Waterfowl hunters will be showing off their musicality this weekend in Odessa at the Delaware State Duck Calling Championship at Captain Bones Bait, Tackle and Hunting. Unlike the calls that hunters make to lure ducks and geese in, these sounds are about harmony and music.
The soundtracks of hunters will fill the air in Odessa on Sunday with nearly 10 waterfowl calling contests taking place at Captain Bones Bones Bait, Tackle and Hunting this weekend.
Mother and son co-owners Sean and Patty Foley said they are hosting their 5th Annual Waterfowl Show and Calling Contest all weekend and visitors can expect a buyer's paradise in hunting and fishing accoutrements in addition to the contests.
"People will be able to shop merchandise from Drake, Avery/GHG, Sean Mann Outdoors, Final Approach and more," said Sean. "We also have a large selection of gear from Duck Commander, which is associated with the very popular Duck Dynasty show."
Patty added that they'll also have a lot of sales going on, including 15 percent off on rods and reels as well as 15 percent off on Salt Life Apparel.
The contests begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and spectators should expect to hear sounds more akin to music than to the calls often emanating from hunting blinds. Judges look for virtuosity—much the same way that a conductor looks for technical and artistic skill in an orchestra—as well as a contestant's ability to control the instrument.
Of the nine calling contests, the highlight of Sunday will likely be the Delaware State Duck Calling Championship.
"This contest is sanctioned by and a qualifier for the World Duck Calling Championships in Stuttgark, Ark., in November," Patty explained earlier this week. "There's $500 on the line but the winner has to agree to go the world championships in order to get the money."
She also explained that competitors must also be a Delaware resident and be at least 17 years old. All contestants must bring proof of residence, like a driver's license. If the winner can't or doesn't want to attend the world championships, the prize will be given to the second place winner, who would then be expected to travel to Arkansas as the Delaware representative in the contest. Additionally, forfeiture of the Delaware title makes the winner ineligible to compete in the state championships for three years.
"In the past, people have used the prize money for airfare or a hotel room at the world championships," Patty said. "But, it's important that they know that you can't keep the money and not go."
Other contests scheduled include the Delaware Bay Open Duck Calling Championship, the Delaware State Open Team Meat Duck Calling Championship, several goose calling contests and two junior contests (duck and goose) open to adolescents who are 16 years old or younger. For more information about individual contests, visit www.callingducks.com/calling_contest_points_main.aspx.
Sean Mann of Sean Mann Outdoors, local caller Allan Stanley and turkey caller Charlie Messina will also be attending the two-day event.
Sean has said in the past that this is the weekend for experienced and novice outdoorsmen to stop by the store since manufacturer sales are rare. Also, there will be people on-hand who will be able to demonstrate most of the equipment as well.