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Mammals Part 3: The Balancing Act

Mammals Part 3: The Balancing Act

by Brian Hendricks

The Value of a Good Scoresheet.  The first few times you utilize a taxidermy competition scoresheet, you learn as much, if not more, from it before the competition than after. A scoresheet helps to guide your focus through the entire mounting process—from choosing a position to the final finish work and the habitat. Just understanding every term on the scoresheet will make you a better taxidermist. But you need to be diligent and continually focus on all the components. There should not be a huge difference from your commercial work to your competition pieces. People like to think that practice makes perfect, but really perfect practice makes perfect. Practice, practice, and more practice, solidifies muscle memory, good or bad. The World Taxidermy Championships® scoresheets are not about being as great as God or nature; it is about creating the most perfect taxidermy piece possible. Perfect practice is about how to get there.

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National Taxidermists Association

National Taxidermists Association

2021 Convention, Competition, and Trade Show Sioux Falls, South Dakota

After canceling the scheduled 2020 convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NTA came roaring back to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the 50th annual National Taxidermists Association convention, competition, and trade show. The NTA had been at this facility three times before: in 2005, 2011, and 2019, at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center. There were 233 competition entries, 110 registrations, 196 banquet attendees, and 27 states represented.

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How to Paint a Flathead Catfish

How to Paint a Flathead Catfish

by Ron Kelly

This is a paint schedule for a flathead catfish (Pylodictus olivaris) or what some folks call an opelousas or yellow cat.

Like all fish, these catfish vary in coloration from a yellow to brown and almost black at times. They are a fun and profitable fish to do as they cannot be conventionally mounted very well, so a good replica will save you a lot of grief. I learned this technique from my good friend and fellow “fishhead” taxidermist Don Frank. It has come to be known as sponge painting. I apply the basic colors and then add the detailing with a coarse sea sponge. The effect is very accurate and a lot better than trying to do the pattern with an airbrush.

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Pack Mounts Tell a Story

Pack Mounts Tell a Story

BY TOM MATUSKA

Taxidermists are a creative lot, and it was only a matter of time before pack mounts gained in popularity and customer appeal. This concept is not new, however, with the explosion in the many facets of social media, taxidermists and their customers are being exposed to the concept of pack mounts on a near daily occurrence. At first glance, some people would say what a waste of a nice cape and antlers just to tie it to an old pack frame for a wall hanging. And yes, a pack mount can be exactly that… or with a little artistic design, combining color and assorted elements of interest, a talented person can turn a somewhat lesser trophy, combined with a collection of related gear, into a captivating story.

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Part 2, Simplicity in Study

Part 2, Simplicity in Study

BY BRIAN HENDRICKS

When envisioning a position for your next competition or private collection piece, do you imagine in species or grouping? Perhaps you have a certain skin you wish to use or a scene that comes to mind.

Capturing the essence of the species is paramount, but its essence is so much more than its silhouette. If we captured the basic silhouette, we are halfway there. What about the other half? That other half has much to do with the tendons, ligaments, and muscles being in concert with the skeleton.

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