Valdosta Daily Times

June 8, 2013

Valdostan wins top international taxidermy honors

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Stevie Young of Valdosta was awarded the title of Best in the World, Turkey, at the 2013 World Taxidermy Championship held in Springfield, Ill. This title is Young’s first Best in the World solo award, though he has won many other awards even at the Best in the World level.

The Taxidermy Olympics World Championship draws hundreds of competitors internationally. This year, there were 527 entries total, with several different competitive categories. Young was named Best in the World, Turkey in the Master division, for his eastern wild turkey piece.

“This is the pinnacle,” Young said. “I felt honored, overwhelmed and blessed when I was told that I had won.”

While many people might believe that taxidermy is simply stuffing an animal, Young knows that it is more than that.

“You have to know the anatomy and skeletal structure of the animal as well as get into the art perception,” he said. “You have to give the eye a place to start and keep the eye moving. There are all kinds of ways you can ruin it.”  

Prior to competition, Young spent many months painstakingly perfecting his turkey, preparing it for judgment.

At the World Taxidermy Championship, entries are judged on many aspects including anatomy, composition and more.

Young, owner of Artistic Taxidermy, has been in the taxidermy business for almost 13 years, running his shop out of his home for several years before moving to his current location on Madison Highway. Young’s reasons for going into the taxidermy business include a love of the outdoors with a side of creativity.

“I just enjoy recreating whatever species it is that I am working on. I love nature,” Young said of his work.

His love of the business, combined with his high-quality taxidermy work, has allowed Young to receive a wide variety of clients from across the country.

Artistic Taxidermy is located at 2825 Madison Highway.

More information: Call (229)259-9431; or visit www.artisticwaterfowl.