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Legend Biography

Bill Cooper


Legendary Outdoor Communicator & Conservation Consultant

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Bill Cooper was born to a poor cotton farming family in Mississippi County, Missouri in 1949. His father instilled in him a love for the outdoors at an early age as they plied the bayous and swamps for giant largemouth bass and crappie and bluegill by day and raccoons by night.

Smitten by the writings of Jack O’Connor and Ernst Hemingway, Cooper paid for his own subscription to Outdoor Life Magazine at age eight. His dreams to become an outdoor writer were born.

After earning a Masters Degree in outdoor education and and graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a U.S. Army Officer’s commission, 1LT Cooper toured South Vietnam and Cambodia.

He worked as a park superintendent, park naturalist, and director of interpretive services. He began his 54-year outdoor communications career in 1970.

Cooper has credits in Outdoor Life Magazine, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Southern Outdoors,, Outdoorsite Library,, Hook and Barrel, Land Leader Magazine, Turkey Call, Turkey and Turkey Hunting, Women in the Outdoors, Trophy Whitetail World, Game and Fish Publications, Midwest Outdoors, Outdoor Guide, Adventure Sports Outdoors, Traveler, Army Times, Shelter Insurance Magazine, Southern Trout, Midwest Horseman, Youth in the Outdoors, Small Pack Magazine, and many newspapers.

Cooper is the author the Outdoor Celebrities Cookbook, ( He is known as the Gravel Bar Gourmet) editor of the Fly Rod Journals, owner of Outside Again Adventures and host of Living the Dream Outdoors Podcast found on Stitcher, Spotify, Audioboom, Apple, PodcastAddict and many other social media platforms. He is also co-host of Cowtown USA Outdoors Radio. He has served for 15 years in the Yucatan of Mexico, three years a s a tourism consultant to the Campeche State Tourism Commission, and 12 years as a conservation consultant to TanKab Outfitters.

Cooper has acted as a facilitator and presenter of outdoor programs and seminars for schools, churches, scouts, Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Federation, James Foundation, Land Learning Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation - Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Bass Pro’s Wonders of Wildlife, St. Louis County Parks and Recreation, Sports Shows and more for over 50 years. He’s a regular speaker at wild game dinners.
Cooper is also a life member of the Missouri Outdoor Communicators and the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. He joined the ranks of Ernst Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt when he was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2018 as a Legendary Outdoor Communicator.The Conservation Federation of Missouri recognized him as the Conservation Educator of the Year in 2000 and the Conservation Communicator of the Year in 2008. The Missouri House of Representatives made a proclamation in 2016 recognizing Cooper for 45 years of outstanding outdoors communications efforts promoting hunting, fishing, outdoor education and tourism in Missouri. He was recently nominated for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as an outdoor communicator.

Bill Cooper served his country as a U.S. Army Reserve Officer for 8 years, having served time in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Cooper is an ordained minister and sincerely believes that God created the heavens and the earth for mankind’s enjoyment. He served as a temporary chaplain in the U.S. Army and served five years on the board of Bay Ridge Christian College, an all black ministers college, in Texas.

Cooper’s love for children has been exemplified by his decades of involvement in outdoor education programs and youth programs for multiple agencies and organizations. In his spare time he provided a home for 19 youth and young adults over the course of 42 years.

His motto is: “Adventure may harm you, but boredom will kill you.”

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