Ducks Unlimited 2011 Canadian Duck & Goose Calling Championship

Here’s a chance for any readers in Ontario or parts nearby to get out and test your calling skills, and maybe win a prize or two.  The event is going down on August 20, 2011 at the Bass Pro Shops in Vaughan (1 Bass Pro Mills Drive for those of you who may need directions), and having been to a couple of DU calling contests (one in my youth many years ago at Wye Marsh, and one more recently in Grimsby…both with limited results) I can say with some certainty that they are a good time. 
The associated forms and rules can be found here and here, but to give a brief synopsis of the event, it looks like they’ll be running seven (yes, seven!) categories.  Three will be in the duck calling stream: senior, youth, and two-man, with a further four in the goose calling milieu: senior, youth, two-man, and a unique sounding senior’s category called Old Man Flute (where it looks as though only flute-style calls, as opposed to the ever-popular short reed-style, can be used). 
For those of you unfamiliar with the format, here’s a Cole’s Notes version for this event.  Youth callers (under 15 years of age and never having placed in a senior-level contest) will call from a blind for 60 seconds, and senior callers will call for 90 seconds.  Five judges are concealed so that they are judging on sound quality alone, and they score you on a points standard. 
Otherwise, it is just a good time.  I’ve found that most of the people that are competing and observing at these events are eager to talk about hunting and swap strategies and stories.  Who knows, you may even make some new hunting buddies.  Aside from that Bass Pro Shops is just a fun place to hang out and covet various pieces of equipment and gear.  I hardly even fish at all and I still like to go check out the bass boats.
I’ve been asked if I am attending/competing and my answer is that I hope to be able to at least come watch.  My goose call is currently in transit to Illinois (I took the extra cheap postage option so it may get there next week) so unless I can get it repaired, shipped back and get some practice in before August 20th, I won’t be competing.  Then again, I am not really a threat to win in the goose-calling arena, ditto for my work on a duck call.  I’m proficient and confident, but hardly competition-class.
Registration closes August 12, 2011.  For more info review the links above for the rules and registration info or call the Ducks Unlimited office in Barrie, ON at (705) 721-4444 or email for more additional details.

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