Mike Venturino was born and raised in Mingo County, West Virginia, and graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1972 with a BA degree in Journalism. Always attracted by the West, he started working summer vacations in Yellowstone National Park in 1969 and moved to Montana immediately after graduation.
His first magazine article, written as part of a class project, was printed in Guns and Ammo in 1972, and in 1999 his 800th magazine article was published. Unlike most shooting sports writers, Mike actually set out as a teenager to become a full-time gunwriter, and has pursued that single goal throughout his life. However, before attaining that goal, he also wrangled dudes, taught high school, drove a truck, and was even proprietor of his own movie theater.
In 1977 Mike met his wife Yvonne, a Missouri farm girl, also working in Yellowstone Park. They were married on April Fool’s Day, 1978, and he credits her with giving him the ambition to follow his dreams. “Before Yvonne,” he says, “it was easy to sit around and talk guns with my buddies. After we were married, I knew I had to get serious about some sort of career.” Although not a shooter before marriage, Yvonne thoroughly enjoys shooting alongside Mike.
The Venturinos have no children but share their 70 acres near Livingston, Montana, with a vast assortment of dogs, cats, and horses.