Groups host inaugural duck calling contest

Murray State’s Ducks Unlimited and Wildlife and Fisheries Society are looking forward to their first ever Call of the Fall duck calling contest tomorrow.

The idea of hosting a duck calling contest has long been considered by the local Ducks Unlimited and Wildlife and Fisheries Society chapters, but had never been acted upon until this year.

“It’s something we’ve always brainstormed about and just kind of dreamed about doing, but just this year we kind of got it in our heads that we wanted to do something cool, something different,” Jacob Goodman, junior from Hickman, Ky., said. “With ties in both the Ducks Unlimited and Wildlife and Fisheries Society, two huge conservation organizations, why not have a hunting event on campus?”

With this mindset, Goodman and Dan Stevens, senior from O’Fallon, Mo., began organizing the duck calling contest. After going through the appropriate channels for getting permission as well as the appropriate paperwork, the event finally began to take shape.

“The toughest part was just publicizing it and letting people know about it,” Goodman said.

Getting the right people to help pick the winners was also a challenge.

“Finding judges who actually know what the duck is supposed to sound like has also been a struggle,” Stevens said.

The contest will take place in The Quad in front of Lovett Auditorium, and will open at 9 a.m. to allow last minute registrations until 11 a.m. Registration costs $10 for all students, $10 for nonstudents who have preregistered online, $15 for nonstudents who register on site and $10 for all kids 15 and under. At 11 a.m. the judges will be announced and the duck calling competition will commence.

During the event there will be hotdogs, hamburgers and other refreshments available for purchase.

“There will also be games and raffles happening throughout the event for those tired of hearing quacks, so that way they can go and do something else,” Stevens said.

The winner of each amateur bracket will be awarded a prize. The professional bracket winner will receive a cash prize.

Callers will be judged on their sound, clarity and overall ability to sound like a duck.

“If you sound like a duck, you’re going to win,” Goodman said.

All funds raised from Call of the Fall will be donated to the Ducks Unlimited philanthropy.

“The money goes to the ducks. It goes to wetland conservation and preservation,” Stevens said.

The organization boasts having one of the highest donation rates as they donate nearly all of their money to the organizations they support.

“That’s one of the greatest things about Ducks Unlimited,” Goodman said. “People think it’s just a bunch of duck hunters who get together, but for every dollar that’s donated to Ducks Unlimited, 80 cents of it goes directly toward wetland conservation.”

Story by Shannon MacAllister, Staff writer.