I first met Gene Smith when he was 17 years old. He had entered a whitetail in the Novice Division of the 1987 World Taxidermy Championships®. I had the pleasure of judging that deer and awarding him with a first-place ribbon. It was easy to see that young man had talent, but I had no idea he also had the desire and drive that I would see in the years ahead. He won his first World Title 8 years later in 1995 at age 25.
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