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Rules and Regulations of OKTA Competitions (Revised 2-9-19)

Please read all competition rules before signing the registrations form. By signing, you agree to the rules governing OKTA competitions. Failure to comply with the rules and regulations of competition may result in the denial of your registration for future conventions.


All individuals must pay OKTA membership dues to attend any portion of the convention and competition. 

All individuals must pay registration fee to attend any portion of the convention. This includes purchasing items from vendors in the parking lot.

Banquet tickets may be purchased and received at registration. Tickets are available for Adult and Children plates. The tickets will be color coded and numbered. Tickets must be presented at the banquet upon receipt of a meal. There will be a signup sheet at registration to reserve your seat at the banquet. You do not have to purchase a banquet ticket to attend the awards presentation after the meal.

Name badges must be worn to enter seminar, competition, and supply rooms.

All entries must remain in the competition room until 12:00pm on the final day of the convention. Competitors who cannot fulfill this obligation either need to make arrangements for pick-up or do not enter the mount.


Master’s Division: Highest standard of judging.

Professional Division: Quality standard of judging.

Commercial Division: See criteria listed below.

Youth Division: Judge’s discretion.

Collective Artist: See criteria listed below.

Multiple ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honorable mention in the Youth, Commercial, and Professional Divisions. Honorable mention is eliminated in the Master’s Division.

Professional and Master’s Divisions will use the standard scoring scale used by most taxidermy competitions.

1st Place = 90-100 (Blue)

2nd Place = 80-89 (Red)

3rd Place = 70-79 (White)

4th Place = 60-69 (Green)

Score sheets will reflect the division of the competitor and be known to the judge. A competitor may NOT enter multiple divisions within one category.


Whitetail Deer Open Mouth

Whitetail Deer Closed Mouth

Gameheads = All mammals excluding Whitetail Deer

Large Lifesize = Any mammal coyote size or larger, weighing more than 40lbs regardless of species. 

Small Lifesize = Any mammal smaller than coyote size, weighing less than 40lbs regardless of species.

Fish = Skin mounts

Birds = Upland birds, non-waterfowl birds


Reproductions = A reproduction is defined as an actual animal that has been molded and casted. Commercial reproductions are allowed in the reproduction category, but are not eligible for Judge’s Choice. All normal finish work and painting must be done by the competitor. Pre-finished/painted pieces are prohibited from entry.

Reptiles = Skin mounts

Original Art = In the original art category, competitors are not scored. Judges determine ribbon color and choose category winners.

3-D Art = Half or full skeletal articulations are permitted as 3-D art.

Youth Division:

Youth score sheets will reflect the age of the competitor. Youth competitors must be 14 years old or younger.

There are three age group categories, 7 and under, 8 - 11, and 12 – 14. Best of age group category will be awarded in each age group.

European (skull) mounts and horn mounts are eligible to compete in the youth division only. 

Commercial Division:

Strict competition criteria does not apply in the Commercial Division. Judges are instructed to judge the Commercial Division against their collective knowledge of the commercial work they have viewed in their careers. Judges are not required to formulate a numerical score. Judges will complete a special criteria sheet and award a small ribbon based upon the following criteria:

Blue = Excellent commercial work.

Red = Good commercial work.

White = Average commercial work.

Green = Below average commercial work.

There are no categories in the Commercial Division, but the category judges from the Professional and Master’s Division will each critique their fields of expertise, respectfully. Specimens must fit in one of the OKTA categories to be entered. Novelty mounts such as crayfish, spiders, and horn mounts are not allowed. There are no special awards for this division.

Professional Division:

Best of Category will be awarded to each category within the professional division. A minimum of a red ribbon is required to be eligible for best of category in the professional division.

Once a professional competitor has earned two blue ribbons in a particular category, the competitor is ASKED to move up to the next higher division.


Master’s Division:

State Champion titles will be awarded to the best of category winners in each of the master’s categories. A blue ribbon is required to be eligible for a state champion in the master’s division. 

Original and commercial parts are allowed. Original parts are defined as any part that the competitor molded, sculpted, and cast from the animal itself. If denoting a part as Original, photo evidence showing the process of molding, sculpting, and casting the part is required to be considered an Original part. 

Collective Artist

Entries completed by multiple taxidermists MUST be entered in the Collective Artist Division.

The Collective Artist Division will be eligible for two awards: Judge’s choice best collective artist and People’s choice best collective artist. Individual ribbons are NOT awarded.

President’s Challenge 

Competitors may enter multiple pieces in the challenge. Only the first entry will have the mount entry fee waived. A special plaque or trophy, chosen by the President, will be awarded to the participant with the most people’s choice votes during the challenge.

Competitor’s Challenge

Any competitor bringing four (4) or more mounts to the competition is eligible. There is no extra entry fee to compete in this challenge. The four (4) highest scoring pieces will be used to figure a cumulative point total based on division and ribbon color. Point determinations are figured on the same scale as the OKTA Certification program. The competitor with the highest point total is the Competitor’s Challenge Award recipient. Competitors may enter any combination of categories. Collective Artist and Original Art are not eligible categories because there are no points awarded. Judges are the tie breakers.


General Competition Rules

All entries must be completed by the individual competitor. Pieces completed during workshops or classes may not be entered in competition. Artificial turkey heads may be mounted and freeze-dried by a supplier or other individual, but the competitor must complete the actual painting of the head.

All names and logos that may reveal the identity of the competitor must be omitted or concealed during competition. After judging is completed, business cards may be placed next to entries.

Entries must be accessible to the judges. An entry may be declared ineligible if too many of the judging criteria are hidden from view or inaccessible to the judge, or are not included in the mount. Be prepared for the removal of glass cases at the judge’s discretion.

Protected species must include necessary permits/papers.

Half life-size mounts will be treated as a Gamehead or Whitetail respectively.

No mount may be entered more than once in an OKTA competition. If a participant desires a critique from a subsequent judge, the competitor may pay the designated entry fee and receive a critique from the judge. The mount will not be eligible for additional awards or ribbons due to the second judging.

Judges will choose a Best Youth Mount, Best Professional Mount, Master of Masters, Judge’s Choice Best of Show/Breakthrough Award, and WASCO Award.

There are no guarantee that all major awards will be available for presentation at the awards banquet.

Any infraction of any competition rule shall disqualify the entry. Disqualified entries shall not be eligible for any awards. Registration and entry fees will NOT be refunded.

Any questions arising from the competition shall be resolved by the competition committee. The committee’s decision will be final.

Competition committee reserves the right to refuse acceptance of inappropriate mounts.

Competition Committee members must sign a code of ethics form to work in the competition room. Failure to comply with these governing codes will result in permanent dismissal of committee membership.



A competitor may challenge a score. $50.00 fee for each entry to be re-judged. Decisions of alternate judge(s) will be final. Identity of alternate judge(s) is known only to the competition committee and not revealed until after the challenge. Challenges must be made and fees paid within two (2) hours of the competition room opening for viewing of scoresheets.

General Convention Rules:

Competition area is CLOSED during judging. Permission to be in the room will be determined by the President, Vice-President, and Chairman of the Competition Committee. Only Officers of the OKTA and the Competition Committee will be allowed in the competition room during closed hours. Competitors may be allowed to place their mounts early during registration. Competitors will not be allowed to place their mounts if a judge is present in the competition room. Mounts may be moved from their original position to accommodate the mounts in the competition room. 

The OKTA will request facility security to be as careful as possible with all mounts. However, by act of entry into the competition, participants release the OKTA, its Officers, Board, Competition Committee, and Judges from any liability or responsibility for any mount in competition, under any circumstances.

During judging hours, a viewing area will be set up in the competition room. Competitors and guest will be allowed to sit silently and view the competition judges and competition committee members at work. Participants cannot initiate conversation with a judge or competition committee member. Participants must not talk or create disturbances. If a judge or committee member initiates conversation, answers must not disclose any information concerning the competition and be brief. Participants who cannot follow the basic policies of the viewing area will be asked to leave or possibly be disqualified from the competition. The viewing area will be closed during final tabulations by the judges and placing of ribbons. The competition committee will decide open and closed hours. Viewing area will be closed on Thursday and early Friday morning while mounts are being entered and placed.

Absolutely NO ALCOHOL allowed in the competition, seminar, or supply rooms. No food or drink is allowed in the competition room around the mounts.

Any conduct by a competitor or attendee that is deemed unsportsmanlike could result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all awards. Unruly or disruptive behavior towards judges, show officials, or other competitors/attendees will not be tolerated. The unruly or disruptive individual will be asked to leave the convention without refund.

The OKTA is no longer affiliated with the National Taxidermist Association (NTA). OKTA scoresheets will replace the NTA scoresheet for the competition. Points cannot be earned for NTA Certification. 

OKTA Certification Program

The Oklahoma Taxidermist Association offers an official certification program to its members and competitors. Competitors must earn eleven (11) points in a particular category to become certified. Points are earned by the following:

Professional Division: 1st place ribbon = 5 points. 2nd place ribbon = 3 points. 3rd place ribbon = 1 point.

Master’s Division: 1st place ribbon = 6 points. 2nd place ribbon = 4 points. 3rd place ribbon = 2 points

No more than five (5) points can be earned with 3rd place scores. Only competitors entering the Master’s and Professional Divisions are eligible for certification points. Master certification is awarded to competitors completing four (4) categories of certification. There must be a minimum of one (1) First place ribbon earned to qualify for Master certification.  A competitor will be considered Master of Master’s once all seven (7) categories are accomplished. A competitor can be certified in Original Art, but it cannot count towards the Master’s Certification.

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