The California Duck Calling Contest and Butte Sink Regional will return to Veterans Memorial Park in Colusa this Saturday and Sunday.
Kittle’s Outdoor and Sport Co. organized the two-day, family-friendly festival for the ninth straight year.
The park will be brimming with sponsors and vendors from across the waterfowl and outdoor world, in addition to those of general interest to the pubic.
To waterfowl enthusiasts, quacking, honking, and clucking is music to their ears. It’s also a sign that hunting season is just around the corner.
The annual contest brings people to the community from across the state and nation, as duck callers attempt to earn their spot in the World Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Ark., in November, said Pat Kittle, owner of Kittle’s Outdoor.
Callers, who will be judged more on technique and accuracy than just sounding like a duck, will compete in nine different categories over the coarse of the weekend, including junior and intermediate duck and speck calling, goose calling, the two-man meat calling, and more.
Callers will have to strike a cord with experienced callers, including Duck Calling champions Logan Hancock, of Arkansas, and Keith Allen, a contest regular from Missouri, who will serve as this year’s judges.
“We’re excited about the calling contest this year because (Hancock), a recent three-time winner of the World Championship in Stuttgart, will be here,” Kittle said.
First day of the competition is the Butte Sink Regional, where anyone from any state can compete. Sunday is the California State Championship.
The winner of each competition will receive over $750 in cash and prizes, qualify for the World Championship, and have their airfare expenses paid to go to the Arkansas competition. There will also be competitions this weekend for kids, youth and junior callers.
Fish Dog Outdoors, Hevi-Shot, and JJ Lares Duck Calls are the top level sponsors this year.
“Overall, we are giving over $3,000 in cash and prizes away,” Kittle said.
Colusa Casino and Mossy Oak also contributed to prize money.
During the event, Colusa Waterfowl Association will have an activity center for all children to enjoy. A duck caller will also set up to show kids the basics, and there will be a bevy of vendors selling duck calls, clothing, decoys, food and other items of general interest to the public.
“There will be a lot of vendors in the park,” Kittle said. “It’s a good mix of stuff this year.
We are approaching 30, so we have more than last year.”
The calling contest will get underway at 9 AM. The Sea Cadets will preside over opening ceremonies, and have a booth and raffle. Vendors and sponsors are still welcomed, Kittle said.
The annual California Duck Calling Championship coincides with Kittle’s annual sale on hunting and sporting equipment.
Kittle’s, located diagonally across the street from Veterans Memorial Park, will open at 5 AM on Saturday and Sunday.
From 8 AM to noon on Saturday only, there will be “hot buys” on decoys, ammo, and Sitka gear. A storewide sale on decoys, guns, fishing equipment, and most clothing will be held Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s also our 20th year anniversary, so for the whole weekend just about everything in the store, except ammunition and Sitka gear, will be 20 percent off,” Kittle said.
Due to new California regulations, those purchasing ammunition must bring valid identification such as a driver’s license. If your driver’s license is stamped “Federal Limits Apply,” then additional identification, such as a passport or certified birth certificate will be required purchase ammunition.
Store specials at Kittle’s will continue through Aug. 31 for the start of Dove season, which opens Sept. 9.