• Jordan D. Smith

Local Hunter Writes Outdoor Adventures for Young Readers

Growing up on a farm north of Lake Odessa some of Matt Buche’s fondest memories of childhood are of spending time in nature especially with his two older brothers. “Chasing my older brothers through the woods at night with their coon hounds is one of my earliest memories,” he says. In addition to being an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman since a young age, Buche found outlet for his interests in the outdoors through reading.

As a kid he loved reading adventures of the great American explorers like Daniel Boone and Kit Carson. In particular he loved the works of author Jim Kjelgaard who is best know for the classic Big Red. However, in short order Buche found that he had exhausted the supply of books in his favorite genera in his school library at Lakewood. The selection was better in the high school library, but the thought of that dearth of outdoor adventure stories for younger readers stuck with Buche.

It wasn’t until many years later that he thought to try his hand at writing himself. After his work was published in several magazines including Michigan Hunting and Fishing, Fur-Fish-Game, and Big Buck Magazine, Buche took a writing class at Lansing Community College to grow his craft. “I started thinking about my thirst for realistic outdoor adventure books in my youth,” he says. That started the idea that became his first book. Trouble on Black Creek came out in 2012 and follows a young hunter on the trail of a buck who faces an unexpected foe. Trouble on Black Creek was a finalist in the 2009 Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association Book Contest.

Buche’s latest book Danger in Aspen Canyon is set in Wyoming. The story follows siblings Clay and Cassie and as they face off against a rogue grizzly bear in the backcountry. Although both tales are fiction, they draw from Buche’s years of experience hunting across the US and Canada. Buche says that though both books are geared toward readers in the 10-15 age range, he has gotten letters from readers as old as 70 in appreciation of his stories. “Letters such as those and notes from parents saying their child has never completely read a book before mine are the greatest rewards in writing,” he says. In addition he also hopes to inspire a love for hunting and the outdoors in his readers. “Hunters care about wildlife more than anyone,” according to Buche.

Buche is planning to next try his hand at writing a collection of autobiographical outdoors stories featuring himself and his brothers. Both of his currently published books are available for purchase on Amazon and his latest Danger in Aspen Canyon is also available for purchase at Family Farm and Home in Portland.

Photo: Courtesy Matt Buche.

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