There are 5 competing Divisions (or Levels):
Novice Division: This division is for beginning taxidermists. It is intended to give the first time competitor a taste of competition without too much pressure. If you have never competed before it is not necessary for you to enter the novice division, especially if you are an experienced taxidermist. Once you receive a first place ribbon in this division or once you receive your taxidermy license you will need to compete in the Professional Division thereafter.
Youth Division: For kids 16 and under.
Professional Division: This division is for experienced taxidermists. If you are a licensed taxidermist you will have to compete in this division.
Masters Division: It is for experienced competitors. Those who win two first place ribbons in the professional division are expected to compete in the Masters Division for that 'category' thereafter.
Division of Excellence: This is the most challenging division and is geared for the taxidermist that is striving for total perfection. Any competitor who has won two 1st place masters ribbons in that category are excepted to compete in the D.O.E.
Youth: All youth compete for First, Second, and Third Place Award, no separation of categories.
Novice: There are several First, Second, and Third place ribbons available, no separation of categories. One Best of Novice will be given to the Novice piece with the highest score.
Professional: In this division the categories are as follows: Mammal, Bird, Game head, Whitetail deer head, Fish skin mount and Fish reproduction. Fish skin mount and reproduction fish are judged separately in all categories. The highest scoring first place entry in each category will win the Best of Category ribbon. (There is a Reptile category highest scoring first place entry will win a Best of Category ribbon.)
Masters: In this division the categories are as follows: Bird, Game head, Whitetail deer head, Fish skin mount and Fish reproduction. The highest scoring first place entry in each category will win the Best of Category ribbon. (There is a Reptile category highest scoring first place entry will win a Best of Category ribbon.)
Original Art Entries: This is for those entries that do not fit into a category. This may include skeletons, skulls, horn/antler plaques, manikin sculptures, bronze sculptures, drawn or painted artwork, mythical creatures, rugs, etc. The highest scoring original art entry will win the Best Original Art ribbon.
Team Entries: Any group of 2 or more people can enter a team entry in the show. The team entry may have one or multiple mounts/artwork to it. Each mount/artwork in the team entry will be judged separately and the team with the highest average score will win the Best Team Entry ribbon and award. There are also several awards that ALL competitors are eligible to compete for:
Best Habitat: Awarded for the best habitat base at the show.
HILTON EPPLEY AWARD
This is awarded to any mount completed on a Hilton Eppley Form. Winner to be selected and award to be provided by Hilton Eppley
Chosen by the respective Bird Judge as the best waterfowl in the show. Mount must have a blue ribbon in Professional or 2nd or higher in Masters to qualify at Judge’s discretion. Award comes with either a trophy, plaque or print.
Highest scoring mount that uses Pro-1 products. Must use a Pro-1 tanning or hide paste product and registered with mount information .Sponsored by: Pro-1 Performance Chemicals
Awarded to the highest scoring fish in the competition which was painted with Polytranspar paint. Competitor must also obtain a blue ribbon to win.
Chosen by the representative of the award sponsor for the most natural depiction of the whitetail species in the show. This may include both whitetail life-size and shoulder mounts. This award comes with a trophy/plaque.
Awarded to the highest scoring fish in the competition which was painted with Lifetone paints. Competitor must also obtain a blue ribbon to win. This award comes with a trophy. Any fish entered in competition using this paint is eligible.
Chosen by the Judges as the most artistic mount in the Masters or Professional Divisions. The mount must have a blue ribbon to be eligible and show some type of artistic merit. This award comes with a plaque.
Sponsored by: McKenzie Taxidermy Supply
SECOND 2 NATURE AWARD
This award will be for the highest scoring mount on a Second 2 Nature manikin. The winner will receive a trophy/award, a Second 2 Nature t-shirt or hat and a $100 Second 2 Nature gift certificate.
WASCO Award: Chosen by the judges to be the most artistic taxidermy entry of the show.
McKenzie's Distinguished Service Award: Voted on by the members for distinguished service to the association. Voting for this will take place at the membership meeting.
McKenzie's Taxidermists Choice: Best bird, fish, mammal, and whitetail of the show voted on by your fellow taxidermists.
MAINE TRAPPERS ASSOCIATION AWARD
Chosen by a representative of the Maine Trapper’s Association for the best fur bearing mount in their natural habitat. This award comes with a trophy/plaque.
MOUNTED IN ALASKA AWARD
Awarded to the life size mount that tells the best story. Award will be a bear paw plaque. Sponsored by Knights Taxidermy
Matuska Competitor's Award will be awarded to the competitor with 4 of the highest scoring entries in the master's or professional's divisions. All entries must have a 1st or 2nd place ribbon with a combined score of 350 or greater.
Artisan Award is chosen by taxidermists - not judges. That's what makes this award so coveted. If you are given an award by other taxidermy professionals, you know you have put together something truly amazing. That's what makes the Artisan Award the "True Taxidermist's Prize". Sponsored by The United Taxidermist Association
Best Of Show: The highest scoring first place entry in each division.
Breakthrough Award (Judges Choice Best of Show): Voted on by all judges as Judges Choice Best of Show
There may be other awards available sponsored by organizations from our community.
We really appreciate all your help in making our show a success. Here is a brief break down of how our competition levels work and list of award categories.
Good luck to all and enjoy the show!