Kiwis Off To World Duck Calling Champs In U.S.

Publish Date
Tuesday, 8 November 2016, 11:00AM
Hunter Morrow with his dog

Hunter Morrow with his dog

Two young New Zealanders from the South Island have flown out to the United States to take part in the world duck calling championships (flew out Monday 7 Nov).

The pair are building apprentice Hunter Morrow from Luggate in Central Otago, and a Nelson teenager Holly Irvine – whose father Geoff is also going along.  

Hunter took out the New Zealand duck calling supreme title in July while Holly (12) has  qualified to compete in the junior division of  the world champs.  

Speaking just before flying out to the World Waterfowl Calling Championships at Easton in Maryland, Hunter was quietly confident of at least a placing after his success in the world champs last year – placing 4th and 5th in two different categories.

“This year he will compete in five different duck and goose categories, so “surely I can get somewhere,” he says, “let’s hope it works out. 

“It will be good fun, he adds, “and I’ll be out of breath by the end of it!”.

Hunter Morrow says that while there is cash, shotguns and other prizes on offer it is the chance to take the world title that is most “important” and motivating for him.

He notes that he and Holly are the only competitors who are not from the U.S. or Canada.

The trio have planned some hunting trips before the champs on November 11 and 12 and “it’s good to have Holly and Geoff Irvine along as travelling companions on the trip,” he says. 

Organiser of the New Zealand duck calling champs, Adam Rayner, says he wishes the pair well adding that they have a huge amount of support from their many Kiwi followers.

Both have been working hard and have some tricks up their sleeve, he says. Hunter for example had recently “cleaned up” in a calling contest at the Sika Show in Taupo.

“I can’t think of better ambassadors for New Zealand duck callers in the U.S. than those two.” 

Mr Rayner notes that Hunter has been picked as one of the judges for part of the  competition, the first time a non-U.S. citzen has been given such an honour.

“It’s huge for him and for New Zealand.”

He pays tribute to the sponsors of the New Zealand champs which funded the winner’s trip to the U. S. as first prize.

“I’d like to extend my grateful thanks to Loaded NZ, First Mortgage Trust and HOBEC Law.”      

Fish & Game New Zealand Communications Manager Don Rood says that he agrees the two competitors make great ambassadors for New Zealand and has every confidence in their abilities.

“We’ve seen already seen that both are world class and should do well – Fish & Game was more than happy to do its bit to help with the New Zealand champs because the skills necessary are so central to waterfowl hunting.

“The competition certainly seems to have really grabbed people’s attention.

“It’s great to see these two teenagers go to this next level on the world stage as very serious and hard-working competitors who’ve earned their success.

“Fish & Game wishes them well,” says Don Rood.

- Fish & Game