Duck Callers ‘Squawk It Out’ In The Calling Champs
There was so much squawking you could be forgiven for thinking that a flock of ducks had taken up refuge inside the Springston Hotel in Canterbury on Saturday night.
After a long day of shooting out on Lake Ellesmere, 11 of Canterbury’s best duck callers entertained about 100 spectators as they competed in the Canterbury round of the 2016 NZ Duck Calling Championships.
Right: Mark Rothera blasts out his calls.
The round was the fifth in a series of six competitions around the country held since April, and the top three competitors won spots at the nationals to be held in Tauranga on July 9.
It is the first time that the national finals are being held outside the South Island and a large flock of about 30 callers will fight it out for the national title.
The winner will receive a trip to America to compete in the World Duck-Calling Championship, which is held during the Maryland Water Fowl Festival in November
Last year 17 year-old Hunter Morrow, a building apprentice from Luggate in Central Otago, quacked his way to the United States where he took out fifth place in the World Duck-Calling Championship, and fourth Place in the Goose Calling Championship.
During the Kiwi competition, competitors have just one minute of calling to impress the judges with their impression of realistic live duck call.
Organiser Adam Rayner says “Water fowling in New Zealand is more popular than rugby. In America, duck-calling is hugely popular and some people even make their living from the sport."
"Duck-calling is like playing any wind instrument, some people are okay at it and others become masters at it."
One youngster who is already showing her mastery in the art of duck calling is Nelson 12 year-old Holly Irvine who has already snared her spot at Junior World Duck-Calling Championship held in Maryland at the same time.
Watch a video of the night's competition here.