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Competition ?'s

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Gary A, May 10, 2016.

  1. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    I've been doing taxidermy for
    20+years. Never competed. Looking to chat with someone who has competition experience. A judge would be great. Not sure what level I should enter or what to improve on. I got about a month to put something together to enter. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.
  2. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    Re: I need a mentor for a competition piece.

    Heres my last deer mount

    Attached Files:

  3. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

    Re: I need a mentor for a competition piece.

    Sorry no feedback on Competition mounts, that's for the judge to do. Lol.
  4. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    Re: I need a mentor for a competition piece.

    How about some pics from blue ribbon pieces. Lol
  5. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    If it were me, I'd contact Troy Rose and set up a weekend with him. Doubt your timeline will work, but you would be well on your way to knowing what to work on for next year.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Carls1

    Carls1 New Member

    My advice would be enter in the professional division. Put together the best piece you can, paying attention to details such as the inner ear, skin transitions, hair patterns and grooming, and go with an open mind and a note pad. You will be amazed at the details you can pick up, friends and networks you will make, and the overall fun you will have! Personally my customer and comp pieces have gotten better every year from attending my states show. Good luck and have fun!

    AFTHUNT Well-Known Member

    X2 what Topher said :)
  8. GHeaven

    GHeaven New Member

    I would offer this advise for competing for the first time. Enter the highest level you can. You will learn more from being critiqued harder. Just because you haven't competed does not mean you can only go in as a novice or professional. If you did and say won a blue, your judge will critique your work as just that and obviously you are already at that standard if you do win the blue.
  9. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    Thanks for the feedback folks. So I think I'll go top division I can. Although the novice is enticing. Lol. Do they like to see any particular species? I got quite a bit to choose from. Does the natural beauty of the animal really drive the score, or just the taxidermy? Like women, all are not created equally. I'd like to post some detailed pics of my stuff here for
    Critiquing but pics to large. How do I reduce an I phone pic? Ugh.
  10. critterstuffr

    critterstuffr New Member

    Go professional division the critiques are based on the level you enter. I entered my first Comp with waterfowl and did OK but the Judge was there to answer any questions. Very good learning experience. Just leave your ego at home bring the best you can do and soak in the knowledge. Everyone will talk to you and you can gather a wealth of knowledge and advise from judges and other competitors alike. JMO Good Luck
  11. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    You've been given some great advice here. Go and get an honest appraisal of your skills as they sit now. I was a proffessional taxidermist for 15 years before I hit a show. With the years of experience, and the obvious quality of the photo you posted, you have the potential to go very far. No matter what happens stay open minded and grow a thick skin. also, get others whose work that you admire to go over it if they will. Just never ask them for a score and try not to discuss what the judge "gave you" too much with them if they agree to do this. Break a leg!
  12. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    Re: Competitioni

    Thanks for the great info!!! I'm pretty confident I can make em look anyway I want to. I guess i got to enter and pay to see what the judges like, whats best. And take pics of the winners. Easy enough to copy. I do every head like it was a competition piece now. Couple/few a week. Thinking i'll do an impala for the horned categegory, a muley for muley category, a whitetail. Half tempted to knock out a lifesize cougar or wolf, just not that motivated right now. Be a pain getting it to the show as I dont have an enclosed trailer. Thanks everyone.
  13. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    You'll do fine and I agree enter the highest division they will let you in probably going to be the pro division. One good rule of thumb is to never copy someone else's mount. Try to reproduce a live animal. focus on anatomical accuracy.
  14. Jerry, I didn't realize that you could only enter in Masters in "they let you". I have only competed in MN and WI but I think you can enter in masters there if you want to. No need to get approval from anyone.

  15. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    King Karma! You guys wouldn't believe my good fortune. I was going to go fishing Friday but didn't. Out of the blue a guy walks in here, he says he saw pics of a 230 inch buck I did earlier this year. I say, great! Guy tells me he's a National Taxidermy Association Judge out of Oregon, he'd just finished scoring the Washington State Championship show, and he was in mu area. So the guy gives me full critiques on about 5 heads here that are drying. He spends a few hours showing me exactly where to tweek things to dial em in. He even told me where the stuff on the stands would place if they were in the Masters category in Washington if they had the tweaks. Needless to say it was a lucky day to have stayed home. Never having an expert critique and just started thinking about bringing a few to a competition and he walks in. Gotta love it when things just fall from the sky. Thanks everyone for the great info. Pretty sure I'm going to bring something and learn more.
  16. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Yeah, any state I have ever competed in will allow you to enter masters if you wish. I know there are some states that do however require you to earn it.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    My only competition experience is at state level, but I was involved enough with competitions in the NTA and "assisted" several judges through competitions to have learned one thing: stay away from whitetail deer. Whitetails are the most overjudged category there is. There's not any chance of using a pose someone, somewhere, hasn't already used. Today competitions would grade a live whitetail about an 80 - if he was lucky. Birds are getting to that point with fish following closely. A "sleeper" that's quickly awakening is the small game and the smaller the better. If, however, the majority of your commercial workload is whitetails, then by all means, jump right in. Each judge has his or her on pecularities and though one did help you, don't count on that advice to put you over. I've seen pieces get a second place ribbon at Nationals go on to blue ribbons at the World - and vice versa (more often the case).
  18. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    Great info George! I'm just worrying about getting the animal just right. I got a few africraps to do, maybe a lifesize javelina would be a good starter. Thinking I'll try a wt, gemsbok and javelina. I guess I'll have to worry more about the pose later. Thinking I'll just focus on the animal. Someone told me I'd do better with a pedestal and habitat type piece. Ugh! Lol
  19. Gary A

    Gary A N. West Taxidermy 208-404-9706

    A live whitetail at 80. That is some funny sheet!! I don't doubt you're right. You got the experience!!! Thanks.
  20. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    A live whitetail would score 100, don't let him fool you. I also don't think whitetails are any harder to compete with than anything else, but that's just my opinion. Do judges know more about whitetails than any other gamehead? Maybe, but us as competitors know more about them too. That kinda evens the playing field. I've competed with everything, and didn't find whitetails any harder to blue with than anything else.