Blauert gets first deer with the help of her mom's keen sight

Afternoon "whisper talking" leads to successful deer hunt for Becker County youth

McKenzie Blauert, the 13-year-old daughter of Angela Oelfke and Randy Blauert, Detroit Lakes, captured her first deer during youth firearms season, which was held from Oct. 20-23.
Contributed / Angela Oelfke

DETROIT LAKES — Last year, McKenzie Blauert spent her first deer hunting season waiting and came up empty-handed. This year, her persistence paid off.

The 13-year-old daughter of Angela Oelfke and Randy Blauert, Detroit Lakes, headed to the deer stand with her family on Saturday, Oct. 22 around 4 p.m.

“It was a normal (youth hunting) day,” she explained, noting the family enjoyed a lunch at a local eatery and then drove to her uncle’s land in Otter Tail County. “Normally, we sit there until dusk and if nothing happens by 6:30 p.m., we pack up and leave.”

Just as the family was about to call it a night, an outline of a deer appeared. Blauert credited her mom’s keen eyes for spotting the deer from their elevated stand.

“At first, I couldn’t find it,” she said. “I was scrambling in the scope to find it; then I did. It was walking slowly and eating corn. I was nervous.”


Blauert raised her 243 Winchester Browning Rifle and pulled the trigger. The bullet stayed true with minimal winds and 100 yards to travel. As the doe dropped, Oelfke’s nerves transformed into excitement. She looked forward to savoring venison hot dogs and watching birds visit to feed on fat that would be harvested from the animal. Blauert was also joyful because she earned a hunting story to share every time the fall hunting season rolls around.

Prior to her first deer, Blauert’s hunting story was about the one that got away. Last year, she went hunting during the youth and regular firearm season. When a deer came into her sight, her shot went wide and the deer bounded away. No matter, she explained, as her favorite part of the hunting experience was, and still is, “spending time with her family” and “whisper talking” while overlooking the fall landscape.

Blauert noted deer hunting has a rich tradition in her family lineage. Being part of the experience was something she dreamed about as a little kid. Much like her nine-year-old brother does now, she went on hunting trips with family before she was able to hunt. Blauert explained, next year her brother can start collecting his own hunting stories, as youth firearms season is open to youth ages 10-17. (Those 10-13 must also be accompanied by an adult.)

The Frazee High School student is also looking forward to joining family members in the hunting stand for the regular firearm deer season that starts Nov. 5 and concludes Nov. 13.

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