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What do you think?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Carolin Brak-Dolny, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    I've always been by myself, I'm like Brian I've never had anyone help me with show mounts while I'm putting them together. I have one friend that I text pictures to but I always tell him not to give me any opinions.
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I guess I love you self adulation guys. I never meant to imply that reference materials is unnecessary, but you tell me a judge who uses reference to MAKE a call rather than to validate what he's already suspected and I'll show you a guy who shouldn't be judging. Posts like these are the very BEST in exposing the egos and self-aggrandization some of you guys have. Perhaps we should have Rick Carter repost his comment on taxidermy and taxidermists presuming the world revolves around himself. I've been around long enough to know most of you guys when you were nothing more than wannabes, but just hang one ribbon or win one award, and suddenly you're the King Lugie of Spit Island. Here I thought Frank Newmyer had a lock on that market but it's pretty obvious I was wrong. I guess guys like me who learned off of J.W. Ellwood should never enter a piece as he offered advice that I use today. I would never think of sharing anything I do with anyone if I didn't want and EXPECT some constructive comment in return for it. I do't need roses blown up my ass to have some self-worth. If I'd taken my mother's advice, I'd have never needed to do a single thing as to her, everything I mounted was perfect. As for someone offering advice, what difference does it make? Don't YOU have the decision to make as to if it were wrong or right? As long as the person giving the opinion doesn't do it for you, what skin is it off our toe? Out of 320,000,000 people in America, you guys make up less than 20,000. That comes out to 150,000 people per taxidermist who go about their daily lives likely never even thinking about what you're doing or how you do it. So you win a blue ribbon, North American Champion, or even World Champion. How much do you think that's worth on the New York Stock Exchange? You guys chirp about 'educating" and the only education I hear is that a smart person shouldn't become a taxidermist and if they did, they damned sure shouldn't compete because the intent to to make the ability to excell even higher and higher each year until only the rule makes qualify to win. I grew up in the closed shop era where everyone had their "secrets" and the process of learning took decades simply because each person could only learn by trial and error. Now, in an era when any high school biology student can mount a passable deer after watching a 2 hour video, you guys are wanting to be exclusionary. I'm just thankful I never sat on that damned high horse some of you are riding.


    TIMBUCK Active Member

    George I'm not sure what my ribbons are worth but I do know a guy who sold his Carl Akeley award for $30 bucks.

    True story. :eek:
  4. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    LOL George! Sounds exactly like my wife today. The main reasons I went to the NCTA last year was for the seminars and I figured as long as I went why not put in a couple pieces for a REAL critique. Of course my wife totally disagreed with the judge on their assessments.
  5. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

    Something very interesting was just posted on the facebook site of the European Taxidermy Championships.


    It is not allowed to post pictures of competition mounts before the ETC, with titles, hints, or other remarks that identify the piece as planned to be entered. This includes all social media and print media. Disregards will lead to disqualification of mount.
  6. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    Very interesting Caroline. It WOULD be interesting if a judge had no clue who submitted a given piece. Social media could certainly impact a score. If a judge was the least bit enamored with a particular known taxidermist, and was aware that the piece he was judging was done by that person, there might b a bump. Contrary to that, if a judge saw Joe Kish roll in a piece, who knows what would happen if the judge follows the Taxidermy.net.

    And George, your math is off. If there was 320,000,000 people in the United States, and if there were 20,000 taxidermists, then the ratio of people per taxidermist would be 16,000, you had an extra zero in the calculation. Many towns around the US, or at least counties are in the 16,000 range, so if a newspaper article came out in a town of that size and the article said so-and-so won a blue ribbon at a taxidermists show, it can certainly have an impact on that person's business while at the same time elevating the impression that taxidermy is an art. Granted, ever since taxidermy became a main-street occupation 240 years ago they have been trying to argue it was an art.
  7. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I have resisted this one but it just keeps getting more ridiculous. :p

    I have served in the competition room during judging for over 30 years. During that time I have witnessed approx 150 different judges work and participated in their conferences to pick the BIG WINNERS. Out of that 150 only THREE TIMES have I witnessed bad behavior in the competition room by judges or their assistants.

    Once by a judge with a bad toupe' who did not give a single ribbon to any deer not on his form(and told this to the competitors during critique)

    Once by a "World Champion" who came and acted like a horses ass, was rude to competitors, and did a poor job judging. Then told me to flip a coin to choose the winner. Seriously.

    The worst thing I ever witnessed though was at the Nationals in 2016 where one person berated a judge over and over again about one competitors piece. I was in awe of their blatant cheating. I had just made the decision to boot this person out when the judge turned to them and basically told them to shut the f#%@ up. Sad part this person is in this thread bitching about cheating.

    The rest have all been WAY above board.

    If you think that cheating is the reason you lost.....you are probably a cheater. Just like a cheating spouse. Other than those examples I gave the judges that I have had the honor of working with go to GREAT lengths to not only appear honest but go WAY beyond necessary to achieve it.

    If you could actually all be there when the big winners are chosen you would be SHOCKED at how it usually goes down. It is usually such a simple process and the judges agree on EVERY AWARD 99% OF THE TIME.

    If you feel so strongly that you are constantly getting screwed maybe you should look in the mirror or get out of competing.

    Radicalized Competitors indeed
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I have an idea for all you elitist. I keep hearing how judges should be sequestered, the taxidermist needs to be a herit in seclusion, and all these nifty things to make everyone else but you eligible for the Kewpie doll and brass ring. How about stopping other taxidermists from judging? Seem as if it would be easy enough to go to the local college or university and hire a biologist or zoologist to come in and judge a piece. Throw in an art major or two and suddenly you have people who've never seen the work ever, have not one clue as to who the taxidermist is, and would judge base solely on anatomical accuracy? But that would NEVER work in the world if egotiscal taxidermist. They need something to bitch and moan about as they need ribbons.
  9. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    That one amazed and amused me to no end. To be honest I would not want a guy judging who thought they needed to be sequestered to do a fair job...AND I don't care to have paranoid radical taxidermists at the show either. Both can stay home.

    As a semi pro musician I play a lot of shows. Almost every gig someone will make the comment "Jeez, man you just get PAID to PLAY." The response I give is "We don't get paid to play we get paid to set up, tear down and get to bed at 4:30 AM.

    IMO judges don't get their pay to JUDGE...they get paid to fill out the score sheet, do critiques(and take the BS from Radicalized Taxidermists) and get to bed at 4:30 AM. If guys were really HONEST about the process they would admit that they could JUDGE the whole room in half an hour carrying a box of ribbons IF they did not have to write scores...AND they would be exactly where they would be after EIGHT HOURS 98% of the time.

    The judges I know give plenty and asking them to hide out when they are at one of the few venues where you can actually talk to others in the Industry and get that shot of energy that comes from doing so is INSANE.

    If you don't get what you think you deserve, LOOK in the MIRROR. My advice(or request if you will) is if you cannot get past the feeling that the taxidermy world is out to get you, STAY HOME...we don't need you. We will get by somehow.
  10. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    I think Hillary is guilty. The Russians said so.....

    I also think Tucker makes good point.
  11. catman

    catman Active Member

    I think to have the judges milling around while people are bringing in pieces is not the best scenario. Judges should really just show up when the doors close. I have judged shows where that is how it was done. I have judged shows where judges and competitors sat in the bar and drank before major awards were determined. It simply did not look good.. I hear you, Bill Clinton was talking grand kids with Loretta Lynch. Nothing wrong with that.
  12. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Jim Tucker is right, but I also agree that there should be no judges present when mounts are being entered, placed and groomed. That would look bad, and it isn't necessary.

    But, judges are taxidermists too, and it would be unfair to expect them not to hang out with their friends. In an ideal world, judges could arrive at the show after final check in, but in reality that would do nothing but assure that shows were being judged by people who are jet-lagged and exhausted before they even start. There has to be some degree of trust that the judges and the competitors are all honorable people.
    There will always be a few exceptions, but they will be caught.
  13. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    They have to start judging at our show Nancy when the mounts start coming in , if they waited till all the mounts were placed before they started the judges wouldn't have enough time to get them all done. There's too many of them.
    Our comp room has a viewing area with seating for watching the judges that is open during placing of mounts and all the judging , no closed doors.
  14. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Exactly. Same issue at our show. In fact some judges start the night before just to get done.

    I am surprised so many seasoned competitors don't have a realistic expectation of how competition and judging work. That just seems bizarre to me. This thread has been extremely eye opening.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    What about the traveling judges, the ones that go from show to show, state to state along with some taxidermists and their pieces. It happens.
    Those judges know exactly what is what and who it belongs to.
    It muddys the water to say the least.. What about those grandkids??
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I'm almost ashamed to read some of this crap. Let me use an analogy. When the NTA formed, everyone at the first convention cast a vote on a scrap of paper. The box filled with paper was opened and counted at the convention. The next convention, the box was carried outside and a few select people counted them. A hue and cry was raised that the election had been rigged and they demanded changes be made. The next convention, ballots were printed and again placed into a box that was taken back inside to have the board count them. The hue was then raised that "everyone" hadn't voted (meaning those members not attending.) The fire started so that the next year, postcard ballots were mailed to all dues paying members. Those returned were then counted by the board. That still didn't suffice as the charges were that the votes had not been documented properly. Next year, the ballots got numbers assigned and then the claim was that this allowed the NTA to know who had cast individual votes. Eventually we got to printed votes being mailed out by a CPA and returned to the CPA Just so you know, the CPA got tired of wasting his professional time and assigned the duty to a secretary. The secretary, however, was related to the director. When the tally was out, the director then "bought" sufficient "memberships" and insured that the count went to whomever he decided should win.

    The moral of this story is: IT'S JUST A FRIGGIN COMPETITION AND NO ONE REALLY CARES ABOUT WHO WINS IT OTHER THAN THE PERSON WHO THINKS HE SHOULD HAVE AND DIDN'T. You're never going to assuage the tender feelings of the whiney assed competitors who feel this way. If they lose, it was the judges fault, if they win, their pieces were judged to the hardest standard know to man.

    Frankie Thompson was what he was, however, he once made a remark that rings so true: "Competitions were ruined forever when money and prizes were thrown into the mix". Jealousy is a human characteristic that will never be eliminated.
  17. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    George, I can still feel the heat of every link in the chain of events that you forged and hammered out above. But eventually, the NTA got all the kinks out by just eliminating the election process altogether. At least for the main slate of officers anyway. This much I can say, it's not what Charley Haynes had in mind. Not at all.
  18. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member


    I know you're not kidding about something like this. The NTA now appoints its officers? Now there's a taxidermy club I can't wait to join again.

    I was on the board once when Elmer Fudd was the president under the old guard regime. At the last meeting I attended I could see it was a waste of time and resigned like many distinguished boardsmen before me. In my letter of resignation to the President I stated, “Those whose respect I wanted I got. Those who respect I couldn’t get I no longer want.” At a later state show I met a board member who quizzed me about who was on which list in my letter. I could tell it confused them. But I always knew I had done them a favor. They wanted me gone and I know they were pleased when I split.

    None of this is meant to disparage the general membership. The majority get what they joined for: cheap admission, a great trade show, a competition and state of the art live taxidermy lessons. I’m sure few of them care who the officers are. No one is holding anyone to professional standards anyway.
  19. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    Indeed, the NTA now appoints its own officers. And I'm not saying it doesn't work for other associations. It just is not what Charley Haynes intended. I have the original bylaws, I have the original charter. We've gone so far out of orbit that it seems the current administration revels in radio silence. Nothing was too secretive to be held back from the members. Charley insisted that every decision was placed before the membership to vote upon, no matter what the question was. My argument is; for those who do not compete, cannot afford to travel to and from shows with family in tow, can no longer vote their choice for officials who should ALL be elected BY THE MEMBERS, and most imperative of all, have ZERO representation on any legal and conservation front that is ham stringing our profession these days - what does the potential member receive in exchange for yearly dues? Close your eyes and tell me what you see? Nothing! Even the mission statement of most associations does not live up to it's own code - copied from another organization or otherwise.
  20. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    The amount of hypocrisy suddenly rearing it's head in this thread is UNBELIEVABLE! Talk about brass balls.