The Colorado Taxidermists Association or CTA was organized May 31, 1980.  Thoughts and ideas began even earlier with Joe Kish and the Taxidermy Review Magazine.  Letters sent out as early as March 1980 announced plans for the venture.  Doug Nelson was the very first president with officers Clint Johnston, Vice President; Ono van Veen, Secretary; and Carl Shepard, Treasurer. Ono van Veen was a mainstay in helping with the business.  He was backed by the ever-helpful Jonas Brothers who provided services such as mailing, making copies, and even paying postage to help keep everything afloat.  Jonas Supply remains an invaluable CTA supporter to this day.  Meetings were scheduled along with activities to promote the reason and need for such an organization.  These meetings were moved around the state and featured activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and photography at a game farm. Education and camaraderie have been a focus of the CTA from the start as indicated in the by-laws:  The purpose of the CTA shall be …

to further contacts and better understanding among taxidermists and related industries

to unite into one organization all interested taxidermists, tanneries, taxidermy suppliers and sportsmen

to disseminate information and meet at regular intervals

to function as a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife through the preservation of specimens to the highest standards of the art of taxidermy

to foster understanding in the general public about the field of taxidermy and other related outdoor sports industries

to assist members of the CTA and the general public in their understanding of the federal and state fish and game laws

to engage in such other civic, charitable, educational, and business activities that the CTA shall deem appropriate

      h.   to accept funds as shall be necessary to carry out the aims and purposes of the CTAThe first annual Rocky Mountain Taxidermy Competition was held at Currigan Hall in April of 1981.  It was the site of CTA competitions for many subsequent years.  Later this competition bloomed into two annual shows -- the second one, moving from location to location around the state, is still going strong today.  For many years, Currigan Hall and later the Colorado Convention Center, hosted these shows placing the CTA in the public eye. In the early years political aspects were addressed by the CTA.  Member letters sent to politicians voiced the taxidermist’s point of view. Visionaries like Joe Kish and Ono vanVeen with lots of help from others, such as Tom Powers, Clint Johnston, Dale Knobloch, Doug Nelson got this organization started.  The CTA honored and remembered Ono van Veen with the coveted Ono van Veen award sponsored by Jonas Supply for nine years, which could only be won in Colorado.  The tradition continues today as the Jonas Award.There have been a long list of CTA Presidents, each with a hand in keeping the association going for almost 30 years.  Our thanks go out to men such as Doug Nelson, Barry Smith, Dennis Arp, Fred Paz, Roy Stevens, Dennis McElvain, Gary Graber, Don Rulle, Jeff Mourning, Dave Franklin, John Lager, Stewart Valentine, Bill Huber, Andy Hajek, Gayle Zimmerman, and our current President, Mike Metzler. Even in the 21st century, concentration on education, camaraderie and sharing information among association members will keep us growing and strong. information furnished by Barry Smithtext by Mike Ross