Home » Annual Convention & Competition » 2024 Taxidermy Show

2024 Convention & Competition Information

Thursday, April 4 – Sunday, April 7, 2024

Holiday Inn Auburn-Finger Lakes Region
75 North Street
Auburn, New York 13021

Call 315-253-4531 with code UTB for a discounted room rate of $99 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.

4–4:30 p.m. Ballroom Board of Directors meeting
4:30 p.m. Ballroom/Breakout Set up competition and supply areas—everyone's help is appreciated!
6–9 p.m. Ballroom Registration and competition pieces received


8 a.m.–12 p.m. Ballroom 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. Ballroom Pre-registered competition pieces received
8:30–11 a.m. Emerson Seminar #1: Fish Finishing and Painting Techniques with Steve Hackett
Fillmore Seminar #2: Altering a Deer for a Tipped-Up Pose with Rotated Eye and Ear Setting with Kent Stryker
10 a.m. Ballroom Supply area opens
12 p.m. Ballroom Judges' meeting; judging begins
1–4 p.m. Fillmore Seminar #3: Mounting a Coyote Shoulder Pedestal with Josh Saville
5–6 p.m. Ballroom Competition room open for viewing; voting for member-chosen awards
6–7 p.m. Burger Theory Warm-up party! Food and drink provided.
7–9 p.m. Fillmore Seminar #4: Turkey Bust Mount and Other Techniques with Todd Capitano

8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.BallroomSupply area open
8:30–11 a.m.FillmoreSeminar #5: Mounting a Pheasant with Fred Barilla
BoardroomSeminar #6: Small Mammal Techniques (details to be announced) with Doug Rehwinkel
11 a.m.–4 p.m.BallroomCompetition room open for viewing of ribbons and judges' critiques
1–3 p.m.FallsviewKids Seminar
1–4 p.m.FillmoreSeminar #7: Molding and Casting Basics with Don Miller
2:30–4 p.m.BallroomSupply area breakdown
6–6:30 p.m.BallroomCocktail hour; bar available
6:30 p.m.BallroomUTNY Banquet, Auction, and Awards Ceremony; competition room 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.

Information for 2024 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. 

2024 Competition Information

If you wish to enter a piece—or several pieces—in the 2024 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 2024 competition is any whitetail deer. The winner for this special award will be chosen by the president of the United Taxidermists of New York, Jerry St. Pierre. 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 2024 competition.

Steve Hackett

Steve started taxidermy in 1992 and became a full-time taxidermist in 1993. He began to compete in 2001 winning more than 100 major awards in all categories, including the Wasco and Breakthrough Awards. Steve also won Best Reproduction Fish at 2010 Nationals and was Breakthrough winner of the UTNY 2010 show. Steve served as Vice President and President for the New England Association of Taxidermists for eight years. Steve got involved in the early 2000s teaching seminars and helping advance the art of taxidermy, and in 2008, he started judging taxidermy competitions. In 2020, Steve retired as a full-time taxidermist after 27 years. He is still very involved in taxidermy and provides to local state associations. In 2021, Steve was inducted into the New England Association of Taxidermists Hall of Fame.

Fred BarillaFred Barilla is the owner and operator of Wild Memories Taxidermy on Long Island, NY. Fred has won numerous top awards including the Breakthrough Award, Wasco Award, National Champion, North American Champion, and Second in World titles. He has judged and performed seminars throughout the northeastern United States and Canada, including the National Taxidermists Association and World Taxidermy Championships. Fred is well known for incorporating artistic design and composition into his pieces.

Doug Rehwinkel

Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Douglas Rehwinkel. I live in Waupaca, WI. I was born in Colorado Springs and raised in Wisconsin. I’m the eldest of 8 boys. The majority of my childhood was spent at my grandmother’s horse ranch. I could ride a horse before I could ever ride a bike. I’ve always loved and respected wildlife and the beauty of nature in its natural setting. As a young boy, I spent countless hours with my father and grandfather either hunting or fishing. This led me to the art of nature and re-creating it through my artwork in school. It seemed as though I was naturally good at the details in my work. In 1991, I met my wife, Diana. Within a few years, we had 3 children, which has now developed into our 4 grandchildren. Taxidermy was always a passion and something I vowed to myself to learn some day. In 1996, my wife and I decided to move to Florida. I happened to stumble upon a taxidermist who had been looking for an apprentice. I knew this was the open door I needed, so I ran with it. After a couple years, we decided to move back to Wisconsin. When I returned home, I began reading different articles and posts on Taxidermy.net and I learned that many of the skills I had learned in Florida were outdated. I began a fresh start, learning the skills needed to be the type of artist I had aspired to be. I joined our state’s Taxidermy Association to learn new techniques and gain knowledge from world class taxidermists and judges. I decided I would start competing so that I could learn more and grow my skills further and better grow my artistry. You’ll notice I use the term, “artistry” quite often. In my opinion, that is what taxidermists are. We are artists. I’ve been judged by over 15 different judges from all over the United States. I have taken both advice and criticism and applied it to create the best mounts possible. I have received many awards over the years, but my most prestigious award I’ve earned is knowledge. Today, I take the skills, techniques, and knowledge gained over the years and apply them to every mount that comes into my shop. Because of the time, dedication, and willingness to learn, I have built a wonderful business for myself and my family. My specialty is the artistry of Predator and Prey.

Kent Stryker

Kent has been doing taxidermy for more than 30 years 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