By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A state-champion duck caller won a small competition Saturday as part of the Super Retriever Series Classic at Oakwood Mall.
Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited and presented by Western Sizzlin’ and Groendyke Transport, the event drew seven competitors in all, including three children.
The adult who scored best was Glen Niebaum, a two-time winner of the Oklahoma State Duck Calling Contest.
Niebaum graduated from Oklahoma State University and now professionally trains dogs in Texas. He was in Enid for the Super Retriever Series Classic.
Winner of the children’s competition was Payton Meyer. After the competition, Niebaum briefly spoke to Meyer, giving him pointers on how to be a better duck caller. That, he said, is what helped him reach three world championships.
“A lot of great guys around helped me out, helped me get better and gave me plenty of information,” Niebaum said. “I’ve been hunting ducks for a long time. Wanting to become better at operating a duck call for the purpose of hunting is how you get started. You want to get better and you strive to be better.
Chance Carpenter, a 7-year-old from Enid, came with his dad.
“I’ve just been practicing this week,” Chance said, adding that Saturday’s contest would be his first competition. “Basically I just go outside and do duck calls, practicing and all that.”
Organizer Paul Fincher, who serves as district chairman for Ducks Unlimited, said the importance of the contest and hunting is to get kids out of the house.
“We get the young children involved and get them back into nature instead of doing computer stuff every day,” he said. “Get with their parents. The time they spend with their parents is more important than anything.”
It’s also important to get them involved when they’re young, Fincher added.
“A complete stranger started me when I was 7 years old and I’ve done it all my life,” said Oakwood Mall Manager Kelly Goodwin, who was at the event.
Fincher said the contest, which is one of just two in Oklahoma, returned to form last year. In future years, he aims to have it become a sanctioned event with more attendees.