Cole Gander Joins NDA as a Deer Outreach Specialist in Missouri

July 11, 2023 By: NDA Staff
Headshot of Cole Gander.

NDA is pleased to announce that Cole Gander has joined the organization as a Deer Outreach Specialist in northern Missouri. A Missouri native and lifelong deer hunter, Cole comes to NDA from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), where he served as a Natural Resources Technician for the Ted Shanks Conservation Area.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the team here at the National Deer Association,” said Cole. “I’m looking forward to working with others who share my passion to enhance the management of the white-tailed deer in Northern Missouri.”

As a Deer Outreach Specialist, Cole will assist MDC staff with facilitation of the state’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), provide guidance to landowners and deer hunters conducting deer population surveys or other data collection efforts, host local habitat management trainings, work with private landowners to establish and support Wildlife Management Cooperatives, coordinate and assist with chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling trainings, and organize hunter recruitment and mentoring initiatives, like NDA’s Field to Fork program, in northern Missouri. He will also serve Missourians by helping promote numerous private land assistance programs alongside MDC staff.

Cole’s duties will include helping increase awareness of NDA by recruiting new members, contributing to the organization’s national education and outreach efforts, as well as publicize NDA’s conservation programs and initiatives.

“I am excited to have Cole join the NDA staff,” said Matt Ross, NDA’s Director of Conservation. “His past experience working as public lands manager and educator for the state of Missouri, his enthusiasm for wildlife and hunting, and his general knowledge and passion for the outdoors make Cole a perfect fit for this position.”

Cole received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Science and Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia where his study emphasis was in Fisheries and Wildlife. In addition to his recent position as a natural resource technician with MDC, Cole worked as a teacher’s aide for Hannibal Public School District. He is Level 1 Fire certified by the Missouri Department of Conservation and has substantial experience in land conservation planning, including conducting wildlife and habitat management activities on both wetland and upland ecosystems.

Landowners and deer hunters in northern Missouri who want to learn more about DMAP, CWD, deer management or with an interest in establishing a Wildlife Cooperative can contact Cole at or 573-469-1515.