Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen!
The World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships® is the largest competition involving taxidermy and fish carving in the world. The event has been covered by the New York Times, New Yorker magazine, Wall Street Journal and many sporting and hunting journals. It has also been the subject of many sportsman television shows and one movie documentary. Melissa Milgrom, who wrote Still Life, covered the show.
The competition is a display of the finest wildlife art by taxidermists and fish carvers from all over the world.
The first World Taxidermy Championships® was held in 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia, at the World Congress Center. Since then, there have been 19 World Championships®.
The show is normally held in different regions of the United States every two years, but in 2008 and 2012 the show was held in Europe at the city of Salzburg, Austria, where over 42,000 people viewed the entries that varied from a lifesize rhino to a tiny field mouse. This championship was in conjunction with “Hohe Jagd & Fischerei & OffRoad,” Europe’s second largest sportsmen show. The World Taxidermy Championships® was invited back for 2012, where record-breaking attendance was again recorded.
The first World Fish Carving Championships® was held in 1985 in conjunction with the World Taxidermy Championships®, and became a huge success in its own right. The two shows have been held together since then, with winners taking home over $200,000 in cash awards over the past 14 years.
Taxidermists and carvers from all 50 states will normally be in attendance, with as many as 25 international countries represented. The show averages 600 entries, and the largest competition ever, in 2003, had 701 entries. Approximately 1,000 taxidermists and fish carvers will attend.
The profession of taxidermy is far more than just having a prize trophy mounted for personal satisfaction and enjoyment. It has evolved into a form of natural history with artistic composition and design that can bring museum quality work into the homes of hunters, fishermen, and wildlife enthusiasts. Modern taxidermy follows the established proven methods, while utilizing space-age polymers, glues, and plastics.
The art of fish carving is a fascinating art that goes back hundreds of years, to the times when fish decoys were carved to attract fish to holes in ice where the fish were speared for food. Modern fish carvings, like bird carvings, have evolved to very detailed sculptures in wood that look as real as the living animals they represent. Some of the pieces that have won at previous World Fish Carving Championships® have sold for over $15,000.
Everyone who views this competition is amazed at their realism.
Public viewing times of the 2019 World Taxidermy and Fish Carving Championships are Friday, May 3, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 4, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12 years of age.
The location is the lower level of the Springfield Expo Center, located at 3635 East S. Louis Street in Springfield.