Hoping to foster an interest in reading, a Tonganoxie woman once bought her fishing-crazed, 6-year-old grandson a subscription to Outdoor Life magazine. It did that, and spawned Michael Pearce’s career as Kansas’ top outdoors writer.
Michael has been the outdoors writer and photographer for The Wichita Eagle since 2000. His Sunday Outdoors page in The Eagle, along with occasional front-page stories, bring the Kansas outdoors experience to Eagle readers. He also writes an outdoors blog on The Eagle’s website, Kansas.com.
Michael, 56, is proud to say he’s never had a “real” job. His articles on the outdoors began in college, when he was a contributor to Outdoor Life magazine. He later worked as a freelance journalist for the Wall Street Journal, which had him exploring some of the best hunting and fishing destinations around the world, as well as reporting on top conservation issues. He has also contributed to Sports Illustrated, Robb Report and many outdoors publications.
In his spare time, Michael does the same basic things he does for the newspaper – he hunts, he fishes, and he photographs wildlife. He jokes, “The only way I know if I’m working or playing is if I have to buy my own bait to go fishing.”
Turning the fish and game he gets into fine meals, and teaching others how to do the same, is one of Michael’s main passions. Many of his favorite recipes are in this cookbook. His perfect day, he says, is to come home after a good trip afield and spend time with his wife, Kathy, and share a meal.
The Pearces have lived in Newton since 1993. Their grown children, Lindsey and Jerrod, share their father’s passion for the outdoors.