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Is this statement about competitions true?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by jim tucker, May 9, 2016.

  1. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I read this in a response to the "commercial division" thread. I am paraphrasing and certainly not picking on the author. However this is an opinion often voiced. Do you subscribe to it?
  2. Amy

    Amy Mammal artist

    Some state shows are struggling, in both funds and participation. When you have 50 mounts or less at a show, it can be a vicious cycle. "Lame" show = no incentive, excitement for people to go and participate. It's more fun to lose to someone than to win against no one, at least it is for me. More mounts make for a visually better show. I think as long as there are stringent guidelines for categories and awards/ribbons aren't handed out for nothing, why not? No one is forcing the competitors to pay the entry fee. Now, there will be some who will win a ribbon in a commercial division and use it in their advertisements as if they've won best in world, but that already happens.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Whether it's said aloud or simply thought quietly, that's the truth about any venue that requires a profit.

    AFTHUNT Well-Known Member

    Look at it as a your business, if you do something to bring in mounts and money is it a good thing or a bad thing?

    Like Amy said more mounts means more competition and money for the show, for the operation of the next years show.
  5. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Good points.

    However, is it possible that de-valuing your product can cause you to lose money in the long run.

    Perfect example is European Mounts. Sure the initial popularity of these looked like another revenue stream for taxidermists. In my neck of the woods though they have almost completely replaced traditional mounts. Even my own brother wants that instead of a mount. A guy can do one in one afternoon by himself for free. So I feel while they bring you more potential "customers" by number, they have lowered my profits by a ton.
  6. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    What do you charge for a deer shoulder mount and what do you charge for a euro mount?
  7. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Don't really want to star a pricing thread.

    I charge enough for Euro mounts that I don't get any because there are 10 guys in my county doing them for 1/3 what I charge.

    Deer shoulder mounts I am the highest in the county but only by $25 or so. Looking at your prices I am $50 less.
  8. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Jim, I was only trying to give an example of marketing. Surely you can understand creating more participation and revenue is a win win situation for everyone involved. Having a commercial division does not devalue anything in the show or any other category. All it is is to create an avenue for people to participate in the competition without being scrutinized on a higher level by the judge. Simple

    Have a nice day, peace out.....
  9. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I do understand the principle. I was trying to have a discussion outside the other thread.

    I am not even necessarily talking about the "commercial division". I am speaking in general terms. Is revenue stream the be all end all and can you de-value your product to those who most value it.

    Another example. In the past if you wanted accelerated learning you needed to attend the convention. Now a person can learn anything for basically free.

    So that brings up the problem all shows are facing. How much value is there in "connecting" with the casual customer base if it alienates your core customer base.

    Good example is in music where I am involved. You start a music club and always have good bands. There is always a cover charge and your drinks and their cost is high end. You have a solid clientele and a good rep as the place to be. You make money.

    You get a good following but you want growth. So you add 18 and over nights. You drop your cover charge. You start selling $10 beer buckets. The place gets packed every weekend. Soon the riff raff follows. You have fights and stumbling drunks. The club gets tore up every weekend. Soon all that comes are the riff raff.

    So you see the error of your ways and go back to your old successful policies, only to find that your original, solid group is no longer there and isn't coming back..
  10. Kerby Ross

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

    Those are .....

    **You get a good following but you want growth. So you add 18 and over nights. You drop your cover charge. You start selling $10 beer buckets. The place gets packed every weekend. Soon the riff raff follows. You have fights and stumbling drunks. The club gets tore up every weekend. Soon all that comes are the riff raff.**

    Those are the best taxidermy shows to attend. ;D

  11. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    LMAO @ Kirby ;D
  12. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Now that's funny.. I don't care who you are.
  13. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I'm not sure what you're asking. I thought you were asking about commercial divisions, but then you said you weren't. I assume since you referenced competitions in your thread title you are taking about taxidermy shows, but I don't see the connection from bars to taxidermy conventions. What exactly are you asking?
  14. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Jim, I guess you have to realize when you are at the top and SHOULD you change. The higher end clientele is ALWAYS what you should strive for. Let's put it another way. Look at sports events. If you want to get up close and personal then you want to purchase the front row seats however there is a certain faction that either can't afford the high dollar seating or their simply isn't enough seats so as a coordinator you make available different seating at a reduced rate so as not to exclude anyone that wants to come to the game. The game is still the game and just because you are sitting further away from the action doesn't mean that it is any less exciting, just not as personal.
    Well, let's extrapolate that train of thought to a competition. To Me, the action is in the Masters Division where you are competing with the best but certainly it extends to all divisions depending upon the skill level of the competitor. Should you have participants that are in the infant stages of practicing taxidermy they may not want to mix with folks of higher competency but still want to come in and see what it's all about. That's why all the different divisions to start with. We are just offering something for everyone at every level.

    Thank you for the discussion.
  15. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    Competing is great for growing your knowledge and learning what you need to do to get better as a taxidermist. And if you pay attention you may even get some tips in the business side that will help even more. There are people who compete and win that don't make a dime and people that have 15 employees that are hunting all over the world. Maybe at one time they competed and did well ,but there are in my opinion for whatever it's worth more successful business wise taxidermists that don't compete than those that do. Just my 2 cents worth. The taxidermy/hunting world is going through some pretty major changes especially international hunting even compared to 5 years ago much less 20 years ago.
  16. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Harry got it and had good points his response might clear it up for you.

    You are right about that and it's pretty alarming. I see a world coming where the only way you will be able to hunt is own your own land or pay through the nose. As that happens available work will dry up even more.
  17. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    There will always be a major group of competitors àt shows that will never move out of the lower brackets to compete at the masters level unless they are forced out by winning too many blues. They look alot more impressive than whites and reds when there is a wall full ,no one reads whats on them anyway. Lot easier to market first place than third place.
    The commercial or professional brackets , whatever you want to call them should be what any Taxidermy show markets for if they want to make money. More entries more entry fees. With the amount of Internet competition for learning how to do anything from installing a refrigerator to mounting a duck it's no different for taxidermy shows ,than full time taxidermists trying to compete against guys mounting there own deer at home instead if bringing them to a taxidermist. Taxidermy shows compete against the internet for entries more than guys being afraid of competing against someone in the masters competing at a commercial level.
  18. Had the past three years competitions been honest and not stacked of staged the NTA would be leaps and bounds ahead. You would have people from around the nation wanting to compete.

    But they have seen what certain members in control now have done.
  19. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I have to comment on this statement.

    I have to say my wife, Heath and myself were never approached to change a score, winner, or any other part of the competition. I may not agree with how things fell(I rarely do LOL), but the winners fell where the scores dictated, not by pressure from any outside force. Scores were entered in XP and sorted. The judging was done openly with any competitor able to come and go as they pleased.

    If there were behind the scenes things done that caused the competition to swing one way or another, I don't know, but it would have taken a CONSPIRACY between the judges and I doubt that happened.
  20. duxrus

    duxrus Active Member

    I personally dont understand why anyone would pay to have something barely looked at just to get a ribbon. That is basically what every commercial division I have seen is. The NTA even stated they would be judging from 10' away. That isnt judging, that is simply taking money to be taking money. (Not picking on the NTA but using a recent post as an example) I dont remember ever seeing a commercial mount at a state show, no matter how bad it was, that didnt get a third place ribbon. To me that is a dis service on so many levels. The main reason to compete is to learn from your mistakes but a long distance "judging" isnt giving you anything other than a pat on the back for paying the entry fee. Then you have some that get exactky what they paid for, a ribbon. They run home and cant add "Award Winning" to their websites fast enough. We all know that most clients have zero clue about the different levels of competition or that a third place means (in most state level cases) that you recieved a ribbon for simply showing up. Clients think you were only beat by two other mounts.

    If you are taking money to judge a mount, no matter the category, then judge it. Dont give some BS from across the room look. Give it close look but be very broad with taking away points. If it is a horrible mount then treat it as being horrible. Dont just slap a third place ribbon on it and call it good. Give honest opinions, just not as specific as the higher levels. Too many shows are now selling ribbons with no thought about it. At some point a show will become a magnet to the ribbon buyers and end up being a room full of low quality work all in the name of $$$.