Woodstock duck caller wins Canadian title
Matthew Wilson will travel to Arkansas for world championship after winning national event in Sussex
A Woodstock man is heading to Stuttgart, Ark. in November to represent Canada at the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest.
Matthew Wilson won an all-expenses paid trip to the area — known as the rice and duck capital of North America — after winning the Canadian Duck and Goose Calling Championship on Sept. 15 in Sussex.
"To see your best friend win, it's something else, it really is," said friend and fellow competitor, Wesley Thebeau, who ranked third in the competition.
Wilson, 28, first learned how to call ducks, geese and moose when he was 12 years old, and has since become part of a tight-knit group of hunters known as the East Coast Waterfowl Mafia.
"We kind of think of ourselves as a big family," he said.
Wilson won his first national competition in 2007, but said he was at a competitive disadvantage against his American counterparts.
This time, Wilson said he invested hours of extra practice in the craft he described as something akin to learning an instrument.
It takes the same dedication to extract the right sounds from the instrument, along with breath control and obsessive practice, said Wilson.
There are no ducks in the competition, but Wilson said the best callers can paint a picture for the judges during their 90-second routine.
"The judges should pretty well be able to tell, because they can't see you, where those ducks are by the way you're calling," he said.
Wilson will compete against 70 callers at the U.S. competition on Nov. 29.