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Mike Gnatkowski has worn a lot of different hats during his years in the out-of-doors. He has been an outdoor writer, photographer and book author for more than thirty years. His award-winning images and articles have been honored by the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association as some of the best in the field. He has published hundreds of articles and images in publications such as North American Fishermen, In-Fishermen, Ducks Unlimited, Wildfowl, Game & Fish Publications and many others. His first book, Wild Game Simple, which contains more than 140 recipes for wild game and fish, is highlighted with personal antidotes that make it more than just a cookbook. Mike continues to contribute to an array of outdoor publications as a freelance writer and photographer.
During his college years Mike discovered his love of the outdoors could be combined with his intrinsic writing and photography skills. Highly recruited as a baseball pitcher, Mike chose to attend Alma College, a small liberal arts school in central Michigan. He completed a stellar baseball career by being named to the M.I.A.A. All-Conference team for three years, was named MVP of the league his sophomore year and received All-American recognition his senior year. While attending Alma College, Mike took advantage of the school’s outstanding curriculum and educators to major in biology and English with a Program of Emphasis in Biological Journalism/Outdoor Writing. The POE focused on working closely with the faculty members on independent studies as an intern at Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine, marketing analysis of outdoor publications, creative writing and editing and submission of articles and images to outdoor publications. Mike was first published in Michigan-Out-of-Doors magazine in 1976.
Captain Mike is a USCG licensed captain that’s regarded as one of the most knowledgeable charter boat captains on the Great Lakes. He was one of the first drift-boat guides in Michigan and plied his trade on the Big Manistee, Pere Marquette and Muskegon rivers for more than two decades. He is considered one of the top river guides in the country. Mike is a sought after lecturer and seminar speaker on a variety of subjects from outdoor photography to upland and waterfowl hunting and all facets of fresh-water fishing. He has presented seminars at retailers such as Gander Mountain, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops, as well as at major sports trade shows across the Midwest.