Dennis Schroeder grew up loving nature and exploring the waterways around his childhood home in Minnesota, and admiring the waterfowl (and other wildlife) that inhabited the area. The birds surrounding his home became the subjects of many sketches, paintings and photographs during his early art education, as well as the cause for many extra studies he did to learn about the birds themselves. In 1984 Schroeder’s career as a carver really began when he attended a carving competition just as a spectator; his previous experiences in wildfowl art helping him to pursue his goal.
Throughout his career Schroeder travelled across the country entering his decoys into many carving competitions where he won numerous first places and best in show awards. Among his many awards, Schroeder won the title of ‘World Champion Carver’ in 1990 as well as 1991. Even though today he no longer competes, his career is still going strong serving as a judge for various competitions including the Federal Duck Stamp art competition held in Washington, D.C. In 2004 he was also asked to carve a centerpiece for the Easton Waterfowl Festival which is one of the largest fundraising efforts to conserve wildfowl and their habitats.
Schroeder has also written several books on carving (as well as painting) decoys, and works to increase the popularity of wildfowl carving as an art. Many museums—and some private collectors—throughout the world house his pieces. Places like Ducks Unlimited have reproduced some of his carvings to raise money for international wildlife conservation.
Today Dennis Schroeder lives with his wife Carolyn in Northern California in the Trinity Alps region.