(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Shawn Poe of Leachville recently received notification he has been approved as a National Taxidermy Association judge.
Receiving this certification was one of Poe's goals when he went into the taxidermy business six years ago.
"Being a NTA judge was one of my goals," Poe said. "It became a reality even sooner than I had expected."
It had been three months since Poe submitted his resume for certification.
Poe was certified to judge in three categories and with the new certification, he will be able to judge in all categories.
He received his notice and welcome from Wesley "Skip" Skidmore of Brigham Young University in Utah, NTA Judge's Association chairman.
Poe submitted his resume listing all of present certifications and awards. There are several qualifications a taxidermist must meet to be considered for NTA Judge certification. A NTA judge must have won a NTA Award of Excellence. Poe won this award in 2005. Also, a candidate must have a walk through with a NTA judge. Poe had gone through this process four times.
He has won state championship awards in Mississippi and Arkansas.
Poe said to his knowledge there are only six NTA judges in Arkansas. Poe is one of 105 NTA members certified in three categories.
Poe still has three goals he is working toward -- winning a National championship, a North American championship, and a World championship.
He enjoys competing and judging but still enjoys his work.
"I get to touch everyone's trophy when they bring it in," he said. "I especially enjoy hearing the stories from the young people bringing in their first deer or their first duck."
Poe's Taxidermy has continued to grow and his daughter, Nicole, a ninth grade student at Buffalo Island Central, works with her dad on Saturdays. Poe and Nicole mounted over 100 ducks this summer. Mrs. Poe works one day a week in the shop.