National Taxidermists Association Explanation of Benefits:
NTA Membership is required to attend the NTA National Convention and other events. However, membership with the NTA provides additional benefits as described below. We are always seeking new and innovative perks to membership. If you have any suggestions or have questions about the benefits currently being offered, please contact us.
NTA Educational Funding
The NTA established the “Charlie Fleming Educational Fund” that yearly awards scholarships to qualified members and/or their children to continue their education. We operate under a code of ethics to help guide our members to better public relations with their customers, peers, and community. We are extremely proud of the history and evolution of our profession and the work done by both the old and new masters of the art of taxidermy.
National Award of Excellence
This award is the most prestigious award that is earned by accumulation of points from any NTA competition. There are numerous competitors that have achieved this award and not only use it in their advertising but also find themselves with a greater self-esteem due to their achievements of earning this award. This program is the most accepted and functional awards program available. We like to think it is a very challenging and fair program as well. This is an EARNED award by the competitor.
NTA Judges Association
Was established for use for NTA sanctioned competition and is a convenient guideline for referencing those individuals recognized as a sanctioned judge. Judges included in this organization must meet the criteria necessary to do a proficient job at your competitions. We are proud of this great program.
The NTA hosts one of the largest convention and trade show with exhibitors and attendees worldwide. Everyone has the opportunity to see the very latest equipment and products, and deal on a one-to-one basis with suppliers by asking questions and making suggestions for items they would like to see in the future. At all NTA conventions, members can attend educational seminars showing techniques used by those who are recognized as being the best in our profession. A wide range of seminars are planned so there is something for everyone.
The NTA hosts a taxidermy competition at each convention where you may enter examples of your artistic creations and compete for cash awards as well as ribbons, trophies, and honors such as “Best-All-Around Taxidermist,” “Distinguished Taxidermists,” and “Taxidermist of the Year” just to name a few. Each entry is given a detailed score sheet to show needed areas of improvement and the judges are available to discuss any questions you may have. Points are awarded each entry based on its own merits and these are used to earn the “NTA Award of Excellence,” and “NTA Certification.”
The NTA maintains a headquarters that is a clearinghouse for the taxidermy industry. Phone calls and letters of inquiry from taxidermists, sportsmen, and the media about our profession are routinely handled or directed to the source of information needed. We are committed to improving the image of the taxidermy profession in the minds of the general public. All NTA members are pledged to help one another so we can share information and ideas to produce a better quality product and overall service. This, in turn, will allow everyone to earn additional income for their families.
NTA Protecting Your Rights
The NTA has joined with other outdoor groups to fight against legislation that the animal rights activists would like to impose on the American public. The NTA is the only taxidermy association in history to fight for your rights at the national level. The NTA has made contributions to the political action funds of the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, the Wildlife Legislative Fund, the Minnesota Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Californians for Fair Spending on Wildlife, etc. We have worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to change some laws and to better define others that each of us must deal with on a daily basis. The NTA has a Wildlife Conservation Fund used for the sole purpose of promoting hunting, fishing, and taxidermy. The NTA and Conservation Force will continue to protect your rights to hunt, fish, and work in the taxidermy profession.
The National Taxidermists Association went on the official record as opposing the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2003 (68 FR 51222). We were totally against increasing the permit fees for taxidermists (CAT members) for the following reasons:
- From all of the information available to us, over 95 percent of all individuals that are taxidermists do not rely on taxidermy as their full time and only income. This overwhelming majority of taxidermists work out of their home in a spare room, garage, basement, or in storage sheds in their backyard. They have “real jobs” during the day where they can receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. These individuals often offer commercial taxidermy services to the public after spending many years working without pay for themselves and their friends. They are actually the backbone of the taxidermy profession—part time individuals working from home.
- Targeting these small, part time individuals engaging in such a small business operation was supposed to be expressly prohibited by Federal Law in 1996. I cannot fathom any businesses in any profession that operate on a smaller scale than the vast majority of taxidermists.
- The USFWS has never contacted the National Taxidermists Association to have consultations over this proposed increase and how it could hurt the many individuals involved.
- Such a massive increase in permit costs would keep many individuals from renewing their permits and cause many new individuals, who are just learning to never apply for a permit.
- Losing these many individuals who operate on a shoestring would kill the many advances in technology they bring to our profession. It is these individuals that have the time on their hands to try and discover new and different techniques that we all can take advantage of.
We asked them to please eliminate proposed Rule 68 FR 51222.
Then the National Taxidermists Association went on record as supporting the draft policy for enhancement of survival permits for foreign species. We felt this was long overdue to help ensure the survival of many species. Regulated hunting in foreign countries is the best method to help these animals. As these animals are given an increasing value, there is a greater concern for both governments and locals alike to ensure their survival. It has been proven that their numbers will increase dramatically. We felt that the Endangered Species Act already authorized this policy and that no further delay or planning was needed. It only needs to be implemented.
It was suggested that the USFWS needed to put more trust in the country of origin as they have the most to gain/lose in the process. Instead of putting up continual roadblocks by setting the standards excessively high, restrictive, expensive and impossible to verify, the USFWS should have been reasonable and look to the Country of Origin for direction.
In the beginning, the NTA established state associations to help its members on a local level. These state associations in the past have been provided funding, guidance, and leadership along with having NTA officers and directors speak, answer questions, judge, and provide seminars. Just a few thoughts to ponder:
The NTA has a dynamic group of Board Members, who are eager to discuss important topics, make plans for the future and build a stronger relationship. Remember, the National Taxidermists Association and its affiliates can enhance leadership decisions with grass roots participation. We can balance old ideas and formats with varied new perspectives, ideas and energies. Together we can create shared opportunities and stimulate fresh approaches with multifaceted program opportunities. If there are issues and concerns please let the NTA know. Talk with the NTA President, a Board Member or Headquarters. The NTA, its Officers, Board and staff are ready and willing to help.
The NTA is looking for the planners and doers… active people to show genuine enthusiasm, integrity, dedication, influence, desire and commitment. Individuals who want to make a difference in their life, community, and their profession for the right reasons. They make time, not excuses.
To be “active and supportive of the overall goals of the National Taxidermists Association” is, at first glance, a seemingly overwhelming responsibility or opportunity, depending on how one looks at the equation. The NTA and state organizations should be a focal point for taxidermy, education, conservation, and fellowship among taxidermists.” Essentially anything that will help our members become more informed is positive. Remember this too, if we as artists don’t educate and protect our profession from those that want to steal it, our ability to maintain our taxidermy profession in the future is in jeopardy.