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Professional Division Ribbon Winners from 2019 world Taxidermy Championships®

Professional Division Ribbon Winners from 2019 world Taxidermy Championships®

The World Taxidermy Championships is truly an open competition. Participants are free to compete on any level: Novice, Professional or Master Division–simply by making a choice according to their levels of skill, and where they feel comfortable competing. Entries in Professional Division are judged according to their individual merits with a numerical score and are not judged against other entries. There is no limit to the number of ribbons that can be awarded in these divisions. This division, which offers multiple ribbons in twelve categories, usually has the most entries in the World Taxidermy Championships. The Best Professional Entry award was chosen from all the Best of Category winners by a secret ballot of all World Show judges. With this honor was a $1,000.00 cash award, provided by McKenzie Taxidermy Supply. The 2019 winner of the Best Professional Entry was Kevin Neidigh with a beautiful cougar, featured on page 2 of this issue. Winning a Best of Category at the World Show is an exceptional achievement, exhibiting master-quality work. The nine Best of Category Professional Division winners from 2019 are featured in this issue’s Gallery of Wildlife Art on pages 2–9.

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Using the TPS Systems for a European Horn Mount

Using the TPS Systems for a European Horn Mount

by Larry Blomquist

In Issue 136 I wrote a detailed article on using the Taxidermy Positioning Systems for hanging wall pedestal mounts and the process for attaching double or triple gamehead mounts. This versatile system and its products can be used in multiple areas of taxidermy for hanging birds, fish, and lifesize mammal work. It offers total stability and no off-balance movement for wall mounts.  One usage I have found for the TPS System is hanging European mounts of any size. This method can be used to attach Euro mounts to a panel or directly to the wall without a panel.

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Passing on a Family Tradition Painting a Bonefish with Bradley Kirkhart

Passing on a Family Tradition Painting a Bonefish with Bradley Kirkhart

by Mike Kirkhart

It’s been a very unusual year so far, this 2020. I was looking forward to the new year last December as a year of great vision which underscores the 2020. Has our world gone crazy? I know no one wants to hear any more about Covid 19 or politics or social disconnect, so I won’t get lost in that conversation. As the resilient down-to-earth folks that we are, we will surely rise above and beyond this (with God’s help) by the year’s end or spring of 2021! As are many of you, my wife Deb and I are doing what most families are also involved in, with kids, and now grandkids as a continued blessing to see our family with growth and development. We have 4 adult kids and 5 grandkids with one more on the way! We have always loved kids and in the early years of our business, we traveled to the many state, national, and World Shows with you guessed it—our kids.

 

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Small Mammal Photo Reference Study Part 1: Otters

Small Mammal Photo Reference Study Part 1: Otters

by Larry Blomquist

As I began my research and collecting photography for this photo study, I soon realized that I know far less about otters than I thought. Having a degree in Animal Science, and a second degree in Vocational Education, along with (hmmm) over 50 years as a professional in taxidermy make me no expert on otters, or for that matter, any other animal. The fact is, research often makes me realize how much I have forgotten or never knew. In a taxidermy career we really do not mount that many otters, but when we do we need reference and an understanding of its unique features and even life cycle characteristics to produce accurate lifelike mounted animals. Often we will look at a species, like otters, and presume they all look the same. In the case of otters, they have big furred heads with little eyes and ears, big round bodies and thick muscular tails. In reality, there are thirteen surviving species worldwide and they inhabitant countries around the great globe we live on. The thirteen species range in adult sizes from 2 to 6 feet in length with weights from 10 to 100 pounds, and there are differences in species and in individual appearance.

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Marlin: Open-Mouth Head Alteration

Marlin: Open-Mouth Head Alteration

by World Champion Mike Kirkhart

Just a few months back I had a client who told me his exciting fish-catching story as we negotiated the plan for doing his mount. He expressed that excitement of his trophy marlin and how it jumped and thrashed while close to the boat at the end of the battle. He went on to tell me about the mouth and gills and all these observation details as they revived the beast while it swam alongside the slow-moving boat. It was during that conversation that I knew I could create for him a special mount and sealed the deal, negotiating the job if I altered my casting. I have a mold that was a perfect size and length but the mouth was only slightly open and the gills were closed. I wanted to do the mount to bring back to life the details he remembered of the wide open mouth and gills, so alterations on that cast were the only solution.

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