Carolin has been a full time taxidermist for over 20 years and owns Carolin's Creative Taxidermy in Ontario, Canada. She won Best in World Recreation and Judges' Choice Best of Show at the 2017 World Championships and has been a mammal judge in Ontario and Quebec.

​John Matthews - Whitetails

​Carolin Brak-Dolny - Mammals and Gameheads

John 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 was the lead taxidermist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and has owned two taxidermy shops.

Our annual convention and competition will again be held at DoubleTree by Hilton at 16 Ella Grasso Turnpike in Windsor Locks, CT

860-627-5171 Be sure to ask for the NEAT block rate of $104. 2018 dates are May 31-June 2.  

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2019 Judges

We are pleased to welcome Brian back as our bird and fish judge. Brian owns Brian Noody Taxidermy and has many awards to his name including Best of Show at the World Championships in 2013, and 3 other Breakthrough awards.

Annual Convention Details  2019

Where Knowledge and Friendship Meet

​Brian Noody- Fish and Birds


CLASSES OF COMPETITION

AMATEUR: Anyone in business less than a year, or does not do any commercial work, or who has never won a first place ribbon in any taxidermy competition.
PROFESSIONAL: Anyone who is not an Amateur or a Master.
MASTERS: Any Professional who has won three first place ribbons on a state or national level in a given division or category must move up to the Masters class in that category only. Any Professional may enter into the Masters class at any time.
DIVISION OF EXCELLENCE:  Any competitor who has won three 1st place masters ribbons in that category, or two blue and a BOC, or who has achieved the NTA award of excellence in that given category.
YOUTH: Anyone 16 years old or under and must be registered as a family membership. An essay explaining what inspired the piece may be added, but is not mandatory.
COMMERCIAL: Any average customer’s piece.



Categories of Competition
1) Amateur, Professional, Masters Classes & Division of Excellence:
  • Whitetail deer heads: open and closed mouth categories.
  • Game heads: open and closed mouth categories.
  • Life Size Mammals:
  • Small: Coyote and smaller, juvenile large mammals, fawns, cubs, etc will be included as small mammals  determined by body mass as to coyote size.
  • Large: Any mammal larger then a coyote.
  • Birds: Upland birds, Waterfowl, Turkeys – allow freeze dry heads.
  • Reptiles: Skin Mounts.
  • Reproductions: Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, replica antlers, etc.
  • Fish: ALL fish are judged as a two-sided mount. The only one-sided fish is in the commercial, youth and amateur divisions. The judge will need to see two eyes and a finished area to blend the seam to score the fish. Please specify the category on the entry sheet. The competition committee will classify Anything questionable into the commercial division.

2) Wildlife Art:
  •  Wildlife art will be any open category—to include but not exclusive of sculpture, painting, photography, carving, casting, or flat art. (The judges will choose the winner.)
  • Nothing will be allowed that is lewd or offensive to the public (i.e. traps, blood, arrows, and NO LIVE AMMO).

3) Commercial Category:
  • The reason for having a commercial class is for the average customer’s piece to be critiqued. The commercial category will follow all previously stated rules. This will be an open class.
  • Each piece will be judged without the use of a flashlight and physical touch. Judges will critique and place a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place ribbon. A  Best of Category ribbon will be awarded in each category to the best blue ribbon entry (category judge’s choice).
  • All judges will then judge Best of Category winners in the commercial division for Best of Show Commercial. Commercial pieces will be eligible for Taxidermist’s Choice, President’s Trophy and the WASCO Awards.

4) Freeze Dry:
  • This will be an open class. Entries must be designated for this category. No other freeze dry will be in the general competition other than turkey heads.

5) Novelties:
  • All classes together.

6) Open Class:
  • This will be a combination of all pieces. Amateur, Professional and Masters in one class (freeze dry, commercial, wildlife art, and novelty categories only).

7) Best of Category:
  • These ribbons will be awarded in each class for categories listed above in 1. The Best of Category ribbon will go to the highest blue ribbon entry. If a class has no blue ribbon, it will not receive a Best of Category ribbon.

RULES OF COMPETITION
1) All attending must be dues paying members of NEAT and must be registered at this convention or before.
Registration badge must be worn at all times.
2) All competition pieces should be pre-registered at the cost of $25.00/piece.
3) Pick up your packet before entering competition pieces. All competition pieces must be delivered to check in area by 5:00 pm on Friday. Any final grooming is to be done only in the check-in area prior to the official judging session. Pieces may not be removed until the end of the board meeting on Sunday. NO EXCEPTIONS! Anyone wanting someone else to transport their competition pieces on Sunday will need to supply a written document to the competition committee with both signatures for release. 4) No one is to be allowed in the competition area prior to, or during, judging other than authorized competition committee personnel.
5) Pieces may be used to compete only one time in a NEAT competition.
6) HANGERS. Please place all hangers so that they extend above the panel on backer. If two hangers are required, space on full inches apart for pegboard display. (You can move them back down after the show).
7) A competition piece can be rejected from competition if members of the committee judge it to be lewd or offensive to the general public (i.e. blood, trap, arrow, and also NO LIVE AMMO allowed).
8) Any plaques or signs identifying the taxidermist or customer must be removed or obscured before judging. All glass cases must be removed by the competitor only before judging. This will be done in the grooming area.
9) Multiple ribbons will be awarded in most categories, according to quality of work. In the event of a tie, duplicate ribbons will be given.
10) Score sheets will be given to competitor. Raw score will be used for the ribbon placement in al the classes. Judges will be notified of the class.
11) Any un-sportsman like behavior will result in loss ribbon.
12) Animals hunted legally in the world are allowed with proper permit including transport permits. Hawks, Owls, Songbirds, or Eagles will have state and federal paperwork. The competitor is responsible for knowing and following all such laws pertaining to species on federal or state protected or threatened lists. 
13) JUDGE’S DECISIONS WILL BE FINAL.
14) All competition pieces will be entered at the competitor’s own risk. NEAT is not responsible for any liability due to damage, theft, fire, or natural causes.
15) Any competitor 16 years old and under will receive a ribbon and may register under family membership, but must still pay the entry fee.
16) If you bring any animal that does not conform to the score sheet or category, you must submit photos and reference pictures for the judge to determine if it was correctly interpreted in the mount. There will be no best of category ribbon.
17) Competitors will be expected to abide by a decision of the NEAT board on any circumstances not covered by the above rules.

A mount can only be entered in one division in the competition, i.e. you cannot enter the same mount in the masters and commercial division at the same time.