The first Rio Grande turkeys harvested during Turkey Fest 2012 were brought in just before noon Thursday. Both birds were killed in southern Clay County.
Bobby Woods of the National Wild Turkey Federation celebrity team brought in the first bird at 11:35 a.m. The bird was harvested on the Brown Catlin Ranch south of Henrietta.
Woods’ turkey weighed in at 17.11 pounds and a beard that measured 8 ¼ inches. Its spurs were fifteen-sixteenths of an inch.
Twenty minutes later, Ken McMaster of Jacksonville, Fla., brought in the first turkey to be entered in the Battle of the Beards contest. Ken and hunting partner Gary Hatch are members of the Clay County, Florida chapter of the NWTF. McMaster is originally from Wichita Falls.
McMaster’s entry weighed 19 pounds. The turkey had a 9 5/8 inch beards and five-eighths inch spurs.
As of Tuesday, 10 participants had entered the Battle of the Beards. A flurry of additional entries came in just prior to Wednesday’s registration deadline.