2018 State Award Winners

Awards presented January 19, 2019

To nominate someone for an individual award, please contact Bert VanderWeele or Jon Gray

Click here for past years' recipients.

2018 Individual Award Winners

Outstanding Service

Roy & Tammy Munro (Timber Ghost Gobblers Chapter)
John Zimmer (Macomb County Lost Gobblers)
Josh Frantz (White River Longbeards &Bitely/Baldwin Chapter) (photo)
Jim Decker (Crossroads Chapter) (photo)

This award is given to individuals who have made outstanding multiple year contributions in various areas to the Michigan State Chapter as well as to their local chapter.  They have served and provided leadership as either local or state chapter officers, special event or project leaders.

Outstanding Partner

Hal & Jean Glassen Foundation (photo)

This award recognizes the outstanding work, contributions and dedication partners have displayed in conserving wildlife, habitat and other natural resources.

Outstanding Conservationist

Brian Piccolo (MDNR Wildlife Division Biologist) (photo)

This award recognizes individuals here in Michigan who have proven themselves professionally (biologists or technicians) as exceptional stewards of wild turkey populations and habitat.  These are usually unsung heroes who do on-the-ground work for wild turkeys and other wildlife.

Outstanding Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer

Daniel Prince (Roscommon County) (photo)

This award recognizes the outstanding work of a full-time state or federal Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer in case involvement, public relations, attitude, enthusiasm, professionalism and support of our Hunting Heritage.  Officers are generally nominated by the Law Enforcement Division of the MIchigan Department of Natural Resources.  The nomination selected by the State NWTF is submitted to the NWTF for National recognition.

Scholarship Winners

Emily Barnhart (Beaver Creek Chapter) (photo)

The Scholarship Program is part of the NWTF's Five Star Program.  Applicants for the scholarship are judged on their scholastic achievements, leadership abilities and community and outdoor involvement.  The winners of the local chapter scholarships are eligible for consideration for the Michigan State Chapter Award and then eligible for the National NWTF Scholarship.

Conservation Educator of the Year


The purpose of this exciting program is to recognize educators who demonstrate the most innovative use of the Wild About Turkeys Education Box and a commitment to teaching conservation education in the classroom.  The state award winner is submitted to NWTF to be eligible for the National Award.

Turkey Cooperator Patch Design Contest Winner

Dane Lewis (Lake Orion)

The contest, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University and the Michigan Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was established in 2003 to provide the concept for the official Wild Turkey Cooperator Patch which is issued on an annual basis.

Doug Johnson Volunteer of the Year

Sam & Ronda Giese (Turkeyville Toms Chapter) (photo)

This award recognizes outstanding volunteerism and dedication to the Michigan NWTF which is demonstrated by outstanding leadership and service that goes beyond routine at the local or state level.

JAKE of the Year


This award is presented to an outstanding Michigan JAKES member who has exhibited local chapter involvement with outdoor activities, conservation, community service and hunting activities and ethics.

Mentor of the Year

Ken Buchholtz (Bays de Noc Gobblers Chapter) (photo)

This award was new in 2015, presented to the person that has excelled in mentoring new hunters,

Roger Latham Outstanding Service Award


Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards are given to NWTF members who are not employed as professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.  This is a national NWTF award.


Richelle Myers (photo)

This award is presented to the person that hunts wild turkeys, shoots at wild turkeys, and scares the s*** out of wild turkeys without touching a feather.


2018 L. A. Dixon Jr. Memorial Outstanding Chapter Awards

Total Dollar Club

Million Dollar Club

Whiteford Valley Gobblers

Half Million Dollar Club

Berrien County Trophy Toms
Grand River Longbeards
North Ottawa Toms

Slam Award Winners

World Slam (photo)

Improved in 6 of 7 Categories

  • Black River Longbeards

  • Cass River Gobblers

  • Fremont Area Chapter

  • Hillsdale Chapter

  • Lapeer Longbeards

  • MSU Wildlife Conservation

  • Presque Isle Turkey Trackers

  • Turkeyville Toms

Royal Slam (photo)

Improved in 5 of 7 Categories

  • Alcona Turkey Trotters

  • Beaver Creek

  • Crossroads Hunting Heritage

  • Elk Country Gobblers

  • Flat River Chapter

  • Menominee Strutting Toms

  • Midland County Gobblers

  • Slate Stone Strutters

  • Southwestern Michigan Longbeards

  • Sunset Shoreline Strutters

  • VanBuren Longbeards

Grand Slam (photo)

Improved in 4 of 7 Categories

  • 3 Corner Habitat Chapter

  • Bitely/Baldwin Chapter

  • Beard & Spurs

  • Eaton County Strutting Toms

  • Flint River Donald T. Walker Chapter

  • Timber Ghost Gobblers

  • Waterloo Longbeards

Women in the Outdoors

WITO Events Net Dollars                 

Thornapple Valley WITO $2889.78 (photo)
Turkeyville Toms

WITO Memberships                        

Thornapple Valley - 34 (photo)
Turkeyville Toms

Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit

Wheeling Sportsmen Net Dollars

North Ottawa Toms Wheelin' Sportsmen Dinner - $11,458.58 (photo)

Wheeling Sportsmen Memberships

North Ottawa Toms Wheelin' Sportsmen Dinner - 16 Sponsors (photo)

Chapters 100 and Under in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

High Banks Longbeards - $15,940.43 (photo)
Turkeyville Toms - $12,514.08
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - $12,082.93

Net to Gross                                      

High Banks Longbeards - 48% (photo)
Turkeyville Toms - 46%
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - 40%

Regular Members                             

Turkeyville Toms - 59 (photo)
Flint River Donald T. Walker Chapter - 52
High Banks Longbeards - 51                   

WITO Members                                

Timber Ghost Gobblers - 8 (photo)
Flint River Donald T. Walker Chapter - 5
Elk Country Gobblers - 5

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

Turkeyville Toms - 1 (photo)

Sponsor Members                        

High Banks Longbeards - 20 (photo)
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - 14
Turkeyville Toms - 14
Waterloo Longbeards - 14
Fremont Area Chapter - 14

JAKES Members                         

Flat River Chapter - 52 (photo)
Crossroads Hunting Heritage - 28
Timber Ghost Gobblers - 25

Most Improved (Net Increase)                               

Turkeyville Toms - $5973.77 (photo)
Lapeer Longbeards - $5000.27                      
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - $4177.17

Chapters 101 - 200 in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards - $36,626.50 (photo)
Sunset Shoreline Strutters - $22,522.42
Beard & Spurs - $16,306.40

Net to Gross                                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards - 69% (photo)
Sunset Shoreline Strutters - 54%
Beard & Spurs - 45%

Regular Members                             

Beard & Spurs - 100 (photo)
Southwestern MI Longbeards - 99
Macomb Lost Gobblers - 95

WITO Members                                

Eaton County Strutting Toms - 46
Macomb Lost Gobblers - 23
Beard & Spurs - 21

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 10 (photo)
Sunset Shoreline Strutters - 1

Sponsor Members                         

Sunset Shoreline Strutters - 35 (photo)
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 25
Tri-County Longbeards - 22

JAKES Members                               

Eaton County Strutting Toms - 50
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 44
Thornapple Valley - 37                                                 

Most Improved Chapter (Net Increase)              

Hillsdale Chapter - $11,470.16
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - $8834.17
Coldwater River Chapter - $7282.10

Chapters 201 and Over in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars          

Bays De Noc Gobblers - $21,507.95 (photo)
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - $15,562.71
Presque Isle Turkey Trackers - $13,843.81

Net to Gross

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 51% (photo)
Presque Isle Turkey Trackers - 43%
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 30%

Regular Members                

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 158 (photo)
Menominee Strutting Toms - 108
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 90

WITO Members                   

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 54 (photo)
Menominee Strutting Toms - 14  
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 7

Sponsor Members           

Whiteford Valley Chapter - 32
Bays De Noc Gobblers - 20
Presque Isle Turkey Trackers - 11

Wheelin' Sportsmen

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 8 (photo)
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 3
Menominee Strutting Toms - 1

JAKES Members                  

Whiteford Valley Chapter - 78
Bays De Noc Gobblers - 38
Menominee Strutting Toms - 24                        

Most Improved Chapter (Net Increase)

Presque Isle Turkey Trackers - $3339.01 
Menominee Strutting Toms - $2187.76