Show us your quack at duck calling champs
It’s a big call — is New Zealand’s best duck caller living in Central Hawke’s Bay?
The New Zealand Duck and Goose Calling Championships are, for the third year running, being held as part of the Sika Show in Taupo, on September 29 and 30.
The annual Sika Show and Competition is the largest outdoor trade show of its kind in New Zealand, drawing thousands of keen hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Duck Calling Competition Organiser Adam Rayner says he’s delighted by the way the calling champs have grabbed the attention of hunters and onlookers.
“Last year was the biggest response so far with hundreds intently watching and listening to competitors,” he says.
“For contestants, who are very serious about their duck and goose calling, this is the high point of their year with a win carrying lots of prestige.
“There are lots of little calling events around the country but nothing compares with the New Zealand champs and the kudos involved in just taking part, let alone winning,” he says.
Mr Rayner says that this year the ‘open live duck’ category will be hotly contested as the reigning three-time New Zealand champion Hunter Morrow, from the South Island, has stepped down.
“It’ll be exciting to see the rising stars who’re on the up and ready to take his place,” he says, “as a new champion is crowned.”
The contestants compete in five categories: open live duck; open team duck; open live goose and open team goose.
To qualify as a junior, you must be under 14 and not have been a top three finalist in any previous national championship.
“A time limit of 60 seconds for all individual routines and 90 seconds for team competitions will be strictly enforced so it’s a very testing high pressure affair,” Mr Rayner says. Past winners have gone on to compete overseas for a crack at the world title and this year is no exception, he says.
Five Kiwis are off to compete in the world champs held as part of the Waterfowl Festival based in Easton, in Maryland in the U.S.
Holly Irvine from Richmond near Nelson has already competed in the world champs in previous years.
Mr Rayner says that a duck or goose caller is a wind instrument that calls for plenty of skill to produce “authentic calls, that realistically mimic live ducks or geese”.
Duck calling competitors are asked to enter on the day — register from 9am on Saturday, September 29.
Duck callers from Central Hawke’s Bay are being invited to step up if they think they are the country’s best duck caller.