June 9th-11th  2017
Make Reservations Today!

Ramada Inn
265 33rd Ave.
Columbus, NE 68601
(402) 564-1492

Room Reservation Deadline is May 18th 2017

Room Rate: Two Queen beds or a Queen + sofa $94.95


2017 Challenge of the Arts: Any life-size Canine!


Devin Amelunke- Game-heads/Life-size

Devin is a self taught taxidermist from Fredericktown, Mo where he lives with his wife Christy and daughter Anna Mae (11).  He has run a full-time taxidermy studio (Ozark Mountain Taxidermy) for 29 years.  He is a product of the competition circuit of 29 years.  “Most of what I know, I learned in a seminar or huddled up at a competition”.  He has been very successful at all levels of competition.  His awards include:  2 Judges Choice Best of Show Awards, 3 Best in State Awards, 5 Best All Around Taxidermist Titles, 7 WASCO’s, 16 Best of Categories, 4 VanDyke Awards, 2 Artisan Awards, 12 Taxidermist’s Choice Awards and most recently, 1st Place Whitetails Closed Mouth Short Hair at the World Taxidermy Championship in Springfield, MO . He is well versed in all categories and really enjoys helping young or “new to the business” taxidermists expand their potential. With that said, Blake Reiminger, who works for Devin, has beaten him the last three years in a row.  Devin says he has “come to the realization that he might be a better teacher than taxidermist”.

Mike Nakielski - Birds
   Mike started taxidermy at a young age, learning from his father, and eventually taking over the family business in Iron Ridge Wisconsin where he lives with his wife Jen.  Mike has a lengthy list of achivements, including numerous state champion, peoples choice, Wasco, and competitors awards.  He has won the the prestigious "Woody" award and two judges choice Best of Show awards, as well as National Champion, UTA Master Champion and 3rd in World Waterfowl at the World Taxidermy Championships. He also won top honors at the 2015 World Taxidermy Championships, winning the grand prize competitors award!  Mike is looking forward to sharing his knowledge on bird anatomy and behavior, as well as sharing his techniques for mounting them!

Clint Rickey - Whitetail

Clint, his wife Sonya, and two daughters, Alexa (6) and McKenna (3) live in Dodgeville, WI. Clint has worked as a full-time taxidermist from the age of 19 specializing in deer and game heads. He feels fortunate to live very close to a couple deer farms where he can study the live deer. This has helped him immensely in taking his work to the next level.  A few of the awards Clint has won include three time Best of Category Master’s Whitetail at the Iowa Taxidermy Association, two time Wisconsin State Champion Whitetail, UTA Master Champion Whitetail, three Best of Show runner-ups, and the Breakthrough Best of Show at the Wisconsin Taxidermy Championships. Clint is looking forward to judging the Nebraska show and meeting many new friends.

Cory Foth - Fish
Cory started doing taxidermy in the early 90’s; he would work on different species for friends and family. Hearing there was a state show held every year, he sought out the KAT and went and viewed the work.  After seeing the quality of work there, he felt his work was way off the mark!  He then joined the KAT and attended the Swan Lake Taxidermy School in northern Missouri.  Shortly after that, Cory began his “serious” taxidermy career.  He focused on only two areas of his taxidermy (although he has  done all areas), deer and fish.  His travels to become the best fish taxidermist and deer taxidermist in KS took him to Joe Meders (2001) and Rick Kranes (2005) classes.  Joes classes ended up with his winning Best in Kansas Whitetail in the early 2000’s. Since Ricks classes he has won numerous BOC for fish in the state of KS, 1 Breakthrough, 1 WASCO, highest scoring out of state for the NSTA and MO(deer); also numerous McKenzie Peoples Choice awards.  Cory mainly compete with fish now and one of his proudest moments was scoring a 96 in the professional division of the 2011 World Taxidermy Championships. Cory feel most all of his accomplishments are due to the state organizations he has attended over the years. 

"It will be my pleasure to judge the NSTA; my main goal when judging is to inspire and educate the competitors to the best of my ability."
-Cory Foth