Hudson outdoor writer Mike Yurk publishes 10th book
Mike Yurk’s latest book is off the press and available in downtown Hudson.
“More Notes from the Dockside,” is a collection of stories from his award-winning outdoor column from the Star-Observer and a following up of sorts to his first volume of columns, “Notes from the Dockside.”
“The next in the series will be “Volume 3, Notes from the Dockside,” said Yurk, 64, during a comfortable conversation in his town of Hudson home last week with his ever present cup of hot coffee.
But before that one goes to press, he has several more in lined up. “The next book has been developed under the working title ‘Hunter’s Moon, Fisherman’s Sun,’ and is a collection of articles,” said Yurk.
“After that, ‘This Is A Season,’ will included two novellas -- a re-issue of my first book, ‘The Muskie,’ which is currently out of print, and the second about a trout stream I fished as a kid in Northeastern Wisconsin.”
Yurk said he never runs out of ideas for the next project, which he illustrated with a stack of file folders and a notebook loaded with information and thoughts for more books.
“I hope to write until the day I die,” he said, “all I ever wanted to be is a writer.”
In fact, he is expanding his horizons. While his books have been dominated with fishing stories, he will get back into writing about hunting.
“When I got out of the Army (1994), I was ready to devote a lot of time to hunting, but then I discovered how good fall fishing was. I got back into it with an annual trip to South Dakota for pheasants over the last 10 years,” said Yurk who served 22 years as an officer and enlisted man in the U.S. Army retiring with the rank of major.
“When I think about it, outdoor life as a youth was pretty regimented. You went fishing in the summer, the duck hunting season started Oct. 1 and pheasant hunting the middle of October, followed by the deer season in November then squirrel hunting and ice fishing,” Yurk said, who grew up in rural Wisconsin near Oshkosh.
Which brings up another Yurk idea for one book -- ice fishing. “There isn’t very much written about ice fishing,” he said. That is probably because it is a pastime only for the dead of winter in the northern latitudes among individuals who will do about anything to catch a fish while they wait for the ice to melt.
The fishing season usually ends for Yurk on the Mississippi River in November when it becomes too cold to enjoy sitting in a boat. Yurk shoots for the return to open water fishing in March on the Mississippi when the weather warms. The last chapter in his latest book “We may be crazy but….” recalls decisions to quit for the season with the footnote, “We may be crazy but we’re not stupid.”
Since publishing his column regularly in the Star-Observer and winning first place in Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest in 2012, Yurk has gained some celebrity status. “A lady stopped me in the parking lot at the grocery store and told me she enjoyed my column,” he said. “It made me feel good to hear women are reading it.”