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Ultimate Duck Calling Challenge

Is a caller's true test on the stage or in the blind? Both, claim many of today's champions, who say that competing in contests makes them better hunters.
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Story at a Glance
  • Your contest routine and duck hunting are two different things.
  • The difference between competition calling and calling in the field is that you have to put all the basic calls into a routine.
  • Duck calling is like anything else - the younger you start, the better off you are going to be.
  • Many calling contests are won and lost, in the last few seconds.

Fowl facts

Arkansas rules: On the women's side of the ledger, Arkansas has dominated the past nine world duck calling championships. No one from outside the state has won since Lucy Lee McLain of Clarksdale, Mississippi, captured back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. Angela Garner of Weiner has swept the last two crowns.

Happy anniversary: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest. The winner's prize package is worth more than $15,000. The first champion, Thomas E. Walsh, received a hunting coat valued at $6.60 for his efforts.

International: The International Invitational Goose Calling Competition has been held each January in Southern Illinois since 1997. Champions have included (from the first event to 2004): Alan McCree, Fred Zink, Josh Neuwiller, Richie McKnight, Matt Porter, Tim Grounds, Kelley Powers, Kevin Popo, and Field Hudnall.

Quotable: "If you're out hunting and a guy wants to try a competition routine on ducks, you are probably hunting with the wrong guy." – Bernie Boyle

Sage advice: "When you are practicing for a contest, you don't necessarily have to do the whole routine over and over. That can put you in a rut. Practice segments of the routine, then when the contest gets close, pull all the segments together." –John Stephens

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