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A classic turkey hunt

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There are a few weeks remaining in Florida’s turkey season, so if the birds have gotten the best of you so far, don’t give up.

Chip Derrer and I got to experience a classic spring turkey hunt on the land that he and his friends lease in Hendry County thanks to his suggestion to try something different.

We were hunting a spot where Derrer had killed a big gobbler on the opening weekend of the season and where he’d seen other gobblers and hens.
Before dawn, Derrer put out three hen decoys and a jake decoy in a field, then he sat next to me under a cabbage palm and made a series of hen yelps on his slate call. We soon heard a tom turkey gobbling from his roost in the cypress trees across from us.

Derrer, 37, doesn’t spend a lot of time in the woods because he prefers to be with his wife, Wendy, and their young son, Trace. Derrer also stays busy as the vice president of Gulf Building, a Fort Lauderdale company that builds custom homes and commercial projects and also does architectural design.

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