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Taxidermists claim coveted awards at NWTF convention

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Photos and interviews for media available upon request through Josh Fleming.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Many of the nation's best wildlife taxidermists vied for top honors at the NWTF's Grand National Wild Turkey and White-tailed Deer Taxidermy Competition during the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show, Feb. 9-12.

More than $7,500 in cash and prizes were up for grabs at the prestigious competition sponsored by Mossberg & Sons Inc. at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. MidwayUSA was the official convention sponsor.

The competition featured 78 wild turkey and white-tailed deer entries in professional and masters skill divisions. Poses included open and closed mouth for deer, and standing, strutting, open wing and group for wild turkey.

Shawn Whitehead of Lexington, Ky., won Best of Show in the Wild Turkey Masters Division. Kyle Patin of Lewisburg, Tenn., won Best of Show in the White-tailed Deer Masters Division.

Chris Couch of Bardstown, Ky., won the WASCO (Wildlife Artist Supply Company) Award for Most Artistic Entry.

Winners included:

Wildlife Artist Supply Company (WASCO) Award

  • Most Artistic Entry, Chris Couch, Bardstown, Ky.
  • Polytranspar Award, Ed Hancock, Lexington, Ky.

Wild Turkey Professional

  • Best Strutting - Dean Lengacher, Washington, Ind.
  • Best Open Wing - Kristopher Kave, Martinsburg, W.Va.
  • Best Standing - Ed Hancock, Lexington, Ky.
  • Best of Show - Dean Lengacher, Washington, Ind.


  • Best Group - Shawn Whitehead, Lexington, Ky.
  • Best Standing - Casey McLearen, Hernando, Miss.
  • Best Strutting - Alicia Love, Glendale, Ky.
  • Best of Show - Shawn Whitehead, Lexington, Ky.
  • Best Open Wing - Josh Lengacher, Washington, Ind.


  • 1st Place - Alicia Love, Glendale, Ky.
  • 2nd Place - Kristopher Kave, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Best Amateur

  • Tracy Hazel, Lewisburg, Tenn.

White-tailed Deer Professional

  • Best Closed Mouth - Dean Lengacher, Washington, Ind.
  • Best Open Mouth - Chris Couch, Bardstown, Ky.
  • Best of Show - Chris Couch, Bardstown, Ky.


  • Best Open Mouth - Kyle Patin, Lewisburg, Tenn.
  • Best Closed Mouth - Chip Hayes, Manchester, Tenn.
  • Best of Show - Kyle Patin, Lewisburg, Tenn.


  • 1st Place - Ferrel Cosby, Alvanton, Ky.
  • 2nd Place - Kyle Patin, Lewisburg, Tenn.

Best Amateur

  • Butch Irwin, Albany, Ky.

Best Youth

  • Riley Ring, Columbia, Tenn.

2012 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA — Official Sponsor
Academy Sports + Outdoors, Barronett Blinds, Bass Pro Shops, Benelli, Big Tex Trailers, Bird Dog and Whitetail Whiskey, Browning, Cabela’s, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Marlin Firearms, Mossy Oak, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, O.F. Mossberg, Remington Arms Company, Inc., Titan UTV, Winchester/Olin Corporation, U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance, Weatherby, Wild Turkey Bourbon




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