Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is a trainer, writer, hunter, adventuress, and most importantly a mother. She holds the position of managing editor at Women's Outdoor News and is the author of numerous posts on the site. In addition, she is a firearms trainer and works with Apex Shooting and Tactics. As part of that role, she is involved with the Faster Saves Lives program for Buckeye Firearms Foundation in northern Ohio. She is also the social media editor for Vera Koo and GTM Original, and pens the column, “What's In Your Range Bag?” for NRA Shooting Sports USA. She entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president, and trainer at a national training company. Soon after she began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, quickly becoming a sponsored shooter.
We recently caught up with Michelle Cerino to ask a few questions.
What is your background?
If I go way back, I have a degree in photography. Then in my late 30s, I went back for my elementary teaching license. Both of which I still use today as a self-employed writer and trainer.
What led you to be a 2A advocate and shooting enthusiast?
Aside from being the adult who hunted with my sons on Youth Shotgun weekend in Ohio and being a “train-the-trainer” for the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Hunter's Education program, firearms were not a part of my life. It all took a turn when I encouraged my now ex-husband, who was having issues at work, to quit, and we would start our own training company.
How did you become so knowledgeable?
I had on-the-job training. I assisted on the range when we started the business and watched while others taught. When I began competition shooting, I shot with some of the best shooters in the country. Besides learning from watching them, they would pull me aside and offer me tips. For years I also attended and instructed at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) National Conference. There I learned from some of the best law enforcement trainers in the world. I am very fortunate to be able to reach out to many professionals in the industry whom I met while instructing at the A Girl and A Gun National Conference when I have questions or need someone to run an idea by.
When it comes to hunting, I've had the opportunity to attend different hunts because of my freelance writing and managing editor position at Women's Outdoor News. Before heading out to the fields or woods, I extensively research the particular type of hunt and then write about it afterward. I truly immerse myself in those new adventures.
Is there a special experience you have had because of your work that you can share with our readers?
In 2016, I had a fantastic experience being the tour guide for two extraordinary ladies from the Shotgun Chelsea Bun Club in England. We met in Dallas, flew to Denver, then drove to Kansas for the Ringneck Classic. We saw and did many exciting things along the way, including seeing where they filmed the television show Dallas, touring the Museum in the former Texas School Book Depository, visiting silly roadside attractions, and hunting prairie chickens.
What is your favorite outdoor pursuit and why?
I enjoy upland hunting. Being able to walk and not have to be quiet while working as a team with the other hunters on the line makes for a fun day.
What is one random thing people probably don't know about you?
About 20 years ago, my cousin Karrie and I used to make pierogi and sell them under the name Two Cousins. Since then, we have taught our adult children how to make them, hoping someday they will take over the tradition.