Qualifying for the big show
Calling in the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas, entails more than simply showing up on game day. In order to be eligible, an individual must first win one of the more than 60 (state and regional) sanctioned calling contests. Qualifying events, like the championship finale, require callers to perform a hail call, mating call (lonesome hen), feed call, and a comeback call within 90 seconds. This sequence is referred to as a routine. Each participant is scored on the quality of his performance by a panel of judges. Those who win the title three times are retired and are eligible only to compete in the Champion of Champions competition, which is held once every five years. This year's World Championship finale is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on November 26. The Champion of Champions event will follow. For more information on the location and dates of sanctioned events, visit the Stuttgart Chamber of Commerce's website at www.stuttgartarkansas.com.
The World Championship Goose Calling Contest, which was introduced in 1976 as part of the Waterfowl Festival, does not include qualifying competitions. Entry is open to all interested callers. Here, too, participants are graded on how they perform by a panel of judges. Top prize is $10,000. This year's competition is scheduled for November 12 in historic Easton, Maryland. For more information log on to www.waterfowlfestival.org.
Past world champion goose callers by state
Delaware—Keith McGowan, Middletown (1987, 1989, 1990); Kevin Popo, Claymont (2001, 2002).
Illinois—Tim Grounds, Johnston City (1988, 1992, 1994); Alan McCree, Carterville (1991, 1993); Hunter Grounds, Johnston City (2003).
Kentucky—Harold Knight, Cadiz (1979).
Maryland—Tim Covey, Easton (1976, 1977, 1978); Pete Rossing, Stevensville (1980); Joe Bacon, Queenstown (1981); David Coleman, Chestertown (1982); Sean Mann, Easton (1985, 1986); Josh Neuwiller, Cordova (1995, 1996, 1997); John N. Taylor, Quantico (1998).
Michigan—Shawn Stahl, Allegan (2000).
North Carolina—Bill Privott, Currituck (1983, 1984).
Ohio—Field Hudnall, Clayton (2004)
Tennessee—Kelley Powers, Union City (1999).