Kiwis set quacking pace at world waterfowl calling champs
Kiwi duck callers have “done New Zealand proud” in the World Waterfowl Calling Championships in the United States – with a string of placings including a second.
Right: Hunter Morrow.
The world champs have wrapped up in Easton in Maryland.
Three Kiwi callers competed – including three-time New Zealand champion Hunter Morrow, who gained the highest placing – second in the World’s Live Duck category.
The others were Nelson teenager Holly Irvine and Ekatahuna schoolboy, Ben Schnell.
New Zealand duck calling championships organiser Adam Rayner says all three achieved fantastic results.
“I’m immensely proud of everything the team achieved with all three placing in the top five spots of the categories they entered,” he says.
“Remember that this is the big time when it comes to duck calling – callers from at least 16 U.S. states and Canada compete for the coveted titles.”
New Zealand’s Hunter Morrow came second in Live Duck, third in Team Duck and fifth in Live Goose. Ben Schnell came third in the Junior Duck category while Holly Irvine took fourth place in the Junior Duck event.
Mr Rayner says that a renowned American duck caller maker, Rusty Heron, had paid tribute to the Kiwi competitors, saying "the way they carried themselves and interacted with people at the show should make all of you beyond proud.”
Mr Heron described the trio as three amazing and very well respected and liked people, Mr Rayner says, “which points to the fact that as we expected, they’ve been great sporting ambassadors for this country.”
The U.S. champs had also featured for the first time, a New Zealand-made duck call that Ben had used – from Paul Thomas of Cupped Wing Calls in Whakatane.
“Ben has added to his multiple NZ wins and championships with his placing at the worlds,” Mr Rayner says.
“The results achieved by the three reflects the fact that New Zealand duck callers can hold their own with the world’s best in spite of our size.
“And given their youth, their prospects for the future are excellent,” he says.