Freelance writer, photographer, speaker, and editor Chip Gross has been fascinated by the out-of-doors all his life. At an early age, Gross was taught to fish by his grandfather and as a young teenager learned to hunt from his father. Those two activities eventually led him to many other outdoor pursuits, such as birding, canoeing, and camping, just to name a few.
Following high school, Gross attended Ohio State University, earning a four-year Bachelor of Science degree (1974), majoring in Wildlife Management. After graduation he taught outdoor education for two years at the Mohican Outdoor School near Loudonville, Ohio, working summers as a Lake Ranger for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, also in Ohio.
In 1976, Gross was hired by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, as a State Wildlife Officer. He completed a 27-year career with the agency, advancing to Wildlife Education Officer and ultimately Editor of its two wildlife magazines: Wild Ohio and Wild Ohio for Kids. Under Gross’ leadership, the magazines won the prestigious James P. Barry Award for Editorial Excellence in 2001.
It was during his years with the Ohio DNR that Gross began freelance writing and shooting photographs of outdoor subjects, selling his first story in 1981. Since that time, he has gone on to sell hundreds of articles and photos to national, regional, and state outdoor publications, as well as Web sites. He has also written six books: Home, At Last, Is The Hunter, a fiction novel, Pro Tactics: Steelhead & Salmon, Ohio Wildlife Viewing Guide, Young Beginner’s Guide to Shooting & Archery, Poachers Were My Prey: Eighteen Years as an Undercover Wildlife Officer; and Trolling Big-Water Walleyes: Secrets of the Great Lakes Fishing Guides, Charter Captains, and Walleye Pros nonfiction.
Gross took advantage of an early retirement offer from the Ohio DNR in 2002, and is now self-employed fulltime as a freelance writer, photographer, speaker, and editor. He has been a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio (OWO) since 1983, serving as president of that organization in 1991-1992. Gross has also been a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) since 1986, serving on the Board of Directors from 2004 to 2007. He has won numerous writing and photography awards from both OWAA and OWO.
Chip and wife, Jan, have two grown sons and six grandchildren. They live near rural Fredericktown, Ohio, surrounded by 13 wooded acres at the end of a one-lane gravel road. “I can sit on my front porch and listen to wild turkeys gobble,” Gross said. “This is just where I want to be…”
For more information, go to www.chipgross.com.