"A new World Goose Calling Champion has been crowned," the Star-Democrat of Easton, Maryland reports.
And guess what? He's from Illinois.
"Wade Walling won the featured competition at Saturday evening's Waterfowl Festival Calling Contest Championship event. Walling, from Romeoville, Ill., scored a total of 785 points to win the World Goose Calling Championship in front of a large gathering of spectators and well-wishers at the Talbot County Auditorium at Easton High School."
Walling finished third (behind two other Illinoisans) in the world championships last year, but among other things, Walling is the 2006 Mississippi Valley Open Goose Calling Champion.
"My grandfather introduced me to waterfowl hunting when I was in the 6th grade on his private land bordering the historic Illinois River," Walling told WadWizard. "Ever since my first experience I was hooked. After years of hunting in Illinois, my pursuit of waterfowl has taken me across the entire state; chasing mallards in the northern most section, all the way to the goose capital of the United States in the southern tip. After hunting for a couple of years, my grandpa gave me one of his calls. I was instantly fascinated with the calling aspect of waterfowl hunting and had a great desire to learn to speak the language. I bought myself a cheap call and a tape and started from there. After countless hours of practice I started to become interested in contest calling and entered my first contest at the age of 15. From the beginning I wanted to be a competitive goose caller, but figured that I would have a brighter future in duck contests. After a couple years of competing in duck contests I began advancing in goose contests as well. Once I started having some success in goose contests, I gave up main street duck calling and switched my focus completely to goose calling."
Walling spills some of his secrets occasionally in classes around the area, where he promises to have you "speaking goose" in no time.
Here's Walling in action with a partner in a two-man competition last year.
See also: Wild Turkey Calling Classes (video)