Judd Cooney: Judd was born and raised in Luverne, Minnesota and got a B.S. (that’s Bachelor of Science, and not bull*#@%,) Degree in Wildlife Management from South Dakota State College. He worked two years for Alaska Fish & Game before getting drafted. After two years in the Army where he was in charge of all the hunting and fish on Fort Carson he went to work as a conservation officer for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. After thirteen years of bureaucracy and b.s. (nothing to do with his degree,) he quit and started the hunting and fishing operation on the 60,000 acre Banded Peak Ranch in Southwestern Colorado. Two years of working for alcoholic owners convinced Judd to go it on his own.
Judd outfitted and guided for elk, mule deer, bear, bighorn sheep, antelope and cougar for firearms and archery hunters in Colorado & New Mexico for 30 years and was a licensed outfitter in Saskatchewan, where he ran a wilderness black bear hunting camp for six years.
Judd started hunting in Iowa the first season that allowed non-residents and started outfitting on private leased land two years later in 1995. He’s been outfitting for and personally guiding trophy whitetail archery and firearms hunters and turkey hunters since then. Judd has always believed in providing the best hunting, outdoor hunting camp experience possible for the fewest number of clients. Iowa Trophy Whitetail Outfitters past record of trophy bucks taken and the number of returning clients each year seems to be proof positive that he was on the right track and in the right area of the country.
With the talents and enthusiasm of Judd’s new partner, Sheri Yarborough, also a world class taxidermist, Iowa Trophy Whitetail Outfitters should get even better in the years to come in spite of a total lack of cooperation from some of those big Iowa bucks and the Iowa weather.
Sheri Yarborough: Sheri was born in 1970 in the heart of Idaho. Raised by her grandparents, Sheri started fishing as soon as she could hold a fishing pole. Her first gun was a Red Rider BB gun at the age of 5. Many a tweety bird met their maker over the next few years. Though she wasn’t old enough to hunt due to Idaho laws, it didn’t stop her from falling in love with the sport. Her grandfather took her everywhere he went, hunting big game, birds, small game, fishing, ice fishing…it didn’t matter. She was right on his heels. That fire in her belly has never died down. She has been an avid hunter all her life. She enjoys rifle and black powder hunting, but her first choice is archery.
Sheri was only 14 when she met a taxidermist named Clyde Brothers who quickly saw her keen interest and talent for the tradecraft. Clyde mentored her and taught her everything about the art of taxidermy. She has been doing master class taxidermy work in Idaho and now in Iowa ever since.
In 2008, Sheri and Judd met and hit it off right away. Thus began a working relationship between Sheri and Judd involving I.T.W.O’s client’s trophy bucks. Judd and Sheri quickly developed a strong friendship and started talking about joining forces to maximize the potential of Iowa Trophy Whitetail Outfitter’s hunting operation. Sheri worked as a guide in 2012 and became a partner with Judd in 2013.
“I’m doing what I love and love what I’m doing.” – Sheri. Here are some of her taxidermy photos: