Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Powel Crosley's Bird Dogs

In Powel Crosley, Jr.'s heyday--the 1920s and 1930s--it was fasionable for wealthy men to hunt birds (among other animals), often with horses and always with specially bred dogs. The men considered themselves experts in their fields, though in truth they probably weren't as expert in using and caring for a rifle or shotgun as men who depended on guns for their supper. (And there were plenty of those in rural areas.)

Dogs were typically trained by specialists, the owner learning enough to command and work with a dog. (The training was intensive enough that most industrialists would not have had the time to go through the process; hence the specialists.) When he got into the sports in the 1920s, Powel Crosley, Jr. was referred (perhaps by "Boss" Johnston) to a trainer in Jennings County, Indiana. That's what brought him to the area where he built his nature preserve (today the Crosley Fish & Wildlife Area(.

One of his prize dogs was a bitch named Lady Manitoba, handled at shows and meets by W.J. Wilson. Placed at the Sixteenth American Field Futurity held in Sparta, Illinois, on November 4 and 5, 192. Somewhere I have a photo or two of Powel and his dogs. As soon as I can find one, I'll scan and share it here.

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