Home to some of the best hunting in the state of Colorado, Craig proved once again it is home to some of the best taxidermists to take care of your trophy afterward.
Craig hosted the Colorado State Taxidermy Championships for the second straight year at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion and with some of the most stunning work being done across the country, a couple of Craig men proved their work is among the best.
Mark Zimmerman, of Bullseye Taxidermy, took three first-place finishes in the Masters division, while Scott Moore, of Mountain Man Taxidermy, had three second-place finishes in the Professional division.
While the categories in the show cover animals of all sizes, including fish and birds, it was no big surprise that Zimmerman and Moore made their mark with shoulder mounts of the big game most commonly hunted in Moffat County — elk.
“We definitely get a lot of practice on them,” Moore said about the animals with which the Craig taxidermists saw success.
2014 Colorado State Taxidermy Championships Awards
Best of Category—Novice Division:
Gamehead Antlered/Horned Tim Cooley, Mule Deer
Gamehead Non-Antlered/Non-Horned Tim Cooley, Swift Fox
Best of Category—Professional Division:
Water Fowl Terrance Snyder, Redhead Duck
Reproduction James Salazar, Brown Trout
Small Lifesize Tim Elder, Bobcat
Best of Category—Master Division:
Bird Brian Snyder, Himalayan Monal
Water Fowl Grant Willborn, Scaup
Gamehead Antlered/Horned Mark Zimmerman, Elk
Gamehead Non-Antlered/Non-Horned Dave Ferguson, Whitetail
Small Lifesize Mark Gustad, Red Fox
Large Lifesize Josh Gustad, Brown Bear
Group Bret Kirk, Buck & Doe Antelope
Safari Club International Dirk Bawden, Springbok
2nd Place Mountain Man Taxidermy, Cape Buffalo
Taxidermist Choice—Bird Brian Snyder, Pacific Brants
Taxidermist Choice—Fish James Salazar, Brown Trout
Taxidermist Choice—Gamehead Mark Zimmerman, Elk
Taxidermist Choice—Lifesize Mark Gustad, Red Fox
UTA Artisan Award Taxidermist Choice Best of Show Mark Zimmerman, Elk
Research Manikins—Novice Tim Cooley, Mule Deer
Star Fish by Star Fish Replicas James Salazar, Brown Trout
Van Dykes—Most Original & Creative Brian Snyder, Himalayan Monal
Polytranspar by Wasco James Salazar, Brown Trout
Wasco—Most Artistic Dirk Bawden, Springbok
Bird Challenge—Canadian Goose Grant Willborn
Best Mule Deer Mark Zimmerman
Mammal Challenge—Bobcat Josh Gustad
Best Youth Daicee Ungerman, Bear
Best Novice Tim Cooley, Mule Deer
Best Professional James Salazar, Brown Trout
People’s Choice Mark Zimmerman, Elk
The Woody Award Best of Show Runner Up Mark Zimmerman, Elk
Breakthrough Award Best of Show Josh Gustad, Brown Bear
Zimmerman’s first-place finishes came in the Masters division gamehead categories for elk, antelope and mule deer. Moore also had an elk and mule deer place, and a second pedestal elk was another second for him.
“For the most part, I’m happy with" how I did, Moore said. “I learned a lot, that’s always the main thing.”
With some beautiful taxidermy work on display, including a life-size brown bear and a life-size springbok, an antelope gazelle found in southwest Africa, along with some of the more common Colorado fare such as bobcats and a mountain lion, the show in Craig gave visitors a look at some of the best work being done today.
“With there being three or four guys doing it locally, then you’ve got the guys doing it in Steamboat and there’s more down toward Montrose, Craig is a good location for it,” Moore said. “It’s more central. We always have a better show when it’s here.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.