Huntin’ the World, Gonzenbach win Turkey Fest titles; Saturday fun for all

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By Sasha Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

Despite complaints of strong winds and an absence of big turkey toms this weekend, three of the seven celebrity hunt teams competing in the 2013 World Championship claimed a few Clay County birds.

Huntin’ the World earned the World Championship title, as well as the trophy for highest scoring bird, with a 19.37-pound Rio Grande turkey taken with a crossbow.  The winning turkey scored 61.87 points.  Huntin’ the World also brought in a 21.8-pound bird that scored 58.93.

Points are earned by adding the weight of the bird with the measurements of the spurs and beards.

Non-Stop Hunting was close behind with their turkey scoring 61 points, and TNT Explosion took a turkey which earned an over-all score of 50.25.  Returning teams American Valor, Drop Zone, MOJO Outdoors and Savage Outdoors did harvest any turkeys this year.

Adam Gonzenbach of Henrietta took the title of Turkey Fest Battle of the Beards Champion for 2013, with a 21.5-pound turkey that scored 58.56 points, edging Youth Winner Travis Swenson of Henrietta.

Gonzenbach was among four adults who competed in the competition.  Andy Wells brought in a 17.5-pound Rio Grande, earning 52.56 points.  Brady Bedford’s bird scored 41.18, and Jason Long’s entry earned 32.25 points.

The Battle of the Beards Youth Division brought three young hunters to the completion. Swenson took a 16.6-pound turkey that earned an over-all score of 57.37.  Close behind Swenson, Zoie Parkey took a 17.43-pound bird, earning 55.56 points.  Blaine Long’s turkey earned a 37.75 score.

Saturday on the Square

Turkey Fest’s Saturday festival in downtown Henrietta proved to be a success with more vendors and attendees than last year.  Henrietta’s newest downtown business, Stewart’s Sweet Stop began the morning by hosting the first annual “Gobble It Up” pie-eating contest.  The competition drew six young contestants, and a large crowd of on-lookers.   Each man competing stood with his hands behind his back and was served a homemade chocolate pie with whipped cream topping.  Stewart’s was among several vendors who offered food items through out the day as well.

Scholarship Barrel Race

Henrietta High School students Kassidy Beeler, Ben Alan Paige and Corbin Reed each earned a $500 scholarship by winning the Scholarship Barrel Race, a Turkey Fest event in its second year.

Students were judged on their creativity in designing and entry. The team to complete the course with the fasted time received an additional 50 points. Four teams entered.

“Super Turkey” team members C.D. Crumpton, Taylor Burch and Philip Davis of Henrietta High School took second place, followed by Midway students Kelli Forester, Mark Nall and Macy McDaniel in third place. Henrietta’s Joe Dell Williams, Cheyenne Barry and Parker West finished in fourth place.

Turkey Cook-Off

Micky Witherall, Jay Witherall and other Turkey Commander team members took first place in the inaugural Turkey Cook-off, hosted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Posse. The cook-off replaces the CASI sanctioned chili cook-off of years past. Proceeds from the event, as well as donations garnered by some participating teams, fund the Paige Payne Memorial Scholarship.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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