Duck Calling Contest: The quack is back in Colusa this weekend

Willow Creek Custom Call Maker Brad Jones and Field of Dreams volunteer Bruce Montgomery chat with a couple of customers on Sunday at the California State Duck Calling Championship in Colusa. For every call sold during the event, Jones donated a call to Field of Dreams for their "Warriors in the Wetlands" event.

For waterfowl hunting enthusiasts, vendors, and competitive duck callers throughout California and the western United States, Veterans’ Memorial Park is the place to be this weekend.

The 2018 California State Duck Calling Championship, Butte Sink Regional Duck Calling Contest, and annual Outdoor Expo all return to Colusa this weekend, and organizers are expecting this year to be the best yet – and not just for the competitors.

Pat Kittle – co-owner of Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport, which is hosting the event for the eighth straight year – said that he expects a record turnout from vendors this year. With vendors ranging from call-makers, antique decoy collectors, taxidermists, and dog trainers to car dealerships, waterfowl hunters can find a little bit of everything as they get ready for the fall waterfowl season. Concurrent with the calling contest and outdoor expo, Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport will be holding its biggest sale of the year. Kittle said there would be no better time for hunters to stock up on all sorts of waterfowl-related items.

“We have huge discounts an all brands of decoys, and some great deals on ammunition,” Kittle said.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sweet Beans Bakery and Market Street Grill will be serving up breakfast and lunch at Veterans Memorial Park, where there will also be more activities, for adults and children alike.

“While our main focus every year is on the calling contest – which is our priority – we continually try to incorporate the public more,” said Kittle. “There will be educational opportunities for the public on competition calling versus live duck calling. There will be more activities for the youth – if you have a family, we are really encouraging you to come out, because there’s a bounce house and the shooting galleries for the kids to enjoy.”

Among the attractions at the park will be a bounce house for kids, and a mobile shooting simulator and shooting gallery, brought by Yuba City-based company TACTAGAR.

Jim Ronquest of Rich-N-Tone Calls will be back this year as a celebrity guest, and will offer his duck calling expertise to event-goers young and old.

“We like having Jim here and are excited to have him back, because he helps bring the calling contest down to a level that everyone can understand, and tries to involve the youth, and give them some ‘Calling 101’,” Kittle said.

On Saturday, Ronquest and Bret Crowe, owner of J.J. Lares Calls in Chico, will team to lead a panel discussion on ‘The Art of Duck Calling,’ Kittle said.

“They will take questions from the public, and the conversation will morph in whatever direction the public wants to go,” he added.

On Saturday evening, The Hunting Film Tour – a submission-based film festival that tours the U.S. and Canada, which features around a dozen short, conservation-oriented adventure films – comes to Rocco’s Banquet Hall. The cost of admission is $6, and the screening starts at 8 PM.n

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.