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(POLL)Masters division at the world show

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Jerry Huffaker, Aug 1, 2015.


    TIMBUCK Active Member

    If a live deer stuck his head through the back board it would have a green ribbon hanging on it.
  2. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member


    1. The masters of masters is judged by the people....making it a people's choice... a nice award but hardly a judgement of excellence.

    2. all different animals are thrown in together , unless it is judged by a judge who is excellent in all (fish, birds, mammals, wts, reptiles) it again would not be fair.

    I am more concerned with the conflict of interest when a judge judges his own form and it is not altered or hardly altered (ie like the head raised, or turned a bit) .

    I am sure willing to put my sculpted form up against any commercial form in competition ....I just do not like the judge favoring his own. weather he did it consciously or not. If he would just excuse himself from judging that particular mount the problem would be solved. or all forms made by competitor.

    Judges usually are not judging their own product. and in most cases ....like lets say a cheese tasting or wine tasting competition.....the judges are not even cheese or wine makers

    Cars are not judged by one car maker.... they are judged by car critics....who do not make cars

    It would be good if our competitions could be judged by museum operators, biologists, .......I am just concerned how we would know if they really know animals. How well they study the anatomy.....but then there is the craftsmanship of taxidermy that they are not familiar with.

    I still think it would best if the judge excuses himself, or we all make self made forms .

  3. Whitetailart

    Whitetailart New Member

    Humans will never be satisfied by being judged by another human .
  4. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member


    All the events are judged by people, and the awards given are all Judgements of excellence. The only difference is who, specifically, "the people" are.

    If you want to denigrate The "Masters of Masters" division, you better be wiling to accept the "expert" opinions of ALL the judges scoring the masters categories, as you have identified their expertise as the key factor that determines what has truly achieved "excellence."

    Maybe these expert judges prefer their forms, because, in their expert opinion they are more accurate. So here is a conflict of interest for you: asking to be judged by "experts" but asking them to recuse themselves because their expertise could effect the outcome of competition.
  5. B.S.O'Hare

    B.S.O'Hare Member

    It is only judged by taxidermists competing in the masters division, which helps, but I see what you are saying.

    And I understand the concern for bias, be it conscious or not. I would much rather have the judges not judge a mount on thier own form than to make special requirements of the competitors.
  6. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

    HA HA FISH...you bit.

    What I am saying is right now the masters of masters is judged .. all together( fish against bird, against deer etc), by those who have entered the master division. if there was a fish, mammal, wt, reptile, bird judge for each of the animals ....that would be good. meaning you could not have JUST 3 judges....unless they could cover all those different categories, as the masters is judged.

    Thanks, BSOHARE
  7. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    Oh, clever trap ::)
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Let me be painfully blunt. Carolin, it seems that only YOU have an issue and YOU are intent on stacking a deck so that YOU can win a division. Why not just set up your own show, only allow your pieces, and then have a guy off the street and come in and award you all the prizes? In my opinion, "competitions" have ruined this industry. No longer does the public appeal of what we do matter, but what some "johnny come lately" judge "scores" your work and awards it some accolade allowing the taxidermist to puff his chest out to his peers and advertise to his customers. if a live deer couldn't win a competition (and anyone who has ever been involved with competitions knows this to be painfully true), what does that say about us as an industry?

    Right this moment, one of the biggest incidents in the history of this earth is taking place. The old "hunter/gatherer" society that created mankind is being overtaken and overwhelmed by brain dead ideologues who're intent on eliminating ALL HUNTING. Today it's "Cecil", but they don't even hide their intent as they post pictures of hunters with elephants, rhinocerous, wildebeest, wild sheep, AND EVEN DEER.

    Michael P. and I discussed this at length yesterday and concluded that this industry is made up of self-serving idiots more intent on winning a "title" than in protecting their very livlihood. How much time are you spending on a competition piece? How much do you charge as a basic price to your work? Most of all, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PROTECT YOUR LIVLIHOOD? How much money have you donated to SCI, DSC, NRA, or any of the other organizations who're taking up your fight without your help? Some of you, right now, are saying, "I don't mess with that African crap." OK Bubba, what do you "mess with"? Do you REALLY think that if these bunny hugging pimps are able to eliminate hunting the world's greatest trophies, they won't move right down the street and take you on with your whitetails? REALLY? They already have Delta Airlines refusing SOME animals. Which ones will be next? And then you're going to sit here and whine that some judge picked on your mount or you didn't get enough credit, or there should be more restrictions placed on competition.

    Well, I'm sick of the childish whining. Pretty soon you won't need to worry about the WTC because enough political pressure and financial recriminations will force it and every other venue that create this business to close down. Taxidermists use to run shops "in back of the house" or at the end of dead in roads. They didn't advertise as no one wanted to know what macabre or sinister things they were doing to animals. Think Bates Motel as you recall the first movie script involving taxidermy. Well, unless you start putting your money where your mouth is and stop worrying about who pats you on the shoulder, you'd better be more concerned at who's kicking your ass out of business. Pretty soon, we'll have shops back at the end of dead end roads.
  9. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member


    I was told just to ignore you.
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Are you folks that want extra rules in place for the masters division really serious here? I get the impression that you already believe that you are better than the rest, even respected judges. I'm sure that there are plenty of competitors willing to compete within the existing criteria, therefor the organizers don't feel obligated to make these changes to satisfy a few potential competitors.
    For those that do sculpt their own forms, I say good for you. MY question to you is, why? Is it because there isn't any available, or do you feel that you can do better?
    I'm guessing that judges already have their idea of what is anatomically correct and what isn't. It doesn't matter whether you use their form or another, they are still likely to judge based on that idea. The same idea they had when they sculpted that form.
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Carolin, whoever told you to ignore me is probably a lot like you to begin with. You are welcome to ignore me anytime you'd like. That holds no consequence, however, in that I'm NOT about to ignore YOU.

    3bears, historically those people who cast their own because they consider their interpretation better, soon seek employment by suppliers in hopes of marketing their line of forms. How many times have you seen the moniker of the "most realistic form on the market" or "BEST" in their namesakes?
  12. Whitetailart

    Whitetailart New Member

    If you can't win by the rules in place , change the rules to meet your needs . that's the way of the world these days .
  13. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Probably because your ego can't handle it..... it was for your health.
  14. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    This is kinda funny when you catch the post already 4 pages into the debate. Too many of you are basing your debate points on what you think is fact, when I suspect it isnt. Some assume the judges are doing it right, others are actually suggesting judges honor an extra point numerical system, other judges are just plain unable to judge this stuff? If we have to use original cast parts, that should mean everything else should be original? Just because you made the part or form, that automatically means its superior and needs to be recognized as such?

    Ill wager theres some artists here that could take a commercial form out of a box, do basic adjustments to it, and through knowledge of anatomy and taxidermy procedure, easily outscore others who made everything from scratch. Not an exact analogy, but sort of like a stock car race, where everyone starts out with the same thing, no modifications. Skill wins.

    To me, more rules simply make for more trouble. Theres already enough gray area with sub category winners going up against second round choices for world titles. Let the best pieces win, period. Perhaps the very best pieces are indeed original, that would be great, and awarded appropriately, as needed.

    Id say this though...you all can figure out how to police it all, making sure claims of ORIGINALITY are in fact THEIR OWN original part.

    I still say lets have a competition where the mounts that look the most accurate, alive and pleasing...in that order...win. Period.
  15. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Carolyn you have to qualify to be in the master of masters . when you get there ,then you can figure out more ways for politics to be involved. Master of masters is judged by masters competitors its not just a "peoples choice". By earning the right to compete at that level you are then judged by your peers who compete for best in world. If you spend extra time sculpting a custom form ,great. If you get beat by an " out of the box form" when you "sculpted" your own than you need to look at other aspects of your work. I've been to 5 world shows you don't need a flashlight to tell who's going to win. They can usually be seen across the room soon as you walk in the door. It's not about forms and open mouths . it's about Taxidermy, taking a skin and making something as accurate as possible that looks natural and soft. It's not a big deal to cast parts anymore.
    Deer heads are at the point you could put them on a garbage can lid if it has a nicely done open mouth and it will win a ribbon. There is zero emphysis on originalty and design. Everything has not been done, not even close. Masters class Taxidermy is design, composition, originality and quality craftsmanship. There is so much out there that can be done that has yet to be seen why handycap people with all the original made stuff. If it makes you happy to make everything that's great and yes it should be taken into account but I would rather see what comes out of the commercial shops entered, that you will not have when there are numerous restrictions involved. It makes me a better taxidermist to see what others are producing besides baby chipmonks and shoulder mounted small mammals.
  16. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Not all of us "self sculptors" want to change the rules. One day there may be 200 entries in each Masters category. If that ever happened then I could see it being considered but we are a long way from there. Like it or not, we have to put our trust in the judges or not compete. Like it or not, we have to develop a thick skin or not compete at all. If there is only one winner there is bound to be hurt feelings. Like it or not, that's part of the experience.
  17. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Most...if not all judges DO give extra credit for self made items. So if a competitor did everything themself and STILL got beat, that means they still lost with...EXTRA points added on! ;D

    The funniest part IMO is that people are so focused on scores and "extra points" they might get.

    Truth is if we eliminated all scores and just "placed" the mounts they would all fall in the same order. SCORES are only a remnant of the past system that was used. I have not seen a judge"score" a piece for at least 15 years. In fact most judges, JUDGE all their pieces, fill out their scoresheets, and go back LATER to write the scores.

    In the Masters Division at the WTC you can throw it ALL out the window because the entries are usually so nice that it is a TOTAL crapshoot. Seriously, there usually is not a piece in that Division that could NOT be argued for as the winner.

    In other divisions or lower level shows you might as well look at your SCORES this way.

    1st Place - Great job...you may have even won it all on a different day.

    2nd Place - Keep on working. You have what it takes. Don't close up shop.

    3rd Place - Nice try, but please don't hang out a shingle and call yourself a taxidermist just yet

    Honorable Mention - You suck, but come back again we need the money.
  18. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

  19. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

    It would be a lot easier to "trust" the judges if there was not an appearance of conflict of interest.

    If the judge just excused himself from that particular mount, then there would not be any doubt.
  20. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member


    "So here is a conflict of interest for you: asking to be judged by "experts" but asking them to recuse themselves because their expertise could effect the outcome of competition." - FISH

    Did I take the bait.....again?