b'CALLED TO STUTTGART.Women commonly venture into the outdoors today, but injudges by painting a scenario with a 90-second routine. They the 1950s, few women hunted. Fewer called ducks. And yetbegin with a loud, boisterous hail call as if a hunter spotted while women routinely compete against other women in theaflockalongdistanceawayandwantedtoattracttheir current era, only one woman, local favorite Pat Peacock ofattention. Then, the caller blows as if the ducks approached Stuttgart, ever beat the men for the overall titleand shethe decoys, but flared away. Finally, the caller must make won back-to-back in 1955 and 1956! enticing notes as if finishing the birds into the decoys.Double-Reed Debut A lot of guys say, They can call judges, but they cant call Threeyearslater,ayoungducks, Ronquest said. There might be some truth in that. TexancametoArkansaswithThe contest is still very rooted in calling ducks, but calling a somethingnew.WhileWalshduck is different from calling to impress a judge. In a contest, andCallouetcalledwithjustwereplayingatunefor90seconds.Inarealhunting theirthroats,JamesCowboysituation, someone doesnt have 90 seconds to bring in the FernandezofGroves,Texas,ducks. The ducks might come in 10 seconds, circle for five usedaspecialinvention:aminutes, or not come at all.Yentzen double-reed duck call.Callingtechniqueshaveevolvedovertheyears,butthe It helped him win the first worldcompetitionremainsextremelyintense.Formanycallers, competitionheeverentered.that final 90 seconds culminates long hours, perhaps over Fernandezfollowedthatbymanyyears,preparingjustforthatmoment.Thefinal beatingthefourmostrecentmomentsbeforeacontestanttakesthestageseemto championsintheChampionofChampionscontest.Soonlast forever. Each caller afterward,JohnnyCarsoneveninvitedhimtoappearonknowsthatonesour The Tonight Show to demonstrate his calling. noteorasecondtoo When the other competitors werent looking, I caught themlongcouldeliminate sleeping, Cowboy modestly quipped about his 1959 win. Iyearsofpreparation started working with George Yentzen of Nederland, Texas.and an otherwise great Before he died, he told his wife to tell me to start blowingroutine.and making calls. I took the inside apart and changed thePeoplegetreally tone board and the reed system. I spent the whole weekendnervous sitting in what before the contest developing that sound and perfecting callswecallthebullpen so they would sound like a duck. All the others were blowingwaiting for their turns, single-reed calls, but they didnt sound nearly as ducky as IRonquestsaid.Some did. peoplegotothe Yentzen patented his double-reed call in 1950, but the callsbathroom several times really didnt take off until after Fernandez tweaked the designbeforetheygeton and won the world championship. Yentzen died shortly beforestage.Inmyfirstyear the 1959 contest, but his double-reed sound dominated theattheworldchampionship,IdidntthinkIhadachance waterfowlingmarketforthenexttwodecades.Sure-Shotto win. I was clicking along and then started thinking, Im Game Calls still makes its now-famous Yentzen duck call. blowingprettygood.Then,mykneeswentweakandI madeallsortsofbadracket.Itsfriendly,butitsintense In 1959, we had 52 state and regional winners all doing theircompetition. Were all good friends until we get up on the best calls, recalled Cowboy, now the oldest living formerstage. Then, we want to crush them!champion at 85 years old and a Legends of the OutdoorsFor more than eight decades, the best callers have challenged Hall of Fame inductee. We were all friendly with each other,each other in Stuttgart for the title. The latest wave of hopeful but the competition was intense. We all put in a lot of timecompetitorswilldosoagainnextfall,butonlyonewill andweretheretowin. Threeofusweresharingahotelemerge as the overall World Champion Duck Caller. Jroom, including the current reigning champion. I nodded off and was making duck sounds in my sleep, but I heard one of them say, Thats the guy we have to beat tomorrow. I justAn avid sportsman, John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writerwholivesinSemmes, Ala.Heswrittenmorethan2,900 got lucky and made the calls the judges wanted to hear. articlesformorethan157differentmagazines.Followhimon the internet. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM How to Call for Judges Talk 106.5 radio station. Contact him at j.felsher@hotmail.com or through Facebook.Callersstillneedtoimitateducks,butthecontesthas changedovertheyears.Today,callersmustpleasethe Copyright 2020 DELTA WATERFOWL Magazine, Bismarck ND. Reprinted with permission.Stuttgart, Arkansas 2020 Official Sportsmans Guide 47'