From the wetlands to the stage, the art of mimicking the calls of ducks has evolved into a celebrated competition. Duck calling contests have gained significant attention over the years, and places like Stuttgart, Arkansas have become synonymous with these events. In particular, the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest has created ripples in the community, drawing participants and spectators from around the world. As we delve into this topic, we’ll explore notable contests, such as the world duck calling contest 2015, the duck calling contest 2016, and the recent duck calling contest 2022.

The Stuttgart, Arkansas Legacy

Why Stuttgart?

Stuttgart, Arkansas, often dubbed the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World”, has a rich history tied to duck hunting. With vast expanses of wetlands and rice fields, the area attracts a multitude of migrating ducks, making it a prime location for duck hunting and, consequently, duck calling.

The Stuttgart Arkansas Duck Calling Contest

Since 1936, the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest has been a tradition. This annual contest has drawn competitors from all corners of the country, each hoping to take home the prestigious title. Here are some highlights:

  • World Duck Calling Contest 2015: This year saw an increase in participants, marking it as one of the most competitive events. The contestants brought their A-game, showcasing their skill in emulating the intricate nuances of duck calls;
  • Duck Calling Contest 2016: A notable year for innovation, participants in the duck calling contest 2016 integrated unique techniques, setting the bar even higher for future contests;
  • Duck Calling Contest 2022: The most recent contest brought forward a blend of tradition and modernity, with participants ranging from seasoned veterans to enthusiastic newcomers.

Essence of the Competitiom

Duck calling competitions are a fascinating blend of skill, artistry, and precision. Participants, often referred to as “callers,” use duck calls to mimic the sounds of real ducks. These contests are not only a celebration of waterfowl hunting culture but also a test of a caller’s ability to replicate the subtle nuances of duck vocalizations.

Techniques & Types of Calls

  • Mallard Hen Call: The Mallard Hen call is a fundamental component of duck calling competitions. It imitates the quacking of a female mallard duck. To excel in this category, callers need to achieve a precise and rhythmic cadence, replicating the natural call of a mallard hen;
  • Feeding Call: This call simulates the sound of ducks feeding and splashing in the water. It involves a series of rapid, staccato notes that convey the image of contented ducks feeding together. The challenge lies in producing these notes with accuracy and consistency;
  • Lonesome Hen Call: The Lonesome Hen call is more melancholic and elongated compared to other calls. It is used to attract stray or solitary ducks by imitating the call of a single, lonely hen. This call requires a different set of skills, focusing on drawing ducks in with a sense of longing and vulnerability.

Judging Criteria

When competing in a duck calling contest, participants are evaluated based on several key criteria:

  • Accuracy: Judges assess how closely the caller’s rendition of duck calls resembles the sounds made by real ducks. Precise replication of the target sound is crucial for success;
  • Variety: Callers are expected to demonstrate versatility in their repertoire. Can the caller effectively produce a range of calls, showcasing their ability to mimic various duck vocalizations? Variety is essential to show mastery over different scenarios and duck behaviors;
  • Consistency: Maintaining a consistent level of performance throughout the competition is paramount. Inconsistencies, such as fluctuations in tone or rhythm, can result in lower scores. Consistency reflects a caller’s mastery of their chosen calls.

Preparation for the Contest

To compete successfully in duck calling competitions, preparation is key. Here are some essential steps to get ready for the contest:

  • Practice: Regular and dedicated practice is the foundation of success. Callers must practice different calls extensively to refine their technique and maintain consistency;
  • Listen to Real Ducks: To ensure accuracy in their calls, competitors should spend time listening to and studying real ducks in their natural habitat. This helps in understanding the nuances of duck vocalizations and replicating them effectively;
  • Watch Past Contests: Studying performances from past duck calling contests, such as the World Duck Calling Contest 2015 or the Duck Calling Contest 2016, can provide valuable insights into winning techniques, styles, and trends. Analyzing past champions can help callers refine their own performances.

The Tools of the Trade

Variety of duck call tools

Duck calling isn’t just about the skill of the caller; it’s also about the instrument they use. Duck calls come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering unique tonal qualities.

Types of Duck Calls

Call TypeDescriptionPopular Contests
Single ReedProvides a broader range of pitches and is typically louder. This type is preferred by many seasoned callers, especially those participating in contests like the duck calling contest 2016 or the duck calling contest 2022.Duck Calling Contest 2016, Duck Calling Contest 2022
Double ReedEasier for beginners, it produces a mellower, raspy sound resembling a Mallard hen. Many newcomers during the world duck calling contest 2015 opted for double reed calls due to their user-friendly nature.World Duck Calling Contest 2015
Wooden CallsThese offer warm and rich tones. They’re often used by traditionalists and can be heard prominently during the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest.Stuttgart Arkansas Duck Calling Contest
Acrylic CallsAcrylic calls are louder and sharper, perfect for windy days or open water. Their vibrant tonal quality makes them popular in modern contests.Modern Duck Calling Contests

Maintenance and Care

A duck call, like any instrument, needs care. Regular cleaning ensures a clear sound. Also, reeds need to be replaced over time, especially if the call starts to sound off or inconsistent.

Choosing the Right Call for Competitions

It’s not just about volume but also about versatility. In competitions, especially those as prestigious as the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest, having a call that can produce a variety of tones accurately can set a participant apart. Observing past winners, like those from the world duck calling contest 2015 or the duck calling contest 2016, can provide insights into preferred instruments.


The echoing sounds of duck calls have transitioned from being mere hunting tools to a form of art celebrated on grand stages. Events like the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest, and notable years such as the world duck calling contest 2015, the duck calling contest 2016, and the duck calling contest 2022, highlight the depth, passion, and commitment of individuals to this craft. Whether you’re a seasoned caller or a curious spectator, there’s no denying the allure of these contests and the talent they showcase.


What is the significance of the Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest?

The Stuttgart contest is one of the most prestigious events in the world of duck calling. Its rich history and the caliber of participants make it a notable event.

How has the contest evolved from the world duck calling contest 2015 to the duck calling contest 2022?

Over the years, the contest has seen an increase in participants, innovative techniques, and a broader audience. The transition from the world duck calling contest 2015 to the duck calling contest 2022 showcases the growth and evolution of this art form.

Are there any specific calls that participants must know?

Yes, participants are typically required to know a variety of calls, including but not limited to the Mallard Hen, Feeding Call, and Lonesome Hen.

How can I participate in the next Stuttgart Arkansas duck calling contest?

Interested participants should keep an eye on the official Stuttgart, Arkansas website for details on registration, guidelines, and event dates.