When Hunter calls, ducks listen

Come November, a Central Otago teenager will leave his tools behind to compete in the world's most prestigious competition - for duck calling.

Hunter Morrow, 18, from the small town of Luggate, out-quacked more than 20 competitors on his way to victory in the national duck-calling championships on Saturday.

The grand prize includes a trip to compete in the world championships in Arkansas in November.

The building apprentice is hoping it will be second time lucky, after finishing fifth in the same competition last year.

Morrow said thanks to his upbringing, duck calling came naturally to him.

"I've been duck hunting with dad since I was a little kid - probably about since I was 5 years old," he said.

"It's in the blood, it's just been there. Obviously being a duck hunter, blowing duck calls is the main ingredient of it."

He said he also practises at home, which can get irritating but his family is supportive.

As part of the competition, Morrow had 60 seconds to blow a greeting, pleading and feed call, as well as a lonesome hen call.

Competitors cup their hands around the duck callers to change the pitch and tone of the varying types of duck calls.

The calls were judged by John Meikle, a Rotorua Fish & Game Officer armed with the unenviable job of trying to pick a winner.

In the end, Morrow beat Hamilton's Owen Robinson, and Callum McKenzie from Christchurch for national honours.

Holly Irvine, 14, who will compete in the junior division of the world championships, finished fifth.

- NZ Herald

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