STUTTGART -- After 14 years, Phil Green II, 39, of Weiner, finally won the World's Championship Duck Calling Contest on Saturday to close the Wings Over the Prairie Festival.
Green, originally of New Iberia, La., said he moved to Arkansas to take a job with Echo Calls, but also to be closer to his dream of winning the World's Championship. He finished second in 2006, took third twice and fourth once. Winning, he said, is a relief.
"I've been trying so hard for so long," Green said. "I've been telling a lot of my friends that I was ready to finally get it done or retire so I can start helping other people."
Subtle nuances separate the winners from the runners-up in the competition. Green said he believed his routines were excellent in the first two rounds, and he was perfect in the third round.
"I know I'm not the loudest guy out there, but I try to have a good tone and be smooth with my routine," Green said. "Every judge likes something a little different, so I try to appeal to everyone. I try to be as 'ducky' as I can on the low end and be as loud and clear as I can on the high end."
Green said he experienced a bit of anxiety in the second round. His routine was flawless, but he said he nearly ran out of breath during his triple comeback call.
"I made it through, just barely," Green said.
After doing so well in his early years, Green went through a long dry spell at Stuttgart. Backstage at this year's championship, he said he wondered if he would ever hoist the trophy.
"I learned just to have fun with it," Green said. "I've been told that a lot times by many people. Logan Hancock, last year's champion, actually pulled me aside and said, 'Phil, you look like you're a little frustrated. Have fun with it, and you'll do a little better.' "
Green moved to Weiner six years ago. He said it was tough leaving friends, family and a lifetime's wealth of hunting and fishing spots, but winning the championship made it worthwhile.
"Being there probably helped me to get over the hump," Green said.
Living in Arkansas revealed some of the nuances that distinguish the Arkansas style of duck calling from the Louisiana style.
"When it comes to calling ducks out in the field, I'd say there's a little bit of difference between Arkansas and Louisiana," Green said. "Arkansas guys are really aggressive to attract ducks from a long distance. Louisiana is more finesse style calling.
Bill Free of Stuttgart, chairman of the Wings Over the Prairie Festival, said this year's event ranked in the top five of his 15-year tenure.
"The weather was perfect on Saturday, which helped out a bunch," Free said. "We had a big crowd for the World's Championship, and they stayed through all five rounds. The vendors in the tents also commented on how much bigger the crowds were."
Sports on 11/27/2016
Print Headline: Louisiana transplant wins world duck-calling crown