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TMCNet:  State duck calling championship in Colusa Saturday

[August 22, 2012]

State duck calling championship in Colusa Saturday

Aug 22, 2012 (Colusa County Sun-Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The California State Championship Duck Calling Competition returns to Colusa for the second consecutive year on Saturday, and nearly two dozen competitors will showcase their best duck- and goose-calling skills.

Callers from all over California will compete for the state title and a berth in the 2012 World Championship Competition in Stuttgart, Ark. on Nov. 24.

The competition will be held in the field across from Kittle's Outdoor & Sport Co. in Colusa on the corner of Market and 10th streets. Competitor registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the competition begins at 9:30 a.m. with the junior duck division.

There are six division titles on the line. The order of events is: junior duck (9:30 a.m.), intermediate duck (10 a.m.), California state duck championship (10:30 a.m.), specklebelly goose (11:30 a.m.), open class specklebelly goose (12:30 p.m.) and two-man (1:30 p.m.) Last year the event lasted until 4 p.m. and Kittle's Outdoor owner Pat Kittle expects the competition to last until about 3 p.m. this year.

Gene Bishop, of Chico, won the 2011 state title and went on to place 38th at the world championship in Stuttgart.

Bishop will likely return to defend his title and will have to out-call Stuart Mattos, who placed second last year and won three consecutive state titles before that, Kittle said.

Also returning to defend a title is Ben Williams, of Berry Creek, who won the 2011 California State Open Specklebelly Goose competition at the event last year.

Dylan Cotta, of Los Banos, won the California intermediate duck calling championship during the event last year.

Another competitor of note is 11-year-old Maddie Nightingale, of Redding, who is the only caller to use her voice for the competition and not a duck call. Nightingale didn't win last year but was a crowd favorite and has learned several new calls this year, according to Kittle.

While the competition is taking place on stage, a vendor trade show and various exhibits will be on display.

"I think last year we had 12-15 booths, this year we're pushing 40 and the Colusa County Art Council is setting up artist displays with local artists displaying photography and handiwork," Kittle said.

Several hundred people attended the event last year and it should be larger this year because Kittle's Outdoor is holding a waterfowl hunting gear sale all weekend.

Tommy's BBQ will have a concession booth, the founder of Sitka Gear will be at the trade show, and there will be raffles going on throughout the day for waterfowl hunting gear and giveaways for children.

The state championship made its return to Colusa last year after many years in Modesto. When the host store in Modesto went out of business, Kittle jumped at the chance to bring the competition back home.

"It's been something we kept our eye on, it used to be held in Colusa years ago when I was in high school or college. I just always thought it would be nice thing to host here in Colusa," Kittle said.

CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or

___ (c)2012 the Colusa County Sun-Herald (Colusa, Calif.) Visit the Colusa County Sun-Herald (Colusa, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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