Duck calling

Stuart Mattos of Colusa won the Butte Sink Regional Championship for duck calling in 2017.

It’s all about who can sound most like a duck ... or maybe not. And hundreds of people are expected to flock to Colusa next weekend to attend the annual California State Calling Championship. 

Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport Co., along with numerous sponsors, volunteers and sporting enthusiasts, will host the competition August 24-25 at Veterans Memorial Park, located on the corner of 10th and Market Streets in Colusa.

Duck callers are expected to travel from far and wide to compete in the two-day event that will feature various duck calling competitions, seminars, local vendors and food. 

“Since 2011, we have had someone travel from Missouri each year,” said Pat Kittle, co-owner of the sporting goods store. “Others have traveled either to compete or participate as a vendor from Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, Nevada. One year the state winner drove from Los Angeles.”

Those who take the win during this competition qualify as state representative and will go on to compete at the World Championship in Stuttgart, Arkansas, in November, said Kittle. 

This is the 9th year Kittle’s has hosted the event in Colusa. 

There are a few different competitions held over the two days, Kittle said, with the most anticipated being the two main World Competition qualifying contests -- the Butte Sink Regional and the California State Duck Calling Championships. 

So what exactly happens during these competitions?

“The callers have a timed routine they are all following that really does not sound much like a live duck,” Kittle said. 

Kittle said the judges are behind the stage unable to see who is calling during each of the competitions.

“They are listening for the correct routine, tone, volume, and if there are squeaks or hiccups of any kind they get marked down in score,” Kittle said. “These routines are the same style that are judged at the World’s competition in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and they are known as ‘Main Street’ calling.”

There are also youth division competitions and goose calling contests, Kittle said. 

Those that come out to catch a glimpse of the action can sit back and watch the various call routines and see how they measure up on the score board. 

“Some of the team competitions where the participants are trying to sound like a bunch of real live ducks are fun to watch,”  Kittle said.

Kittle said that participating callers need to register the day of the event, with competition entry fees ranging from free to $50.

Admission for the public is free. 

Kittle said that $3,000 in cash and prizes will be given out to the callers participating in the various events throughout the competition, with over $750 in cash to each winner of the State and Regional alone.

For more information, contact Kittle’s at 458-4868. 

Schedule of events

Saturday, August 24: 

- 9 a.m.: Opening Ceremony.

- 10 a.m.: Butte Sink Regional Duck World Champion Qualifier) $50 entry.

- 12 p.m.: Seminar: Introduction to Duck Calling.

- 1 p.m.: Junior and Intermediate Duck Calling Contest.

- 2 p.m.: Junior and Intermediate Speck Calling Contest.

- 3 p.m.: California State Live Duck Contest (Single Person, $30 entry fee).

Sunday, August 25: 

- 10 a.m.: California State Duck Calling Championship (World Qualifier, $50 entry fee).

- 12 p.m.: Seminar: The Art of Calling Waterfowl.

- 1 p.m.: California State Speck Calling Contest ($30 entry fee).

- 2:30 p.m.: California State Two Man Meat Contest (Two team limit, $40 per team entry fee).

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