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Should you bring a piece to competition that was completed in a workshop?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by slwallace, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    There is no other way to say it, you are full of crap. What numbers? Show me the numbers you speak of.

    So which is it? Are they maintaining their core while adding new competitors, or are they dying?
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Cole, I'm sorry you're in terminal denial. I've looked at numbers far more than you've obviously done. When I look at the numbers from Texas of 10 years ago compared to today, I see losses. I don't have access to Missouri stats., but I'd be willling to bet that your numbers aren't what they were 10 years ago either. The IGT collapsed back when you were in puberty, but it was loss of membership that did them in. I know the NTA had issues, but to fall from 2200 members to less than 900 would require one helluva lot of revisionist arithmetic. The UTA convention this year was not the best planned falling on a holiday, but their numbers didn't look great either. When I went to the NTA this year and last, it was really heartbreaking. From the hundreds of people who used to course the hallways, you could now hear echos. I recall conventions with 400 mounts that took judges 2 days and nights to judge compared to the couple of dozen I saw at these shows. Counting transitory memberships is just one method of denial much like the unemployment figures Obama uses. If having a member who you know isn't going to contribute to your organization past the show makes you feel good about your "numbers", then so be it. Saturday Night Fever is history but if you have it on your iPod, I guess you'll never know.

  3. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    The NTA isn't a reflection of the strength of taxidermy conventions, it is a reflection of the weakness of leadership. The NTA didn't die of natural causes, it was murdered. The UTA is a losing proposition for many of the same reasons. Poor decision after poor decision has kept the UTA from prospering. You're right about the IGT, I don't know enough about it to comment. The WTC seems to be doing just fine.

    MO numbers over the last 10 years have done nothing but increase. I joined the Missouri Taxidermist Association in 2006, so your 10 year suggestion is perfect. When I joined our association was weak. Comparing the convention of 10 years ago to the one we just had in August: Our total of registered taxidermists saw a 100% increase. Our total of mounts in the show saw a 96% increase. As for our finances, since 2006 we have seen a 541% increase in our bank account. We are not dying. NE had record numbers this year. IA had record numbers this year. KS had record numbers this year. Almost every state saw increases over shows from recent years. The needle is moving up, not down. Will the NTA ever have 2000 members again? I HIGHLY doubt it, but that doesn't mean they can't be successful. When I hear someone say something is dying, I assume that means they are hemorrhaging money, and will soon cease to exist. That is not the case, not at all. The opposite is true. You have, and always will be negative about associations, competitions, and conventions. I don't know why, I don't care why. You are dead ass wrong when you say competitions are dying...you and I will be long gone before that happens.
  4. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    I'll side with Cole on these issues George. The MO has gone up in membership, and show attendance. With these the revenue also has gone up allowing the organization to do more. I can't speak for the other state organizations but I believe Cole and others when they say numbers are up. The UTA didn't have a good showing and that was not their fault but others. That forced them to do their show during a holiday.... not a sound move but they did what they had to do and make the very best of it. The NTA has to many life members that do not go to the show or contribute to it's well being, not to mention the leaders and board members. The WTC will grow and rightfully so as it is managed by one person and he makes the decisions (when one or more people are involved you will have conflict). After this last MO show there was mounts in there that compare to any National shows (i.e. UTA and NTA (except there was more of them)). I also think that there is usually more at state shows the off year of the WTC and I would suspect that the MO show will be another fantastic event like this year based on comments by competitors. Now are there some state organizations havening low turn out and members..... sure lets face it if the organization doesn't work with young people (MO show has a great turn out and a special thanks to Garland) then they will suffer in the future. Another factor is where a show is held and what does the competitor have to lay out to attend vs what his return is. For some of us like myself its the people and learning experience. For other it's the ribbon wich by the way I'm sorry but I don't agree in Blue=Green, it's the quality of your work and people. So here is my take state organizations that are growing will continue to grow till they peak or bad management move in. National shows will either go up or down based on there location and how much people want to spend. The WTC will continue to grow because it is the best of those from state shows and it has great management.

    George you need to leave the NE and come to the Midwest next year and see what is happening and I can say it is Positive.

    One last note this subject sure has changed from the entry and title......
  5. stuffer2000

    stuffer2000 New Member

    South Dakota had our biggest show as well with 172 mounts. Thats 100 more mounts than 6 years ago.

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    That's a lot of entries for a state that small. Congrats...
    That's good for a Texas show.
    I'm not sure on the exact number because I wasn't there but from what I've heard that's about what we had.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You know guys, we have a place here in Magnolia, Delaware that has a historical marker outside. It says that Magnolia has considered itself the Center of the Universe. So if you're trying to blow roses up my ass and tell me that the midwest is the center of the universe, you'll have to show me your historical marker.

    Cole, you've said some dumbass things before but this one rates right up there. After slandering the NTA and the UTA you say the WTC seems to be doing OK. I doubt it's ever crossed your mind, but the WTC is a COMMERCIAL VENTURE NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY TAXIDERMY ORGANIZATION. That means that only one man in an industry with between 8,000 and 12,000 practicing artisans has come up with an idea that doesn't depend on gratis or volunteerism and that works better than all the other shindigs put together. It works because money talks and BS walks. If someone is hired to do a job and it isn't done, the person's gone and won't ever be back. The movie line of "If you build it, they will come" is at full blossom at the WTC simply because it's regulated, copyrighted, trademarked, and monitored closely. No one claims to be "world champion" unless it goes through the WTC. The percentages won't show me actual numbers. 100% of 2 is 4. The amount of entries doesn't do much either. We all know that a mount and a habitat count as 2 and if the piece has 3 birds and a habitat, that's 4. I'd like to see a body count.

    Cole, perhaps it was just your effervescent personality that did it.

    I'm glad some of you are doing well, but Rich, you need to get away from the Midwest and see how others are doing. AS A WHOLE, I simply don't see it.
  8. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Not at the Texas show, habitats don't count as an entry. We don't have a best habitat award.
  9. duxrus

    duxrus Active Member

    Haha George telling others the universe doesn't revolve around them..., priceless

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    But they used to count and we did have a "Best habitat award" at one time Jerry. 5 or 6 years ago.
    I realize it has been changed. Not clear on why though.
  11. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    Can't speak for the center of the Universe since there is No one that know where the edges are and consist of more stars and other bodies than can be counted ....LOL. I do get a kick out of people that get a road sign or monument that have some facts.... I don't think the center of the Universe though is one of them. As for the Midwest..... well George I will have to say one thing and that is when my wife and I were up in Main, the N.E. is an area that would be on the top of my list as a place to live. Just don't care for your winters.....LOL. And by the way if I do get up to your neck of the woods you better have some cold beer and lobster or a great steak.....LOL

    Your right on the WTC except that Larry would agree that without all those jumping in and working to pull it off it might me a disaster. I have been helping Larry at the show since 2011. There is a group of people anywhere from 12 to 18 that bust their buns to set up the area for the show and vendors. Then there is a group of those setting up just the show itself. This does not count those in registration and in the pre....post show. I know a lot about the show and it's happenings after many conversations with Larry and others. Bottom line Larry may not rely on volunteers but it sure does help.... and it helps him cut cost. One thing I don't quote numbers but 8K to 12K is off but I get your meaning.

    At the MO show we don't count habitat but there are some state that I know do. Your right in that if a piece does have 4 birds on it you could count that as 4 pieces (or mounts) but with that said I will say that at the MO show the numbers have been going up with competitors (I'm counting a competitors not mounts). I don't wouldn't expect that next year because of the WTC but will have to see.

    I wish every state and organization would be alive and well but lets face it, taxidermy does not make anyone rich and able to go to shows across the country. Everyone must choose where to go usually based on their budget.

    Now as for as bringing in pieces that have been completed under the tutelage of a Master/Teacher I would leave that up to each state. Maybe someday they will all use the same rules and regulations but I'll probably be dead by then....LOL
  12. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    George, I didn't infer the Midwest was the center of anything, I'm just afraid you easterners forget we exist. I understand the WTC is a business, but it is a business that follows the same framework as every other convention. There is a trade show, competition, and seminars. It's a pretty simple model.

    Do you really think our numbers went from 2 to 4? This year marked our 36th annual convention. I think it's safe to assume the numbers were stronger than that 10 years ago...and today. We had 90 registered taxidermists attend our convention this year, so there is your "body count". I think that is pretty good for a state our size. We also don't count habitat as an entry. I believe that is an old NTA trick developed to disguise their poor turnouts. You can twist it any way you want. The fact remains (and it is a FACT), many associations are extremely healthy, and continue to grow and prosper.

    By the way, how did I "slander" anyone. Slander is saying something that isn't true in order to hurt someone. I did nothing of the sort...every thing I said is 100% true.
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Dux, it's back to remedial reading for you. I wasn't talking about ME or anyone else, I was talking about a STATE or TOWN.
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Cole, 97 is a pretty good thing for ANY show and I'm actually happy Missouri is successful. Just as happy the other states are as well. I'd never forget the heartland, but my assessment was from ALL the states. I know you and several others that ARE doing exceptionally well, but across the spectrum and with the PC bullspit going on in this country along the right and left coasts and the northern center fringe, taxidermists as a whole are being hurt and my just give up rather than try to live with the demands. I know a lot of New England has just about eliminated them. The mid-Atlantic and South have survived and Pennsylvania has enough outdoors people to drive their own wagon, but this causes a lot of experience guys to drop off the charts. I could name some guys who're still at the top of their game but who avoid joining for various reasons. That logic created the deathknell of the NTA when they tried to force membership instead of attract it.

    Though you're basically correct about the format of the WTC, it wasn't nearly as successful in the early years until Larry took control of it. One individual DID make a big difference there. I know a few people today who hate themselves for not having seen the potential Larry made into reality.
  15. duxrus

    duxrus Active Member


    YOU may want to reread the first post since none of your BS has anything to do with the actual topic and who are you kidding ? You make everything about you, since you are apparently THE center of the taxidermy universe.
  16. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Organizations are dying as well. Absolutely NO ONE wants to hear that, but the numbers don't lie.

    I'm actually happy Missouri is successful...I know you and several others that ARE doing exceptionally well...

    Guess who said each of these two statements. I'll give you a hint: It was the same person. Hint #2: He actually thinks he isn't admitting he was wrong.
  17. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    To the original question...it is a matter of personal ethics IMO. Personally I would HATE to win with a piece that wasn't 100% mine. Just a personal thing. Not that I haven't ever had any "instruction".

    To the rest of this thread....hate to say it but EVERYONE is right....and EVERYONE is wrong.

    LEADERSHIP IS the single most important part of a shows success. IF your state show has a sudden surge in popularity you may want to look to THAT. Problem is, that SURGE is artificial and will, after a time return to your normal numbers or maybe slightly more then before. It took us about 5 years but Ohio is at that point right now. We reached our GROWTH saturation level. Now I am not saying new leadership cannot have a similar result, BUT it takes a perfect storm.

    The whole industry is in trouble. I am not going to get into all of this on here but I agree with much of George's assessment and it not only applies to conventions. It applies to the whole OUTDOORS industry. The current practices of our hunting industry will soon reduce "hunting" to what it is in Great Britain. You guys out West can stick your heads in the Prairie all you want, but it is coming your way...I wouldn't have believed it 15 years ago but it has happened in Ohio AND in that 15 year time span hunting has been TOTALLY changed and basically unavailable to most people.

    Point is, there are 50 states and MAYBE 10(probably 5) have a "large" and successful "convention"...IF success is gauged at 100 members. VERY low threshold of "success".

    The NTA might continue to limp along but if what I hear is true we will soon see a new jettison of board members and accusations. The WTC wil be great as long as Larry and Kathy run it, but I don't see a NEW Larry & Kathy on the horizon...only people who will ruin it.
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well, thank you Dux. I always appreciate recognition and am certainly glad you've come to your senses on this whole issue of my standings in it. About time.

    Jim, leadership is the key, but that leader has to work his ass off and surround himself/herself with people who're willing to do the same.
  19. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Guys, guys, now youre debating whether shows are on the up, or the down swing. Hey, some shows are strong, and some have been slipping a bit. But back to the question, which in itself is sorta set up to meander anyway...does a person compete with a mount he did at a class? Or doesnt he?

    I wont answer, because in the perfect world, the competitor should know whats best. Questions I would raise as food for thought are...

    Whats the difference if he was taught and competed with that same peice, or called an instructor pretty much every step of the way as he did it "himself"?

    When instructors suggest that a student NOT compete with that mount, who is to control whether he still DOES?

    Where is the line of morality drawn, on a hands on mount, or a correspondence course mount, a finished mount that a fellow taxidermist came by and offered a critique for, etc...Ive heard all those scenarios be brought up in the past.

    While I like Coles state shows rule, I still think itll always come down to personal ethics, not being able to police everyone...and other competitors just plain mounting a better mount, to make it a moot point to begin with. Ok, I said I wouldnt offer an answer, but thats how I see it going.
  20. slwallace

    slwallace New Member

    Well I guess I got way more than I wanted, but that's OK.

    The goal was to get feedback to send information to the BOD in an effort to set up rules & guidelines for future state competitions.

    We just want to make it as fair as possible to all competitors who enter pieces and we know we cannot police everyone, but we will have a form to fill out in the future asking if all work was completed by the taxidermist, not in a workshop and we will add the not eligible for major awards if they choose to enter.

    It looks like I have achieved what I needed and a lot more.

    Thanks for everyone taking the time to provide input on this matter.