Local Outdoors Icon Honored
(Reprinted from above link)
Local NYSOWA members stand with Bob Kazmierski after receiving the M. Paul Keesler Award at The Wildlife Museum last Saturday. From left: Stephen George, Steve Zahurak, Bob Kazmierski, Don Williams, Jerrod Vila, Mike Hauser and Dan Ladd. (Photo submitted)
By JERROD VILA
For The Recorder
Last Saturday I, along with a few other notable outdoor writers and fellow New York State Outdoors Writers Association members, were able to partake in an event of recognition to a man who is building his dream of a taxidermy museum and so much more.
The NYSOWA M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award is presented to an individual or organization that has effectively raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State. Bob Kazmierski was nominated to receive the award by Mike Hauser, the proprietor of the Adirondack Outdoorsman Show, which is held the first weekend in February at the Moose Lodge in Johnstown.
Kazmierski is a self-taught taxidermist who began his career at the age of 7 when he mounted a pigeon. Through simply reading books on the subject from his local library, he spent his childhood self-teaching himself the art. He started his own taxidermy studio, Bob’s Taxidermy, in 1958. This operation included taxidermy, taxidermy supply distribution and the creation of handmade deer skin gloves.
As he traveled in the taxidermist circles he always dreamed of a venue that would allow all taxidermists to show off their works and to allow others to learn. As the years passed by he watched the interest of our younger generations in the outdoors wane, he really began to think about a venue that would also help teach our youth about the sports of hunting, fishing and trapping, and ultimately start to generate more interest in these sports.
In 2001, Bob purchased an old Grand Union Building in Vail Mills and with his own retirement and personal savings, pushed forward with the dream. Several years and several hundred thousand dollars later, the dream became a reality when the Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum officially opened in 2005.
The museum contains the taxidermy work of over 65 different taxidermists from around the country as well as many of Bob’s own works. Included in those works are 125 World Record Whitetail Deer Mounts, and full-size mounts of Bear, Buffalo, Wolves, Mountain Lions, Goats, Sheep, Musk Oxen, Birds and Fish. The museum really is the Cooperstown of Taxidermy. It also features artifacts and interactive exhibits which outline the history of all walks of outdoor entities. These exhibits are designed to not only preserve the history of these sports, but to also teach the younger generations and help foster a renewed interest in the outdoors. The museum now generates visitors from all 50 states and from places as far away as Australia. It is also the home of the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame.
Through Bob’s efforts, this museum has effectively raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities statewide and beyond, the fostered new interest of our younger generations in the outdoors, much in the same spirit as M. Paul Keesler did through his writing.
Kansas Predator Hunt
As you sit sipping on a nice hot coffee, myself and a couple other members members of Downwind Outdoors are more than likely 30,000 feet up in the air somewhere above the midwest bound for Kansas City International and ultimately the find ourselves chasing coyotes all over northeastern Kansas.
We will be meeting up with our call maker, Brian Rush, who turns each and every DWO Signature series call by hand, one at a time. He has family in the area and has been out since Christmas day. We will be spending five days or so putting his calls to the test and trying our best to outwit the wiliest of coyotes. Wish us luck as I hope to have more on this trip out west next week.
New York State DEC’s 50th Anniversary
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced that DEC will hold a year-long celebration of its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2020. DEC was established in 1970 on the first-ever Earth Day. To support the celebration of DEC’s anniversary, the agency is releasing a commemorative logo that will be used on the DEC website, in printed materials, and other promotions throughout 2020.
Commissioner Seggos said, “For 50 years, New York State has set the national standard for environmental excellence by advancing ambitious and proactive policies to protect the planet. Established on the first Earth Day in 1970, the Department of Environmental Conservation has played a leading role in nearly every environmental milestone in New York’s history, including the recovery of the Bald Eagle, the first statewide fracking ban, and the largest addition to the Adirondack Park in more than a century, completed in 2016. This year, while we reflect on five decades of victories, we will urgently direct our attention to the challenges of the next 50 years, particularly climate change, the greatest-ever threat to our air, land, and water. As Washington, D.C., abandons environmental protection and sides with polluters, DEC is committed to taking on the challenges ahead.”
Starting in January, DEC will highlight its history of environmental victories on the agency website, via email, social media channels using the #DEC50 hashtag, and in the Conservationist Magazine and Conservationist for Kids. In addition, beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, DEC will host special anniversary events and announce staff-led service projects across the state.
As part of the anniversary celebration, DEC is also launching a new Geocaching Challenge. DEC will designate 50 properties across the state where geocaching canisters will be hidden with information inside on how to receive a prize.
DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will incorporate the DEC 50 logo in the yearly Habitat Access Pin to commemorate the anniversary. The new Habitat Access Pin will be available at license issuing agents statewide beginning in August.
For the latest updates on #DEC50 and DEC’s year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary, visit DEC’s website.