Wildrose British Labradors are regarded among wingshooters and adventurers as the finest versatile sporting dogs in the world. Since 1972, Wildrose has produced a classic “Gentleman’s Gundog” of superb temperament and natural game-finding ability; a dog that is compatible in the home, dynamic in the field, and the perfect companion to any family’s outdoor adventures from canoeing, fishing, and hiking mountain trails to leisurely afternoons by the lake.
Wildrose Carolinas continues the tradition at our Mebane, NC kennels and training grounds. Located on 250 acres of wildlife habitat in Southern Caswell County, NC, Wildrose Carolinas features a 4,000 square-foot covered building with individual pens and a full-service facility dedicated to the comfort and care of dogs in training. The site consists of a wide variety of hunting habitat including 12 ponds, a ten-acre lake, rolling topography and two miles of trails and roads providing the ability to train in every kind of habitat encountered in the field.
Steven Lucius is originally from Marietta, Georgia. In 2007, he attended the University of Mississippi and was introduced to Wildrose. During his first year in college, he went to work at Wildrose as a kennel hand, spending time in day-to-day activities. In 2009, Steven acquired his first Wildrose dog, Archer. In 2011, after several years learning the operating responsibilities at Wildrose, he started an apprenticeship with Mike Stewart spending a year instructing dogs the Wildrose Way. During the next five years, Steven developed the skills to become Senior Trainer. In this role, Steven spent the next four years overseeing the training curriculum at the Oxford location. In January, 2020 Steven became Co-owner of Wildrose Carolinas, where he will enhance and continue the tradition of training and developing dogs the Wildrose Way.
Chris Torain is a native of Cedar Grove, North Carolina. He realized his love for dog training after purchasing his first lab, “Gia.” In Chris’ quest to learn more information about labs and their training, he discovered Wildrose Carolinas, and started working in February 2021 doing maintenance and caring for the Sires and Dams. In August he began working full-time at the kennels. He become an apprentice trainer in September 2021. His knowledge of waterfowl and upland hunting make him an exceptional member of our team.
Kirk is an entrepreneur and business owner from Raleigh, NC. He is involved in all aspects of Wildrose Carolinas. In 2015, Kirk purchased his first Wildrose dog (Wildrose Gamble – Fox Red male). Over the last three years, he has trained using the principles of the Wildrose Way. Kirk believed that there was an opportunity to bring the Wildrose experience to the Carolinas and in early 2017 approached Mike Stewart about doing so. Timing is everything and now Wildrose Carolinas is a reality bringing the Wildrose experience to the Carolinas. Kirk grew up hunting and training all types of hunting dogs and is passionate about the sporting lifestyle and particularly enjoying those pursuits with his dogs.
Alan Newton is a graduate of East Carolina University, holds master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Clemson University, and is a member of the biology faculty at Davidson-Davie Community College. Alan acquired his first Wildrose companion Shadow (Deke x Heather) in 2014. Participating in a wide variety of Wildrose workshops over the next several years, Alan developed his knowledge of training the Wildrose Way, and in 2017 was invited to become an Associate Trainer. Alan spends summers training at Wildrose Carolinas and as a member of the Yadkin River Retriever Club. His training methodology centers on developing obedience excellence coupled with outstanding skills in the field.
Mike Stewart is the President of Wildrose International which hosts full-service kennels in Oxford, Mississippi, Dallas Texas and Hillsborough, North Carolina with additional training facilities in Colorado and Arkansas. Wildrose is an Orvis-endorsed facility specializing in producing their trademark retrievers, “The Gentleman’s Gundog” and “Adventure Dog,” Labradors that complement a families’ sporting dogs, but is best known for his appearance on Ducks Unlimited TV’s “World of Ducks along with DU’s retriever training online features with Drake and Deke, the DU Mascots.
Mike and his dogs have appeared in over 75 national television programs on hunting and training gundogs. He conducts retriever training workshops throughout the United States instructing in his unique dog training methodology, “The Wildrose Way,” a balanced way to develop versatile, sporting companions. He has produced two comprehensive training DVDs entitled, “Training the Wildrose Way,” The Gentlemen’s Gundog series and published a book in 2012, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, the Wildrose Way. In conjunction with Purina ProPlan, Mike produced a video series on “Starting Your Pup the Wildrose Way” along with three Emmy-award winning lifestyle testimonials.
Wildrose was featured on the cover article of Forbes Magazine, April, 2009 edition, as one of six luxury, recession-proof businesses and again in Forbes Life, 2013. Wildrose has been recognized twice in articles by Garden & Gun magazine as “Best in the Sporting South,” December 2009 and December 2011. Mike is publisher of the Wildrose Journal which is the largest disseminated online magazine dedicated to the Sporting Dog Lifestyle and founder of the Wildrose Service Companion Foundation, a Mississippi-based non-profit whose mission is to provide assistance dogs for therapy and service to individuals with special needs. His induction into the Mississippi Wildlife Hall of Fame occurred in 2018.
A law enforcement officer for 25 years, Mike retired as Chief of Police for the University of Mississippi. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia. Mike retired from the US Navy Reserves in 2005 as a Commander after over 20 years of service.
I really enjoyed visiting the Mebane, NC facility in person. Amazing land, lake, ponds, trails and topography for serious dog training. Shawn Yates and Kim Yates are great Wildrose Way ambassadors. I look forward to training classes and learning dog handling from Shawn. He is one of those rare people you immediately like, respect, and you can see the results of his personal talents in the dogs he has trained. They are humble and make a dynamic duo for the Wildrose Way.Marc Gottlieb
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Shawn Yates many times, and he is as solid and committed as they come (not to mention he is a super nice guy, and his wife Kim is on equal standing with him). We are excited to support and have fun at Wildrose CarolinasSammye Pisani
Switch made an awesome retrieve on a cripple duck this morning. Duck sailed out about 100-200 yards and he marked him the whole way. I sent him and he went straight for him. Duck dove about 10 yards before he got to him so Switch ran past him about 10 yards. I whistle stopped him and called back to me. Duck popped back up and it was game on! Switch put his head under water and came up with the duck. It was awesome to watch.Walker Harris