Rules & Regulations

2017 General WTC Rules and Regulations

NOTE: Interpretations of all rulings or regulations (and any rules not provided for) will be decided by the World Taxidermy Championships® Regulatory Committee. This committee will consist of Skip Skidmore, Larry Blomquist and Ken Edwards.
If you have a specific question regarding the competition, contact Committee Chairman, Skip Skidmore at Brigham Young University, 290 M.L. Bean Museum, Provo, UT 84602. Telephone: 801-422-4621.

1. Competition Entry Times and Display Hours: Note the deadline for Master Division entries for the 2017 show is different than past shows. All Master Division entries must be entered by 11:00 a.m. Wednesday May 17, 2017. Judging for this division starts at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Taxidermy competition entries may be checked in from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, and between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. for Master Division) on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Competitors, other than those competing in the Master Division, will have one hour to groom their mounts after the 3:00 p.m. deadline, but all entries must be in the competition room by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17. All entries must stay on exhibit until 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 20, and must be removed by 6:00 p.m. Sorry, but there will be no exceptions to this rule. You must have your claim ticket to remove your entry.

2. Liability: Mounts entered in the show are done so at the owner’s risk. Every precaution will be made to secure the entries.

3. Judging: Competition Chairman Skip Skidmore will make all final decisions on rules and regulations of this competition. Two judges will judge each entry in the Master Division, separately and independently. The scores the judges post will be averaged to determine the final score of the entry. In the Professional and Novice divisions, each entry will be judged by one judge.

4. Critiques: With the exception of the Sculpture Divisions and the Interpretive Division, each taxidermy entry will receive a completed score sheet showing areas that need improvement. Oral critiques of mounts will only be given by the judge who judged the piece. A sign-up sheet will be available at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning for those who would like critiques. Oral critiques will take place between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturday, May 9, in order of the sign-up sheet. There is a five-minute limit on critiques. There is no charge for critiques.

5. Score Sheets: The World Taxidermy Championships® score sheets will be used for judging most divisions of this competition. Special competitions as listed on following pages and some divisions have special methods for judging and that procedure is listed in the rules for each division.

6. Divisions: There will be 8 divisions of competition: Master, Professional, Novice, Youth, Collective Artists, Interpretive Taxidermy, Presculptured Taxidermy, and Live Taxidermy Sculpture. Guidelines and descriptions are listed by each division to help you decide which is best suited for your level of skill and in which ones you will be eligible to compete.

7. Special Competitions: In addition to the regular competition divisions, we have the following invitationals and special competitions: Master of Masters, voted on by Master Division competitors; the Carl E. Akeley Competition, selected by 3 judges; the Competitors’ Awards, highest score of 4 entries; and the Best All-Around Competition (mammal, gamehead, fish/reptile, bird).
Similar to a People’s Choice award, the Competitors’ Choice award is voted on by competitors in all divisions of the competition.

8. Multiple Divisions: Competitors may not cross divisions in the same category classifications, such as mammals which has five categories. The same holds true for birds, fish, and reptiles, For example, if one enters a lifesize mammal category in the Master Division, then one may not enter a gamehead category in the Professional Division. He or she may, however, enter a gamehead in the Master Division and a bird (a different classification) in the Professional Division.

9. Reproductions: Reproduction fish, reptiles, and amphibians must be originally molded by the competitor in the Master Division. Commercial blanks will be acceptable in the Collective Artists, Interpretive Taxidermy, Professional, and Novice divisions.

10. Protected Species: Protected species must have applicable permits with the entry. The United States Fish and Wildlife Department has seized birds not properly permitted in prior shows. If a mount is not legal or if you do not have a permit, do not bring it to the show.

11. Entry Restrictions: Management reserves the right to restrict entries not conforming to accepted taxidermy methods, or that are, in the view of the competition management, in poor taste. It is the opinion of the WTC Regulatory Committee and management of the WTC that novelty mounts, which do not represent a true-to-life portrayal of the species (for example: squirrels playing cards, boxing, etc.) have no place in world-class competition. If you have an entry that is questionable according to our restrictions please call and get a decision from our regulatory committee. Please do not put us in a position of refusing an entry. You should telephone or email Competition Chairman Skip Skidmore. (His contact info is listed at the beginning of these rules.) If a piece is accepted that does not fit into traditional categories, it will go into the Re-Creation category in the Professional Division. A recent decision by the WTC Regulatory Committee decided that domestic animals such as pigs, goats, hunting dogs, etc., are acceptable as long as the entries are mounted in a natural pose for that species.  Please—no domestic house dogs, cats, animals in traps, or game animals with such items as arrows impaled in them. 

12. Panels, Habitats, and Bases: With the exception of gameheads, a mount is not complete if it is not attached to some type of base, panel, etc. Any pedestal or floor mount weighing over 50 pounds will be required to have rolling casters or other means to make it portable and moveable. Although the World Taxidermy Championships® is a taxidermy competition, it is the opinion of the committee that panels, habitats, bases, and settings are significant ingredients of the completed entry and will be judged accordingly. Mounts should be mechanically sound and securely attached to the base and definitely should not be wobbly. In the Master Division, this area will be strictly judged along with the entries’ composition, accuracy, balance, and artistic merit. Keep in mind the base should compliment the mount—not dwarf it. (See habitat rule, #8, under Master Division information.

13. Glass Cases: Glass cases must be removed for judging or points will be deducted. If your case is delicate or exceptionally large, we require you to remove it, not our competition staff. You will be allowed to replace the case before the competition room opens for viewing.

14. Original Sculpture: Extra credit can be earned in any category for mounts entered on the competitor’s original sculptured mannikin, wrapped, or carved body. Altered commercial forms do not qualify as original sculpture, but will be considered for originality.

15. Reference: We encourage competitors to bring their own reference material for examination by the judges. The judges will use the material to help them determine if it was correctly interpreted and manifested in the rendering. Please do not bring videotapes.

16. Animation: Entries that employ animation, i.e., moving parts, voice boxes, etc., should try to make them as realistic and artistic as possible. Poorly executed or unnatural-appearing animated parts will result in lower scores than if the entry was not animated. If you choose to use animation, it must appear natural.

17. Sportsmanship: Unsportsmanlike conduct could result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all WTC awards. The WTC has gone to great lengths to obtain the most experienced and qualified judges in the world. Accept the judge’s decision as being final (even if you don’t agree with it) or please don’t enter the competition. Remember, everyone comes to the competition expecting to win. Everyone will not win. If you cannot handle losing, then do not enter the competition. Competitors should conduct themselves in a professional manner. Unruly or disruptive behavior towards show officials or judges will not be tolerated and the perpetrator will be asked to leave and can be barred from future competitions.

18. Protests: Any protests, complaints, or appeals must be presented in writing to the Competition Chairman Skip Skidmore (not to the judges) before the end of the show. All decisions and rulings of the regulatory committee will be final. Appeal of a score will only be considered in the Professional Division of this competition. There can be no re-judging in the Master Division competition unless rule infractions or similar problems develop and are recognized before judging is complete and final results are made official.  If rejudging takes place for a Professional Division entry, and the piece being rejudged was involved in the Competitors’ Award competition or the  Best All Around and the score changes—good or bad— that change will have no bearing on those awards. Appeals are not allowed in the Master, Collective Artists, and Live Taxidermy Sculpture Divisions where the judges will be choosing the top three mounts within a category in single ribbon fashion. The selection process does not allow for protest judging. 

19. Cheating: Cheating will result in forfeiture of all previous honors and awards and can result in denial of future World Taxidermy Championships® participation.

20. Interpretation: Interpretation of all rules and regulations or anything not specifically provided for in these rules and regulations will be decided by the Regulatory Committee. Its decision will be final (just like an umpire in a ball game). Decide to accept its decision as final, or do not enter the competition.

21. Name Plates: Omit (or cover) names on all entries.

22. Eligibility: Any mount entered at a previous World Show is ineligible for this and any future World Shows.

23. Registration: You must register for the competition (even if you do not attend) in order to compete.

24. Clarification: There has been contention after previous World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships® about who can and cannot designate themselves “World Champion.” It has been decided by the officers of Breakthrough Magazine Inc., who is the trademark- and registration-holder of the World Taxidermy Championships® and World Fish Carving Championships®, that the title “World Champion” is officially given only to a competitor who has won a Best in World title in the Master and Collective Artists divisions of taxidermy and the Open Level of fish carving. Winners of other major awards should be extremely proud of their accomplishments and should designate that such awards were won “at the World Championships.” We note this because winning a title at the World Show® does not make you a World Champion—unless you win “Best in World.”

25. Where can judges compete? Judges of the World Show competition can enter the Master of Masters competition, the Collective Artists division, and the Interpretive Taxidermy division. Judges competing in any of these competitions must declare this to the competition committee so that appropriate judges can be selected.


$17,000.00 from HeadQuarters and Big Rock Sports
$2,000.00 from Midwest Fur Dressing
$1,500.00 from Payer Eyes

As a participant in the prestigious World Taxidermy Championships® competition, taxidermists who enter four or more mounts in the Master or Professional Divisions, will be eligible for twelve big cash awards, called “The Competitors’ Awards.” These awards will total $20,000.00 in prize money and will be divided as noted in our Cash Awards announcement.

The Competitors’ Award in each division will be awarded to six competitors with the highest point total for four entries. Once these six highest scoring competitors (in each division) are determined, each competitor’s four top entries will be grouped together. The five groups will be labeled A, B, C, D, E and F and all of the division judges will vote by secret ballot as to their selections of the groups most deserving of the Competitors’ Awards. Their criteria will be accuracy, originality and difficulty. The purpose for this final evaluation by secret ballot is to allow for minor fluctuations between the judges in each category for determining scores that brought the entries there to begin with. The results will be known only by the competition committee to be announced at the WTC Awards Banquet. In case there is a tie, the money will be divided equally.

Taxidermists who wish to compete for this Competitors’ Award can do so by entering four or more mounts in either the Master or Professional divisions. The entries can be in any category (birds, fish, mammals, gameheads, etc.) and if an individual has more than four entries, his or her highest four scores will be used. Unlike a “Best All Around” competition, the competing entries are not limited to being in four different categories, but may include multiple entries in the same category. Example: four birds from one competitor could accumulate enough points to be included in the five finalists.

Important: A competitor can only compete in one division for The Competitors’ Awards—Master or Professional. If a competitor has more than four entries in both the Master and Professional Divisions (refer to Guidelines & Regulations, Rule 8), he or she must specify in which division he or she would like to compete for the money. In other words, you cannot compete to win awards in both divisions. Failure to specify will cause a forfeit of winning any of the Competitors’ Awards. Any competitor entering four or more mounts who wishes not to compete for the prize money will be allowed to do so by signing an affidavit when entering his or her mounts.

$3,000.00 from Ohio Taxidermy Supply

This competition and awards will honor the WTC Master Best All-Around Taxidermist, winning $2,000, and the WTC Professional Best All-Around Taxidermist, winning $1,000. Each winner will receive a plaque and cash prize donated and sponsored by Ohio Taxidermy Supply. Competitors can compete for this award in only one division, either the Master Division or Professional Division.

1. Entry Fee. Competitors will need to pay an additional entry fee of $35.00 (early entry fee) or $40.00 (late entry fee) to compete for Best All-Around taxidermist in either the Professional or Master divisions.

2. Entry Designation. Important: At the show, when entering pieces, competitors will be asked to designate the four entries that they have selected to compete for this award.

3. Multiple Entries. Competitors must pay the appropriate Master or Professional Division entry fee for each entry. Since four entries are necessary to compete for the Best All-Around Award, these entries (if they are each single entries in the regular competition and not part of a mixed group) will also be eligible for the Competitors’ Award competition where four entries are necessary to be automatically entered.

4. Four Categories. To be eligible for this award, you must have one designated entry in each of the four following cate- gories: Lifesize Mammal (any size), Gamehead Shoulder Mount (any species), Bird (any species), and Fish, Reptile, or Amphibian (skin mount or reproduction, any species). Note: shellfish are not eligible for competing in this competition. Individual specimens of the Mixed Group entries of the Master and Professional competitions will be allowed as specified entries for the Best All Around. Since each entry in a mixed group is scored on a WTC score sheet that individual score will be used for your specified entry. The rules for mixed group do not allow for a gamehead and lifesize mammal composi- tion to compete as a mixed group since they are both mam- mals. For this reason a mixed group cannot contain all four categories required to compete for Best All-Around.

Group subcategories in the Master Division can also be used as a designated category entry for the Best All-Around Competition. The points would be used from the overall average of the group and cannot come from one component of the group.

5. Divisions. Competitors can compete for this award in either the Professional or Master Divisions, but not in both as WTC rules will not allow for this.

6. Rules. All regular rules and regulations apply to the respected division the competitor is entering.

7. Judging. The winner will be determined by the total points of your four designated entries. The taxidermist who has scored the highest total points for his/her entries will be declared the winner of that division. In case of a tie, two winners will be declared and the prize money will be divided.

8. Awards. Best All-Around (Master Division) will receive $2,000 and a Recognition Plaque. Best All-Around (Professional Division) will receive $1,000 and a Recognition Plaque.


1. Who may compete: This competition is open to current or former World Taxidermy Championships® judges, alternate judges, former winners of a Best In World title or First Place Masters Division winners (any category).

2. Mannikins: Mannikins used in this division must be originally sculpted, wrapped or carved by the competitor. Altered or unaltered commercial mannikins are not allowed, unless originally sculpted by the competitor.

3. Judging: This invitational will be judged by a secret ballot among the competitors in the Master Division in the regular competition. The entries receiving the highest number of votes will win the awards. The winners will be announced at the Friday night Awards Banquet.

4. Awards: First Place receives a World Taxidermy Championships® gold medallion and a Recognition Plaque. Second and Third Place winners receive Recognition Plaques.

5. Multiple Entries: A competitor with multiple entries in the Master of Masters Division may receive only the highest award earned by his or her entries.

6, Subjects: Competitors may enter any species, re-creation, or combination.

7. Individual Work: All work must be done by the individual competitor and certified as such by his or her signature on the registration form.

8. Freeze Dry: No freeze dried preservation techniques of flesh may be entered in the Master of Masters Division. Specifically, all parts of the specimen, including the head, must be skinned, prepared, and then mounted over a mannikin prior to any freeze dry preservation.

$1,000.00 First Place – from WASCO

The Akeley Awards, named after the taxidermist, sculptor, explorer and inventor Carl E. Akeley (1864-1926), will be awarded to the three entries (first, second, third) which best represent that taxidermy is indeed a valid form of wildlife art.

1. Who is eligible: The Akeley Awards will be chosen at large from the taxidermy entries in all divisions and categories, with exception of the Novice and Taxidermy Sculpture Divisions. There is no fee to enter the Carl E. Akeley competition, instead you automatically become eligible when you enter the qualifying divisions. The judges will bestow the three awards (first, second, third) upon the three taxidermy entries that best fit the criteria–whether they are entered in the Master of Masters, Master, Professional, Collective Artists or Interpretive Divisions competitions.

2. Judging Criteria: The Akeley winners are chosen upon three primary criteria: 1. Taxidermy skill, 2. Artistic impact, and 3. Creativity.

a. Display of Taxidermy: Being that this is one of the top taxidermy awards, it is quite natural that the first requirement is that the Taxidermy work involved in the piece be of extremely high standards. The rendering itself should demonstrate taxidermy as a beautiful and valid form of wildlife art and portray the subject with taste and dignity while maintaining the anatomical accuracy and skillful techniques required in world-class taxidermy. Any obvious technical flaw will disqualify an entry from this competition.

b. Artistic Impact: The entry should itself be a work of art and as such be a total, three-dimensional, artistic composition which could be judged alone for visual balance, color coordination, line, shape, form and artistic appeal.

c. Creativity: All forms of art require creativity. Copying previous winners’ ideas is not a ticket to success. Creative and original ideas will be required to win this competition. The originality of the concept and then the successful execution of that concept is essential. Does the rendering tell a story? Does the competition reinforce the concept? Did the artist indeed accomplish what he or she was attempting to portray?

3. Judging: The judges for the Akeley Awards will consist of a panel of at least three art expert judges. They will independently view every taxidermy entry in the competition. After discussion, they will vote to determine the First, Second and Third place winners. The winners will be announced at the Friday night WTC Awards Banquet.

4. Awards: First Place wins $1,000.00 from WASCO, a World Taxidermy Championships® Carl E. Akeley Medallion, and a Recognition Plaque. The Second Place and Third Place winners receive Recognition Plaques.

5. Multiple Entries: A competitor may earn a Carl E. Akeley award in addition to any other awards that he or she may win with the same piece.


This award will be given to the entry voted as the best entry in the show. All entries are eligible. Selection will be by popular vote of all the competitors in all divisions of the competition. The winner will be announced at the World Taxidermy Championships® Awards Banquet and will receive a Recognition Plaque.


This award was established by World Show Chairman Larry Blomquist in 2011. After 20 years of seeing the best taxidermy in the world, and often entries not being recognized by a major award, he felt it was time to add one more special award. This award will be selected by the WTC chairman during each World Championships from entries that have dynamic impact on all who attend the show and exhibits the qualities of world-class Taxidermy, yet does not win a major award. Past winners have been entries that scored in the high nineties in the world-class divisions, and there are often several which fit this criteria. The winner will receive a special World Show plaque.



1. Who May Compete: Anyone may enter this open division, however, this is the toughest level of regular competition at the World Taxidermy Championships® and is for taxidermists who are prepared for stiff competition. Basically, the learning is over, and they know what is expected of world-class mounts. The Master Division competitors will be vying for Best in World honors and a possible 16 World Champion titles.

Due to the fact that this is a single-ribbon division (First, Second and Third place), it is possible that a mount scoring over ninety may not receive an award/ribbon if the judges rate three other entries higher in the same category. Judges break any ties.

2. Judging: Judging in the Master Division will be very demanding. Mounts must be technically correct as well as artistically oriented and creative. For 2017, each entry in the Master Division will be independently scored by two judges on individual score sheets and the scores averaged together to determine the final score of the entry. Once first places are determined in the subcategories, a competition supervisor will gather all category judges (three to five for most categories) to vote for eligible entries for Best in World titles. They will each cast a secret ballot for Best in World. The judges will be allowed to discuss and confer about the eligible entries before casting their ballots. If two entries receive equal votes, the judges will be asked to vote again on those two entries only. The results will be kept secret by the judges and show officials and announced at the World Show Awards banquet. 

3. Subcategory Awards: The three highest scores within a sub-category will win ribbons provided they score high enough to qualify.

4. World Titles: In the Master Division, there are 16 possible Best in World titles which are selected from the 16 Master Division categories.

The Best in World winner for each category is selected from the first place ribbon winners of the sub categories. If entries are eligible there can be a Second and Third in World selection. Once a Best in World winner is selected, the second place entry in that subcategory (if there is one that scores 90 or over), will move up to compete for Second in World against any other first place entries in that category.Each entry in the Master Division will be independently scored by three judges and the scores averaged together. Once first places ribbon placements are determined in the subcategories, a competition supervisor will gather all category judges (5 for most categories) to vote for eligible entries for Best in World titles. They will each cast a secret ballot for Best in World. The judges will be allowed to discuss and confer about the eligible entries before casting their ballots. If two entries receive equal votes the judges will be asked to vote again on those two entries only. Second and Third in World will be decided through the same process. The results will be kept secret and announced at the World Show Awards banquet.

Remember—to win a Best in World, Second in World, or Third in World title you must first have a First Place ribbon in a subcategory. You may want to consider competing in several of the subcategories to increase your chances of being considered in that final decision.

5. Multiple Entries: Although there is no limit to the number of entries a competitor may place in the competition, a competitor may not “sweep” a subcategory by winning more than one ribbon in an individual subcategory. Only his or her highest scoring mount will receive a placing in any given subcategory. It is possible for a competitor to win a ribbon in more than one subcategory within a category. Example: If a competitor entered a whitetail shoulder mount in each of the four subcategories of Category 3 Whitetail Deer Heads, he or she could theoretically win a ribbon in each subcategory.

6. Eligibility: This division is judged on an extremely high level, but anyone may enter except for the current WTC judges. Former Best in World winners are eligible to compete in the same Master Division categories in which they won in previous competition(s).

7. Individual Work & Reproduced Parts: All taxidermy procedures, such as form preparation, sewing, mounting procedures, and finishing procedures must be done entirely by the individual competitor and certified as such by his or her signature at the time of entering. Taxidermists can use tanned skins they have purchased, or have sent to a commercial fur dresser. Competitors can also use prefabricated habitat materials, but it must be emphasized that at this level of competition, it is advantageous to complete as many of the elements of the composition as possible to achieve the highest score. 

Exposed or viewable artificial parts of Master Division entries must be original and made by the competitor. Molds and casts of soft tissue areas, such as a mouth cast, including bills, feet, artificial noses, fish fins, fish heads, reproduction blanks of fish, reptiles, and amphibians, cannot include any part of a cast made by someone else.  Commercial items allowed are earliners (including earliners with inner ears reproduced), eyes, mannikins, and artificial turkey heads. At entry time, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning individual work which the judges will have to review.

8. Habitat: When you register an entry, you will be asked to declare information about your entry’s habitat, such as if the habitat materials were made or purchased by you, and if the habitat was designed and composed by you or a second party. Creating a habitat scene or building an artistic exhibit case can add points to your final score, but to earn these points, you must have done the habitat work yourself. For instance, if two entries were technically even and one had an excellent habitat scene while the other was on a plain panel, the award would go to the mount with the excellent habitat scene or special exhibit case. Be forewarned this can also work against you if the habitat or case is of poor quality.

9. Freeze Dry: There is no freeze dry category in the Master Division; there is a freeze dry category for freeze dry entries in the Professional Division. Except for freeze-dried turkey heads, freeze dry preservation of flesh may not be entered in this division. Specifically, all parts of the specimen must be conventionally mounted or completely skinned, including the head, prepared, and then mounted over a mannikin prior to any freeze-dry preservation to reduce shrinkage. The use of freeze-dried turkey heads, produced by freeze-dry wholesalers or reproduction specialists, will be allowed in the Master Division competition. A competitor can purchase, or have a wholesaler mount a freeze-dried or reproduced turkey head to be used in the World Competition. The following information will be noted on our questionnaire for judges to consider in their evaluation of the entry: 1. The head was prepared, completed, mounted, and/or replicated by the person who mounted this entry; 2. This is a commercially prepared head, either freeze dried or reproduced by a second party, but finished and painted by the person who mounted this entry; 3. This is a commercially prepared head, either freeze dried or reproduced, that was finished and painted by a second party.

10. Compositions with Multiple Mounts: If a composition has more than one mount, there are several ways to enter it. Each mount of the composition can be entered in its established category, or only one selected mount can be entered. If two or more of the mounts cross categories, it can be entered as one entry in the Mixed Group category, or as two or more entries in the appropriate categories.

11. Artificial Heads and Fins. Any fish with an artificial head and/or fins, but incorporating the skin, will go into one of the skin-mount categories.

12. Awards: Best of Show: A World Taxidermy Championships®
medallion and a Recognition Plaque will be awarded for the best entry in the Master Division (Best of Show). The Best of Show award will be chosen by all judges by secret ballots from the Best in World winners.

BEST IN WORLD: World Taxidermy Championships® medallions and Recognition Plaques will be awarded to entries judged as “Best in World.” There will be 16 possible “Best in World” titles for the Master Division categories listed below. If no mount scores at least 90 in a subcategory of a World Title category, there will be no Best in World for that category. Second in World will receive a silver medallion and Third in World will receive a bronze medallion.

Although the Master Division is a single ribbon competition, an entry still must score high enough to be worthy of a ribbon. In some cases, the First, Second, and Third place winners may all score in the 90s. If a subcategory has two entries, one mount scoring in the 90s and another mount scoring in the 70s, then there will only be one First Place and one Third Place awarded. This is done to ensure that the competition standards are met and to prevent someone from simply entering a category, being the only competitor in the category, and winning a ribbon regardless of the quality of the mount. Single ribbons can be awarded for First, Second and Third Place winners within the subcategories of each World Title category:

(16 Best in World titles, possible)

Category 1. Medium-Small Mammals (smaller than 75 lbs. [coyote/peccary]). Note: Juvenile mammals will compete in a subcategory of comparable size. Example: a newborn whitetail deer would compete against small mammals, whereas a 2-month-old whitetail deer might compete against medium mammals. The Competition Chairman will make all final decisions on which subcategory a juvenile animal would be entered.
      1. Small mammals, less than 10 lbs.
      2. Medium mammals, greater than 10 lbs. 3. Small mammals group

Category 2. Large Mammals (larger than 75 lbs. [cougar/deer]) 4. Large mammals (long/thick hair)
      5. Large mammals (short/thin hair)
      6. Large mammals group

Category 3. Whitetail Deer Heads
      7. Whitetails long/thick hair, open mouth
      8. Whitetails long/thick hair, closed mouth
      9. Whitetails short/thin hair, open mouth
      10. Whitetails short/thin hair, closed mouth

Category 4. Medium-Small Gameheads (smaller than 75 lbs.)
Same rules apply here for juvenile mammals, see Category 1 Note.
      11. Small gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of 25 lbs. or less)
      12. Medium gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of 25-75 lbs.)
      13. Half-lifesize gameheads (must include front feet)
      14. Medium-Small Gameheads, group

Category 5. Large Gameheads (Based on estimated lifesize weight of more than 75 lbs. or more)
      15. Large gameheads (long/thick hair)
      16. Large gameheads (short/thin hair)
      17. Half-lifesize large gameheads (must include front feet)
      18. Large Gameheads, group

Category 6. Game Birds
      19. Pheasants
      20. Grouse
      21. Quail
      22. Migratory game birds (doves, rails, coots, cranes)
      23. Game birds, group

Category 7. Non-Game Birds
      24. Small birds (magpie and smaller)
      25. Large birds (crow, rook and larger)
      26. Raptors and owls (birds of prey)
      27. Non-game birds, group

Category 8. Turkeys
      28. Turkeys, strutting
      29. Turkeys, open wings
      30. Turkeys, standing
      31. Turkeys, group

Category 9. Waterfowl
      32. Diving ducks (mergansers, stiff tails)
      33. Puddle ducks
      34. Geese and swans
      35. Waterfowl group

Category 10. Warm Water Fish (skin mounts)
      36. Sunfish, perch, walleye, crappie, other bass
      37. Other, 12 inches or smaller
      38. Other, larger than 12 inches
      39. Saltwater
      40. Group

Category 11. Cold Water Fish (skin mounts)
      41. Trout, salmon, char
      42. Pike, muskellunge, pickerel
      43. Other, 12 inches or smaller
      44. Other, larger than 12 inches
      45. Group

Category 12. Largemouth Bass (skin mounts)
      46. Largemouth bass (single)
      47. Largemouth bass (group)

Category 13. Reptiles, Amphibian, Other (skin mounts)
      48. Reptiles, amphibian, other (single)
      49. Reptiles, amphibian, other (group)
Note: Any reptile incorporating any part of its skin or shell will
go into one of the above subcategories.

Category 14. Reproductions
      50. Fish
      51. Reptiles, amphibians, other
      52. Mammal
      53. Group
      54. Miscellaneous—This includes antlers and horns. If a competitor enters an antler or horn in this Master Division category, he must include the original antler/horn that was cast for judges to have a reference of comparison. If the original is not available, the reproduction antler/horn will have to be entered in the professional division.

Category 15. Re-Creations
      55. Mammals
      56. Birds
      57. Miscellaneous
      58. Re-Creation Group
Note: Re-creations, for the purpose of this category, are defined as renderings which include NO natural parts of the animal portrayed. A re-creation may include original carvings and sculptures. A re-creation may use natural parts, provided the parts are not from the species being portrayed. For instance, a re-creation eagle could be constructed using turkey feathers, or a cow hide could be used to simulate African game. For an extinct species, copies (reproductions, including carvings) of skulls, bones, teeth, tusk, antlers, or horns may be used to reconstruct the re-creation, or can be used as part of the re-creation. In the Master Division, entries in the category of re-creations must be animals that have been scientifically named that are now extinct or presently living on earth. Mythical re-creations, such as centaurs and dragons, will not be accepted in Master Re-Creations.

Category 16. Mixed Group
The intent for this category is to create entries that interact with different animal classes, such as mammals—with birds, or with fish, or with reptiles.

      59. Mixed Group is a combination of two or more of the four different animal classes (a. mammals, b. bird, c. fish, d. reptiles/amphibians). Examples: for a bass chasing a frog, the piece must be entered in Mixed Group if both are to be judged, but a mountain lion attacking a mule deer would have to be entered in Lifesize Mammal Group. If a piece contains one coyote and one quail, you can enter the coyote for judging in the Lifesize Mammal Category and the quail for judging in the Bird Category. If you wish to have only the coyote judged, you may do so and enter it into the Lifesize Mammal Category. If you wish both mounts to be judged together, they must be entered into the Mixed Group Category. You must specify your wishes at the time of entry.

Competitors are not allowed to change into this division after they have already entered the piece into one of the single categories. Example: if you have a bass chasing a frog and have entered this piece into the Fish Category, you cannot come back later and change to Mixed Group.

Mixed Group pieces will be scored as follows: Each class of species in the composition will be judged by one judge using the appropriate score sheet. The score sheets for each class of species involved in the mixed group will then be averaged to give a final score. Example: in the case of two coyotes chasing a quail, a single score sheet will be used by a mammal judge to score the coyotes and one score sheet will be used by a bird judge to judge the quail. The two score sheets (1 mammals and 1 bird) will be averaged together to determine the final score.

$3,400.00 from Tohickon Glass Eyes and Karl Lange Glasaugen

1. Who May Compete: This division is for competition pieces where more than one taxidermist worked on the entry. It can be entered in the name of the studio or each artist can be listed as the creators. This division offers a professional studio a great opportunity of promotion if it should win this best in world title. Anyone is eligible to compete except for the judges selected to judge this division.

2. Judging: This division will be judged by high standards and should be considered a division for advanced and professional taxidermists. A special score sheet has been designed which breaks down into the following point values: craftsmanship and mechanical soundness 30 points; anatomical accuracy 30 points; artistic merit 40 points, for a total of 100 points. Please note: 60 points of the total scoring is relative to taxidermy knowledge and ability. The mount must be technically strong to be competitive, but composition and design must be a major component. Each entry will be judged by three judges on one score sheet.

The three highest scores within a category will win the awards, provided they score high enough to qualify. If no mount in a category scores at least a 90, there will be no first places in that category. The same holds true for second (at least 80 points necessary) and third places (at least 70 points necessary). Because a collective entry is completed by more than one individual, it is not eligible to earn points toward any of the NTA award programs.

3. Awards. The $3,400 in cash awards for this division are sponsored by Tohickon Glass Eyes and Karl Lange Glasaugen. Each category within The Collective Artists Division can have a First, Second and Third place award. The First place in each category will receive $400.00 and a Best of Category plaque (Second and Third places get ribbons). Each Best of Category will then become eligible for Best in World Collective Artists. The Best in World Collective Artists will receive an Akeley Medallion, a Recognition Plaque, and $1,000.00 from Tohickon Glass Eyes and Karl Lange Glasaugen. If there are no first places in any of the categories, there will be no Best in World Collective Artists. There are no Second and Third in World for Collective Artists.

Entries in this division will also be eligible in the Akeley Award judging and for voting of the Competitors’ Choice Award.

4. Multiple Entries. There is no limit to the number of entries a studio or group may enter in this division. This division is non-restrictive as far as awards, and one studio or group can earn as many awards as possible.

5. Originality. The use of commercial mannikins and commercial fish reproductions will be allowed, but judges will put strong consideration in their scoring for original work. Altered or original sculpted forms and original reproductions will be noted on the entry card for the judges to see.

6. Freeze Dry. Freeze dry preservation will be allowed in this competition, but must be noted on the entry form.


a. Lifesize Mammals—may include single or group pieces.
b. Game Heads—may include single or group pieces.
c. Birds—may include single or group pieces.
d. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians (skin mounts)—may include single or group pieces.
e. Mixed Group—may include a combination of mammals (lifesize or game heads), birds and/or fish.
f. Re-Creations and Reproductions—may include single or group pieces. This will include reproduction fish or reptiles, re-creations, carvings, and replicas of any animal.

$1,000.00 from The Wildlife Gallery and $500.00 from the World Show Fund
      • First $1,000.00
      • Second $300.00
      • Third $200.00

This division was established for the 2013 World Show. The idea and rules were proposed by Don Frank of Missouri. In this division, a competitor can take his or her artistic talents and a fertile imagination to a new level and see what happens. Some of the technical burdens of conventional competition are lifted because the display will not be scrutinized with a flashlights and/or finger-probing. This does not mean that the quality of the work can be substandard, yet it does give the competitor the artistic license to use an animal or part of an animal to create art in any way he/she sees fit. The goal should be to convey the essence of the species.

This division has great potential in showcasing some extraordinary examples of interpretive taxidermy art. We hope to see your imagination on display and competing for a major division title.

1. Who May Compete: This division is open to all registrants of the World Show, including judges of the show, except for the five judges selected to judge this division. Entries in this division can also be entered in other divisions as long as they fall under the rules of those divisions. An additional entry fee must be paid to enter an additional division.

2. Rules: The rules are quite simple and unrestrictive. Interpretive Taxidermy entries will be judged on craftsmanship, artistry, and whether the essence of the species is conveyed. An entry should emphasize form and content rather than realistic duplication of the entire animal. It should be presented in a style that provokes thought and wonder. Any species of bird, mammal, fish, or reptile can be entered in part or in its entirety. This is an exploration of taxidermy as art.

3. Judging: The work will be judged from a normal viewing distance by five judges (assigned by the World Show committee) and there will be an open discussion about the composition, design, and uniqueness of the entries. Score sheets are not used to judge this division. This is a single-ribbon division. Each judge will vote by secret ballot to determine the first-, second-, and third-place winners. Each of the five judges will be ask to write down his placing for first through third. First is worth 3 points, second 2 points, and third 1 point. When these values are added from the 5 judges, the three highest scoring entries will receive a placing based on highest point value. If there is a tie the judges will be ask to cast a second vote to break the tie.

4. Awards: The first place winner will receive a plaque and $1,000.00, second a plaque and $300.00 and third a plaque and $200.00. These winners will receive their awards at the Award Ceremony on Friday night.

5. Collective Artists: This Division is open to both single artist and multiple artist working on the same piece.

6. Multiple Entries: There will be a limit of two entries by each artist(s).

$1,000.00 Best Professional Entry from McKenzie Companies

1. Who May Compete: Anyone who desires may enter this open division, however, this division is geared toward professional taxidermists.

2. Judging: Although the scoring system is the same, judging will be less critical than in the Master Division. Good professional taxidermy standards will be considered and traditional sportsman-oriented poses will be acceptable. Mounts must be technically correct as to today’s commercial standards as interpreted by the judging staff. Each entry will be judged separately and independently by one of the division judges.

3. Categories and Awards: Best of Category will only be awarded in categories where there is at least one First Place ribbon. The Best Professional Entry, chosen from Best of Category winners, will receive $1,000.00 from McKenzie Companies.
      a. Lifesize Mammals
      b. Whitetail Deer Heads
      c. Game Heads
      d. Birds
      e. Fish Skin Mounts (see Master Division Rule 11.)
      f. Reptiles/Amphibians/Invertebrates Skin Mounts
      g. Reproductions: Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Antlers, and Horns
      h. Re-Creations/Replicas/Miniatures
      i. Mixed Group (see Master Division Category 16)
      j. Skeletons/Skulls
      k. Rugs (see rule 9 below)
      l. Freeze Dry (includes all species)

Multiple first, second and third place ribbons will be awarded
in each category. First Place: 90 or above. Second Place: 80-89. Third Place: 70-79.

4. Multiple Entries: There is no limit to the number of entries a competitor may place in the competition. A competitor with multiple entries may receive as many awards as are earned by his or her entries.

5. Individual Work: All taxidermy procedures must be done by the individual competitor and certified as such by his or her signature at the time of entering.

6. Reproductions: In this division, a commercial blank will be allowed as long as the competitor performs all the finishing of the blank. In other words, you cannot purchase a finished blank and enter it in your name. This is also the category in which original (your work) antlers and horns will compete.

7. Freeze Dry Category: This separate category has been set aside for all entries employing freeze dry technology. If a freeze dryer is used to preserve the unskinned flesh of any part of an entry, it must be entered in this category. The only two exceptions are freeze-dried velvet antlers on a conventionally-mounted deer head, which may be entered in regular competition, and freeze-dried turkey heads that have been skinned, mounted, and freeze-dried to prevent shrinkage. Mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles will compete against each other in this category.

Multiple first-, second-, and third-place ribbons will be awarded and a Best of Category will be given to the highest scoring entry in this category.

8. Skeletons/Skulls: The basic criteria on which a skeleton will be judged will be the correct order and sequence of bone placement, their connections, the cleanliness of the individual bones, and form. The anatomic accuracy and posture should give the skeleton the ability to suggest the essence of the species depicted. As for craftsmanship and mechanical soundness, no strong odors should be present, chemical or organic. There should be no external evidence of corrosion or damage to the bone structure due to aggressive chemicals, or damage brought about by the (mechanical) cleaning process. (Natural damage however, i.e., bones that were broken and have healed, or bone growths that are evident in the living animal, add extra interest to the skeleton.) No tissue remains should be visible on connecting individual bones. Symmetry is a very important factor, especially where the rib cage is concerned. There should be no traces of grease or fatty remains that suggest insufficient cleaning. Special care should have been taken to ensure completeness of the intricate nasal bones. “Floating bones,” i.e., the ocular disc, the penis bone, the bones of the tongue and larynx, and some of the ribs in fish, etc., may be omitted, however, credit should be given for completeness. The support armature(s) and connections between individual bones should be as well hidden and as strong as technically possible. The base should be considered as an integral part of the piece, thus offering more scope for artistic expression and composition. Exceptional craftsmanship and difficulty factors will be taken into account.

9. Rugs: Rugs may only compete in the Professional Division. Multiple First, Second and Third place ribbons may be awarded according to score.

The rules for the World Show require all entries outside of the Collective Artists Division to be completed by the individual entering the piece. There are exceptions, such as freeze-dried turkey heads and allowing commercial fur dressers to do the tanning. These exceptions are noted in each division’s rules. For the rug category in the Professional Division, we recognize that rugs are often a two-person project in many shops. Also, many shops send skins to be made into rugs to companies that spe- cialize in rug making. If you are entering a rug, these specific rules are required for this category.

A. If all work is done by a single person, the mount is entered in that individual’s name.

B. If it is completed by more than one person, such as a husband/wife team or by two employees of a shop, it must be entered in the shop/business name. To enter as a shop, no parts can be completed by a wholesale rug company.

C. If a wholesale rug company wants to enter a rug, it could do so by entering it in the name of the wholesale rug company.


1. Who May Compete? This division is open to anyone desiring to enter. This division is for beginning taxidermists who feel their skills have not developed enough to compete effectively in the Professional Division.

2. Judging: Judges will be more lenient in this division, with the primary emphasis on teaching competitors. Each entry will be judged separately and independently. The NTA score sheet will only reflect a total score at the bottom with marked areas that need improvement.

3. Awards: Multiple First, Second and Third place ribbons will be awarded. However, it must be emphasized that persons entering this level should be more interested in learning than in winning awards. The categories for this division are the same as in the Professional Division. A plaque will be awarded to the Best Novice entry.

4. Multiple Entries: There is no limit to the number of entries a competitor may enter.

5. Individual Work: All taxidermy procedures must be done by the individual competitor and certified as such by his or her signature at the time of entering.

6. Reproductions: In this division, commercial blanks will be allowed as long as the competitor performs all the finishing of the blank (preparation of the blank and painting). This is also the category in which original (your work) antlers and horns will compete.

7. Freeze Dry: Freeze dry preservation of flesh may not be entered in this division. Specifically, all parts of the specimen must be completely skinned (including the head), prepared, and then mounted over a mannikin prior to any freeze dry preservation to reduce shrinkage.


This division is open to children 14 years or younger. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third places. (Same rules as Novice Division.)


$1,600 from the World Show Award Fund

Note: This is an open division, but there are a limited number of spaces (eight) available. All sculptors wishing to enter the “live” competition should send an email to [email protected], or you may call us at (985) 345-7266. The eight openings will be filled on a first-come, first-acceptance basis from the date you requested a position in the competition. You must register by April 28, 2017 to confirm your position in the live sculpting competition.

1. Entering. Each competitor’s selection of species must be approved beforehand by competition coordinators Larry Blomquist and Skip Skidmore. A maximum of 8 sculpting positions will be allowed. A minimum of 3 positions must be filled in order for the competition to be held. In the event there are fewer than 3 positions filled, entry fees will be refunded. The entry fee is $45.00 if registered by April 1, 2017 or $50.00 after this date. The last day for registering for this competition will be Friday, April 28, 2017, unless the eight positions are filled before this time. This will allow time for the judge selection process, as noted in Rule 9 below.

2. Awards. The first, second, and third place selections will receive the following recognition and awards: First: Best in World Taxidermy Sculptor Title, Recognition Plaque, a gold Akeley Medallion, $800.00. Second: Second in World Title, a silver Akeley Medallion, and $500.00. Third: Third in World Title, bronze Akeley Medallion, and $300.00.

3. Eligibility. The sculptor must enter in his or her name, but can be sponsored by a supply company. Supply companies can sponsor no more than two sculptors in the competition. This rule is to prevent a monopoly, which could in theory occur.

4. Species. For this 2017 World Sculpting Competition, participants can choose between a gamehead or a lifesize mammal. The gamehead model can be a medium-size North American or African species. The lifesize model will be limited to game animals in sizes ranging from a gray fox to mountain lion. The completed sculpture should be finished as it would appear for the beginning of the molding process. No preset glass eyes can be left in place. The eye sockets should be completed and finished, ready to accept eyes. Full or partial earbutts may be sculpted on the form, but no artificial earliners can be placed into or onto the sculpted ear butts. The sculptors will have full freedom in determining position and expressions in their pieces. Beginning with this 2017 competition, props such as food or limbs can accompany the finished sculpture.

5. Armatures. The purpose of this criteria is so that each sculptor will start on an equal playing field. Each sculptor should bring a prepared armature. The base armature can be made or prepared in any manner you desire as long as it meets the following criteria:

a. Do not bring in an armature that is prepared beyond that of a typical skeletal armature. A skeletal armature (or a variation) is the standard of what will be accepted.

b. The armature should show no application of musculature from clay or any other medium such as foam. However, clay, foam or epoxies can be used to strengthen, stabilize and support the armature.

c. A carcass cast of the animal will not be allowed as part of the armature.

d. Any rulings on armatures will be made by Larry Blomquist and Skip Skidmore.

6. Reference. All types of reference will be allowed as long as they are not used to directly impression or shape the sculpture. Example: A skin wrinkle or muscle casting may not be pressed onto the clay to shape it. Nor may a clay impression from a nose cast be applied to the sculpture. The entire model must be completed free-hand.

7. Times. Each sculptor will have up to 22 hours to work on his or her piece. Established work times will be strictly enforced. These work times will be between the following periods: Wednesday, May 17, 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday, May 18, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday, May 19, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Judging will take place Friday, May 19 after 12:00 noon. Winners will be announced at the 2017 WTC Awards Banquet.

8. Judging. Judging will be completed by a group of five qualified
judges. Each judge will cast an individual ballot for his or her first, second, and third place selections. Point values will be assigned to each placing: First 5 points, Second 3 points, Third 1 point. The piece with the highest accumulative points will earn its sculptor the title of Best in World Taxidermy Sculptor. Second highest will be Second in World and third highest will be Third in World. If there is a tie for any of these positions the judges will be asked to cast ballots for those pieces only.

9. Judges. Selection of five judges will be coordinated by Larry Blomquist and Competition Chairman Skip Skidmore. It will be their prime objective to select judges who will perform their duties with no bias.


There will be two subcategories, gameheads and lifesize mammals. This will be a multiple-ribbon division with two Best of Category recognition plaques presented at the 2017 WTC Awards Banquet.

1. Who May Enter? The pre-sculpted category will be open to any sculptor who would like to enter a completed sculpture.

2. Rules: The sculpture must be an original, clay sculpture prepared using traditional sculpting methods. No sculptures in this division can be completed with any mechanical reproduction processes. It should be prepared to hang on a pegboard for display, or it can be on a pedestal or table. There are no limitations in regard to having antlers set or glass eyes in place, but this will have no bearing on the judging criteria.

3. Judging: Judging will be based on anatomical accuracy, creativity, workmanship, and essence or spirit of the species. Judges will be selected from the mammal and/or gamehead judges of the taxidermy competition.

4. Awards: This will be a multiple ribbon division with two possible Best of Category Recognition Plaques presented at the WTC Awards Banquet. Entries must have a blue ribbon to be considered for Best of Category.

5. Categories:
      a. Gamehead
      b. Lifesize mammal

NOTE: Interpretations of all rulings or regulations (and any rules not provided for) will be decided by the World Taxidermy Championships® Regulatory Committee. This committee will consist of Skip Skidmore, Larry Blomquist and Ken Edwards.
If you have a specific question regarding the competition, contact Committee Chairman, Skip Skidmore at Brigham Young University, 290 M.L. Bean Museum, Provo, UT 84602. Telephone: 801-422-4621.