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1st time competing..Novice or Professional??

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Beckham, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. Beckham

    Beckham Member

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    I was thinking about entering the local taxi comp coming up here in March and was wondering what category I should enter?? I have mounted less than 20 animals. Not looking to win anything just a detailed critique of my work. Do I have to enter Novice if I have never competed? Thoughts?
     
  2. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

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    First off....great attitude. To answer your question, no you shouldnt have to enter in Novice initially (speaking from the Michigan competition rules). I'll give you my experience and you can go from there. I only do fish and started competing 7 years ago. I asked the very same question my first year and was coached to initially enter into the Pro division for the critique value.
    SO glad I did as the judge that year was world class fish instructor, Rick Krane. What a break for me (didnt quite realize it back then though) as Rick gave me a serious one on one critique that was the launch to me now being in the Masters Division.
    I didnt get squat that first year as far as ribbon recognition, but I gained knowledge and even more importantly, confidence to continue learning. I developed relationships with the members and attended annual seminars.
    Since then my achievements have been progressive, and my own personal satisfaction in my work heightened, thanks to the help from MTA members, judges and MANY people on this site. And oh yeah, practice, practice, practice..... ;D Hope you have fun at the show whatever you decide........
     

  3. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

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    Here are my thoughts, people will tell you just focus on one piece and put alot of time into it. I did the oposite when I first started out. Take 4 or 5 different animals that you normally work on and even if they are just wall mounts. You will get 5 critiques rather than just one. After a few shows you will start to see what I takes to win a category. Then you start to focus on just a couple mounts. I'm a part timer so I have alot more time than the full time guys do to put a mount together. After 5 years of competition I still take at least 3 mounts and have done good. My goal is to win every best of category in the professional category. Just need a couple more hopefully this next year. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  4. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

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    My experience says avoid the novice/amateur categories. It has been customary in competitions to go extremely easy on these competitors so that they "come back". It gives you a false sense of accomplishment as well as blinds you to areas that need work. Go into pro and take your lumps. If you are lucky you will do ok...if not you will be so far ahead next year for doing so. A novice award means absolutely nothing.

    MORE importantly get your critique. So many people avoid doing so out of embarrassment. Trust me we have all been there. If you don't get the judges perspective you might as well flush the experience down the toilet.
     
  5. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    I agree with Hammer, Brian and Jim with their perspectives on competing. Jim's is exactly what I would have typed so there's no sense in repeating it, thanks Jim.
     
  6. With that many animals under your belt go into the pro's and see what happens. All very good advice from the others. Brian and I started at the same time and was the best thing to happen to us. Made many a friends from the MTA. Learned more than anyone can imagine in the last 7 years. I learn something from everyone weather they are in the novice or the masters all have something to offer even if it just a tool that they have made to make our job easier.
    Be open minded and take the advise for what it is.
    Your show is in March? Are you in Michigan?
     
  7. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    I recommend .....

    I recommend that you contact the state association that you are wanting to attend and see what THEIR competition rules state. Most state associations say that if you have ever charged (just once) for your taxidermy services then you are automatically NOT A NOVICE and HAVE TO enter in the Professional Division.

    :)

    Kerby...
     
  8. Beckham

    Beckham Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys I really appreciate it!!
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Most of all, do not be scared or bow out. GO! And take some mounts!!. You will see guys there that are new just like you, with mounts just like yours, some better, some worse, they are all there to learn. The Associations are for the beginners, and not just for the professionals. And be sure to rub elbows with new friends, you will come home with a new point of view, and your work will jump levels from the experience.
     
  10. Take a couple pieces you put everything you got into, and grab a couple commercial mounts and enter them. Enter a couple different states.See how you fair on both, and take your critique sheet and look over your mount with it then talk to the judges. Thats what I did. It will help you tremendously I garentee it.
     
  11. Jake L

    Jake L New Member

    Just be sure to check the rules for the show you want to enter. Some shows say if you have less than a certain amount of time actually mounting you enter in the novice division. However I agree with most here, enter in the professional division. It's judged stricter & you should get a much more detailed critique which will only help you get better.
     
  12. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Here's a take on what hammer said. Last yea was my second year at competitions. I took a number of mounts mostly birds. Dannie Owens was the judge on birds. During the critique he asked if I had other mounts. I said yes. He pointed out several birds and asked if they were mine. They were and I asked how he knew. He said people tend to make the same errors repeatedly and pointed out wing symmetry to me . Had I only put in one mount I would not have found out that what I was doing was consistent and not just a one time error.
    Now its time for an eye appointment and new glasses.
    I swear those birds were perfect but as soon as it was pointed out I could see exactly what he was talking about.
     
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I took three deer one time, and the judge said I replicated the same mistakes on all three, he said I should have only brought one and focused harder on it than throwing three deer together with the same mistakes. He gave me one critique that covered all three.
     
  14. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

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    I was talking about multiple animals of different species. I can see taking 3 deer would not be as much of a learning experience. I took a pronghorn, a Gemsbok and a fox. Eye set, ear set horn sets are all different especially on a pronghorn.
    The following year I took an elk, a replica and a Javelina. But we get all kinds of different animals out here. So if your in whitetail country and 95 percent of your work is deer than I would suggest putting in the time and swing for the fence.
     
  15. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

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    Ouch Paul.........should have brought a cigar box guitar for him to bump the score...... ;D
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I don't think Rick Carter plays guitar. But I'll just try money next time.
     
  17. Brian W

    Brian W Well-Known Member

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    Lol.....why dont you bring a couple to the show next March. Maybe borrow the one you had Rick Krane paint the trout on and drum up some biz for you. Be a nice piece for spectators to see at the very least and with a fish on it, fall right into the arts catagory as just a display.