Nicole Poe of Leachville won first place in the youth division at the 21st annual Arkansas Taxidermists Association (ATA) competition held in Jonesboro Aug. 1-3.
This was Nicole's first time to enter and she is very pleased with the outcome. It took her about a week to mount the black duck that took first place honors in the waterfowl youth division.
"The judging was tough. Judges included Frankie Thompson, Gary Cockran and Harvey Zeigler III, all very experienced and well known in the business," Nicole said.
Nicole is 10 years old and has enjoyed watching and helping her father, Shawn Poe, in his taxidermy business ever since he opened the business five years ago.
In addition to the competition, Nicole said she enjoyed attending the seminars held at the meeting. She attended the turkey, boar and children's workshops.
"You can learn a lot by seeing other people's work and the seminars are very informative. The meetings can help improve our work," Nicole said.
President of ATA Doyle Wilson and Vice President Joe Kaiser presented the awards to the winners.
A banquet was held on Friday night with prizes and an auction. Nicole said the meetings are good because you meet people from all over Arkansas and other states. She said there are more boys in the youth division than girls that participate.
She enjoys not only working in her dad's taxidermy shop, she enjoys duck hunting with him. She said her dad mounted the first two ducks she bagged but she plans to do her own next time. Her goal for the future is to mount a boar if given the chance.
Mr. Poe, an ATA board member, also won first place for his pheasant tail mounting.