and don't understand why or where or how things should be done. The main anatomy is lost and they are not leaning the anatomy inside. That means they can't trouble shoot and figure things out and that come down to posting questions on here. There are also some judges out there that don't know enough about anatomy so they make up for it by lookng for cute I pleasing mounts. I talked to Joe Meder about anatomy and my mount and other mounts, he said I had the anatomy right on the form I made, but finish work killed me. There were major flaws in all the pieces there in one way or another. Mine was finishing ( the flash light stuff) Others were very visable from the out side, especially the ear position, placement, and ear butts head shape etc eyes, etc. They let anatomy slide on a lot of mounts and let cute take over. After my critique I understood what is needed next time. Like I said on an earlier post. The bar was raised since in the 6 years since I last competed at the World show with a deer. If they went by both correct anatomy and the good detailed finish work of cast parts then there shouldn't have been a winner in the deer heads either. It's the World Championships not an award give away. If the quality is down there shouldn't win. Why judge it on a curve. Technology changes and improves every year. That means the quality of the mounts have to improve and the shows get tougher. The bar is raised once again. Those that can clear the hurdle wins. Those that don't make it go home empty handed. George you said you don't compete so how can you even comment on competition, especially at the world level. You don't know what is needed to win there. It ain't no state show. I feel many of the past winners would not be able to pull it off again. Winning the World show you have to be good but also lucky. You need to be good enough to put a piece together but also lucky enough have all things go your way and go together right flawlessly at the same time, one time and you will win. I'm sure I upset George and others so I'll wait and read.
     
  18. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

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    I've read a lot here, I've never entered Masters at a world, I know my place. This argument will never be resolved as long as taxidermists stand on both sides of the fence, some are what I call techi's and others artists, few combine the two and those are our mentors. The artistic factor, in my humble opinion, looses out and the tech takes over at the world.That's a good thing for them, that is what they want to strive for and acknowledge. I agree the name should be changed to the world taxidermy challenge, Saves on printing costs also, WTC would still apply.The rules stated no best if a score was not attained. The argument George has, tho valid, I stand behind 100%, The argument is mute.The rules were the rules. The best AT THE SHOW should have won and taken the title but I don't make the rules. I wholehardly agree with George and I don't have to write much , as I enjoy his agruementatitve points with some of you. I am just standing here rooting for him on the sideline.
    The highest scoring mount should have taken the title, lots will disagree, that's not the rules you agreed to play by, you knew the rules. That's why I don't play there.
    I just wonder if a reporter had asked " Who took the world title in warmwater fish?" . Did You state" Well there were not any entries worthy of the score to take the best in the world'. To the general public hearing that, you just crapped on the whole industry.
    It's just my opinion, many will disagree with it.
    I have watched and seen competitions since 1982, yes the bar raises every year, soon there will be no Best in the World at the show, I'm not surprised at this outcome. Soon the bar will be unattainable. The backroom will have a lot to do with the door closed, as judges find more and more to knock entries down, to get world titles to people.
    Me, I'm a five foot rule kinda guy. No flashlights and magnifying glasses....LOL
     
  19. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    I know Dean well enough to know, if he says the quality wasn't there, IT WASN'T. I trust his judgement on those matters completely. That still doesn't mean that I agree totally with not giving the titles. If past World Champions haven't been "perfect" why should that be expected of this year's entries?

    The unfortunate thing about using a "standard" is that the standard is a live animal. Or at least "perfect" pieces of that live animal assembled to a whole. We all know that "real" animals are neither flawless, nor symmetrical and they certainly don't keep themselves perfectly groomed. So, in a way, I still agree with George, we have "standardized" the industry to the point of being ridiculous. The "best" at the show was still the "best" and should have been recognized as such. If the judges didn't like it, they should enter next time and SHOW us how it should be. The best should have been the World Champion. Other competitions(dog and livestock shows for example) have standards that are specified and even if the "best" isn't perfect they still award a championship. Can anyone tell or BETTER YET, show me the standards of the taxidermy industry?

    What happens if there are so many good mounts that are all about equal and the judges can't agree on the best, because one doesn't distinguish itself above the rest. No World Champion or "dual" World Champions. We may be going down a road that we don't want to travel, toward extreme "elitism". We may be leaving too much to the "discretion" of the judges. I'm not a "hands off" advocate either, craftsmanship and attention to detail require "up close and personal" judging.


    As I see it there are several ways of handling lack of "quality", either from over all entry numbers being down or from genuine crap being entered(I find this one hard to believe, but lets say it happens). You can specify UP FRONT that there will be a MINIMUM number of entries in a category to award a title or you can cut the number of titles to the bare minimum, thus insuring that there will be enough entries. Does there really need to be an Upland Bird Champion and a Diving Duck Champion and a Goose Champion, etc., Why not just ONE Bird Champion.

    Sorry, I've rambled too much. No matter how I to justify the outcome as it stands, I still have to go with George on this one.
     
  20. buckeyebullet23

    buckeyebullet23 New Member

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    well said *. Don't quote me on this but I think this happened at the Ohio Show this year. I could be wrong, as I was somewhat confused because it was the first time entering a show. A very nice medallion was smashed with a hammer for this reason. ?? Again, I could be wrong, but it left me with my jaw on my lap when they did that. ??