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At the request of VonFatman, I will post a bit about hunting Airedales.

Airedales have cost me tens of thousands of dollars over the last 20 or so years.

Our foundation sire (Old Duke) was a natural bird dog. I was stationed with the 10th Mountain Division in upstate NY and we had horses. When we exercised the horses, Duke would find and flush pheasants. I encouraged him and started hunting over him. The only training he had (other than obedience) was me walking zig-zag patterns in the field to get him to quarter.

I hunted and guided (preserve) with Duke for several years and he always made the annual Iowa pheasant trip.

After I retired from the Army, we started a small hunting Airedale breeding program. We have bred seven or eight litters over the years and have a pretty good hunting line going. We currently have seven-mostly retirees hanging around. I find it amazing that seven dogs with high hunting drives can live in the same house without problems.

All of our pups went through puppy kindergarten. The pups always have their own kennel run with small A frames, 8" culvert pipes, 6"x6" stairs, and other obstacles to climb and play on. We would also take pups at 3-4 months old to the hunting preserve and let them follow the adult dogs in the field. I've seen, many times, an Airedale retrieving a preserve pheasant with a pup on each side "retrieving" too!

We spend a week in Iowa every year chasing pheasant. We hunt ~eight hours each day and do not rotate dogs. They are diligent hunters and work as flushing dogs.

The Hunting Working Airedales Inc. hold National level hunt tests held in Ohio at the end of March each year. They take upland, fur, and retrieving tests.

How have they cost me so much? Hunting led to clays and live flyers which somehow let to pistol competition and so on. If I'd only ignored old Duke flushing pheasant...
The picture is Rocky retrieving an Iowa pheasant.
Dave
 

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That is really cool!! Do you have any other pictures?
 

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This is Jake at 6 months old retrieving his first wild rooster. Jake lives in Iowa and helps run traplines with his owner. Rocky is Jakes Dad.



Dave
 

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Your photos bring back fond memories of some smart loyal dogs! One of my grandads always kept an Airedale as a companion and to hunt all sorts of critters with, and the best one was Old Bud. He was particularly adept at retrieving ducks and as a flusher for upland birds - and was steady to shot and command. They were also very capable at running rabbits, too - and always seemed to know what game we were after at the time.

The one thing that the airedales didn't care for were squirrels, and would yap and dash around below our pecan trees waiting for someone to get a .22 and knock one down. They would usually catch the hapless bushytail before it ever hit the ground and have it ripped into three pieces as fast as I can type these words.

xtm
 

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The Airedales and I head to the barn at 0500 each morning to run around the pasture. It used to be to feed the horses and run around-we are out of horses now.

We always went through the tack room to go into the barn. One morning (several years ago) there were four big racoons snoozing as we came in.

The six Airedales that were with me went hard into the fight and the racoons were not happy. We had flying racoons everywhere. Bandit was just a puppy then and one of the girls was in heat. He would sniff and then fight, sniff and then fight-back and forth. It was funny.
The racoons didn't do well.
Dave
 

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As a kid I thought I wanted an Airedale but Dad was totally against it. Later, I found out that when he was a kid, his sister had one. Dad would go hunt rabbits with his beagles but his sister's airedale would jump the fence and come out to where Dad was hunting. The Airedale would then get up on a stump or log and sight hunt in front of the beagles for the rabbit. As soon as he saw the rabbit, the airedale would catch it and take it back to my aunt. Dad admitted that there were many times he wanted to shoot the dog for messing up his rabbit hunting. Dad's gone now but he and my uncles had some good stories of their hunting escapades.
 
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