Waterfowl calling contest featured
By Howell Dennis
This year at the 73rd International Rice Festival, there will be a competition that has not been held during the festivities for the past several years. A group called TeamRealDuck will be holding a waterfowl calling contest. For those thinking that they can just sign up and begin using your duck call as you would from a blind, they’d better think twice.
“This is extreme calling,” said Randy Wheeler of TeamRealDuck. “Contestants must make no sound except for calling on stage or they will be disqualified. Each contestant is limited to call the time which will be one or one and a half minutes. Any caller who blows over his allotted time at all will be disqualified.”
“We were in Gueydan last month for the Duck Festival and I thought that was the only statewide contest in Louisiana but then we were contacted by the people putting on the Rice Festival and we’re looking forward to it,” he added. “From what I hear there are a lot more people who attend this one, we’re really looking forward to it.”
For those considering taking part in the competition, the schedule is as follows:
On Friday, October 16, registration begins at 4 p.m. with the first contest starting at 5 p.m. The Friday divisions include Junior Snow Goose, Junior Specklebelly, Junior Real Duck, Junior Mallard Meat, Open Team Snow Goose and Open Snow Goose.
On Saturday, October 17, registration begins at 7 p.m. with the contest starting at 8 p.m. Saturday’s divisions include Open Team Real Duck, Open Real Duck, Open Team Mallard Meat, Open Mallard Meat, Open Mainstreet Duck, Open Team Specklebelly Goose, and Open Specklebelly Goose.
As for the contest rules, well, they’re pretty strict.
Callers may use any legal pneumatic call. No electronic equipment is allowed. Contestants may be asked by the judges to repeat calls for any reason they see fit. No cell phones will be allowed in the isolated area and their use will result in disqualification. Nobody will be allowed to talk or communicate in any form with anyone other than a contest official or contest competitor while inside the isolated area and the use of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted during the competition.
All rules subject to interpretation by TeamRealDuck officials are final.
“I’d be willing to bet that most of the contestants from the contest in Gueydan will be there,” said Wheeler. “The winners of the Gueydan competition qualified for the national contest in Arkansas later this year.”