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Taxidermy Competitions and Conventions

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by George, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    What I can't understand is why is it the people who hate competing and competitions the most are always the ones who complain the loudest about them.

    All the crap you constantly here, who cares about blue ribbons I compete for green ribbons, your'e just shopping mounts around to feed your ego, judges don't know what they're doing, cheating in the comp room, crooked board members and on and on and on. It's always coming from people who don't compete or even attend the conventions!

    If you don't want to participate then GREAT there's a whole world of hobbies out there you can take part in,

    all you have to do is NOT COME. Why beat the crud out of everyone who do enjoy the conventions and want to be a part of something just because you don't like it?

    I can't stand golf , I wouldn't spend 5 seconds on a golf course if someone paid me but I don't go around bashing everyone who enjoys playing golf.
    Cecil likes this.
  2. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    What Jerry said...100%
    Cecil likes this.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Jerry, I'm sorry but you and Derek need to take that BS someplace else. Remember, I know where the skeletons are buried.

    Cole, I'm absolutely NOT anti-competition. I'm sorry you'd interpret it that way. People who compete are on a mission. No one ever stepped on a ball field saying, "Well, I'll be satisfied if I just don't embarrass myself". That's why they keep score . What I'm trying to tell all of you is that competitions cannot and will not keep this industry going. Everyone who's ever been to one knows that there's a small klatch of people who tend to separate themselves from the working stiffs. Go to the bar and listen. You'll usually find the loudest group is the "high rollers". There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that and it's good to strive to reach a level of success to be considered part of that group, HOWEVER, unless you can keep those guys who don't (or can't compete) interested, you simply don't have enough crowd appeal to continue to get stronger. Jerry, Derek, I don't want you to answer but be honest with yourselves. If George Roof was hosting a seminar on mounting deer, would you actually attend it for any other reason to have a laugh? Now if Joe Meder or Bill Yox, or Dennis Harris were giving it, your complete mindset changes because they're established and you're established and there MIGHT just be something you could learn there versus what I'd show. But remember, there are still commercial guys out there wanting to work smarter and faster and they're going to be awed by the big names as well. Organizations are pressed ever harder to make a show work for everyone and when they lose sight of that, the average guy thinks he can take that time, mount an extra couple of deer and make $1000 versus spending it. Then the organizations start pointing fingers. I lived through the IGT and the NTA so it
    's not like I just fell off the onion truck. I attended the Easter Regionals last month and I was appalled at what had become of one of the stellar shows around here. There were 5 suppliers and no NTA or UTA directors present. The site was a disaster and if there were a half dozen taxidermy trailers there, I never saw them.

    There are still some exceptional shows out there and I have mixed emotions about them. I pray they can continue, but I see the landscape closing in. Several states have a rich hunting tradition and IF I'm right, I know they'll be the last to go. Yet I still hear grousing within a couple of them. Every show has them as some people would bitch if they were hung with a new rope, but they're not healthy when the get back to someone like me.

    Competitions are the last bastions of creativity, and if this industry loses that, WE ALL LOSE.........BIG TIME! You simply can't get that interaction on the internet or through a video. I remember what life was in the 60's and 70's and how most taxidermy shops were out "behind the house" or hidden in the woods. In the 80's the Yellow Pages were filled with taxidermists and there were even store fronts where the business was conducted. Businesses even sold T-Shirts with their logo on them and they gave out pens and keychains advertising their business. Obviously, even the Yellow Pages are history now, but more and more signs are small and insignificant, hidden on the mail box post or a stick up sign in the front yard.

    I'm 72 and it really shouldn't matter to me. BUT IT DOES. I've been mounting critters since I was 12 and it's just in my blood. I don't want it to fail and I don't want shops back in the woods. Competitions are supposed to be our industry's Super Bowl, but we can't afford to advertise them and we can't get the general public to pay to see them. We're simply a nickel propping up a dime and every time we lose one person at a show, it hurts us 10 fold. Now if you guys want to blow roses up each others ass, that's on you.
  4. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    That was a long, thoughtful, well written response that didn't begin to address the question I asked.

    If the sky is falling, what would you like anyone to do about it?
    Cecil likes this.
  5. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    Wait what?????
    If you line up all the words they make a circle!
  6. Swissfish

    Swissfish Well-Known Member

    Competitions are supposed to be our industry's Super Bowl, but we can't afford to advertise them and we can't get the general public to pay to see them.
    .......a statement from you George!

    Why not??? At the ETC®, next year, we will have approx. 45'000 (!) paying visitors who will come and see the show.....

    Cheers, and for all who might be interested: www.eurotaxidermy.eu
    Cecil likes this.
  7. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Ok so the sky is falling the sky is falling! George you've been beating this dead horse for years all your clichés and cute sayings. Skeletons in the closet, been there and done that a thousand times, this ain't my first rodeo, I've been doing this for a while and many more.

    So what are we supposed to do just be mad all the time and yell real loud the sky it falling? Instead of just predicting the end of times how about some answers?

    I can't speak for anyone else but I stick by what I said, I could care less about all the silly stuff, I enjoy meeting new people from around the country with common interests , love competing at a high level, enjoy presenting seminars to maybe help someone improve their work or make a little more money.

    If the sky is falling and there's nothing we can do then I'll just find something else of interest.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Yes Jerry and you've stayed in your chicken house. I don't recall ever seeing you at the Nationals during its heyday. You haven't a clue as to what Piedmont and the Southern Regionals or the Easter Regionals once was. If you stay in Texas and go to the words, the changes will be imperceptible. Look at the state shows that were in place in 1990 versus what we have now. But they never effected you or your world so they just went away. The reason: You Tube, videos, and the advent of political correctness. Some of your attitudes strike me as Baghdad Bob and Nero.

    Cole, I just told you what I've seen in 60 years. I couldn't stop snap together taxidermy. But it's no longer me or my generations problems, it's yours. YOU are more attuned to today's industry than I. YOU have to come up with innovative ideas. Sorry, that's just the way the world works.
  9. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I think I have.
  10. Taxiserv

    Taxiserv James Newport

    If we could all just have half your knowledge!!!
    Still giggling!!!
  11. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    [quote I don't recall ever seeing you at the Nationals during its heyday.[/quote]

    Don't know when the "heyday" was but I was there,

    '87 -'96
  12. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I know the shows have changed, some for the better, and sadly some for the worst. I sometimes see why, and other times I truly dont know the reason. I could correct some wrongs I believe, yet not to keep hanging on this proverbial fence, but I wish Ihad the answer to fix the others. But I do not.

    I just cant call the whole competition scene by the same name, nor critique it that way. It really does vary. But...I think everyone uses them for whatever THEY wish to get out of it. Thats personal.
  13. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    Oh, well that is a relief. If you are leaving it up to my generation we have nothing to worry about. While you spend year after year preaching your doom and gloom my generation, as well as the one before me, and the one that follows, are having a great time at conventions. Our associations are stronger than ever. You're concerned with the caliber of work? No fear, you wouldn't believe the things that are being done today. It makes taxidermy of the 80's and 90's look like hacksidermy. I can only speak for the few shows I attend on a regular basis, but fear not, they aren't going anywhere. As I'm sure many of you know I am the president of the MO Taxidermists. (MTA) This year the MTA had the largest show I've ever been a part of. We have grown every year since I joined nearly 15 years ago. Not only do we have a great convention (like MANY other states), we also do things to improve the art throughout the year. This next weekend we are teaming up with the Kansas Association of Taxidermists and having a live mounting competition. Competitors will mount everything from gameheads, lifesize mammals, reptiles, and birds while everyone else in attendance is allowed to move from station to station asking questions, learning techniques, etc. Basically like attending 8-10 seminars at one time. This is completely free to all KAT and MTA members. In January and May we will have our annual seminars free to all members. These are always well attended. We added a new event this year, and are hiring an instructor out of Iowa to teach a small mammal mounting class. This all day workshop is completely hands on. Everyone is encouraged to bring a mammal and mount it in class in February. Again, completely free to all members. We will continue to offer 3 $500 scholarships annually available to our members. Privately owned shows like the WTC are great, but you certainly don't get the same bang for your buck. The WTC is extremely expensive to attend. The WTC happens only once every other year. The seminars are in large settings where asking questions and seeing what is going on is difficult. Once the show is over, that is it. State associations will always be the best value for someone looking to improve. I'm sorry associations are failing in the east, but rest assured they are as strong as ever here in the midwest. For someone that claims to have seen it all, you know nothing about the taxidermy industry in states like WI, MO, IA, TX, OK, and many other states with extremely strong shows. Let us have our fun. Let us get together every year, make new friends, enjoy seeing old ones, learn a thing or two and exhibit our best work to our peers. You can join us, or you can sit at home and quibble. Either way, you aren't going to deter us from having our fun.
    Cecil likes this.
  14. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    Cole, Great job on saying what is happening around us in the midwest... May I add that there are members in our Association that have helped me for free... simply because of our Association. My hats off to all our board members and others... This year I attended the KY show and it to was one of the biggest they have had with some damn great looking mounts. I would expect that KY will be even better next year...
    Cecil likes this.
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I once state that taxidermists were the dumbest damned people in the world. I see the new generations haven't changed that much.

    Cole, CERTAINLY the work has gotten better. Can you imagine what Akeley or Hornaday might have done if they'd had the materials the beginner has today. How many of you (and I know there's a couple here) who send out your hides green and have someone else prep, shave and tan them? Pick up a 1950 catalog and show me anything close to what Brian Hendricks can sell you right now. Sure it's changed for the better and I pretty obviously admitted that several of your state shows are exemplary. Yet I just read a post of a guy wanting to know how to "tan" his hides with turpentine. I still read the guys who "can't charge that price around here ". I still see posts bitching about the cost of shipping. I still hear of guys running their personal credit cards through their business to pay for forms that they've already spent the deposit money on. So get your little rah rah sessions and blow roses up each others ass. I said what I had to say and not one of you has addressed what happened to the IGT or the NTA. I guess everyone in those successful state venues shares morning tea and there's never any grousing or hard feelings over anything. I sure wish I lived in Fantasyland. Wait till the damned Carpetbaggers move westward or eastward. Then perhaps you'll smell the roses.

    Cole, tell me again how much a $500 scholarship will pay for at the University of Missouri? Where I live, we call that a "donation". Couldn't agree more about the WTC and I sincerely hope you continue to prosper and HAVE FUN. Once upon a time that was all we expected from a show.
  16. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    You can tell when George is losing an argument. He starts getting way off topic to distract readers from his original post and calls you names.

    To answer your question (which has nothing to do with competitions) I do. I send raw hides to the tannery to be tanned. I've also used manikins scilpted by Brian Hendricks, and dozens of other sculptors. I don't know what happened to the IGT. I wasn't around. The NTA is what it is. They have nothing to do with existing associations. Also, we don't offer scholarships to Mu. If you'd like clarification of our scholarship program feel free to check it out on our website. If you would rather downplay and scoff at it I have no time for you. I also agree there are bad businessmen in the industry. There always has been. None of this has anything to do with competitions.
    Cecil likes this.
  17. dplais7124

    dplais7124 Active Member

    Actually George, regardless of who gave the seminar I probably wouldn't attend. I don't learn anything from watching someone else mount something. I benefit more from doing something myself and having someone stand over me and tell me what I'm doing wrong. I'm also not arrogant enough to believe that I couldn't learn something from you or anyone for that matter. So don't put me in a box of your opinions. I enjoy competing, and have met some of my best friends at taxidermy shows. Clearly you've never attended the Louisiana show. Because when people act the way you're suggesting here, we show them the door.
    Cecil likes this.
  18. rwl

    rwl Member

    Well I was't going to respond as I was taught never to argue with a fool as no one can tell the difference, but enough is enough. George, really?? "......old blue jeans, logo T-shirts, baseball hats that need an oil change..." You wore a camouflage sport coat with no tie to the 2006 NTA banquet in Billings and handed out awards in that outfit. And didn't you just get some lifetime award from the NTA??
    And I expect an immediate apology to Lori G and the rest of the state association treasurers in the country who do not "hide money" from their reports. You can bad mouth 'idiot 'presidents if you want - my hide is thicker than that- but when you go after Lori, you're going to have to answer to every member of the WTA.
    I was going to invite you to one of our FUTURE shows but on second thought I don't want you, your opinions, or your attitude any where near our show or our wonderful club.
    Rick Lange, Past President Wisconsin Taxidermists Assc
    Cecil and Nancy C like this.
  19. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Interesting. All I have to say is George is RIGHT!!...however so is Cole.

    Good to see some states rising....hope it continues. Not the norm though.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Rick, I could tell your education level by your response. I have never worn a camouflage sportcoat a day in my life. That was a camouflage TUXEDO. You probably didn't notice the cummerbund, the satin stripe down the pants legs or the patent leather shoes.

    And yes, I got the Pearl Henderson Award which is presented to OLD faithful members. I'm a Family Lifetime Mermber of the NTA and a Life Member of the UTA. What does any of that have to do with competitions dying a slow death?

    Derek. Thanks for being honest.