Utah Taxidermists
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Competitions

March 2016 Best of the West Taxidermy Championship Awards and Photo Gallery

March 2015 Best of the West Taxidermy Championship Awards and Photo Gallery

February 2014 Western Regional Taxidermy Championship Awards and Photo Galleries

February 2013 UTA Competition Awards and Photo Galleries

February 2012 UTA Competition Awards and Photo Galleries

February 2011 UTA Competition Awards and Photo Galleries

February 2010 UTA Competition Awards and Photo Galleries


The Utah Taxidermy Association hosts an annual competition.  This allows taxidermists from all over Utah, as well as from other states, a chance to display their work to the public and have their work judged by highly skilled and accomplished taxidermists.  Competing can be intimidating, but it is also a great learning experience.  Judges fill out a score sheet for each piece making note of areas that need improving, and they are available to talk one-on-one with competitors to answer specific questions (except Commercial Division, they DO NOT receive detailed score sheets nor one-on-one time with the judge).  What an awesome
opportunity to improve one's taxidermy skills!

There are fees for each taxidermy piece entered in the competition to help pay the judges expenses.  There is no limit on how many pieces you can enter in the competition.

There are 5 competing Divisions (or Levels):

Commercial Division: This is a judge's interpretation division open to all species.  It will be judged for aesthetics, not mechanics, and without the use of a flashlight and from a distance of ten feet away.  The judge writes a brief comment and overall score, NOT a detailed score sheet.

Youth
Division: For kids 16 and under.

Novice Division: This division is for beginning taxidermists. It is intended to give the first time competitor a taste of competition without to 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 you will need to compete in the Professional Division thereafter.

Professional Division: This division is for experienced taxidermists.

Masters Division: This division is the toughest to compete in. It is for experienced competitors. Those who win a Best of Professional 'category' ribbon are expected to compete in the Masters Division for that 'category' thereafter.


Different Categories:

Commercial: There are several First, Second and Third place ribbons, no separation of categories.

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 ribbon and award will be given to the Novice piece with the highest score.

Professional:
In this division the categories are as follows: Bird, Bird group, Waterfowl, Waterfowl group, Small mammal, Large mammal, Mammal group, Large Game head (caribou or larger), Game head, Mule deer 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 and award. (There is a Reptile category but no Best of Category ribbon or award.)

Masters: In this division the categories are as follows: Bird, Bird group, Waterfowl, Waterfowl group, Small mammal, Large mammal, Mammal group, Large Game head (caribou or larger), Game head, Mule deer 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 and award. (There is a Reptile category but no Best of Category ribbon or award.)

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 and award.

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.  For example:

Best Base: Awarded for the best habitat base at the show.

Best All Around Taxidermist: Awarded to the taxidermist who has the best average combined score of a game head, life-size mammal, bird, and fish/reptile/amphibian.

Competitors Award: Awarded to the taxidermist in who has the highest combined average score on any four pieces in any four categories.

Van Dykes Award: Most original and creative.

Polytranspar Award: For the best fish painted with Polytranspar Paint.

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 UTA. Voting for this will take place at the membership meeting.

McKenzie's Taxidermists Choice: Best bird, fish, mammal, and whitetail of the show.

Peoples Choice: Voted on by the viewing public for their favorite piece of the show.

Taxidermists Choice Best of Show: Voted on by participating taxidermists.

Breakthrough Award (Judges Choice Best of Show): Voted on by all judges as Judges Choice Best of Show

Three Hour 'Bird' Challenge: The 'Bird' is different each year, decided by the winner of the previous year.  Each person brings a fleshed, washed, prepped, dried skin and mounts it on the spot in three hours.

Three Hour Mule Deer Challenge: Just like the 'Bird' Challenge but with a mule deer head. Each person brings a mounting stand, a form, the antlers, and a prepped cape with all the stuff they need to mount it in a small mobile crate and put it together in three hours.

There may be other awards available sponsored by organizations from our community such as Tru-Fitt Forms, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Wasatch Wing and Clay, etc.