LINGLE – Nineteen-year-old Kalvin Blauert from Colorado Springs, Colo. got his first antelope north of Lingle last Friday. He took it into Wade Stoll here in Wheatland to be mounted and will take the meat home to eat. Like other young men who like guns and hunting, Blauert has already gotten a deer and two turkeys.
It was like many Wyoming hunts during this time of year—getting up at 3:45 a.m., dressing in whatever it takes to stay warm at the early hour and then making it in the blind by sunup in order to be there when the animals start moving.
Kalvin made it with his dad, Tony, retired outfitter Bob Fertsch and guide Tim Barkman. He was only in the stand a few minutes when some bucks came by. Blauert took a shot but a small piece of wood was in the way and the antelope walked off…but then returned. “The best buck stood there looking at me, then turned sideways and I took the shot,” he said.
If you’ve read this far, I know what you’re thinking. “Why would Pat write just another hunting story, no different than what happens around here in any fall.” What you don’t know is that this young man has been on a ventilator since he was 11 months old. He is in a special wheelchair from which he rarely leaves, his crippled legs are incapable of walking to the blind, his tiny hands incapable of holding a gun let alone pull the trigger. He has spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress—but he loves to hunt. Dad, Tony, who cannot see through the sights, lines up the gun where Kalvin tells him to. When the animal is in the right position, Kalvin pushes down with his palm to fire the shot.
Thanks to Fertsch who works with handicapped hunters, “…the Lord just lined this all up. I felt the presence of God in that blind this morning,” he said. With all the hunting help as well as Mom Stephanie seeing he was ready to mobil out the door, the result was a successful hunt for a very grateful young man.
Hunting is not all Kalvin does. Boccia, usually a yard game but one that has been adapted for wheelchair-bound players, is a favorite. He won a bronze in both pairs and individuals at the Nationals in San Antonio this summer. As for his future, he loves art and would like to work in watercolors and win a gold in Boccia.