As if it wasn’t enough to dominate the Mississippi Taxidermists Association annual show, Mike Welch has gone to Alabama and done the same there.

His mount of a mother raccoon and its babies earned a blue ribbon for most artistic entry and the Top Choice – Mammal award while his alligator took the Lifetone award for the best paint job.

A mount of a mountain lion earned Safari Club International recognition as best mount of a non-indigenous species while also taking second place in the large mammal category.

“A judge told me it would have won first place but the ears were just a little too high,” Welch said.

He also won the best habitat award for a mount of a coyote slinking through high grass.

“They were probably glad to see us go,” he said of his peers in the Alabama Taxidermy Association.

Welch is still a bit in awe of all the awards. While he’s been actively pursuing taxidermy as a hobby and profession for more than 20 years, the Mississippi competition was the first he’d ever entered.

Now, he’s entered two with the same results.

His goal is to qualify to compete in the world competition which is held every two years.

Those interested in having game or fish mounted can visit Welch at Trinity Taxidermy at 2902 Hwy. 26. The business is open between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Welch suggests calling first at 228-326-2655.

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