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NTA show - is there a "habitat" division?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Mink, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. Mink

    Mink New Member

    I've been putting a piece to enter in the NTA competition this summer, a lifesize pine marten with a detailed habitat base (the habitat alone I've spent several hours and days working on!) Because I had thought, like in the state shows, a mount could be entered in a "habitat" division as well as lifesize. But looking at the registration form I did not see any place for a habitat entry, unless I am missing it somewhere?
  2. I don't think they do at Nationals, I know Texas did away with it a couple years ago.

  3. buckmasters243

    buckmasters243 Active Member

    I think for the PA show you have to have a mount entered to have the habitat judged. Thats just the PA shows though.
  4. Mink

    Mink New Member

    The Florida show has a habitat division, and I've scored blue ribbons with most of my habitat entries -- So I was hoping to see how well I could do with a habitat at Nationals, although even after thoroughly looking through their site it doesn't appear they have a division for it. Oh well, I guess I will just be entering only a lifesize marten! Maybe the fancy base will give it an extra point or two for "artistic composition" :)
  5. I dont know either, I will find out and post the info on Monday, There use to be a habitat score sheet for habitat. But I simply do not know at this time.
  6. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Habitat division? If you want a ribbon that bad just go to the store and buy one.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Unless things have changed drastically, there is no separate "division" for habitat. They can be judged as an ancillary part of your mount. It can only score a 50 if it's perfect and in most comps, does not earn a "real" ribbon ribbon a smaller, less expensive one.
  8. Mink

    Mink New Member

    Makes sense. After having done some more of my own research on this, turns out that separate habitat judging divisions are not as common as I had thought. Only some of the state shows do them, and I guess Florida is one of them!

    It's not that I want a ribbon "that bad" ... I don't know why people so often accuse me of that when I ask a competition related question! For me, the whole point of a competition is the learning experience, improving on myself and finding new techniques of doing things. The scores/ribbons etc are only a small part of it; I didn't score so great at last year's National show but I learned a ton about what I could've done differently, and just enjoyed the experience in its whole.
    Sure, I want to do well and get a better score than last year, but that's the fun of the challenge. And I enjoy designing habitats so I thought it would be neat to enter the habitat on this peice if I could. But knowing that I can't, I'm perfectly alright with that too. ;)
  9. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    They do give the al Holmes award for best habitat, but no actual division , category or ribbons.
  10. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    The reason I say that is because I've been to a couple shows that have a habitat division and that is exactly what it is...a free ribbon. Unless the basework is just terrible, every pc. gets a blue ribbon. The judges don't like judging them, there is no best of category or any real critique, and no one enters it for the challenge. Habitat is habitat. Elmers Glue + moss + sticks + leaves = Big Blue Ribbon!!! YAY
  11. jtcjr

    jtcjr Member

    NC has a habitat division. The ribbon has habitat written on it as some folks entered habitat just to get a blue ribbon and say they got a blue on there mount. We love habitat division just extra money in our association.
  12. Dan

    Dan One Year Old Already!

    Once again these replies go to show that a lot of taxidermists, judges and associations dont care if a habitat is correct or not.

  13. Roy Holdridge

    Roy Holdridge Member

    NTA web site says they do have habitat division, no points just 1st 2nd and 3rd place ribbons.
  14. I'm with Dan. I have seen pieces that would look a lot better if the habitat had more thought put in.
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Dan, kb, that's a PURE CROCK. Habitats are the most subjective area in taxidermy. Because YOU don't agree with the choice doesn't make it wrong. How could you possibly have a habitat as a stand-alone and grade it out. Perhaps water/ice/snow or a fake rock, but sand, twigs and leaves would always win. Otherwise it's just one more "beauty contest". In a taxidermy piece, habitat should never be allowed to compensate for mediocre work.
  16. Mink

    Mink New Member

    I wasn't saying at all that I would enter the habitat on its own without a mount. That would just be silly! I fully plan on entering the marten in the open division, whether they pay attention to the base or not.

    Here is the said mount, NOT finished by any means as you can see but its a work in progress. This was my first time making a "rock" from scratch, 3rd time experimenting with "snow" (which I need to add more of in a few spots) so I thought it would be nice if my efforts in those areas could be judged, but if even not I'm still having fun with the project and I think it'll look good as a whole when I'm entirely finished with it.

  17. NTAHQ

    NTAHQ Dedicated to protecting the future of taxidermy

    The NTA does offer the Al and Evelyn Holmes Habitat Award to our competitors, but no other category for habitat is currently available. Thanks for asking about our competitions. We long forward to seeing you soon in Baton Rouge.
    John Janelli
    NTA President
  18. Dan

    Dan One Year Old Already!

    Im not talking about the subjectivity of judging a habitat based on "does it look nice", I'm talking about my arguement of "is it correct".

    I'm not going to run through this again, but there really does need to be judging criteria for habitat based on if it is correct for the species/location. Sadly, IMHO, most taxidermsts dont know.
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    And even fewer of your customers care.
  20. KatieC

    KatieC Active Member

    Totally agree with this. It drives me nuts to see incorrect habitats with plants or other things that don't belong together, are not found in the animal's environment, or aren't correct for the season. Or bases that are put together with no understanding of the principles of design (emphasis, balance, all those sorts of things).

    There is skill and knowledge involved with building habitat bases that are both correct and good in an artistic sense. A taxidermist needs an understanding of the different landscape elements in a variety of habitats, including types of rocks, species of plants and other organisms, how and where those plants grow, etc. They need to understand the seasonal differences in each of these habitats. They also need to understand the elements and principles of design, and how to use these effectively. There's a big difference in a habitat done with this sort of thought, than one where someone just tosses some dirt and branches around the mount.

    I'm not saying that the quality of the mount isn't important, just that there is more to habitat design than most people give it credit for, and a really well done habitat will complement a well done mount.