Meet the 2019 NTA Show Judges
Bird Judge: Brandon Zahn
I am a full time taxidermist from Boling, TX. I branched out from just enjoying waterfowl and the outdoors as a professional guide on the Texas coast to start preserving my own memories. What began as a hobby in 2007 has grown rapidly into a way of life for me. I specialize in anything with feathers but also provide the full range of taxidermy services in my shop. I began competing at the state level and have been fortunate to become a multiple time state champion and Wasco winner in every state I’ve attended, as well as a national champion, world champion, and Carl Akely Award winner. It is with great pleasure that I am able to judge shows across the country and have the ability to share the knowledge and techniques that I have cultivated from some of these very same shows. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you and together we can continue to push the quality of taxidermy into the future.
Fish & Reptile Judge: Tim Gorenchan
Tim Gorenchan lives in Escanaba, Michigan with his wife and two children. He graduated from Michigan State University as an Environmental Engineer in 2000, and after moving back to his hometown in 2005, he opened North Country Legends Taxidermy.
Tim started competing in 2010 and has won best of categories with Waterfowl, Lifesize Mammals and Whitetail Deer before recently focusing on Fish in the competition arena.
Over the last 10 years, he has been honored to receive over 100 awards, highlighted by 8 State Championships, 4 WASCO Awards, 3 Breakthrough Awards, National Champion, North American Champion and Best in World Coldwater Fish.
Tim Gorenchan is proud to be your Fish and Reptile judge for the 2019 National Taxidermy Convention and looks forward to a great show.
Whitetail Judge: Gene Smith
At the age of 15, I began to pursue my passion for taxidermy after having the first whitetail harvest of my life mounted. I became fascinated with the art of taxidermy and attended my first show in 1987. In the early ’90s my skills started to excel and I even started sculpting my own manikins.
My career has been full of learning and some nice accomplishments along the way. My loves are Jesus Christ, my family and friends, and the whitetail deer. I look forward to being with you all at the show this year.
Mammal Judge: Lance Van Dusen
Hello, I’m Lance Van Dusen. Some people have shortened my name down to Lane. I live outside Lawson, MO with my wife Lithena and our two children Wailan and Sylvie.
I operate Wildlife Reflections Taxidermy Studio. My studio is a full time business that I run in a part time capacity due to being a full time father. Otherwise, I am known as a chauffeur to our two minions that I love all the time, but only like some of the time.
I picked up Taxidermy as a hobby while attending college. Back then I had time to hunt and no money for Taxidermy work. Now I have no money for hunting and no time for anything. I enjoy bow hunting Whitetail deer and hunting western big game. I dream one day of drawing a Bighorn Sheep tag. For now, I’ll keeping spending money on preference points and watch the point creep increase every year.
I’ve been engaged in competitive Taxidermy since 2000. I’ve attended shows throughout the Midwest, competing at State, National and World shows. Many valuable lessons have been learned along the way. Some of the lessons were harder to learn than others. Always keeping an open teachable mind set has been the toughest one. I implement these lessons while judging to help bring out the best in others.
The greatest enjoyment that I get from being in the Taxidermy profession is all of the interesting phone calls from clients. Most recent one is, “How much do you rent your Dermestid beetles for per day?”
Game Head Judge: Bill Neuman
Bill is a Minnesota native and has been living in Bismarck, North Dakota with his wife and three daughters for the past 13 years. Bill honorably served 4 years in the Marine Corps from 1990-1994 and began his taxidermy career in 1996 by attending Story’s School of Taxidermy in Spencer, Iowa. Bill started out part time for 7 years, then 2 years full-time before re-locating to work for Dakota Taxidermy in 2004. Some special areas of interest would include studying anatomy of mammals, sculpting, composition, and design, artistry, habitat, molding, and casting. His area of expertise would be all mammals, with special attention to detail. He has been fortunate enough to have worked on many unique species from around the world, with his favorite being the Mountain Goat.
His competition awards from the past 18 years are too many to list, but his highlights would have to include over 20 Best of Categories, 9 Best of Shows (1 at Nationals), 3 National Titles, 6 Wasco Awards, 2nd and 3rd in World live sculpting, and his 2 World titles 2013 & 2017. He has also been featured on the cover of Breakthrough magazine twice, and just won Taxidermist of the YEar in 2017 at Nationals. In addition to competing, Bill has been a judge for several years now, judging shows in WI, ND, SD, MT, MN, New England, MO, OR, OK, TX, UT, NB, and IA. He will be looking forward to judging Nationals this year, to meet many new people and assist them in their mammal Taxidermy, so please come with an open mind and be willing to learn.