Hunterís Specialtiesí Pro Al Morris Wins the 2009 World Elk Calling Contest
How Al Morris Became a Calling Champion
Editor’s Note: Hunter’s Specialties is extremely proud of its pro, Al Morris of Payson, Utah, who started working part time for Hunter’s Specialties in 2001 and became a full-time Hunter’s Specialties’ pro in 2005. Not only did Morris and his partner, Garvin Young, win the World Coyote Calling Contest this year, but Morris recently won the 2009 World Elk Calling Contest, making him the first person to win two World Calling Contests in separate species events. Contestants in the professional division must make specific calls, such as cow and calf calls, barks, whistles, growls and screaming bugles for the judges. The World Elk Calling Championship helps raise awareness of elk habitat and the conservation initiatives of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Question: Al, how many times have you and your hunting partner Garvin Young of Lodi, California, won the World Coyote Calling Contest?
Morris: We’ve won the contest three times – back-to-back in 2007 and 2008 and for the first time in 1997.
Question: How long have you been entering the World Elk Calling Contest?
Morris: I entered my first World Elk Calling Contest in 1993, and missed the final cut by 1 point. Although I skipped a few years, I entered the contest a total of 15 times.
Question: Who hosts the World Elk Calling Contest, and where was it held this year?
Morris: The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) sponsors the World Elk Calling Contest every year at its national convention. This year, the convention was held in Fort Worth, Texas, and next year, the contest will be held in Reno, Nevada.
Question: Why did you want to compete in the World Elk Calling Contest?
Tomorrow: Al Morris’ Favorite Calls
Morris: In 1983, Wayne Carlton, another Hunter’s Specialties’ pro, taught me how to use a diaphragm elk call. Over the years, I’ve learned that I have a unique ability to call-in elk. To me, elk calling is no different than any other sport. When you see that you have a talent in a sport, you want to strengthen your skills enough to compete. I’ve always been a competitor, and I haven’t been satisfied with only competing in the World Elk Calling Contest. Winning this contest has been one of my life goals, and this year, I’ve seen that lifelong dream come true.