General Rules and Guidelines

Montana Taxidermists Association

  

Montana Taxidermists Association
Competition Rules


To be eligible, competitors must be MTA members in good standing, registered for the convention, and present at the Convention in order to compete.

The MTA Board will resolve any questions arising from the MTA competition and their decision will be final.

Anything judged “Fatal Flaw” will be given a scoresheet but no ribbons or awards will be given. Any mounts with offensive odors will be removed from the competition area and not judged. The MTA Board reserves the right to refuse any entry that does not comply with MTA Competition Rules or is deemed to be inappropriate or detrimental to the image of taxidermy.

Any infraction of an MTA competition rules will result in disqualification of the entry and forfeiture of any awards won by that entry. Registration and entry fees will not be refunded.

All competitors must sign a form releasing the MTA from any liability for mounts entered in competition. While the MTA will provide security, everyone knows that accidents are possible and that competitors should purchase insurance on their competition entries through their local insurance agent. The MTA, its Officers, or Directors shall not be responsible for any mounts entered in competition under any circumstances.

Multiple ribbons are awarded in most categories. Any entry receiving 90% of a perfect score is awarded a first place, 80% of a perfect score is second place and 70% of a perfect score is a third place. There is no honorable mention.

Half-life size entries will be assigned and compete in the Gamehead category.

Any young or partially grown species, coyote size or smaller entries, will be judged in the small mammal’s category.

If any entry contains more than one specimen (Example: a pair of wood ducks), an entry fee must be paid for each mount that will be judged. When judging a piece with multiple entries each individual mount may win its own award. If only one entry fee is paid the competitor must designate which of the individual mounts they wish to have judged. This rule does not apply to entries in the Collective Artists or Challenge of the Art Divisions where an entry containing multiple specimens may be entered as a single piece and judged in its entirety.

Entries in the name of a company are not allowed except in the Collective Artist Division.

Protected species need proper permits to place with their entry. In some cases, special permits are also required to cross into the U.S. or to cross state lines. The competitor is responsible for knowing and following all such laws pertaining to protected species.

Entries in cases must have removable top and sides for judging and must be removed by competitor before judging begins.

Competitors are allowed to bring their own reference material for the judges to examine in correctly determining their scores. Photographs may be placed in an envelope next to the mount and marked “For Judges Reference.” The mount number should also be written on the envelope.

Any names or logos that may reveal the identity of the competitor must be omitted or covered securely.

Entries may be made only at the posted times and NO entries will be removed from the competition area before Sunday at the posted times. Any entry not picked up by the posted deadline will be left unsecured and unattended.

The number of entries per category is unlimited.

No mount that has previously been in a MTA Competition can be entered in a MTA Competition again.

Any mount entered in other competitions, aside from the MTA Competition, must be entered in the same division or higher.  (i.e. A mount entered in Master Division at another competition, must be entered in Master Division at the MTA Competition.  A mount entered in Collective Artist Division at another competition, must be entered in Collective Artist Division at the MTA Competition.  A mount entered in Professional, Adult Novice, Youth Novice, or Commercial Division at another competition, may be entered into a higher division at the MTA Competition.)

Any entry may be ineligible if in the opinion of the Board, too many of the judging criteria are hidden from view or are not included in the mount, and it is not in conjunction with another mount that is judge able. Example: Single wood duck head coming out of a hole in tree.

There will be one MTA judge for each category. Their decision is final and they alone decide upon the score an entry receives. Each judge will score each entry separately on an approved MTA score sheet. All scores will be recorded on the MTA Competition Computer with the WTC paper copy going to the participant. An electronic record of scores will remain with the MTA HQ’s for one year.

Any conduct by the competitor that is deemed unsportsmanlike could result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all MTA awards. Unruly or disruptive behavior towards judges or show officials will not be tolerated and the individual will be asked to leave without refund and will be barred from future competitions.

There will be no Competitor Score Sheet PROTESTS, or CHALLENGES

The MTA Board will be responsible for resolving any problems related to the competition and judging.  Any such action taken by the MTA Board shall be publicly disclosed and fully explained to the competitor.

Touching or moving of any mount without express permission of the competitor by anyone other than a Judge and/or the MTA Board is expressly forbidden and grounds for disqualification and removal from the MTA Convention.

The MTA Board will resolve any question concerning the category assignment. Their decision will be final.

The above rules are a general overview of the competition rules. The MTA reserves the right to review and amend these rules at any time deemed necessary.

MASTER DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY-- Open to all MTA members that are registered for the convention.

CATEGORIES-Selected by which specimen constitutes the major portion of the entry:

Upland Birds

Waterfowl

Fish-Skin Mount

Fish-Reproduction

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Skin Mount

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Reproduction

Small Mammals-Coyote or smaller

Large Mammals-Larger than a coyote

Gamehead

The MTA Master Division judge’s entries on their individual merit against a hypothetical “perfect score” rather than against other entries.

Judges will score Master Division entries exceptionally harder than Professional Division.

AWARDS-In each of the nine major awards categories, the highest score with a first-place ribbon shall earn the title “Montana State Champion.”

PROFESSIONAL DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY-- Open to all MTA members that are registered for the convention

CATEGORIES-Selected by which specimen constitutes the major portion of the entry:

Upland Birds

Waterfowl

Fish-Skin Mount

Fish-Reproduction

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Skin Mount

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Reproduction

Small Mammals-Coyote or smaller

Large Mammals-Larger than a coyote

Gamehead

AWARDS-In each of the nine major categories, the Highest Numerical Score with a first-place ribbon shall earn best of categorie.

NOVICE DIVISION

This division is for beginning taxidermists who feel their skills have not developed enough to compete in the Professional Division. Judges will be more lenient in this division, with the primary emphasis on teaching competitors.

Multiple first, second and third place ribbons will be awarded. Persons entering this level should be more interested in learning than in winning awards. The categories for this division are the same as in the Commercial division.

CATEGORIES-Selected by which specimen constitutes the major portion of the entry:

Upland Birds

Waterfowl

Fish-Skin Mount

Fish-Reproduction

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Skin Mount

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Reproduction

Small Mammals-Coyote or smaller

Large Mammals-Larger than a coyote

Gamehead

COLLECTIVE ARTISTS DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY. This division is for competition entries worked on by more than one MTA taxidermist; all competitors must be identified, and registered and attending the convention. Requires an additional entry fee.  

CATEGORIES – The following categories are available in the Collective Artists Division:

Upland Birds

Waterfowl

Fish-Skin Mount

Fish-Reproduction

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Skin Mount

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Reproduction

Small Mammals-Coyote or smaller

Large Mammals-Larger than a coyote

Game heads

AWARDS: A maximum of one first, second, and third place ribbon will be awarded in each Collective Artist Category based upon the highest numerical score in each category. The Judge’s Best of Show, Collective Artist Award winner will be selected by the judges collectively from among the first place ribbon winners in each category based on the overall merit of the eligible entries.

Collective Artists Division entries are not eligible for the following titles “Montana State Champion.” 

COMMERCIAL DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY-Open to all MTA members attending the Convention.

CATEGORIES-Selected by which specimen constitutes the major portion of the entry:

Upland Birds

Waterfowl

Fish-Skin Mount

Fish-Reproduction

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Skin Mount

Reptile-(Amphibian/Arachnid) Reproduction

Small Mammals-Coyote or smaller

Large Mammals-Larger than a coyote

Gamehead

JUDGING – This is a judge’s interpretation division open to all species. It will be judged for aesthetics, not mechanics. Competitors should strive to present life-like entries. Any species of a bird, fish, reptile or mammal or combination can be mounted in a display and entered to be viewed and interpreted by the judges without the use of a flashlight. Judges will write a brief comment and overall first, second, or third, not a detailed score sheet. There will be no critiques.

AWARDS – Multiple firsts, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in accordance with the division rules.

Commercial Division does not offer the following titles “Montana Champion,” or Best of Categories.”

Entries in this division are not eligible for any other major awards.

YOUTH NOVICE DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY – Youth: Limited to MTA family member’s children present at the Convention 17 years of age and under. The parents/guardian must be registered members of the convention. There is no entry fee.

CATEGORIES – All categories that exist in the Professional Division are available for the and Youth Novice Division.

JUDGING – Youth

Judging will be done on an approved MTA score sheet and consideration will be taken into account for the experience of those entering.

HABITATS: In the Youth Novice Division, judging of an entry’s habitat is optional and requires an additional habitat entry fee. Competitor must identify habitat entries at the time of registration.

AWARDS–Multiple ribbons are awarded. The entry selected by the judges collectively as the best mount in the Youth Novice Division will earn the title “Best Youth Entry” winner. All entries in this division are eligible for People’s Choice Awards. Since scoring is more lenient entries in this category are not eligible for other major awards.

SCULPTING AND ORIGINAL ART DIVISION

ELIGIBILITY-Open to all MTA members that are registered for the convention.

CATEGORIES

Taxidermy Sculptures – Limited to manikins or sculptures made specifically for use in taxidermy. The Sculptures may be in the form of clay, paper, foam or some other medium.

Taxidermy Sculpture Categories:

Gamehead

Mammal

Bird

Fish

Reptile

Other

Winners of first place in the six taxidermy sculpture categories will compete for “Judges Best of Show, Taxidermy Sculptures.” All entries in these categories will be eligible for a “People’s Choice, Taxidermy Sculptures” award.

Original Art Original Art Categories:

Bronzes or Castings-Limited to sculptures which have been casted in bronze or some other medium to create a finished piece of art. These items could be bust, miniatures or life size.

Carvings-Limited to birds, fish, mammals and reptiles, which have been carved from wood or some other medium and finished. These could be busts, miniatures or life size.

Paintings, pencils, pastels, charcoal, etc.-Limited to flat art only.

Reproductions- Parts of mammals, fish, birds and reptiles, which have been molded directly from the actual species and reproduced in some type casting material. The above reproductions can be either designed to be incorporated as part of a mount or finished as a completed piece representing a specific species. Reproductions, such as antlers, should be entered in this division.

Skeletons – Limited to osteological specimens and art.

JUDGING – Two judges will examine each category.

AWARDS --Judges may award a maximum of one first place, one-second place, one third place in each category.

 Winners of first place in the Bronzes or Castings, Carvings, Paintings, Reproductions, and Skeletons categories will compete for a “Judges Best of Show, Original Art”. All entries in these categories will be eligible for a “People’s Choice, Original Art” award.