With hunting season right around the corner, a unique event took place on August 25 at the Watson Hunting Camp.

With hunting season right around the corner, a unique event took place on August 25 at the Watson Hunting Camp. The Stage Rage Goose Calling Contest was held and a number of callers from across the state competed the event.

The event was the first of its kind to be held in the area, and Watson Hunting Camp owner Chuck Ellingson was excited to be hosting the contest.

“We’re really happy to bring this competition here, and we are hoping to continue it on a yearly basis. These guys are the best in the state,” he said.

For those who may not have any idea what a goose calling contest is all about, champion goose caller Joe Heintz gave a run-down of the process.

“Basically, you have 90 seconds to blow a goose routine. Everyone is singing the same song; it’s about whoever can sing it the smoothest.

“You have to picture that the geese are out there. You’ve got to give them some hail calls to get their attention. You get  excited and the closer they get, the more excited you get. Then when they start decoying into you, you give them some lay down noises,” said Heintz.

Part of the blowing routine includes imagining that the geese are hesitant about landing and begin to veer away. “Right at the last second, before they touch the ground, they see something they don’t like and start to leave. So you have to give them a sequence of come-back calls to turn them back around. You have to get ‘goosey’ with them again to keep them excited and bring them back in.

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“Then right at the end they’re about to land again, but they’re going to land short, so you have to blow a couple of sequences to keep them up and bring them right to you. Then at the end of the routine, you have to do some lay down notes,” Heintz continued.

Each contestant envisions this scenario during their routine. Although they are “singing the same song,” each contestant has their own style when it comes to blowing a routine.

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