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2022 Convention & Competition Information

April 7–10, 2022

Holiday Inn Auburn-Finger Lakes Region
75 North Street
Auburn, New York 13021
Call 315-253-4531 with code UTN for a discounted room rate of $90 up to two weeks before the show.


Schedule of Events

Click to expand the schedule below. Access to seminars (except the all-day seminar) are included in your convention registration. You can visit this page for general information and FAQs related to UTNY’s annual convention and competition. Please note this schedule is subject to change.

8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.Featured Seminar: Multi-Species Gameheads Seminar with Master Taxidermist Kent Stryker (pre-registration is required)
4–4:30 p.m.Board of Directors meeting
4:30 p.m.Set up competition and supply areas—everyone's help is appreciated!
6–9 p.m.Registration and competition pieces received

8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Walk-in and board member registration and competition pieces received

*All board members' pieces must be received by noon

8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.Pre-registered competition pieces received
9–11:30 a.m.Seminar #1: Loose Fill Armature Method for Birds with Dave Tuttle
Seminar #2: Business Seminar – Bring a Calculator with Kent Stryker 
10 a.m.Supply area opens
12:30 p.m.Judges' meeting; judging begins
1–4 p.m.Seminar #3: Whitetail Fleshing & Tanning Techniques with D.J. and Tyler Cornish
Seminar #4: Hands-On Fish Mounting with Kersten Hirsch
5–6 p.m.Competition room open for viewing; voting for member-chosen awards
6–7 p.m.Warm-up party! Food and drink provided.
7–9 p.m.Seminar #5: Whitetail Shoulder Mount with Hilton Eppley

8–9 a.m.Competition area open for viewing; closes promptly at 9 for ribbon placement
8 a.m.–3 p.m.Supply area open
8:30–11 a.m.Seminar #6: Fish Painting & Fin Casting with Don Miller
Seminar #7: Taxidermy Tips & Techniques with John Matthews
11 a.m.–4 p.m.Competition room open for ribbon viewing and judges' critiques
1–3 p.m.Kids Seminar: TBD
1–3:30 p.m.Seminar #8: Boar Shoulder Mount with Scott Wilkinson
Seminar #9: Bear Head Sculpturing & Details with John Sanzo
3–4 p.m.Supply area breakdown
6–6:30 p.m.Cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres, cash bar
6:30 p.m.UTNY banquet, auction, and awards ceremony; competition room re-opens after the banquet

9 a.m.UTNY membership meeting with voting for vacant board positions; all members should attend

Following the membership meeting, you may remove your competition pieces. Please bring your mount tickets! We'll break down the competition area—everyone's help is appreciated.

At the conclusion of the convention, the UTNY Board of Directors meeting will take place.

Featured Interactive Seminar: Multi-Species Gameheads with Kent Stryker
Thursday, April 7, 2022

We’re pleased to welcome Master Taxidermist Kent Stryker to the 2022 convention for a full-day, interactive gamehead seminar. In this seminar, Kent will demonstrate how to prep manikins and set up mounts for antelope, bears, and whitetails, including clay work for the eye sets and ear butts, antler/horn placement, and nose placement for each species. Seminar participants will have the chance to use clay to set the eyes for at least one species and rotate through each species as time permits. No mounts will be created.

As you work, you’ll have close interactive guidance from Kent. Take advantage of Kent’s detailed knowledge of each species, ask questions, and take pictures. Kent is also this year’s Mammals and Gameheads judge. He will be available during the weekend for tips and discussion.

Full-day seminar registration information

You must register for this seminar in addition to your convention registration. There is limited seating available (maximum of 15 participants), so register early! All materials will be provided for the seminar. 

Cost: $200 per person; a $100 deposit is required at the time of registration
Deadline: March 20, 2022
To register: Contact Jerry St. Pierre at 607-761-9709 or gtstpierre@gmail.com

Information for 2022 Convention Attendees

  • Supplier Show
  • UTNY Banquet
  • Auction

Our suppliers are generous supporters of the United Taxidermists of New York—they help make our show a success every year! As part of your convention registration you'll have access to our friendly, expert supplier. Talk taxidermy and pick up some great discounts.

You may purchase banquet tickets for yourself and your guests when you register for the convention. Special awards are presented at the banquet. We hope you can join us on Saturday night for a delicious buffet and a good time!

Thanks to the donations of our suppliers, the community, and several individuals, we're able to host a lively auction each year. Proceeds benefit the United Taxidermists of New York and help to fund future conventions. Several items and experiences will be up for auction on Saturday night. 

2022 Competition Information

If you wish to enter a piece—or several pieces—in the 2022 competition, which occurs concurrently with the convention, be sure to review the rules and requirements so you can select the proper division and category of entry. Note that competition entires must be submitted IN ADDITION to your convention registration. Additional fees apply.

President's Challenge

The president’s challenge for the 2022 competition is any lynx mount. The winner for this special award will be chosen by the president of the United Taxidermists of New York, Mark Visneski. To be considered for this award, an additional entry fee of $10 is required.

Competition Judges

Learn more about the four judges who will score your pieces at the 2021 competition.

John MatthewsJohn has been involved in taxidermy since the 7th grade. He has judged many state and regional competitions, the Nationals, and the World shows several times. John earned his Award of Excellence from the NTA and has won many championships and awards including the Bruchac Award at the Nationals. John was the lead taxidermist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has owned two taxidermy shops.

Don MillerDon Miller's journey into taxidermy started at a young age, which led him to attend Canandaigua Community College of the Finger Lakes for their taxidermy program to advance his knowledge. He has been competing since the mid 1980s. Even though Don has won many awards in that time,  he still competes to gain knowledge and hopefully win. For Don, the real prize is gaining and sharing ideas and techniques with his peers. Don also served as a director and vice president of our UTNY for eight years. He looks forward to seeing everyone. 

Dave TuttleDave has been a full-time taxidermist since 1985. In the past 30 years he has won many state and national awards including best of shows, McKenzie awards, and the Wasco award. He is also a federally licensed falconer and is very knowledgeable with all types of birds. He will be sharing his knowledge of birds so that everyone can have a great learning experience.

Kent Stryker Kent is in his 30th year of doing taxidermy and owns and operates World Class Animal Artistry in New Alexandria, PA.

His work has earned more than 160 state, regional, national, and world awards. He is a certified Master of Masters taxidermist in large mammals, gameheads, deer, and fish. In addition, he is also a certified Master wildlife artist, Master in habitat, and has earned his Award of Excellence in large mammals through the National Taxidermist Association.

Kent was the lead instructor at the Pennsylvania Institute of Taxidermy from 2000 to 2006 and has had the privilege of training more than 24 students and aspiring taxidermists during his tenure there. Kent has offered one-on-one training at his studio for the past 25 years and continues to do so for those taxidermists looking to not only improve the quality of their work but, to also increase the value of their work.

Kent has judged many shows and presented many seminars. He continues to be active in competing and strives daily to improve his own work. We look forward to Kent sharing his knowledge with everyone at our show!

Special Awards

Each mount you enter in the competition will be scored based on the category and division for which it was entered. All entrants who score within certain point values will earn a ribbon. Special awards are sponsored by suppliers, organizations, taxidermists, and more, and winners are selected in a variety of ways—high scores, community voting, judges vote, etc. Your competition entry will automatically be considered for all special awards with the exception of those that require additional registration or entry fees. Be sure to check the registration table upon arrival, as we may have added more special awards that you are eligible for. Award winners are announced at the Saturday banquet.

The awards listed below are subject to change.

Judges' Choice Awards

  • Al Holmes Habitat Award 
    Best habitat among all entries
  • Breakthrough Award
    Overall best of show
  • Jordan’s Wild Turkey Award
    Best turkey in the Professional or Masters division
  • Mounted in Alaska Award
    Best large species life-size or gamehead
  • Research Manikins Best Small Mammal Award (2)
    One Professional division winner and one Amateur division winner
  • Tru Bond Trappers Award
    Best indigenous New York small mammal
  • Sivko Fur Best of Show, Commercial Division
    Winner chosen from Commercial division blue ribbon awardees
  • UTNY Best of Show, Youth Division
    Winner chosen from Best of Category awardees across the Youth division
  • UTNY Best of Show, Amateur Division
    Winner chosen from Best of Category awardees across the Amateur division
  • UTNY Best of Show, Professional Division
    Winner chosen from Best of Category awardees across the Professional Division
  • UTNY Best of Show, Masters Division
    Winner chosen from Best of Category awardees across the Masters division
  • UTNY Habitat Award
    Best habitat across all entries
  • UTNY Joseph Bruchac Memorial Award
    Best whitetail deer across all divisions
  • UTNY Upland Gamebird Award
    Best upland bird in the Professional or Masters divisions
  • UTNY Waterfowl Habitat Award 
    Best waterfowl habitat
  • Van Dyke Award
    Most creative entry in the Professional or Master divisions
  • Warren Hardendorf Memorial Award
    Best small mammal in the Masters division
  • WASCO Award
    Most artistic entry
  • Woody Award for Excellence in Taxidermy
    All pieces considered

Awards for Highest-Scoring Mounts

  • Best All Around Taxidermist ($25 entry fee)
    Highest total score (minimum 340) of mammal, bird, fish, and gamehead in all divisions
  • Buckshot Tannery Pro Life-Size Mammal Award
    Highest score for a life-size mammal
  • Jack Wilson Award
    Highest-scoring waterfowl in the Masters division
  • Larry Clingerman Award
    Highest-scoring waterfowl in the Professional division
  • Safari Club Adirondack – Catskill Chapter Non-North American Award
    Highest-scoring non-North American big game mount in the professional or masters divisions
  • Safari Club Adirondack – Catskill Chapter North American Award
    Highest-scoring North American big game mount in the professional or masters divisions
  • West Wind Taxidermy Gamehead Award
    Highest-scoring gamehead in the Amateur division
  • West Wind Taxidermy Life-Size Award
    Highest-scoring small or large mammal in the Amateur division
  • UTNY Best Non-Gamebird Award
    Highest score for non-gamebirds in the Professional or Masters divisions
  • UTNY Distinguished Taxidermist Award, Amateur or Professional Division ($25 entry fee)
    Highest total score (minimum 260) of three pieces in the Amateur or Professional divisions
  • UTNY Distinguished Taxidermist Award, Masters Division ($25 entry fee)
    Highest total score of three pieces (minimum 260) in the Masters division
  • Walnut Hollow Country Awards
    Five awards total; one for each of the highest-scoring mounts among birds, fish, turkeys, mammals, and whitetails
  • Whitetails Unlimited Awards
    Three awards total; one for each of the highest-scoring whitetail mounts across the Youth, Amateur, and Professional divisions
  • The Wildlife Gallery Best Gamehead Award
    Highest score among all gamehead entries

Taxidermists' Choice Awards

The following special awards are determined by taxidermists’ votes during the convention weekend.

  • McKenzie Bird Award
  • McKenzie Fish Award
  • McKenzie Mammal Award
  • McKenzie Whitetail Award
  • UTNY Gamehead Award
  • Gunner’s Turkey Award
  • UTA Artisan Award
    Most artistic entry

UTNY Board and President's Choice

The following special awards are voted on by the UTNY board or selected by the president.

  • McKenzie Distinguished Service Award
    As voted on by the UTNY board
  • UTNY Mike Rudzinis Memorial Award
    President’s choice
  • UTNY Dennis Mortenson’s President’s Challenge Award ($10 entry fee)
    Lynx mount

Product-Based Awards

To be eligible for these special awards, you must note product use at the time of registration.

  • LifeTone Award
    Judges’ choice from fish painted with LifeTone Hydromist products
  • PRO-1 Award
    Judges’ choice best entry for any mount using PRO-1 hide paste or tan
  • Polytranspar Award
    Judges’ choice for fish painted with Polytranspar paints