Counting down to the big 'quack-off'

The country’s keen duck callers are getting set to compete in the New Zealand Duck Calling Championships to be held in Taupo.

The event is being held as part of the Sika Show, on September 30.

Organiser Adam Rayner says that the competition is a very good fit with the Sika Show which draws many hunters, including waterfowlers, from around the country.

The winner of this year’s open meat duck will be awarded the inaugural rod and rifle cup.

He says there will be four categories: junior, open meat duck, team duck and open live goose.

He says while regional rounds are no longer being held around the country, a new feature of the event is the introduction of novice calling clinics which will be run throughout the day.

“We hope the clinics will encourage young people who are relatively new to calling, or want to give it a go,” says Mr Rayner. 

Young teens like Holly Irvine from Richmond near Nelson have already competed overseas, he adds. In the U.S. duck calling is big with large prizes on offer.  

Mr Rayner says that a duck caller is in fact a wind instrument, and calls for a considerable amount of skill, “using your tongue right and breathing properly.”

Anyone can pick up a duck caller but it takes a skill and lots of practice to produce the sounds that resemble live ducks, he adds.

“Duck calling is of course an essential skill that is vital for successful duck hunting. “

Prizes include flights to compete in the Waterfowl Festival based in Easton Maryland USA.

Mr Rayner says he’s grateful to major sponsors who are putting up other prizes: Cupped wing calls, Broncos Outdoors, Rod and Rifle Magazine, Wild Habit, LoadedNZ, Callum Lanyards, Baschieri & Pellagri, Ridgeline and Glasseye Creek.

We also much appreciate ongoing assistance from Fish & Game, he adds.