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Judges Bio/Seminars


Fish and Bird Judge Mike Orthober: Mike Orthober and his wife Lorie have two grown children plus three grand children and live in Egg Harbor Wisconsin. He has been doing taxidermy for 40+ years and has been working at his present location since 1983. He does all facets of taxidermy in his business. He started competing in 1982 and over the years has won many state, national and world titles which include best in world fish , best in world warm water fish, second in world nongame bird, two master of masters at world, one best of show NTA and taxidermist of the year NTA. He enjoys hunting and fishing, clay target shooting, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Whitetail Deer Judge Brian Olson: Brian has been a taxidermist for 33 years and enjoys working on mammals, game heads, whitetails, and base work/habitats in this shop in WI.  He is considered an expert among his peers at all mammals and game heads as well as birds.  He has won countless ribbons & awards at the state, national & world levels over the years.  In 1999 Brian won Best in World title at the World Taxidermy Championships held in Springfield, IL.  Brian is still an active competitor, more recently winning National Champion in 2014.  Add to that 3 more best of shows, 5 WASCO awards, and the 2016 Joe Meder - Masters of Masters Game Head in Iowa, Brian has proven to be a worthy competitor. He has judged several shows in the past (IA, IL, WI, SD, MO and Canada), and his critiques are clear and precise.


Mammal and Gamehead Judge Lance Van Dusen: My interest in taxidermy started in college as a hobby. I attended Missoula Valley Taxidermy School in the spring of 2001. My education furthered with a part time job with Todd Kranau, owner of Masterpiece Taxidermy in Blue Hill, NE. While working under Todd, I had the opportunity to quickly understand the importance of quality work and customer service. I launched my full time business, Wildlife Reflections Taxidermy Studio, in 2005. Learning to apply anatomy, originality, artistic flow and expressionism to my work has provided me a path to be a leader in the industry. I am still focused on these principals in my professional and competition pieces. My wife, two children and I have settled in Lawson, MO, a small town outside of Kansas City, MO. I consider myself a Gamehead and Life-sized mammal specialist. My career incorporated judging in 2013. I am eager to share my knowledge and help expand the Taxidermy industry. I learn something new each time I give a seminar or judge an event. I encourage any questions or thoughts you may have on troublesome areas regarding taxidermy.

A few thoughts on competing and competition work.

Should be used as a learning tool, no matter what level you are at in your career

Focus on details and symmetry

Keep the habitat and pedestal base simple

Proof of original work or custom alterations of a commercial form are welcome and needed!!!

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