With the opening of bear season kicking off fall hunting on Monday, a host of hunting seminars will be held in the Portland area this weekend.

If you want to learn to call a duck, head to Cabela’s. And if it’s wing shooting or archery lessons you need, it’s all free at L.L. Bean today through Sunday.

The Maine State Duck Calling Contest at Cabela’s in Scarborough will be part of the store’s “Great Outdoors Days” this weekend, but the competition is new.

In what is being called the first sanctioned duck calling contest in Maine, waterfowl hunters will get a shot at advancing to the World’s Duck Calling Championship in Stuttgart, Ark., said Paul Reynolds, the director of the Cabela’s event.

Reynolds, a judge at the Ducks Unlimited calling contest in Bowdoinham last weekend, knows the nuances of duck calling and said it’s not easy.

Only half the field at Saturday’s contest will advance until it is whittled down to the finalists.

Judges will award points based on the mallard hen calls that imitate a hail, a feeding call, a comeback call and the mating call.

Reynolds said he thinks the event will draw some expert callers. Registration opens at 10 a.m.

“To my knowledge, the nearest sanctioned event is in New York,” Reynolds said. “There are a lot of callers in the South and Midwest. This is new for Maine, for New England. I’ve been trying real hard to get this going.”

Meanwhile, at L.L. Bean seminars in hunting and fishing will run all weekend starting today, and it’s all free.

The store’s 18th annual hunting expo has offered free fly-casting, free archery and free clay shooting lessons for years because it draws newcomers to these sports, said Mac McKeever, the store’s senior public relations representative.

“There is a good mix and array of activities for folks of all ages and skill levels or interests, from the experienced to the beginner,” McKeever said.

“The important thing to note is (founder Leon Leonwood) Bean was the quintessential guide. He loved to share his knowledge with family and friends. This event kind of shares in that sentiment.”

The weekend event also has seminars, demonstrations and professional clinics.

It kicks off today with free indoor archery.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]


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