Eastern Iowans Dominate State Duck Calling Championships
By John Campbell, Reporter
BURLINGTON, Iowa -- You knew you were in the right place the minute you stepped indoors.
The lobby of the Catfish Bend Hotel in Burlington was loud and crowded last Saturday, with tons of vendors hawking hundreds of duck calls.
But the heavy hitters were in a nearby ballroom. It was the Mississippi Valley Calling Classic State Championship, with fourteen of Iowa's best going at it.
"Iowa's probably one of the toughest contests, next to Arkansas, in the United States" said Dubuque native Dan Oberfoell.
"I do a lot of practicing," said Rob Bevins, of Belle Plaine. "I practice with a light in front of me, the same way that we have on stage.
"I'm getting pretty used to it. Still, a guy gets nerves."
The top three finishers all hail from Eastern Iowa. Oberfoell, the 2007 winner, finished third.
"The first round, I was a little iffy. The second round, I blew really well," Oberfoell said.
"The third round, I wish I could have one part of it back. But other than that, I felt pretty good."
Dubuque native and last year's winner, J.J. Moser, claimed second place.
Bevins won it all this year to bring home his second state title.
"I felt like I called pretty good today, uh, you know, very good" Bevins said. "Just got a new call for Christmas, or right around there, and I got it broken in right up there on stage.
"I think it went a lot smoother than it did the last couple of years."
Winning the Iowa state title qualifies Bevins for the World Championships in Stuttgart, Ark.