Clay County welcomes hunters for Turkey Fest


CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Turkey Day has a whole new meaning this time of year in Texoma.

“I actually saw this bird yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t get a good shot at it yesterday,” Television Hunt Co. said Justin Keller.

“We heard a lot of turkeys swallowing early in the morning, but they fell silent as soon as we got to the ground,” hunter Elliot Torode mentioned.

As the 15th Annual Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce Turkey Festival gets off to a flying start.

“We watched him roost, came back this morning, had a terrific hunt and he comes strutting around for us. Put on a good show and get a good clean shot from 25 yards,” Keller said.

“But we were lucky to have this one on our lure and I was able to shoot it,” Torode said.

Bringing in pros from all over like Keller from Sikeston, Missouri.

“The anticipation killed us. We didn’t have a ruler or anything so we didn’t know how big it was and it’s actually a bit bigger than we thought so it’s awesome,” Keller said.

Showing townspeople, including Torode from Montogomery, Alabama, the true beauty Clay County has to offer.

“Very different terrains. It’s beautiful in a whole different way. It’s definitely a place I would come back to, there’s a lot Texas has to offer,” Torode said.

“We don’t have that kind of landscape in Missouri. We have hills and stuff that we hunt, so the plains, beautiful, beautiful country here,” Keller said.

Not only the organization of the event, but the entire city and county are doing everything possible.

Kenneth Tallet of Double Lung Outdoors TV, who hunts all over the world, says Turkey Fest is gaining in reputation.

“You know, we go to many places in Africa to hunt with great people. Summer B Safaris, Drum and the others do a lot of great things for you, but I’ve never been to a place where the whole community opens up like that,” Tallet said.

A unique landscape to match a one-of-a-kind community.

“Harvesting a good turkey or deer is always just a benefit. It’s the camaraderie and the relationships that we build over time,” Double Lung Outdoor TVsaid Paul Cater.

“They love getting back to the small town feel that we have here and the people, they say everyone is really nice to them and that’s what we hope. They’re leaving here with a new family after staying with the ranchers for a few days,” said Billy Carlton, president of the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce.

The real Turkey Day Festival begins on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. followed by dinner and dancing.

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