Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about Turkey Fest that will be featured in The Pioneer Sentinel. Each week, we will bring you two to three posts about events, hunt teams and other items of importance.
Once again, Henrietta is ready to host a celebration of the outdoors like no other in Texas. And with the sixth annual Clay County Turkey Fest, April 18-22, comes a whirlwind of activity.
The event, sponsored by the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce, has something for everyone, including hunting competitions, a chili cook-off, retail and food vendors, live music and more.
World Championship Turkey Hunt
Each year, Turkey Fest invites the top celebrity turkey hunters to compete for the title of Turkey Fest World Champion. The hunt teams have two-and-a-half days to find the best gobbler in the county while filming their experiences for upcoming hunting shows. Turkeys are scored on the Boone and Crockett method and awards are given for weight, length of spur and length of beard.
Teams competing in the 2012 event are Ken Cobb of “Huntin’ the World”, Hal Shaffer of “Drop Zone”, 2011 World Champion Mike Stroff of “Savage Outdoors”, Todd Cast of “TNT Outdoor Explosion”, Derome West of “American Valor” and Terry Denmon of “Mojo Outdoors”.
Battle of the Beards
For those who think they can outhunt the pros, Turkey Fest offers Battle of the Beards, a local hunting competition for youth and adults.
Hunters participating in the Battle of the Beards must bag their bird in the same time frame as the celebrity teams and turkeys will be graded under the same system. Turkey’s entered must be harvested in Clay, Archer, Jack, Montague or Wichita County.
The winner of the Battle of the Beards and the winner of the World Championship go head-to-head, or on this case, turkey-to-turkey.
Festivities on the Square
Rain or shine, Turkey Fest offers the perfect family environment for family fun on the grounds surrounding the historic 1884 Clay County Courthouse, Saturday, April 21.
The day will feature crafts vendors; live demonstrations, food and live music, as well as a CASI sanctioned chili cook-off.
Children will experience demonstrations of American Indian and pioneer life, enjoy games and other activities.
Celebrity hunt teams will make appearances and sign autographs.
The Turkey Fest Chili Cook-off will be held during Saturday’s activities on the courthouse square. There are three categories in which to compete: A CASI sanctioned contest, a category for fire departments and category for turkey chili.
The CASI category is open to teams competing within the CASI rules. Visit www.casi.org for more information. The fire department category is open to active and retired fire department volunteers and employees. The turkey chili division is open to the public, and turkey meat must be the main ingredient.
For more information concerning any Turkey Fest event, contact the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce at (940) 538-5261, or visit the chamber of commerce online at hccchamber.org. For further announcements concerning the event, find Turkey Fest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/claycountyturkeyfest.