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Local News

April 11, 2014

Turkey hunt beckons investors

DUNCAN — Los Angeles resident Sam Foster began his day Thursday sitting in a field in Foster, just before sunrise. With his back against a tree, he saw no moon, only stars.

And as the sun began to rise, Matt Labyer of Duncan located two turkeys about 200 yards away.  Foster and Labyer took down the turkeys in an act Foster could only describe as “poetry” and “perfect.”

Foster,  with the industrial real estate agency Jones-Lang-LaSalle, was among the people who participated in the Lieutenant Governor Turkey Hunt in the Duncan/Stephens County area. The local turkey hunt is headed by the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation.

Through his visit to Duncan, Foster said he learned much about the community. He admitted he didn’t know where Duncan was on the map when he first invited to join the hunt, but made note to keep the Oklahoma community in mind.

“Duncan is a cultural place,” Foster said. “Duncan is a worthy place.”

Various business executives from around the nation,  and some from outside of the United States,  were invited to participate in the turkey hunt, one of six  in the state. The purpose of the hunt was to introduce the business executives to the Duncan community and to encourage them to move into Duncan.

When the executives arrived Wednesday, DAEDF President Lyle Roggow took them around Duncan to show various aspects of the community, including the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center.

Each hunter was teamed with a local guide. In Foster’s case, he joined the father/son guides Hal and Matt Labyer.

For this year’s event, 11 hunters got turkeys.  Some took down several.

“It was a very good day,” Roggow said. “That’s about the highest percentage I’ve ever had of hunters who got birds.”

The event was an opportunity for Roggow to network with various businesses and to show them the positives Duncan has to offer. He said things may begin to develop through the hunt, but may not become realized for five years.

He said having the hunt provides the Duncan community and the State of Oklahoma an opportunity to show why the area is a perfect fit for those businesses.

“We’re very fortunate to have the hunt,” Roggow said. “They’ve learned a lot about our community. This is an opportunity to get them to stop and think.”

Bryan White, a country singer, was another hunter who participated in Thursday’s hunt. White, who was raised in Lawton, has lived in Nashville, Tenn., for the past 20 years.

White was the entertainment for the chuck wagon dinner provided to the hunters and various dignitaries Thursday night, following the hunt.

He said his experience on the hunt was a positive one. Not only did he get two turkeys, he also shot a boar and helped birth a calf.

“This was one of the best days of my life,” White said. “I’ve been on so many hunts when it was such hard work. This was clearly one of the best hunts I’ve ever been on.”

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