BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — The Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO will host the World’s Cutdown Duck Calling Championship at 1p.m. July 30 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event is sponsored by Mack’s Prairie Wings and Drake Waterfowl, and produced by renowned callers Jim Ronquest and Heath Vanlandingham.
“Cutdown calls have an important history in Arkansas and on the lower Illinois River, too,” said Jim Ronquest, a world champion duck caller. “Modifying these calls — first the Olt and then others — became a cottage industry in the region. It produces a call with a lot of bass and a lot of rattle, and ducks respond to them very well.”
The classic Arkansas style duck call was introduced in 1904 by Philip Olt of Pekin, Illinois. In the 1950s and 1960s, duck hunters started manually modifying the call, which allowed them to customize the volume and pitch. These modified Olt calls — called “cutdowns” — were tremendously successful, and their popularity among hunters eventually led to commercial production by major duck call companies.
Inspired by this history, Ronquest and Vanlandingham developed a contest that required the use of these particular calls.
“We started it with the blessing of Chuck Lock at Mack’s Prairie Wings years ago,” Ronquest said. “And with Delta’s first national EXPO, we figured it would be a great venue for the contest this year.”
An estimated 40 or more callers will take the EXPO stage to compete for a 1st prize payout of at least $1,000, a shotgun, and a Drake Waterfowl gear package, and the prestigious title of World’s Cutdown Calling Champion. Cash prizes will be paid to the top three, with prizes awarded to the top five places. All entry fee money will be paid out. The entry fee is $50, and competitors can sign up in person at the EXPO. And of course, EXPO attendees will be treated to the finest hunting-style calling from these avid waterfowl hunters and calling competitors.
“Delta’s Duck Hunters EXPO is the perfect venue for the World Cutdown Duck Calling Championships,” said Brad Heidel, senior director of marketing for Delta Waterfowl. “The format of this calling contest presents competitors with a real-life hunting scenario they have to ‘solve’ with their calling routine on stage. It’s the kind of calling that puts more ducks over the decoys — just what every Delta member wants.”
The Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO is presented by Federal Premium Ammunition. In addition to the World Cutdown Calling Championships sponsored by Mack’s Prairie Wings and Drake Waterfowl, the EXPO also features three continuous stages of education, entertainment and excitement amid the 80,000-square-foot exhibit floor. And there are many more attractions planned for you to enjoy. For more information and to purchase tickets to the EXPO, visit deltawaterfowlexpo.com.
Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.