First Competition Help

Information on goose calls and goose calling tips.

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First Competition Help

Postby duckman2 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:57 pm

Hey guys, im thinking of entering my first calling competition for geese and was wondering a few things.

How should my style change from that of calling in the field to calling at an event?
I feel confident making different pitches and working the call for different sounds but am wondering what exactly judges look for?

How long should a routine generally last?

Any other helpful tips anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.

Finally i'm thinking of doing this at the eastern sports and outdoors show in harrisburg and was wondering if anyone has participated in that before and can let me know if this is a high level to begin at. it says its an open contest and i am doing my best to work my way into the hunting industry and think this would be a great way to get into it.

thanks a ton!
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby mayhem96 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Go on Youtube and listen to guys like Shannahan, Hudnall, Walling, and guys like that. A routine should last about 90 seconds...you can't go over or you will be disqualified. I would check out the Stage Grammer DVD...it has helped me a lot. Good luck!!
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby tripleb » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:06 am

Scott Threinen, of "Bad Grammer" DVD fame, and Molt Gear has a DVD available ("Stage Grammer" I believe is the name) explaining the process of competing in a calling contest for a beginner. I'd suggest you order one from him and watch it a few times. It ought to help quite a bit if you don't have the guidance of an experienced competition caller.
Last edited by tripleb on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Klondike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:34 am

First off,I am not a Canada goose caller,so some of what I am going to say may need to be corrected.

I am a competition Speck and Snow caller.

As far as time,usually 60 or 90 seconds for the routine,with a light coming on with 10 seconds left,serving as a warning to rap it up. If you go over,instant DQ.

Main difference from the field for me, PAUSES. You have many times of silence in the field,usually on stage,EXCEPT for the very bottom before your comeback,you run the call with very few breaks of silence.

YOU need to get info on the contest,it should be printed whether you need to emulate a filed scenario,example---get goose's attention,come on call,go into ground work and murmurs,loose the goose or geese,go into short comeback,then settle them down for the shot OR some judges favor caller who can run the CALL to the max,not so much about painting the picture.

Set goals that are achievable,don't expect to place in your first contest,although not out of the question,but highly unlikely at a major contest. Goals,like excuting a practiced routine,making the cut in the first round,etc....

Good Luck,
Practice until you are nauseated,then practice some more.
Remember,failure is when you really start to learn.
I was cut in my first major contest in the first round,since then I have won both state and world championships in snow and speck calling,so moral of the story,we all have gone to through the grind to achieve success.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby SPatrick » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:57 am

When I am judging a contest I look for several things, Volume is usually what I notice first so that is the first thing I take notes on. Followed closely by flow of the routine, I cut hard for a choppy routine. I look at how technically sound the routine is as well. Me as a judge I personally like to hear low end, there are alot of guys out there today who can string note after note together and have great speed, but have zero low end. At the end is cleanliness, how clean was the routine. I dont know what age you are, but if you are planning on entering an open, one stick and you are gone, I usually cut the kids some slack. Each judge is just a little bit different in what they like to hear, you need to get stage grammer and listen to what scott is talking about, as well as get on youtube and listen to different peoples routines. Don't walk blindly into a contest and just hop on stage, you will find out very quickly that it will be the longest 90 seconds of your life.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby SPatrick » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:00 am

Klondike wrote:First off,I am not a Canada goose caller,so some of what I am going to say may need to be corrected.

I am a competition Speck and Snow caller.

As far as time,usually 60 or 90 seconds for the routine,with a light coming on with 10 seconds left,serving as a warning to rap it up. If you go over,instant DQ.

Main difference from the field for me, PAUSES. You have many times of silence in the field,usually on stage,EXCEPT for the very bottom before your comeback,you run the call with very few breaks of silence.

YOU need to get info on the contest,it should be printed whether you need to emulate a filed scenario,example---get goose's attention,come on call,go into ground work and murmurs,loose the goose or geese,go into short comeback,then settle them down for the shot OR some judges favor caller who can run the CALL to the max,not so much about painting the picture.

Set goals that are achievable,don't expect to place in your first contest,although not out of the question,but highly unlikely at a major contest. Goals,like excuting a practiced routine,making the cut in the first round,etc....

Good Luck,
Practice until you are nauseated,then practice some more.
Remember,failure is when you really start to learn.
I was cut in my first major contest in the first round,since then I have won both state and world championships in snow and speck calling,so moral of the story,we all have gone to through the grind to achieve success.


There is some great info in here by the way, pauses are a big one lol, considering I went from 2nd to 4th in a 2 man meat duck contest this year because of a 1 second pause lol. Still a bit bitter :beer:
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby waterfowl1030 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:48 am

i would suggest getting stage grammer, scott breaks down all of the parts of a routine very well. I am planning on blowing in my 1st contest in march and between watching contests on youtube and stage grammer i fell pretty well prepared.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Klondike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:04 am

I,as a judge,like to hear someone in complete control of the call. From the most complicated chains to soft,ground work. To me,as a caller,and judge,it takes a tremendous amount of skill to run both ends of the extremes on a goose call. I am not impressed by someone who stays in the middle. I want to hear realistic speeds,pitches,and note shapes both on the high and low end,and a smooth transition between the two. IT IS A COMPETITION ROUTINE,the man in best command of the call,marries the high and low without choppiness,stays within realism,and is polished(hiding breaths,giving the impression of urgency through speed and note emphasis and volume shifts) is gonna score well. In speck calling,there are usually 5 judges,you had better have something to catch all 5 ears,something to appeal to each taste. That is why I say it takes time,DON"T get discouraged at first. Don't make the mistake of thinking just because you may have very good success in the field, you will rule the stage,you will get it handed to you in a heartbeat.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Klondike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:18 am

Please don't take my comments as discouragement,just giving an honest opinion through experience.

I thought I could call specks well for 15 years before I ever set foot on stage,got my ass handed to me. I found out real quick I could not call a cat to a bowl of warm milk. HOWEVER,through practice,you can succeed,and it can only make you better in the field.

It enrages me when I hear "self-proclaimed speck calling experts with absolutly no foundation what so ever",make comments such as,that fancy stuff won't ever work in the field. I find that such statements are the product of individuals that can't begin to touch what it takes to put together a top-shelf realistic competition routine. My point is,if you put in the hours to completely command a call,you will improve greatly in the field,period.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby SPatrick » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:51 pm

Klondike wrote: My point is,if you put in the hours to completely command a call,you will improve greatly in the field,period.


Very true statement, also most guys who claim that certain "competition" notes don't work in the field, only say that because they can't do that note.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Klondike » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:10 pm

I will say this,those complicated notes that some like to run their mouths about "NOT WORKING",it is those same notes that will work on days when nothing else does.I have lived it, AS LONG AS WITHIN THE REALM OF REALISM.

Don't be afraid to venture outside of "industry sound",it may just aid you on really tough days.
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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Jake Steppe » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:37 pm

duckman2,

this is my first post on this entire forum and a topic i am quite familiar with. (this past year i was even lucky enough to take 2nd in the world live goose and only lost to hunter)

a canada routine is 90 seconds long and broken in to several basic parts: hail, come-ons, comeback, come-ons, and a laydown. the scenario youre calling against is that you see geese in the distance and youre supposed to do a hail call and get their attention and them coming to your spread, as they get closer you increase speed of your routine to sound like a large mass of geese, as they hypothetically get closer you begin to slow down....they are supposed to flare off where you work into your comeback call, they turn and come back, you work them again, slow down and get into your laydowns and right at the end theyre supposedly landing outside your spread and you got to pick them up really fast for few seconds and get back into your laydowns to get them into your hole.

hail calls are your basic hrrrooonnks several loud attention getters in a few seperate tones, mix them up a bit more into your intermediate work until you get into your come-ons where youre really calling hard, i slow down to a second of 2-4 geese before i start my comeback. when you do your comeback dont jump into it, it needs to be built into until you hit some hard top note spits almost as loud as hails but pleading. once you hit that work back into a set of come-ons and again slow to 2-4 geese. laydowns are simply low murmurs of feeding geese and these "trick notes" some people call them.

Flow is the biggest thing to me, the routine has to flow as one. kelley powers taught me that its like a song, you like a song that has a good beat, not a choppy one. practice in sections and get them down pat then move to your next section incorporating your prior section that you have down. another thing is dont try doing things that you dont have down pat, it just hurts you because even a decent judge can tell when youre not sure of what youre doing.

youre going to be a little tense your first few times on stage, i still get it and so do most of the guys. stage time is the best practice you can get. when i started i listened to so many routines it was unreal.you will finally get comfortable with it after a while. and never be afraid to ask people questions, back there, we are all just regular guys and no one will ever turn you down for help. you said youre going to be at the harrisburg show, i know ill be calling in it and i think trevor and i are going to split a booth (black timber/tim grounds) if we do i may not be there every single day because there are some days i wil not be able to get outta school. please stop by and either trevor or I will get you pointed in the right direction.

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Re: First Competition Help

Postby Trevor Shannahan » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:11 pm

Just letting you guys know, the contest at Harrisburg is cancelled.
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