Michigan Taxidermist Association

One of the Nations Largest Taxidermy Associations

Meet the Judges for the 2022 MTA Competition!

Whitetail Judge

Jack Emery

My wife Helen and I have been married for 50 years. We have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. We have lived in Carmi IL for most of our married life. My career as a Lineman began on high line construction where I worked for 5 years. I then worked the next 38 years as a Lineman for for a rual electric company. My Hobbies and interests include deer and turkey hunting and big game hunting. My love and passion for hunting led to a great love of taxidermy. I started competing in Illinois conventions off and on for about 12 years before i took a break from competitions from 1997-2007. I would advise taxidermists to always stay active and involved in some form of competition. I thank God for giving me a talent that I enjoy immensely. I also thank my fellow taxidermists and judges who have helped me achieve these accomplishments. I look forward to judging your show and i hope i can be of help in achieving your goals in taxidermy.
2013 Best in World with Open mouth Whitetail Deer
2011 World Show Best of Category Professional Whitetail  and Top Competitor award 
2009 World Show Best of Category Whitetail Professional
Several state tiles in the Whitetail and Gamehead categories
I Consider myself fortunate to have been named National Champion in the Whitetail Category as well as in the Gamehead Category for Caribou, and North American Champion for Whitetail. I have also received the Joseph Bruchac Award twice!

Game Heads and Mammal Judge

Clay Wagner


Clay Wagner is rom a small place in central Texas called Durango. Hes been awarded 2nd in the World life size mammals and National champion gameheads. Many time Texas and Oklahoma state champion in Gameheads, Life size mammals,  Whitetail deer . Hes also been a State and world show instructor.

Fish, Reptile, Invertebrate Judge

Frank Kotula


Good day taxidermists my name is Frank Kotula and I'm honored to be able to judge your show. I will give you a few main concerns when I judge a show I look for certain concerns First off is anatomy. That is your main blueprint in having any mount do well. From there its skin aliment, fin posture, paint and last base work. Base work comes more in play if the person is looking to win major awards and catches the eye of not only the fish judge but all other judges. I should have proper flow and tell a short story as we say.
I've been lucky to achieve many achievements in taxidermy. To give a few of what I have been awarded are numerous state championships along with other awards such as 2 best in shows Wasco etc. I have been awarded national and North American awards plus two awards of excellence.  I have three Best in World titles plus a first place in reproductions. I look forward to having a great time and making new friends at your show. Thanks.


 Bird Judge

Mike Nakielski


My name is Mike Nakielski and I have been performing the art of taxidermy since the age of 10 when my father helped me with my first goose mount. My father, Mike W. Nakielski, Jr., started working with taxidermy in 1970 when he established his own shop in the basement of his Milwaukee home. Since I was six years old, I would go out and hunt with my father and now in my early 30's, I haven't missed an opening day of duck season with him since.

As I gained further fascination in the sport of hunting and the art of taxidermy, I have carried my father's establishment into what it is known as today, Pro Taxidermy.
Mikes many acomplishments can be seen on his website... mikesprotaxidermy.com/awards.html


Joe Miles

Bio Coming Soon

Novice, Youth & Commercial Judges

Shane Martindale

Jason Clark
Mammals & Gameheads

Ryan Bolin

Paul Burzczycki

Wildlife Art
Membership will vote and ribbons will be placed after ballots are counted.