Tony ready for 12th tourney
By Sandy Bond
‘Tis the season for caring and sharing, for nostalgia and nice!
Tony Weinzirl of Selby will probably cook up some delicious recipes he’s adapted to include wild game including pizza over the holidays.
Some of the happiest days of his childhood, he said, were spent hunting and fishing with his dad and brothers Charles Jr., Peter, Michael and Timothy.”
A plaque with Charlie’s photo is enhanced with images of fish and fowl and fleet of foot and is proudly displayed at the entrance to the bait shop.
Beginning to hunt when he was nine years old, he didn’t even carry a gun until he completed the hunter’s safety class when he was 12 years old, he said. He recalls it was taught by Gene Klug back.
The son of Maggie and Clarence Weinzirl, Tony was one of eight children. After graduating from Selby High School in 1975, he immediately entered the National Guard and retired in 2004 as a Staff Sergeant. He married Sandy Hosek in 1978 and they raised three children, Anthony Jr., born in 1980; Jennifer, 1982; and Theresa, 1986.
“Although Tony Jr. also enjoys hunting and fishing, the girls don’t because they don’t want to kill anything,” Tony said. “They do enjoy eating them, though, especially pheasant pizza.”
The family ran a number of businesses until the love of fishing and hunting was turned into a cottage industry in 1995. It benefits the entire area with its proximity to several phenomenal lakes teeming with fish, and fields flush with pheasants and deer. He and Sandy even make a lot of their own tackle. In the off-season the family operates a tree-trimming business.
The first bait shop was in an old building on Main Street in Selby. They relocated to a much more visible location on Highway 12 and 83 in 1998.
For the 12th year Tony and Sandy Weinzirl will sponsor their youth ice fishing tourney Saturday, Dec. 28, for young people from the ages of 3 to 15 beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. It will be held at the Swan Creek Bay near Akaska. Each young angler receives a free tackle box filled with tackle and an ice fishing rod and reel. There will be prizes galore donated by nearly 100 local sponsors and national prizes as well, which will be awarded at the Akaska Community Hall. Some of the notable prizes are: caps, T-shirts, sweatshirts, miniature farm implements, and lots and lots of sporting equipment. Even the television show “In-Fisherman” has donated, and teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Twins. Perhaps one of the most “fun-tastic” prizes is a real “coonskin” cap donated by local trapper Doug Bonen. A free dinner of hot dogs and chili is being sponsored by the community of Akaska.
“The reason I opened Tony’s Bait and Tackle was as a legacy to my dad, Charles Weinzirl, who passed away in 1995,” Tony said, “and it’s one of the reasons I decided to sponsor the tourney. The first tourney was in 1996, and it was held in the summer. As the kids would catch the fish they would bring them in to be weighed, with a chart for each angler detailing the total weight.”
At the end of summer individuals with the total highest weight would be the winner.
“We decided to change it to an ice-fishing tourney,” he said, “because, kids being kids, they get impatient and like to see the results as soon as possible.”
Their kids are all grown up now and have their own families. Tony Jr. and wife Karmen and their two children live in Tulare, Jenny and her husband Jacob Volmer and their two children live in Rapid City, and Theresa and her husband Matthew Plaggemeyer and their child live in Milbank.
He and Sandy are so busy they don’t have time for empty nest syndrome, nor does he have time for a little research and development on land or on water.
When he hunts, Tony does enjoy hunting with dogs, “because with a dog you are more likely to recover the bird so that it doesn’t lie injured and dying.”
Bear, his golden retriever, has been his pheasant hunting companion for several years now. Still, he yearned for a Labrador. All his dogs are rescue dogs. It took more than six months, but the Aberdeen Area Humane Society called him and told them they had his black Labrador puppy.
About a year ago, he said, some evil person dumped four newborn puppies into a road ditch. A vigilant neighbor scooped them up and attempted to get the individual’s license plate number-but to no avail. They turned the pups into the Humane Society.
Sadie is a quick learner and likes visiting the shop. Her only vice is retrieving lures from the bins and relocating them.
During this holiday season, Tony and Sandy are counting their blessings. Everyone is happy and healthy. One grandchild has successfully come through delicate surgery and is doing just fine, they said.
TONY’S WILDLIFE RECIPES
Pheasant, Turkey or Deer Pizza
1 box pizza mix with tomato sauce
1/2 pkg. Colby Jack cheese
1/92 pkg. Mozzarella cheese
Adequate amount of pheasant, turkey or deer meat (sliced)
Brown meat in large frying pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil and set aside. Mix pizza mix up in a bowl. Pat a bit of flour on hands and form pizza on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. Spread on sauce. Sprinkle cooked meat and then cheeses. Bake according to pizza package box recipe.
Sportsmen’s Hungarian Goulash
Any game will do including deer, pheasant, and turkey, whatever!
3 or 4 good-size potatoes (chopped up)
1 can of green beans (drained)
1 pkg. frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, etc. (cooked for a few minutes in a bit of water)
1 can Italian-style tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can Bush’s Honey Baked Beans
Brown meat in large frying pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Set aside. Fry potatoes in meat juices in frying pan. Add meat, green beans, tomatoes, and other cooked vegetables.
Pheasant Soup in a Crock-Pot
3 cups diced pheasant (about 1 inch square)
2 cups water
1 can green beans
1 can Italian-style tomatoes
1 can chili beans
2 cups chopped celery (about 1 inch square)
2 cups carrots (preferably baby carrots)
1 cup onions (chopped)
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns (or more if you like)
If you would like this for lunch, assemble the night before and let it simmer on low all night. If you would like it for supper, make it that that morning, and simmer all day.