Festival a success

Published 1:26 am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Contributing Editor

Volunteer organizers of the myriad events that are part of the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships were more than just pleased with the 16th version of the festival held this past weekend.
Attendance at the three-day DockDogs event, which made its festival debut last year at Kugler Field, more than met expectations, according to Neil Woolard, chairman of the local DockDogs event. More money was taken in at the gate Saturday than all three days of last year’s DockDogs event combined, Woolard noted.
Washington’s own Brett Perry saw his dog, Chelsea, win the amateur division in the Big Air competition with a jump of 17 feet, 3 inches. The second-place dog jumped 17 feet, 2 inches. Chelsea turns 2 years old April 24.
It was Chelsea’s first time in a DockDogs event.
“I figured she’d do pretty good,” Perry said Sunday.
The Southern Classic Duck, Goose and Swan Calling Championships celebrated its 10th anniversary of being part of the festival. Shawn Bennett, chairman of the event, was ecstatic about the number of callers who signed up to compete this year.
“It’s the biggest contest we’ve ever had,” Bennett said Sunday. “The competitors told me this has become a first-class calling competition.”
The Southern Classic has become a two-day event, expanding to two days last year to accommodate the increase in the number of competitors.
Wilmington’s Nathan Garrett, 16, won the Pamlico Regional duck-calling contest. Garrett qualifies for the World Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Ark.
Ben Heinemann, a North Carolina carver, took the best-in-show award in the decorative-floating division of the carving competition with his carving of a blue-wing teal.
In the decorative-nonfloating division, Al Jordan of New York took the best-in-show award with his carving of a red-tail hawk. Jordan also took second place and third place in the division.
For additional coverage of the festival, see the Horizons section of the Feb. 27 edition of the Washington Daily News.
N.C. Decoy Carving Championships
Decorative floating: Ben Heinemann, blue-wing teal, 1st place; Mark Strucko, green-wing teal, second place; Fred Miller, long-tail squaw, third place.
Decorative nonfloating: Al Jordan, red-tail hawk, first place; Al Jordan, green-backed hummingbird, second place; Al Jordan, short-billed dowitcher, third place.
Decorative miniatures: Peter Palumbo, avocet, first place; Al Jordan, avocet, second place; Fred Miller, sanderling, third place.
Pamlico Gunning Style: Ben Heinemann, gadwall, first place; Ben Heinemann, pintail, second place; Ivie Elliott, redhead, third place.
Pamlico Gunning Style (novice, intermediate class): Allan Massengill, first place; Alan Massengill, second place; Mike Hicks, third place.
Charles Moore Traditional competition: Walter Gaskill, ruddy, first place; Walter Gaskill, bufflehead, second place; Gary Doviak, pintail hen, third place.
North Carolina championship: Ivie Elliott, coot, first place; Walker Gaskill, coot, second place; Ben Heinemann, coot, third place.
Shore birds competition: Jerry Barkley, spotted sandpiper, first place; Ivie Elliott, spotted sandpiper, second place; Willard Bowen, ruddy turnstone, third place.
Tri-County Canvas competition: Charles Holloman, scaup, first place; Charles Holloman, wood duck drake, second place; Drew Zajac, redbreasted Merganser, third place.
Pamlico River Pairs competition: Andy Pope, black duck, first place; Ben Heinemann, mallard, second place; Gary Doviak, black duck, third place.
TRADE competition (canvasback): Gary Doviak, first place; Kelley Nelson, second place; Ron Findley, third place.
O’Neal Drug Store competition (ruddy duck): Walker Gaskill, first place; Drew Zajac, second place; Ben Heinemann, third place; Ivie Elliott, fourth place; Tom Rogers, fifth place.
Contemporary antiques: Jerry Barkley, first place; Robbie Robertson, second place; Mark Finisecy, third place.
East Carolina Young Guns Award (ages 14-17): Sam Stainback.