Grantsville’s Chace Gipson will be introduced to wild turkey hunting next week.
But his first big turkey hunt will not come about the way he thought it would with an excursion in Tooele County or perhaps somewhere else in Utah.
The 11-year-old will be hunting wild turkeys with his father Wade on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Sand Hills in Sergeant, Neb. They will stay at the Comstock Premier Lodge. Neither have hunted turkeys.
The father-and-son team will have a once-in-lifetime experience because Chace won a national drawing out of 60,000 entrants at last year’s TC Strutters banquet to go on an all-expenses-paid Jake Lifetime Hunt. It is the first time anyone from the western United States has won the drawing. A special hunt is also awarded to a girl each year. This year the winning girl hunter is from South Carolina.
“I’m very excited,” Chace said.
“I like to support the TC Strutters banquet every year, because it is just a great group and they do a lot for young hunters,” Wade Gipson said. “The banquet is the kind of event that is very family friendly unlike some of these other hunting groups.”
This year’s TC Strutters banquet is set for this Saturday at 5 p.m. at Deseret Peak Complex.
Chace also won a shotgun and camouflage hunting gear. He will be able to bag two turkeys with the help of a guide on the special hunting grounds in the Sand Hills. The area features Merrian and Rio Grande turkeys, and hunter success has been 100 percent the past three years.
“I’ve never hunted turkeys, and Chace just got his hunter’s safety permit this year,” Wade said. “He’s been on a couple of deer and elk hunts with me, but that’s it. I have always been a hunter, and my daughter and son just started hunting this year.”
Chace will be able to shoot two turkeys, and one will be stuffed for display and sent back to the Gipson’s in Utah.
The drawing was sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild turkey habitat in North America.