Sixteen-year-old Blake Hodge won the South Carolina State Junior Duck Calling Championship held on March 4 at the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival in Georgetown. He will go on to represent the state in the Intermediate Division of the World Finals to be held the week of Thanksgiving in Stuttgart, Ark.

Hodge, a sophomore at Buford High School in Lancaster County, is also a part-time duck-hunting guide with Wrecking Crew Guide Service located in the Upstate.

His father Daryl Hodge, who owns the guide service, claims the younger Hodge has paid his dues, calling competitively on the junior circuit over the past four years. His talents on the stage lend themselves well to his work in the field.

"He's been blowing a duck call for a long time," the elder Hodge said. "He can hold his own with anybody in the blind but when it comes to calling geese, nobody is better."

Blake's interest in duck calling came at an early age, and he intends to pursue competitive calling in the future. He is a member of the RNT pro staff and has plans to spend the upcoming summer working with legendary duck caller Butch Rickenbacker, the founder and owner of RNT Calls in Stuttgart

 Hodge hopes to refine his talents on the stage as well as get a feel for the operation of the business, a career path he is determined to follow.

"I love duck calling and duck hunting," Hodge said. "I can see myself working for a call company or even owning my own call making business in the future."