Vanishing Paradise's Bill Cooksey is a Legend (of the Outdoors)
Bill Cooksey, Senior Sportsman Coordinator for Vanishing Paradise, was recently inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame.
(Bill Cooksey (right) accepts his award alongside Garry Mason (left), host and founder of Legends of the Outdoors.
By Matthew Waguespack
Sportsman Coordinator, Vanishing Paradise
Congratulations to our very own Bill Cooksey on being inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame!
Legends of the Outdoors recognizes sportsmen and sportswomen who, through countless hours of hard work and devotion to the outdoors, in both hunting and fishing, have played an integral part in setting the standards and guidelines for the rest of the outdoor world to follow.
“Bill’s induction to the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame was no surprise to our team at NWF. A friend to all who know him, Bill’s extensive network is a testament to how he contributes every day to conservation issues and the sporting community. Bill brings authenticity, passion, and knowledge to his work on the Vanishing Paradise team that inspires and teaches all of us. We are so proud!”
-Amanda Moore, Director of Gulf Program, NWF
From his earliest memories in the river bottoms of West Tennessee, Bill’s life revolved around hunting and fishing. By his teens, he’d hunted ducks in all four flyways and fished from East Tennessee to the Pacific. As an adult, he’s hunted from prairie Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake to the California Delta, but the Mississippi Flyway was always “home.” His professional career has been in the outdoor industry; from an obscure duck call salesman to Marketing Director at Avery Outdoors, to Managing Editor of the Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News, to his current position as Senior Sportsmen Outreach Coordinator with Vanishing Paradise for the National Wildlife Federation.
Bill’s work with Vanishing Paradise focuses on keeping sportsmen and women actively involved in conservation efforts all along the Gulf Coast. He attributes his ability to communicate with sportsmen as the key to his success.
From meeting with legislators at the state Capitol to connecting outdoor industry leaders to the conservation movement, Bill’s talents allow him to educate others on the issue of coastal restoration in duck blinds, out on the water, and in D.C. — and everywhere in between.
Past and present Hall of Fame Inductees pose for a quick picture. Left to right: Michael Waddell 2022, Harold Knight 2002, Kelly Powers 2022, Bill Cooksey 2022, Mark Drury 2016.
Besides educating and promoting restoration of the Gulf Coast, Everglades, and the Mississippi River Delta; Bill is also a co-host of the NWF Outdoors Podcast where he helps pull more ideas, topics, and guests from around the country to discuss current issues revolving around sportsmen and women in the outdoor community.
Some of Bill’s other accomplishments include being a four-time Tennessee duck calling champion, avid turkey hunter, accomplished angler, consummate conservationist, dedicated father, and all-around great guy.
Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication, Bill!
Bill and his son, William Cooksey V