Hunters across Clay County are gearing up for the fourth annual Battle of the Beards, starting tomorrow, including 12-year-old Blaine Martin of Joy.
Blaine, a sixth grader at Windthorst Junior High, will be back to defend his Battle of the Beards title.
Last year, Blaine harvested four turkeys while competing in the youth division of the Battle of the Beards, claiming the largest bird to win the BOB. The turkey also topped all birds brought in by the celebrity hunting teams — hosts of outdoors sporting shows — by an 11-point margin for the Turkey Fest World Championship.
This year, changes have been made to the Battle of the Beards. While a youth and adult winner will go head-to-head for the overall BOB title, winners of the competition will not compete against the celebrity hunters.
The overall BOB winner will be recognized at Saturday’s festival in Downtown Henrietta and receive tickets to Saturday’s Full Strut Banquet. The BOB champion will also get a fan mount from the winning turkey courtesy of Taxidermist Braden Cecil of Braden Cecil’s Pioneer Wildlife Studio.
Hunters in each division can harvest birds in Clay and the surrounding counties of Wichita, Archer, Jack and Montague. Weigh-in times are from noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce caboose; noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the caboose; and at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the courthouse bandstand.
Chairperson for the Battle of the Beards is K.J. Davidson.