Maine Hunting Seasons 2023 New Dates & Limits

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Both resident and non-resident hunters in Maine have a wide selection of game species to choose from throughout the hunting seasons for 2023-2024. Some of the types of wildlife that are legal to hunt in this state are deer, moose, bear, and even small game. Hunting in Maine is a fun and convenient way to discover the state’s natural environment thanks to the state’s several open seasons, bag restrictions, and online license and permit purchasing options. Hunting access to privately maintained areas is made possible by programs like Outdoor Partners and Hunters for the Hungry, which both urge hunters to donate their game to state-wide needy families.

We’ll go through the hunting laws, bag restrictions, and different game species under MDIFW hunting seasons. This page will cover all the details you need to know about hunting in Maine, including seasons and rules.

Maine Hunting Seasons 2023-2024

Maine has both open and closed hunting seasons. Game animals have open seasons when they are legal to hunt, and closed seasons when they are off-limits.

In Maine 2023 hunting seasons, deer may be hunted from October 29th to December 3rd, then again from December 15th to December 24th. A maximum of two deer may be taken by a hunter in a season, however hunters can take one every day. The dates for the next 2023 bear hunting season are August 29th to November 24th. One bear per hunter every season is the limit. Find below complete hunting schedule in Maine.

Maine deer season 2023

Maine Deer SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Deer (Expanded Archery)9-Sep-239-Dec-23Only Designated areas. 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Deer (Archery & Crossbow)30-Sep-2327-Oct-23All WMDs. 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Deer (Maine Resident only Day)28-Oct-23All WMDs. 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Deer (Firearms)30-Oct-2325-Nov-23All WMDs. 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Deer (Muzzleloader Statewide)27-Nov-232-Dec-23All WMDs. 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Deer (Late Muzzleloader)4-Dec-239-Dec-23District 12, 13, 15-18, 20-26, 29 1 Antlered Deer Per Year* Youth Deer Hunting Day21-Oct-23 1 Antlered Deer Per Year*

Note:

  • From October 29, through December 10, hunters with antlerless deer permits may only take deer with antlers that are at least 3 inches long in designated WMDs/subunits. For more details, please read Antlerless Deer Permits.
  • **A non-resident may shoot deer on the resident-only day anywhere in the state if they own 25 or more acres of land that they leave open to hunting, have a valid hunting license, and are not otherwise forbidden by the law. You can fill out a verification form on the page with information about hunting licenses.

Maine moose season 2023 (By Permit only).

Maine Moose SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Moose (4A – Adaptive Unit Hunt)16-Oct-2321-Oct-23Antlerless only. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) 23-Oct-2328-Oct-23Antlerless only (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) 30-Oct-234-Nov-23Antlerless only (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) Moose (Bull-Only)25-Sep-2330-Sep-23District 1-6, 10, 11, 18, 19, 27, 28. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) Moose (Bull-Only)9-Oct-2314-Oct-23District 1-14, 17-19, 27, 28. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) Moose (Antlerless-Only)23-Oct-2328-Oct-23District 1-6, 8. By permit only. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) Moose (Maine Resident Only Day**)28-Oct-23District 15, 16. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee) Moose (Any Moose)30-Oct-2325-Nov-23Districts 15 and 16. (1 Moose Per Year by either permittee or sub-permittee)

  • The application period for permits is from February through May each year.
  • **A non-resident may shoot deer on the resident-only day, anywhere in the state, if they own 25 or more acres of land in Maine that they leave open to hunting, they have a valid hunting license, and they are not otherwise barred by the law. You can fill out a verification form on the page with information about hunting licenses.

Maine Bear Season

Maine Bear SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Bear (Youth Day)26-Aug-232 Bear annually 1 by hunting, 1 by trapping Bear (General)28-Aug-2325-Nov-23All WMDs. 2 Bear annually 1 by hunting, 1 by trapping Bear (Hunting with Bait)28-Aug-2323-Sep-23Bait can be placed July 29, 2023. 2 Bear annually 1 by hunting, 1 by trapping Bear (Hunting with Dogs)11-Sep-2327-Oct-232 Bear annually 1 by hunting, 1 by trapping Bear (Trapping)1-Sep-2331-Oct-232 Bear annually 1 by hunting, 1 by trapping

Turkey Season

Maine Turkey SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Spring Turkey Season Turkey (All Hunters)29-Apr-241-Jun-24Districts 7 and 9-29. 2 bearded Wild Turkeys* Turkey (Fall General)29-Apr-241-Jun-24Districts 1-6 and 8. 1 bearded Wild Turkey* Turkey (Spring Youth Day)29-Apr-2329-Apr-23Statewide. Youth Spring Wild Turkey Day27-Apr-24May take up to 2 bearded Wild Turkeys from WMDs that have a 2 bird limit. Fall Turkey Season Fall General18-Sep-237-Nov-23District: 15-17, 20-25 Permit holders are limited to taking two wild turkeys per day, (eithersex, any age) . This number cannot exceed the WMD bag limit. 5 Wild Turkeys for the fall season, 18-Sep-237-Nov-23District: 26. 3 Wild Turkeys for the fall season, 18-Sep-237-Nov-23District: 28. 2 Wild Turkeys for the fall season, 18-Sep-237-Nov-23District: 6-8, 10-14, 18, 19, 27 & 29. One Wild Turkeys for the fall season, Closed to taking of Wild TurkeysClosed to taking of Wild TurkeysDistrict: 1-5, 9 Youth Fall Wild turkey Day16-Sep-23

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Maine small game season and Furbearer Season

Bobcat Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit BobcatDecember 1, 2023 – February 21, 2024No LimitNo Limit

Coyote Season

Coyote SeasonDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit During daylight hunting hoursNo Closed Season for HuntingNo LimitNo Limit Night huntingDecember 16, 2023 – August 31, 2024No LimitNo Limit

Fox Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit FoxOctober 16, 2023 – February 28, 2024No LimitNo Limit

Racoon Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit RaccoonOctober 2, 2023 – December 30, 2023No LimitNo Limit

Skunk Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit SkunkOctober 16, 2023 – December 30, 2023No LimitNo Limit

Opossum Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Opossum SeasonOctober 16, 2023 – December 30, 2023No LimitNo Limit

Woodchuck Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit WoodchuckNo Closed SeasonNo LimitNo Limit

Porcupine Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Porcupine SeasonNo Closed SeasonNo LimitNo Limit

Squirrel Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Gray SquirrelSeptember 30, 2023 – December 30, 202348 Gray Squirrel (Falconry)September 30, 2023 – February 28, 202448 Red SquirrelNo Closed SeasonNo LimitNo Limit

Rabbit Season

Maine Rabbit SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Snowshoe Hare (All)September 30, 2023 – March 30, 202448 Snowshoe Hare (Season on Island of Vinalhaven)September 30, 2023 – February 28, 202448 Cottontail RabbitNo Open Season for HuntingNo Open Season for Hunting

Lynx Season

SpeciesDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit LynxNo Open Season for HuntingNo Open Season for HuntingN/A

Upland and Migratory Bird hunting season Maine 2023

Quail Season

Maine Quail SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Bobwhite Quail30-Sep-2330-Dec-23Statewide. A bag limit of 4 per day

Maine Grouse Season

Maine Grouse SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Ruffed Grouse30-Sep-2330-Dec-23Statewide. A bag limit of 4 per day Spruce GrouseNo Open Season for HuntingNo Open Season for Hunting

Pheasant Season

Maine Pheasant SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DateNote Pheasant30-Sep-2330-Dec-23Statewide. A bag limit of 2 per day

Woodcock Season

SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Woodcock Season1-Sep-233-Jan-24824

Snipe Season

Snipe SeasonSeason Start DatesSeason End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Common Snipe1-Sep-233-Jan-24824

Rail Season

Rail SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Sora Rails1-Sep-2321-Nov-2325 Single or combined25 Single or combined Virginia Rails1-Sep-2321-Nov-2325 Single or combined25 Single or combined

Crow Season

Crow SeasonHunting Start DatesHunting End DatesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Wildlife Management Districts 7-291-Aug-2323-Sep-23No LimitNo Limit 5-Feb-2415-Apr-24No LimitNo Limit 1-Aug-2421-Sep-24No LimitNo Limit

Waterfowl Season

Special Youth Waterfowl Hunts

Special Youth Waterfowl HuntsHunting Dates North Zone16-Sep-23 North Zone9-Dec-23 South Zone23-Sep-23 South Zone21-Oct-23 Coastal Zone23-Sep-23 Coastal Zone28-Oct-23

Special Falconry Season

Special Falconry SeasonSeason StartSeason EndDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit North Zone18-Dec-237-Feb-2439 South Zone10-Jan-241-Mar-2439 Coastal Zone10-Jan-241-Mar-2439

Goose Season

Maine Goose SeasonZoneHunting Start DateHunting End DateDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit Early Canada GooseNorth Zone1-Sep-2325-Sep-23824 Early Canada GooseSouth Zone1-Sep-2325-Sep-231030 Early Canada GooseCoastal Zone1-Sep-2325-Sep-231030 Canada Goose (Regular, White-Fronted Geese)North Zone2-Oct-239-Dec-2326 Canada Goose (Regular, White-Fronted Geese)South Zone2-Oct-2314-Oct-231030 Canada Goose (Regular, White-Fronted Geese)South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-231030 Canada Goose (Regular, White-Fronted Geese)Coastal Zone2-Oct-237-Oct-2339 Canada Goose (Regular, White-Fronted Geese)Coastal Zone27-Oct-239-Jan-2439 Snow Geese (Including Blue Geese)2-Oct-2331-Jan-2425

Scaup Season

Scaup SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date North Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24

Teal Season

Teal SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date North Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24

Mergansers Season

Mergansers SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date North Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24

Brant Season

Brant SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End DatesDaily BagPossession North ZoneMonday, September 25, 2023Saturday, October 28, 202313 South ZoneMonday, October 02, 2023Saturday, October 14, 202313 Tuesday, October 31, 2023Monday, November 20, 202313 Coastal ZoneMonday, October 02, 2023Saturday, October 07, 202313 Wednesday, December 13, 2023Tuesday, January 09, 202413

Maine Duck Season

Maine Duck SeasonZonesHunting Start DateHunting End Date Black DucksNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 American CootNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 American WigeonNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 Common GoldeneyeNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 PintailsNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 Ring-Necked DuckNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24 Sea DucksNorth Zone25-Sep-232-Dec-23 South Zone30-Sep-2314-Oct-23 South Zone1-Nov-2325-Dec-23 Coastal Zone30-Sep-237-Oct-23 Coastal Zone9-Nov-239-Jan-24

Duck Bag Limits

SpeciesDaily Bag LimitPossession Limit All duck species618 American Coots5 (within 6)15 (within 18) Northern Pintails, Mottled Ducks, Fulvous Whistling Ducks, and Scaup13 Black Duck, Redhead, Hen Mallards, and Canvasback26 Mallards (including 2 hen mallards)412 Mergansers (Common, Red-breasted, and Hooded)5 (within 6)15 (within 18) Sea Ducks (Scoter, Eider, and Long-Tailed Duck)3 (per species, not exceeding 1 hen eider)9 (per species, not exceeding 3 hen eiders) Wood Ducks39

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Note: Hunters are permitted a daily bag limit of three birds during the Special Falconry Season, subject to the aforementioned conditions, either individually or collectively. Nine birds are the most you may own throughout this season, subject to the same limitations. All duck species, including geese, may be hunted during the Special Youth Waterfowl Hunts, which take place on dates like Sept. 23, Oct. 21, Oct. 28, and Dec. 9, with the exception of Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Moorhens, and Gallinules. The geese quota remains the same throughout these youth hunting days. In addition, hunters are allowed to capture up to two black ducks in addition to the daily limit of six normal ducks, scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks.

Maine trapping season 2023

Game AnimalTrapping Season DatesTrapping Areas Beaver• WMDs 5, 6 & 8-11: Oct 22, 2023 – Apr 30, 2024 • WMDs 7 & 12-29: Oct 22, 2023 – Apr 15, 2024 Varies by Wildlife Management Districts Bear• Sep 1, 2023 – Oct 31, 2023Statewide General Trapping• Oct 16, 2023 – Feb 28, 2024Statewide

Maine cast and blast 2023

EventDetails Cast and Blast Youth DaySaturday, September 23, 9 am – 2:30 pm EDT Cast and Adult DaySunday, September 24 · 9am – 3pm EDT Location744 Buckfield Road, Paris, ME, USA Age RequirementFor Cast and Blast Youth Day, Participants must be between 10 and 17 years old and accompanied by an adult. Participation Fee$10.00 (cash or check only; covers participation and lunch) Provided GearAll necessary equipment will be given, but you are welcome to bring your own gear as long as a range safety officer (RSO) inspects it for safety. RestroomsAccessible on-site Bottled water$1 Indoor/Outdoor EventThe event will take place both indoors and outside, so dress appropriately. Recommended ItemsSnacks, a camp chair or picnic blanket, sunscreen, insect repellent, a water bottle, a hat, sunglasses, and personal safety gear (such as shooting muffs, safety glasses, arm guards, etc.). Contact InformationChelsea Lathrop at chelsea.lathrop@maine.gov or 207.446.8692

Maine hunting regulations 2023

All hunters in Maine are expected to abide by the state’s hunting regulations. The following are some of the most critical rules that every hunter in the state must observe.

General Hunting Regulations

  • All hunters in the state of Maine are required to have a current and valid hunting license.
  • Hunting large game such as deer and bear requires hunters to wear brilliant orange clothes.
  • The state of Maine does not allow the practice of baiting large game.
  • Without the consent of the owner, hunting with guns is prohibited within 100 yards of a dwelling or inhabited structure.
  • On the other hand, there are times when you can’t use a dog to hunt, such as when you’re trying to bag a bear.
  • Some animals, including the coyote, fox, and raccoon, are legal to catch and snare hunt with restrictions.
  • Hunting from or with the help of a motor vehicle is prohibited.
  • Baiting or using artificial light in a hunting context is prohibited.
  • Sundays are no day for hunting, unless you’re after crows.
  • Hunting ducks or geese, which are considered migratory game birds, over baited regions is prohibited.
  • Without the landowner’s express written permission, hunting is prohibited on all areas marked as such.
  • Transporting or possessing poached wildlife is against the law.
  • Any firearm or bow that does not conform to local, state, and federal law is unlawful to own or use.
  • Using lead shot when shooting ducks is against the law.
  • When hunting large game, it is against the law to use or even have in your possession an automatic or semiautomatic rifle.
  • Any deer, bear, or moose killed in Maine must be reported promptly to the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Using a quieter or suppressor while hunting is prohibited.
  • Within 500 yards of a home or camping is a no-hunting zone.
  • Without the consent of the landowner or lessee, it is unlawful to hunt on their property.

Maine legal hunting hours 2023

Maine 2023 hunting hours • In Bangor, Maine (Eastern Standard Time), the legal hunting season is based on dawn and sunset. Exceptions · Coyote and raccoon hunt throughout the day. · Coyote night hunting is permitted from half an hour after dusk to half an hour before dawn, with the season ending every Saturday at midnight and starting again at 12:01 AM on Monday. · Hunting hours for migratory game birds are from one-half hour before dawn till dusk. Deer Hunting Hours in Maine • The acceptable hunting window is from one-half hour before dawn to one-half hour after dusk.

Night hunting regulations

  • There is a 30-minute no-hunting period between sunset and daybreak in Maine, during which time it is illegal to hunt wild birds and other animals.
  • During the open season, nighttime hunts for raccoons are allowed.
  • The hunter must use a.22 caliber or smaller hunting rifle or pistol and be accompanied by a hunting dog.
  • When using a flashlight, a hunter may load his rifle or pistol and fire at a raccoon perched in a tree or in the jaws of a hunting dog.
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Baiting Regulations

Any animal, plant, or portion thereof may be used to attract game animals and other species when hunting in Maine, and this term is known as “bait.” There are rules that must be followed in order to legally bait game animals in Maine.

  • Bait placement requires authorization from the landowner or appropriate person.
  • The bait must include a 2×4 inch tag clearly labeled with the name and address of the person who placed the bait.
  • If the landowner asks for the bait to be removed, it must be done so promptly, or at the latest, 20 days following the last day of hunting on the property.
  • It is illegal to go hunting on someone else’s baiting site without their consent.
  • It is unlawful to lure game animals with poison, medicines, or other medications.
  • After June 1st and before December 15th, it is illegal to feed or attract deer.
  • Between December 1 and December 15, it is illegal to bait or feed moose or turkeys.
  • During the spring hunting season, it is illegal to feed or lure wild turkeys.
  • No artificial lighting is allowed above baited areas for the purpose of hunting game animals.
  • Within 10 days following baiting, it is unlawful to hunt large game animals over that region.

North Maine Woods Hunting Regulations

Important Information for Hunting in North Maine Woods • On the roadways, trucks and harvesting machinery have the right-of-way. Please slow down to 45 mph and give way to logging trucks. • To keep an eye on activities and communicate with loggers, use MURS radios. • ATVs are not permitted; hunters must have access to their automobiles in order to remove animals. • Only vehicles that are under 28 feet long or under 44 feet overall (with a trailer) are allowed. • Only permitted steel fire rings may be used to build flames; other fires need written authorization. • The campgrounds are kept up, and camping is permitted in gravel pits and other open spaces away from the road without disturbing construction workers. • Do not obstruct vehicles or block roadways. • From September 13 until October 1st, the Ross Stream bridge at Mile 63 on Realty Road is closed

Access Fees for North Maine Woods

Visitor TypeDaily Use FeeCamping Fee (Per Night) Maine Residents$11 $12 (Residents) Nonresidents$16 $15 (Nonresidents) Children (Under 18)FreeFree Seniors (Age 70 and over)FreeFree Payment MethodCash and Checks Only

For Complete hunting regulations in Maine Click here.

Maine Hunting Seasons PDF Guide

#PDF Guide courtesy maine.gov

Hunting License

  • Those above the age of 16 in Maine need a hunting license to go on any kind of hunting or trapping expedition.
  • The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issues licenses, which may be acquired either online via their website or in person through approved agents including sporting good shops and municipal offices.
  • Annual hunting permits, lifetime hunting licenses, and licenses for particular hunting seasons or species are all on the table.
  • Permits and stamps, such as a migratory bird stamp or a moose hunting license, may be necessary during certain hunting seasons or for specific species.
  • The cost of a hunting license in Maine is often more expensive for those who live outside the state.
  • First-time hunters or those under the age of 18 who want to purchase a hunting license may be required to complete an approved hunter education and safety course.
  • When planning a hunting trip to Maine, be sure to check the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website for the most up-to-date information on hunting license costs and rules.

Maine Hunting License TypeAgeResident CostNon-Resident Cost Infant Lifetime Fishing<6$150 $450 Infant Lifetime Hunting<6$150 $450 Infant Lifetime Archery Hunting<6$150 $450 Infant Lifetime Trapping<6$150 $450 Infant Combination of any 2 Lifetime Licenses<6$250 $750 Infant Combination of any 3 Lifetime Licenses<6$400 $1,200 Junior Lifetime Fishing6 to 15$300 $900 Junior Lifetime Hunting6 to 15$300 $900 Junior Lifetime Archery Hunting6 to 15$300 $900 Junior Lifetime Trapping6 to 15$300 $900 Junior Combination of any 2 Lifetime Licenses6 to 15$500 $1,500 Junior Combination of any 3 Lifetime Licenses6 to 15$800 $2,400 Senior Resident Lifetime Fishing65-69$50 (65), $40 (66), $30 (67), $20 (68), $10 (69)N/A Senior Resident Lifetime Hunting65-69$50 (65), $40 (66), $30 (67), $20 (68), $10 (69)N/A Senior Resident Lifetime Archery Hunting65-69$50 (65), $40 (66), $30 (67), $20 (68), $10 (69)N/A Senior Resident Lifetime Trapping65-69$50 (65), $40 (66), $30 (67), $20 (68), $10 (69)N/A

For Complete license details read on eregulation website and here.

FAQs related to ME Hunting Season

Dates & Schedule Source:

maine.gov

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>