Several former Surry Community College Taxidermy students won awards at the recent North Carolina Taxidermist Association Annual Convention and Competition.
The North Carolina Taxidermist Association (NCTA) is a non-profit educational organization to further contacts and better understanding among taxidermists and related industries, according to the NCTA website. Surry Community College offers a Taxidermy course, in which many of this year’s NCTA winners participated.
Steve Spell of Pfafftown won first place, as well as the People’s Choice Best of Show Amateur Award, with a life-sized bear. He also received first and second-place award for two raccoons that he mounted in honor of the 35th anniversary of the movie, “The Great Outdoors.”
Michael Mitchell of Nathalie, Va., received a first-place award for a mounted bobcat, a third-place award for a rock base he created, and the Best Up-and-Coming Amateur Award.
Roger Miller of North Wilkesboro brought home multiple first, second, and third-place awards for various creations, and also received the Most Creative Amateur Award, the President’s Challenge Award, and the Chris Barnhardt Award, which is a people’s choice award named in honor of Chris Barnhardt, an international award-winning taxidermist and artist who was a mentor and inspiration to many before his untimely death in 2013.
Instructor Doug Shores said, “As always, I am very proud of all my students, but these guys right here brought home the goods. There are times while being an instructor that I think to myself, ‘Am I giving the students what they need to perform in a form of art to recreate something that was created by God?’ At the moment I walked into the display room to see what ribbons we won, I didn't even look at mine. I looked to see what my students’ ribbons were. I knew right then that I must be doing something right. If you are a former student, I urge you to join the state taxidermist association in the state where you live and attend the conventions. You’ll get more information in the seminars and by just talking with other taxidermists.”
Shores, from Archdale, also placed very well, winning a second-place award for a mounted deer and a third-place award for a mounted duck, both in the Professional Division of the competition.
Surry Community College offers Taxidermy classes ranging from beginner to advanced levels. New classes will be offered in January 2024. If you’d like to learn more about these courses, contact Jill Harding, Director of the SCC Pilot Center and Occupational Programs, at (336) 386-3331 or email@example.com.
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