Former Reed City teacher, coach still retains love of hunting, fishing

TROPHY BUCK: Reed City’s George Vasicek shows the rack of a trophy buck he has shot during his hunting career. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)
TROPHY BUCK: Reed City’s George Vasicek shows the rack of a trophy buck he has shot during his hunting career. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

PARIS – George Vasicek retired from coaching and teaching a few years ago. But the long-time Reed City area resident hasn’t retired from his long of fishing,

He remains active in the outdoors.

“The only hunting I do anymore is deer hunting,” Vasicek said. “The only fishing I’ll do is steelhead fishing in the wintertime. I’ll walleye fish in the winter time with Pat Wilson if I go. Ever since I was a kid, dad would take us fishing, me and my brother. We went up to the Upper Peninsula numerous times. We used to fish the little creeks behind the house. Back then, you could go on other people’s property and they didn’t mind. It was mainly trout. Once in awhile, we’d go fishing for bluegills, but not very often.”

Vasicek likes fishing for steelheads in the winter at the Manistee River or the Pere Marquette at Custer.

“Those are really the only two places I steelhead fish,” he said. “We go to Florida now (for the winter). That’s why I steelhead fish up until we go to Florida and steelhead fish when I come back.”

Vasicek and his wife Brenda moved into their current rural Paris home in 2000. George retired in 2006. He taught Algebra.

“I taught phys. ed. for quite a few years then they needed a math teacher,” Vasicek recalled. “I had a math endorsement. I started out with one class. The next year it was two, then it was three, then full-time. I loved it. I didn’t mind it at all.”

Deer hunting is strictly with a rifle now, usually on the family farm by Hawkins.

“We have good luck out there, usually nothing really big,” Vasicek said. “We always manage to get one or two. I hunt and my brother hunts, his son and my son too.”

He bagged an 11-pointer in 1972 during his first year of teaching. It’s the biggest one he’s ever shot.

“My cousin and I were walking up to the house for lunch,” Vasicek recalled. “My dad was ahead of us. He saw it first. It jumped across the fence and ran at him. He shot and missed. It ran by me and I shot it ... lucky shot but they all count. It was interesting. It was a nice deer.”

All those years, Vasicek coached various sports including baseball and football as head varsity skipper, plus junior high basketball. He retired as baseball coach around 2000. He umpires high school baseball games.

Vasicek was born in Reed City. He was an all-state football player in the mid-1960s for the Coyotes.

But hunting and fishing brings back the memories.

“I would catch some big salmon, but steelhead, 18 pounds, which is a nice-sized steelhead,” Vasicek said, adding that there’s still some excellent fishing in the area. “It depends on the water level. If it’s low, fishing is poor. But as soon as we get a big nice rain ... but that won’t start until a couple of months.”

But as much as he’s accomplished with the outdoors, Vasicek still wouldn’t mind trying some other ventures.

“I would like to go out west elk hunting,” he said. “That’s always been one of my big dreams. I haven’t seemed to find the time. But I’m going to do that some day.”