Graham, N.C. - Big Rock Sports held its first-ever taxidermy competition at the 2013 Big Rock Sports East Dealer Show on January 4-6 in Raleigh, NC. The Big Rock Sports Taxidermy Competition was led by the team from Head Quarters Taxidermy Supply, which Big Rock acquired in 2012.
"It was the best taxidermy show I've ever been to, hands down, and I've been to a lot," taxidermist Steve Tugwell said. Tugwell won Best of Category Gamehead. "I think that the displaying of the animals and the way the animals were presented was just off the hook. Having the meals mid-day for everyone, that was just absolutely awesome. The banquet that night was really, really cool."
Mounts were scored within four categories (Birds, Fish, Gameheads and Whitetail Shoulder) in the Master, Professional and Dealer's Choice divisions. Judges included world-class fish taxidermist Rick Krane, nationally recognized avian artist Page Nethercutt, North American Champion Chris Barnhardt and 2011 Whitetail World Champion Vincent Fleming.
"It was a great show, the best time I've had at a taxidermy competition," stated Michael Brittain whose walleye won Best of Category Fish. "I thought that it was a good idea for the taxidermists to be around not just competitors, but potential clients, too. I thought it was a great deal."
Taxidermist Justin Hinson was also impressed with the competition. "I really liked how they had all the habitat trees and everything inside the showroom floor. I hadn't really seen that at any of the other competitions that I've been to," Hinson said. "The judges were really good. I was able to have a piece in both gamehead and whitetails and the judges really knew what they were talking about. I learned a lot from them. It was judged pretty hard. Everybody earned whatever they got. There wasn't anything really given away at this competition."
Results of the 2013 Big Rock Sports Taxidermy Competition:
Best Amateur: Abby Shipman - Groundhog Pedestal
Best of Category Fish: Carl Lewis - Chum salmon ($500 and a trophy)
Best of Category Whitetail Deer: Justin Hinson ($500 and a trophy)
Best of Category Gamehead: Steve Tugwell - Wild boar ($500 and a trophy)
Best of Category Birds: Paul Wilson - Wild turkey ($500 and a trophy)
Professional Best of Show: Justin Hinson - Whitetail deer (Silver Stag Knife Trophy, $400 plus $300 Big Rock Bucks)
Dealer's Choice Vote Professional: Martin Bess - Swimming otter (Thompson Center Dimension Rifle)
Best of Category Fish: Michael Brittian - Walleye ($700 and trophy)
Best of Category Whitetail Deer: Chris Horne - ($700 and trophy)
Best of Category Gamehead: Chris Horne - Wild Boar ($700 and trophy)
Best of Category Birds: Ron Elkins - Wild Turkey ($700 and trophy)
Master's Best of Show: Ron Elkins - Wild Turkey (Silver Stag Knife Trophy, $600 plus $300 Big Rock Bucks)
Dealer's Choice Vote Master's: Frog Mullis - Bobcat leaping in air for ducks (Thompson Center Dimension Rifle)
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