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Authors Posts by Bruce Foster

Bruce Foster

Like so many boys growing up, I had always hoped to someday be able to make a living doing what I enjoyed so much……being outdoors, and anything having to do with nature. My growing passion for animals in any form, and my obsession with fishing built a foundation and a wonderful understanding to all the ways to enjoy the outdoors and everything in it. I loved to draw and paint, and spent countless hours learning to put what I had seen on paper. Fish were a favorite subject and specimens were readily available at the docks in Oyster Bay, LI. “Sagamore Hill”, Teddy Roosevelt’s home was just around the corner, and it was there, after many trips to view his trophies, that my interest in taxidermy spurred a lifelong passion. Trips to the American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo and Coney Island Aquarium became very frequent, and I could not wait for my next lesson from the Northwestern School of Taxidermy to arrive in the mail. Road kills were never left without examination, and my salvaged fly tying materials were steadily turning into a nice collection of skins, tails, wings and feathers. By ninth grade, I moved from LI, NY to Cumberland, Maryland. Great Maryland fishing as well as Maryland turkey and Maryland deer hunting was everywhere in Western Maryland, and I did as much as possible. After graduation in 1971, I moved to Ocean City, Maryland and landed a mate job on a charter boat and then a commercial long- liner. It was there, that Maryland Taxidermy came to mind. I learned to mold and cast reproduction fish. Winters were spent hunting Maryland waterfowl and the wild Sika deer of Assateague Island. I had plenty of specimens further my experience, and knew that becoming a Maryland Taxidermist was sure to happen. In 1979, I moved from Ocean City to Kent Island, Maryland on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. This area was then a Goose hunting mecca, and hunters from everywhere came to hunt the Canada and Snow geese. Maryland’s eastern shore, is also known for its heavy racked trophy Whitetail Deer. That year I opened Kent Island Taxidermy and became a Maryland deer checking station. The combination of my fishing charter business and new Maryland Taxidermist business worked very well together. I joined the Maryland Taxidermist Association, served on it’s board and as president. I was co-writer of the Maryland Big Buck Contest as well implementing a Maryland Taxidermist Licensing test, now required through the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources. Besides my USCG 100 Ton Ocean Master Unlimited Captains License, I was also a registered and licensed guide in New York and West Virginia. When the Maryland DNR implemented the new Maryland Guide License, I was one of the first to qualify, and meet the requirements. Many of my clients hunted and fished worldwide, and I saw the need to offer assistance in Importing/Exporting their trophies. I applied for and received a non designated port permit for game trophies as well as becoming Maryland’s first USDA Approved Establishment for restricted products. The opportunity to preserve so many diverse species has and continues to be a very rewarding challenge. It had always been my intention to maintain control over the technical and artistic aspects of taxidermy and animal preservation. From start to finish, it was my goal and has been to maintain a sole proprietorship. Every completed trophy is totally done by me, technically sound, anatomically accurate and artistically pleasing. Anything is possible, and I look forward and enjoy pushing the limits of “taxidermy”, as a respected art form. I love my job, and love what I do…even after all these years…and look forward to many more years of taxidermy, preparation and animal artistry.
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