When Kristy Santucci and Pat Kittle set out to create a pre-season waterfowl event for the small farm town of Colusa, California, they wanted something a little different from the norm. What they have put together in the last year was nothing short of that.
As we left the high desert of northern Nevada for the green rolling hills of northern California, my ears were bleeding from the hours of duck calling coming from the backseat. My 13-year-old daughter Hannah and one of The Birdmen’s newest recruits, Karen, had been ramping up for this day for the last two months. We knew Kristy had been working vigorously on this event but as we rolled up in front of the Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport Co., it was much bigger than any of us had anticipated.
The Kittle’s store was on one side and a beautiful city park filled with a calling stage, shaded seating for spectators, trees and vendors with all of the latest and greatest gear was on the other. As the morning progressed people filled the park in anticipation of the California State Duck Calling Contest amidst the juniors, intermediate, speck and Canada goose contests as well. The contest went off without a hitch with one of the greatest MCs on board was Reg Bravo, from Ducks Unlimited.
Hannah finished with a great routine in fourth place, Karen got some tips on competition calling and everyone that showed for the event was happy to see what Kittle’s had done this year. Pat Kittle, the owner, had raised the cash pot with his own money to help get the winner of the state competition to Arkansas to compete in the world competition. After the calling event, the Steelhead Lodge situated on the banks of the beautiful Sacramento River hosted a party along with Jack Daniels providing drinks, prime rib and a wonderful band that played long into the night. This was the nicest, well planned out calling event the team had ever been to and thanks to Kristy and Kittle’s Outdoor & Sport Co. and it will be even bigger next year. Don’t miss it!
Image courtesy The Birdmen