Go-Devil Founder Works, Plays, and Invests in Wetlands

Warren Coco's greatest contributions to waterfowl and those who enjoy them have come through his steadfast support of wetlands conservation

© Andrea Barbier

Warren Coco may be most famous for his company, Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana, and the mud motors and boats it produces to help waterfowlers get to hard-to-reach hunting spots. However, his greatest contributions to waterfowl and those who enjoy them have come through his steadfast support of wetlands conservation.

Warren started building Go-Devils in his carport in 1977. He built 60 motors that year. Today, Go-Devil Manufacturers of Louisiana produces many different sizes of boats and motors. The company has donated several boat, motor, and trailer packages to DU fundraising efforts over the years. “Beyond his generous support of DU, Warren’s passion for duck hunting and conservation are unmatched,” says DU Director of Development Bob Dew. “More than most, Warren understands that you don’t just show up on opening day and expect the ducks to be there.”

Warren owns interest in two properties in Louisiana, one on the Gulf Coast in Cameron Parish and one in central Louisiana’s Catahoula Parish. He spends about 40 weekends per year on those two properties, either preparing for duck season or hunting.

In 2009, Warren donated the first conservation easement in Louisiana to Ducks Unlimited. The easement permanently protected the habitat and natural resource values of his vital 1,600-acre property. Go-Devil’s and Warren’s donations are an important part of the more than $129 million DU has spent to conserve nearly 500,000 acres of waterfowl habitat in Louisiana.

For his many contributions to conservation, Ducks Unlimited honored Warren at a tribute event in Baton Rouge in March 2015. More than 300 friends and family gathered to celebrate him and contribute to a conservation project on Dewey W. Wills Wildlife Management Area near Alexandria that will be dedicated to Warren and his wife, Donna. The project restored 3,000 acres of forested wetlands to improve habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. In addition to the money raised at the tribute event, funding for the project came from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Wetlands America Trust, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, and others.

Warren and Donna are DU Heritage Sponsors. In June, Warren was named an honorary trustee on DU’s board of directors.