HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State student Judson Crump had one goal in mind when he initially enrolled in Wallace State’s Machine Tool Technology program: Learn how to make duck calls.
Crump is accomplishing much more.
Crump, an Eva resident, recently competed in the Job Skills Demonstration competition at the 51st annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky. Crump qualified for the national event after finishing first in the state in the Job Skills category. His five-minute presentation was on reading dials calipers.
Crump is also a regular at local duck calling competitions.
“Duck hunting has always been my first love. I was 5 years old when I first went duck hunting with my dad, so I’ve always been interested in duck calls. When I was about 15 or 16, I got aggravated I wasn’t calling ducks good, so one day I got on the computer and sat on YouTube for hours looking up stuff. I started practicing more and probably drove everyone crazy,” said Crump, 20.
Crump hardly goes anywhere, including Wallace State’s campus, without a duck call in his back pocket.
“It’s unusual if Judson isn’t toting a duck call with him,” said Jonathan Minyard, a Wallace State Tool & Die Instructor. “He’s the first student I’ve had who came here and told us his plan is to make duck calls. That’s what he came here to do. You can see how passionate he is about things just by the professional competitions he enters.”
Crump recently won a duck calling competition in Rainsville and has also entered events at hunting and fishing expos in Huntsville, one in which he finished in the top five.
Crump said he normally has a minute to a minute and a half to perform his duck call routine during a competition with the judges located on the opposite end of a curtain.
“There is a time limit. They usually judge you by your skill set, how well your routine is and how clean your note is,” said Crump, who also enjoys deer and dove hunting and bass and bow fishing. “I’ve learned a lot at each one I’ve entered.”
Crump doesn’t shy away from admitting his intentions of enrolling at Wallace State were to complement his passion for duck calling. In a previous job at Quail Creek Golf Course in Hartselle, Crump first heard of Wallace State’s Machine Tool Technology program after talking with one of his co-workers.
“I came to Wallace State just to make a duck call. I was at the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to go to college, but I knew I didn’t want to work 70 plus hours a week in a chicken house. I watched a video of a guy making a duck call on YouTube and how he was turning it down and thought I could do that in machining. I saw a lot of opportunity. That’s what got me in the door,” said Crump, who’s in his third semester in the program. “I still want to work in the machining field, get experience and learn stuff, but my goal is still to say I learned how to write the program on a CNC machine to design a duck call. I want to make and sell them one day.”
Minyard has full confidence Crump will find a way to make the duck call venture a reality.
“Judson has a good attitude and is a hard worker. He’s got a willingness about him to try anything we ask and that will make him successful,” Minyard said. “If he’s rich one day from his duck calls, I hope he remembers us.”
For more information about Wallace State, visit wallacestate.edu.
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