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Master Division (World Title Division)
Rules and Regulations

1. Who May Compete: Anyone may enter this open division. However, this is the toughest levels of regular competition at the World Taxidermy Championships® and is for the taxidermist who is prepared for stiff competition. Basically, the learning is over and he or she knows what is expected of a world-class mount. The Master Division competitors will be vying for Best in World honors and a possible ten 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. Each entry will be judged by two judges. The scores will be averaged to determine the final score of the entry.

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

4. World Titles: In the Master Division, there are ten possible Best in World titles which are selected from the ten Master Division categories. Within each of the ten categories, there are single-ribbon subcategories. Once the First Place winners of the subcategories are decided (if any), the judges will select their Best in World choices from these First Place winners. There are also Second and Third in World titles selected from each category. Once a Best in World piece is selected, the Second Place mount in that subcategory (if there is one that scores 90 or over), will move up to compete for Second Best in World against any other First Place entries in that category. A competitor may not "sweep" a World Title category. If the competitor has more than one mount eligible and his or her mount is selected for First, Second or Third Best in World, his or her other mounts will not be eligible for an additional title in that category.

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

8. Habitat: Creating a habitat scene or building an artistic exhibit case can add points to your final score. 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. Reproductions & Reproduced Parts: Entries into the Master Division must be original and made by the competitor.

10. Freeze Dry: Freeze dry preservation of flesh may not be entered in this competition. 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. (Freeze dried turkey heads will be accepted that have been skinned, then mounted on a form by the competitor, and freeze drying used only to control shrinkage. The competitor must be responsible for all finishing and painting.)

11. Bird and Waterfowl Groups: Each of these have individual subcategories in the Master Division. If an entry contains both a waterfowl and a non-waterfowl bird, it can entered in the Mixed Groups category, or each individual bird can be entered in the appropriate subcategory as a single entry (2 entry fees).

12. Awards: Judges' Choice Best of Show: A Gold 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 ballot from the Best in World winners.

Best in World: Gold World Taxidermy Championships medallions and Recognition Plaques will be awarded to entries judged as "Best in World." There will be ten possible "Best in World" titles for the Master Division categories listed below.

Second, Third best in world: Recognition Plaques will be awarded for entries judged Second and Third in World.

In some cases, the judges may not award a Best, Second or Third in World in a particular category if they do not feel there is an entry deserving of the award. This decision will be made at the discretion of the judges and may not necessarily reflect or be based upon the numerical score of the entry.

Although the Master Division is a single ribbon competition, the 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. However, if a category has one mount scoring in the 90s and another mount scoring in the 70s and no other entries scoring this high, then there will be a First and Third place awarded (the Second place will not be 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 will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place winners within the following categories:

13. Master Division Categories. (10 Best in World titles, possible)

Category 1: Life-Size Mammals (Five subcategories)
      1. Large mammals: wolf size and larger (includes all hoofed mammals)
      2. Medium mammals: larger than 10 pounds, smaller than wolf
      3. Small mammals: smaller than 10 pounds
      4. Mammal group
      5. One-half lifesize mammals
      Note: Juvenile mammals will compete in a subcategory or comparable size. Example: A newborn whitetail deer would compete against small mammals, whereas a two-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.

Category 2: Whitetail Deer Heads (Four subcategories, all shoulder mounts)
      6. Whitetail Long/Thick Hair, Open Mouth
      7. Whitetail Long/Thick Hair, Closed Mouth
      8. Whitetail Short/Thin Hair, Open Mouth
      9. Whitetail Short/Thin Hair, Closed Mouth

Category 3: Gameheads (Three subcategories)
      10. Small gameheads: Coyote and smaller
      11. Medium gameheads: Mule deer, bears, sheep, pronghorns, goats, etc.
      12. Large gameheads: Elk, moose, caribou, buffalo, etc.

Category 4: Game Birds & Other Birds (Four subcategories)
      13. Upland game birds
      14. Turkeys
      15. Other birds
      16. Bird groups

Category 5: Waterfowl (Four subcategories)
      17. Diving ducks
      18. Puddle ducks
      19. Geese and swans
      20. Waterfowl groups

Category 6: Fish: Skin Mounts (Five subcategories)
      21. Largemouth Bass Skin Mount
      22. Saltwater Fish Skin Mount
      23. Warm Water Fish Skin Mount
      24. Cold Water Fish Skin Mount
      25. Fish Skin Group
      Note: Any fish with an artificial head and/or fins, but incorporating the skin, will go into one of the above subcategories.

Category 7: Reptiles/Amphibians/Invertebrates (Skin Mounted) (Two subcategories)
      26. Reptile/Amphibian/Invertebrate Single
      27. Reptile/Amphibian/Invertebrate Group
      Note: Any reptile incorporating any part of its skin or shell will go into one of the above subcategories.

Category 8: Reproductions (Two subcategories)
      28. Fish Reproduction
      29. Reptile/Amphibian/Invertebrate Reproduction

Category 9: Re-Creations (Three subcategories)
      30. Mammal Re-Creation
      31. Bird Re-Creation
      32. 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 can use natural parts, provided the parts are not from the species portrayed. For instance, a re-creation eagle could be constructed using turkey feathers, or a cow hide could be used to simulate African game. Reproductions, such as antlers, are not allowed in this Master Division category. They should be enetered in the Professional Division under Re-Creations.

Category 10. Mixed Group (One subcategory)
      33. A combination of two or more different categories.
      Note: Mixed Group is a combination of two or more different categories (whitetail deer, game heads, lifesize mammals, bird, fish, reptiles/amphibians, re-creations or reproduction classes). 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: The appropriate score sheet will be used to judge each species accordingly. These score sheets 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 to judge both coyotes and one score sheet will be used to judge the quail. The two score sheets (1 mammals and 1 bird) will be averaged together.

Interpretations of all rulings or regulations (and any rules not provided for) will be decided by the World Taxidermy Championships® Regulatory Committee. If you have a specific question regarding the competition, contact Regulatory Committee Chairman, Skip Skidmore at Brigham Young University, 290 M.L. Bean Museum, Provo, UT 84602. Telephone: 801-378-5052.

The Competitors' Awards Rules and Regulation
Master of Masters Invitational Rules and Regulations
Carl E. Akeley Awards Rules and Regulations
Master Division Rules and Regulations
Collective Artists Division Rules and Regulations
Professional Division Rules and Regulations
Novice Division Rules and Regulations
Youth Division Rules and Regulations
Freeze Dry Division Rules and Regulations
Live Taxidermy Sculpture Division Rules and Regulations
Taxidermy Pre-Sculptured Division Rules and Regulations
2001 General WTC Rules and Regulations

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