2016 NWTF Convention Deer Taxidermy Contest Winners

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

Talented Taxidermists Breathed Extraordinary Life Into These Mounts

I’m a deer guy. Deer hunting is what I do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate other game animals. I love to hear that first tree yelp on a frosty April morning. I love to see a lone tom strutting in an open meadow. And I really love the thundering sound of a throaty gobbler.

Because of that, I’ve been attending the National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual convention for going on 15 years. This year, I was especially excited to see all of the deer mounts on display. They held the annual taxidermy contest, and here are this year’s winners.

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.

AMATEUR DIVISION 1ST PLACE

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1 | AMATEUR DIVISION 1ST PLACE

Brandon Rainey took home top honors in the Amateur Division. This incredible mount really stood out from the rest of the competition.

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AMATEUR DIVISION 2ND PLACE

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2 | AMATEUR DIVISION 2ND PLACE

Brandon Rainey also won 2nd place. This big buck was a stud of a deer. And its legacy will live on through Rainey’s exceptional work.

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COMMERCIAL DIVISION 1ST PLACE

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3 | COMMERCIAL DIVISION 1ST PLACE

Jordon Holsonback is known as a prolific taxidermist. This piebald doe is a great representation of the quality work he does.

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COMMERCIAL DIVISION 2ND PLACE

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4 | COMMERCIAL DIVISION 2ND PLACE

Michael Glass is another well-known taxidermist. He captured the life-like moment of this buck in mid-jump.

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PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST CLOSED MOUTH

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5 | PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST CLOSED MOUTH

Butch Irwin entered the best closed-mouth deer mount in the competition. This mount is as realistic as they come.

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PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST OPEN MOUTH

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6 | PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST OPEN MOUTH

Butch Irwin also won the award for the best open-mouth deer mount. Talk about velvet bucks! This one gets me excited about early-season hunting.

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PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST OF SHOW

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7 | PROFESSIONAL DIVISION BEST OF SHOW

Okay, so this guy cleaned house. Butch Irwin took home top honors in the Professional Division, too.

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MASTERS DIVISION BEST CLOSED MOUTH

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8 | MASTERS DIVISION BEST CLOSED MOUTH

Chip Hayes won the award for the best closed-mouth deer in the Masters Division. This one has late-October, pre-rut deer hunting written all over it.

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MASTERS DIVISION BEST OPEN MOUTH

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9 | MASTERS DIVISION BEST OPEN MOUTH

Ferrell Cosby took home the award for the best open-mouth deer in the Masters Division. This is a brute. And the attitude instilled in this mount exhibits the very behavior we love to see every November.

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MASTERS DIVISION BEST OF SHOW

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10 | MASTERS DIVISION BEST OF SHOW

Chip Hayes also won top honors in the Masters Division. This is a classic mount, for sure. Incredible work.

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