I am very happy to say another very successful World Show is in the books. The tempo and enthusiasm of the show was extremely high, and it increased several notches when hunting-celebrity Jim Shockey arrived. Jim spent every active minute of the show on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday—meeting, visiting, and taking photos with show attendees. When he departed he told me that our group was the most genuine and down-to-earth group he had ever been around. That says a lot for a man who has traveled the world meeting sportsmen of all categories. I thank Ken Walker for putting me in touch with Jim and helping make his visit happen.
Jim Schockey loves taxidermy and its connection with preserving nature and exhibiting natural history. He has designed, developed, and built his own wildlife museum in British Columbia and has a deep appreciation for the artistry that goes into preserving the animals he has hunted around the world, the vast majority taken by bow and arrow. During the show he met and made many new friends and the same can be said for the hundreds that had the opportunity to spend time with him.
During the show we also had the pleasure of a visit from Johnny Morris, owner and CEO of Bass Pro and Cabela’s. Johnny’s visit on Thursday evening gave me the opportunity to give him the VIP tour of the trade show and competition. For a man who owns more mounts than probably anyone in the world, he was extremely impressed with the quality and detail of the work at our show by so many world class taxidermists. He expressed a strong interest in Bass Pro being a big part in future World Championships.
One of the common comments I hear from the many individuals during these Championships is, “I attend for many reasons, but it is the camaraderie and seeing old friends that keeps me coming.” That is certainly true as I saw many old acquaintances, but at this year’s event we had a record number of newcomers. Every vendor I talked to in the trade show said it was an extremely busy show, also noting that they saw a lot of new faces and met a lot of new customers. Our registration supported this with 1,155 registered attendees representing 44 states and 19 countries. The Friday night award show had 582 in attendance. As you might imagine, Missouri had the highest attendance for a state with 74 registrants. Countries other than the USA saw Canada with 24 attendees and China with 13.
One of the highlights of this years award show was the presentation of the World Show Lifetime Achievement Award to Frank Newmyer. Our awards show producer, Ken Edwards, put together a beautiful video presentation showing the many facets of Frank’s life that earned him this prestigious award. You can find a link to the video showcasing Frank’s achievements and contributions at the Taxidermy.net website.
As we have done in the past, we are featuring the Best in World (taxidermy) winners in our first issue following the show. Full photo features of all taxidermy divisions and fish carving will be shown and reviewed in future issues of