Feathers to be ruffled at a national duck calling competition

Duck caller  Andrew Currie doing his best duck impression .
Duck caller Andrew Currie doing his best duck impression . Photo credit: Fish and Game

The country's aspiring duck and goose callers are preparing to out-cackle and "ruffle each other's feathers" in the New Zealand Duck and Goose Calling Championships later this month. 

For the third year running, the event is being held as part of the Sika Show in Taupo, on September 29th and 30th of September. 

The annual iSka Show & Competition is the largest outdoor trade show of its kind in New Zealand, drawing thousands of keen hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Duck Calling Competition organiser Adam Rayner is delighted by the way the calling champs have grabbed the attention of both hunters and onlookers at the show. 

"Last year was the biggest response so far with hundreds intently watching and listening to competitors," he said.

"For contestants, who are very serious about their duck and goose calling, this is the high point of their year with a win carrying lots of prestige." 

"There are lots of little calling events around the country but nothing compares with the New Zealand champs and the kudos involved in just taking part, let alone winning," said Mr Rayner.

This year the 'open live duck' category will be hotly contested as the reigning three-time New Zealand champion Hunter Morrow, from the South Island, has stepped down.

"It'll be exciting to see the rising stars who're on the up and ready to take his place," he said, "as a new champion is crowned."

The contestants will compete in five categories: open live duck; open team duck; open live goose and open team goose.

To qualify as a junior, you must be under 14 years of age and must not have been a top three finalist in any previous national duck calling championship.  

"A time limit of 60 seconds for all individual routines and 90 seconds for team competitions will be strictly enforced, so it's a very testing high pressure affair," Mr Rayner said.   

Past winners have gone on to compete overseas for a crack at the world title and this year is no exception.  

There are five Kiwis who are off to compete in the world champs, held as part of the Waterfowl Festival based in Easton, in Maryland in the US. 

Young people such as Holly Irvine from Richmond near Nelson have already competed in the world champs in previous years, he adds. 

Mr Rayner said a duck or goose caller is a wind instrument that calls for plenty of skill to produce what you might call "authentic calls, that realistically mimic live ducks or geese.

"It's a skill you don't learn overnight  success only comes with lots of practice," he said. 

We also appreciate the ongoing support from Fish & Game, he added. 

Duck calling competitors are asked to enter on the day -  register from 9am on Saturday, September 29.

Newshub.