Adventurous gourmands will be able to again satisfy their wild game appetite at the third annual St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church’s wild game feed.

Some familiar and some not so familiar wild dishes will be prepared by chefs who harvested the game.

“We are getting some beaver and coon this year,” said event organizer chair Pat Brueggen. “I even got some muskrat but nobody wants to cook that up. Can’t figure that out. We are working on getting some alligator; that’s a long shot, but one never knows.”

The feed will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with doors opening at 4 p.m. at the Holmen American Legion Post 284. The Legion is located at 419 First Ave. E in Holmen.

One of the chefs will be SEAS parishioner Larry Warzynski. Warzynski played a part in starting the wild game feed at the Holmen parish.

“Before it was decided that we would have a wild game feed, I was complaining to Pat Brueggen that I would have to give up annual elk hunting if I did not find an alternative use for the elk meat since my wife and I were not able to consume all of it quickly enough,” said Warzynski. “Pat indicated that he had just the plan in mind and, partially from that conversation, the wild game feed was born.”

Since the initial game feed, Warzynski has prepared 35 pounds of elk meat balls, serving them with his special cranberry sauce.

“There isn’t anything special in the meatballs, but the Cranberries Jezebel that we serve with the meatballs have a zip due to the horseradish,” said Warzynski.

For Warzynski, as well as the other chefs, obtaining the main ingredient for their specialty dishes begins long before the cooking starts.

Last fall, Warzynski’s elk hunting party traveled to Livingston, Mont., the week before Thanksgiving. They stayed in line shacks that used to house cattle hands. The compound included a cook house built in 1860 by an early settler.

“Things are rustic to say the least,” said Warzynski. “On Monday and Tuesday we had sixty mile-an-hour winds along with about four inches of snow and no one hunted. On Wednesday we were finally able to get outside and one of the guides and I worked our way up to a ridge line overlooking a large mesa where there were about 1,000 elk which had been forced out of Yellow Stone Park where they had high winds and 30+ inches of snow.”

Despite still having to contend with 35 mile-an-hour winds as they hunted from the top of a ridge, Warzynski and the other members of his party were able to fill their tags, each bringing down a bull.

“Our SEAS Huberter’s group has a good number of chefs, all having their own creative little niche in what they make and how they prepare it,” said Warzynski. “They are all very, very good at it, in my opinion.”

Another of the chefs, Dale Lenz, is one of the fresh-water fish cooks who prepares gastronomical treats from bluegill, crappie, perch, walleye and other common species.

“Like many chefs, I also have my own “secret recipe” and my own seasonings,” said Lenz. “There are never any leftovers, so I must be doing something right!”

Last year, the fish group cooked over 1,000 fillets of a variety of species. A number of Lenz’s fellow sport anglers contribute to the cause to make sure there are plenty of fillets.

“There are so many other contributions that make this event such a success,” said Lenz. “Everyone just sharing their love of the outdoors and their hobbies. There is no shortage of crockpots on the buffet tables at our event and our appetizers are some of the best you’ll ever eat.”

Along with the dishes, the event will again feature various games, raffles and drawings for hunting and fishing equipment. The organizers are working to include the latest gadgets for the outdoors person and include equipment and accessories to aid the physically challenged in enjoying in the woods, fields and waterways.

“As for the raffle prizes, we are always trying to step up our event,” said Brueggan. “A mystery table will again offer a special prize and a table with a female flair is planned again for this year’s event. The women’s table was a hit partially because we favored the women’s fancy side a bit. There was a spa package, a wine date and, of course, we included a pink pistol and some pink hunting accessories, which is always a hit these days.”

Funds raised through this event are used for St. Elizabeth’s building projects, its food pantry, youth activities and to support community families experiencing hardship.

Tickets are $40 per person and are on sale. They can be purchased from any Huberters club member or by contacting SEAS parish office at 608-526-4424 or by emailing youth@seasholmen.org.

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Coulee Courier and Houston County News editor

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