OKTA Annual Convention
40th Annual OKTA Convention & Competition- June 1-3, 2023
The Reed Conference Center, Sheraton Midwest City Hotel
5800 Will Rogers Rd.
Midwest City, Ok 73110
OKTA has a discounted block of rooms. Call for the front desk to book rooms. 405-455-1800
The event will have an excellent cast of judges, seminar speakers, and suppliers. Everyone is welcome to come and share in a weekend of fun, fellowship, and learning with the OKTA.
Lordy, Lordy, Look who’s turning 40!!
The Reed Center-Sheraton Hotel in Midwest City will be the host site for the Oklahoma Taxidermists Association's 40th annual convention and competition once again this year. The event will be held June 1-3,2023 and will host an excellent cast of judges, seminar speakers, and suppliers. Everyone is welcome to come and share in a weekend of fun, fellowship, and learning with the OKTA.
This year’s show offers a chance to have your work critiqued by a professional judge, participate in a mounting contest/Calcutta, open to any specimen, compete in the Avian challenge, view the judges working, buy supplies at a discount, and attend several awesome seminars. This year continues the State Champion Belt Buckle sponsored by Cherokee Nation. The OKTA will be awarding State Champion titles to the winners of the Master's Division and Best of Category titles to the winners in the Professional Division. There will be Best of Age Category titles, sponsored by Compton Taxidermy, to the winner of each age category in the youth division. The OKTA will be providing a Taxidermist’s Choice Best Gamehead Award again this year sponsored by Adventure Bound School of Taxidermy. From the Wild to the Wall Taxidermy will be sponsoring the Avian Challenge where the participating competitors will be provided a picture of a specific bird. Each competitor will mount a specimen of that bird in the pose represented in the picture. See the attached list of other awards that will be available this year. This year's President's Challenge is skin mount Reptiles. Participants in the Collective Artists Division are eligible for two major awards and any awards that are non-taxidermy affiliated*. The OKTA also has a Competitor’s Challenge Award. Competitors bringing a minimum of four mounts are automatically entered in this special competition. Monetary awards of $300, $200, & $100 will be awarded to the first three places. New this year, pictures of all the mounts will be provided to all participants regardless if you enter a piece or not. This service is included with your registration fee.
The Reed Center-Sheraton Hotel will fill up soon, so make your reservations quickly. It is very important that our participating members book and stay in the hotel. The OKTA is penalized if we do not meet a specific room quota. Please call 1-405-455-1800 to make your reservations. Make sure to tell them you are with the OKTA Taxidermy Convention for a special room rate.
This is going to be a great event, and everyone is encouraged to attend and compete. Just think, you could be the next Oklahoma State Champion Taxidermist. Make plans to be at the Reed Center-Sheraton Hotel in Midwest City the weekend of June 1-3, 2023.
Whitetail Deer Closed Mouth
Whitetail Deer Open Mouth
Small Life-size Mammals
Large Life-size Mammals
Skin Mount Fish
Original Art (3D)
Original Art (Flat)
Judges for the 2023 OKTA Competition
Mark Hernandez of TX
Cindy Cunningham of KS
(Lifesize and Gameheads)
Jordan Hackl of AL
Jimmy Lawrence of IA
(Fish, Reproductions, and Reptiles)
2023 Schedule of Events
Wednesday, May 31st
12:00 p.m. - Set-up (BOD, Member’s Welcome to Help)
Thursday, June 1st
8:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m. Registration & check-in mounts
9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Seminar: Jimmy Lawrence – Reproduction Fish Painting Techniques
9:00 a.m. --- 12:00 p.m. Supplier setup
11:15 a.m. Judge’s Meeting / Judging Begins
11:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. Lunch (Registration Closed)
12:30 p.m — 3:00 p.m. Seminar: Mark Hernandez – Whitetail mounting & Competition Techniques
12:30 p.m.--- 3:00 p.m. Seminar: Taxidermy 101 – Bob Rowe – Large Mouth Bass Skin Mount
1:00 p.m --- 6:00 p.m. Supply room open
3:15 p.m. — 5:30 p.m. Seminar: Jordan Hackl – What & Why/ Common problems in bird taxidermy and how to fix them
3:15 p.m. --- 5:30 p.m. Seminar: Taxidermy 101 – Steve Abbott - WT Antler repair and painting
5:30 p.m. --- 7:00 p.m. Hospitality Dinner & Live Auction
7:00 p.m. — 10:30 p.m. OKTA Calcutta, Gamehead/ Bird Mounting Contest
Friday, June 2nd
7:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. Judging continues
7:30 a.m. — 9:30 a.m. Registration & check in mounts
8:30 a.m. — 10:30 a.m. Seminar: Cindy Cunningham – Hands on Bobcat eye/ear setting
8:30 a.m. --- 10:30 a.m. Seminar: Taxidermy 101 – Randy Huffman – Waterfowl Taxidermy Techniques
9:00 a.m. — 9:30 a.m. Mounting Contest Final Grooming.
9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Supply area open
10:00 a.m --- 11:00 a.m. Seminar: Kids
11:00 a.m.— 12:30 p.m. OKTA Summer Business Meeting (EVERYONE IS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND AND HAVE A VOICE IN THE FUTURE OF YOUR ASSOCIATION)
11:00 a.m.— 12:00 p.m. Supplier’s lunch
12:30 p.m. —1:30 p.m. Lunch
12:00 p.m.— 4.00 p.m. Supply room open
1:00 p.m. — 1:45 p.m. People’s Choice voting
2:00 p.m. --- 4:30 p.m. Seminar: James Yarborough – Molding and Casting
5:30 p.m.— 6:15 p.m. Competition room open. Ribbons will be in place, major Awards will be presented at banquet
6:30 p.m. Banquet, Awards Ceremony (Competition Room will open for 1 hour after Banquet)
8:00 p.m. --- 9:30 p.m. Children’s Movie Time
Saturday. June 3rd
8:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. Public viewing
8:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. Critiques with judges (NO MOUNTS CAN BE REMOVED UNTIL 12:00 P.M)
9:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Supply area open
12:00 p.m. Breakdown
Thank You from all the OKTA Officers and Board Members for attending the convention. We welcome any feedback to provide a better show in the future.
2023 Avian Challenge
June 1-3, 2023
The species pose for the 2023 OKTA Avian Challenge at the Convention is the WOOD DUCK (pictured here) Enter to win a great trophy
The annual OKTA Calcutta & Live Mounting Contest (Whitetail.Gameheads & Bird) will be held on Thursday June 1st, 2023.
Two Live Mounting Champion buckles will be awarded in the categories of Whitetail/Gamehead and Bird! Join us for a fun-filled night of competition and fellowship!
Contact Steve Abbott (405-392-5597) or Mark Pontius (918-277-0442) by the Calcutta registration deadline of May 20th.
See the Rules below:
THE BREAKTHROUGH BEST OF SHOW: Selected by the judges collectively from the Master of Masters winner and Best Professional winner. It is NOT bound by score and is considered the very best piece in the show.
WASCO AWARD: To be selected by the judges as the most artistic entry in the show.
TAXIDERMY TODAY AWARD: Selected by the judges collectively from the master’s Division that was in nearest contention for Master of Master/Judges Choice. It is NOT bound by score and is considered the second-best piece in the show.
MASTER OF MASTERS: Chosen as the very best entry of the awarded State Champion pieces, in the Master’s Division and is NOT bound by score.
MASTER’S DIVISION / STATE CHAMPION: Highest scoring piece in each category in the Master’s Division.
BRIAN HARNESS MEMORIAL AWARD: Selected by the LIFESIZE JUDGE from the State Champions AND Best of Category/Professional Division on Small Lifesize Mammal. In making the selection the judges are NOT bound by score.
VAN DYKES AWARD: Selected by the judges as the mount that displays the most originality and creativity in the Master’s or Professional Division.
PRO 1 AWARD: Best Mount using Pro1 products.
POLYTRANSPAR AWARD: Best painted fish/reproduction in competition using Polytranspar Paints.
BEST HABITAT AWARD: Selected by the judges. Judges will pick a habitat that combines difficulty with a realistic presentation that should complement and not overpower the overall artistic expression of the mount.
BEST PROFESSIONAL MOUNT AWARD: Selected by the judges. Chosen as the very best entry of the awarded Best of Category pieces in the Professional Division and is NOT bound by score.
PROFESSIONAL DIVISION / BEST OF CATEGORY: Highest scoring piece in each category in the Professional Division.
THE DALTON COMPTON AWARD / BEST YOUTH: Selected by the judges. Chosen as the very best entry of the awarded Best of Category pieces in the Youth Division and is NOT bound by score.
YOUTH DIVISION / BEST OF AGE CATEGORY: Highest scoring piece in each age group in the Youth Division.
BEETLESHACK AWARD: People’s Choice best youth mount.
COLLECTIVE ARTISTS AWARD: Judges Choice of Best Collective Artist entries, no score will be assigned on the score sheet.
CALCUTTA AWARD: Judges will determine his/her top three choices in order and a numerical score will be awarded (1st=3points, 2nd=2points, 3rd=1point), the OKTA secretary and the judges will tally the scores and the Competition judge will announce the winner at the Banquet on Friday night.
SAFARI CLUB INTERNATION AFRICAN / EXOTIC AWARD: Selected by competition judges as the Best Large Life Size mount and Game Head. In making the selection, judges are NOT bound by the highest numerical score but will consider the mounts overall merit. (Judges selection IF representative is NOT present to make decision)
MCKENZIE AWARD: In recognition of outstanding contribution toward professionalism, education, and the advancement of the art of taxidermy.
MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Executive board nominates, and votes are tallied.
COMPETITORS CHALLENGE AWARD/MATUSKA AWARD: Awarded to the competitor with 4 of the highest scoring entries in the Master’s or Professional’s Divisions. All entries must have a 1st or 2nd ribbon with a combined score of 350 points or greater.
MCKENZIE TAXIDERMIST CHOICE BEST WHITETAIL AWARD: Limited to Whitetail entries competing in the Master’s Division and the Professional Division. Selected by the registered competitors and taxidermists.
MCKENZIE TAXIDERMIST CHOICE BEST LIFE-SIZE MAMMAL AWARD: Limited to Life-Size Mammal entries competing in the Master’s Division and the Professional Division. Selected by the registered competitors and the taxidermists.
MCKENZIES TAXIDERMIST CHOICE BEST FISH AWARD: Limited to any fish entries (skin or reproduction) competing in the Master’s Division and the Professional Division Selected by the registered competitors and Taxidermists.
MCKENZIES TAXIDERMIST CHOICE BEST BIRD AWARD: Limited to Bird or Waterfowl entries competing in the Master’s Division and the Professional Division. Selected by the registered competitors and taxidermists.
ADVENTURE BOUND SCHOOL OF TAXIDERMY TAXIDERMIST CHOICE BEST GAMEHEAD Limited to Gamehead entries (excluding whitetails) competing in the Master’s Division and the Professional Division. Selected by the registered competitors and taxidermists.
MOUNTED IN ALASKA AWARD: Selected by the judges collectively, to the piece that tells the best story. (Judges Choice IF representative is NOT present)
DUCKS UNLIMITED AWARD: Best Duck chosen by representative.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNTAIN: Best Elk to be chosen by representative.
PRESIDENTS CHALLENGE AWARD: People’s Choice best mount meeting the President’s Challenge criteria.
BEST WHITETAIL WALL MOUNT: Highest scoring whitetail wall mount. Must be hanging on the wall, no pedestal mounts.
FROM THE WILD TO THE WALL TAXIDERMY AVIAN CHALLENGE CHAMPION: Highest scoring bird mount representing the picture provided for the challenge.
UTA ARTISAN AWARD: Taxidermist choice most artistic/best mount. Selected by active taxidermists only.
TORNADO VALLEY CALLS AWARD: Central flyway favorite waterfowl mount chosen by the owner of Tornado Valley Calls.