2016 State Award Winners

Awards presented January 21, 2017.

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

Click here for past years' recipients.

2016 Individual Award Winners

Outstanding Service

Jerome Bowden (Bays De Noc Gobblers)
Kim Schweitzer (Slate Stone Strutters)
Barry Baldwin (Bitely Baldwin Chapter)

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 Corporate/Sponsor

Cabela's Outdoors (Grandville Store)

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

Outstanding Conservationist

Tom Cooley (Michigan DNR) photo
Heather Keough (USFS) 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

Angela Greenway (Mecosta County)

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

Lyndsey Romel (Black Mountain Chapter)
Connor Shea (Thornapple Valley Chapter)

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

Sylvia Smith (Lake Orion) - Year 2017 Patch photo

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

Gary Salmon (Grand Valley Chapter)

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

Chris Hillman (MSU Wildlife Conservation Chapter)

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

Roger Latham Outstanding Service Award

Al Bobrofsky (Turkeyville Toms)

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.


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.


2016 Outstanding Chapter Awards

Slam Award Winners

World Slam

Improved in 6 of 7 Categories

  • Flint River Chapter

Royal Slam

Improved in 5 of 7 Categories

  • 3 Corners Habitat Chapter
  • Bays De Noc Gobblers
  • Beaver Creek
  • Branch County Longbeards
  • Fremont Area Chapter
  • Gold Coast Gobblers
  • Highbanks Longbeards
  • Newaygo Valley Gobblers
  • Sunset Shoreline Strutters

Grand Slam

Improved in 4 of 7 Categories

  • Alcona Turkey Trotters
  • Beard & Spurs
  • Crossroads
  • Grant Gobblers
  • Menominee Strutting Toms
  • North Ottawa Toms
  • Southwestern Michigan Longbeards
  • Thornapple Valley
  • Tri-County Longbeards
  • Turkeyville Toms
  • Tuscola Longbeards
  • White River Longbeards
  • Whiteford Valley

Women in the Outdoors

WITO Events Net Dollars                 

Turkeyville Toms WITO $5616.54
Thornapple Valley WITO $3991.37      
Shoot Like a Lady $217.74

WITO Memberships                        

Turkeyville Toms - 54
Thornapple Valley - 52

Branch County - 6

Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit

Wheeling Sportsmen Net Dollars

North Ottawa Toms Gun Bash - $4240.81

Chapters 100 and Under in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

Fremont Area Chapter $9902.63
Rabbit River Longspurs - $9123.68
Flat River Longbeards - $8219.66

Net to Gross                                      

Fremont Area Chapter 44%
Rabbit River Longspurs 36%
Flat River Longbeards 34%
Branch County Longbeards 34%

Regular Members                             

Elk Country Gobblers 61
Flint River 59
Macomb Lost Gobblers 55                                

WITO Members                                

Branch County Longbeards 39
Flint River 13
Cass River Gobblers 11

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

Flat River 4
Cass River Gobblers 1

Sponsor Members                        

Irish Hills Spit-n-Drum Chapter 20
Branch County Longbeards 15
North Ottawa Toms 13
Bluewater Chapter 13

JAKES Members                         

Bluewater Chapter 44
Flat River 25
North Kent Chapter 23
Rabbit River Longspurs 23

Most Improved                                

Fremont Area Chapter– Net increase $7597.24
Flint River- Net increase $2108.77                         
North Ottawa Toms - Net increase $1912.50

Chapters 101 - 200 in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards $30213.58
Beard & Spurs Chapter- $18397.99
Highbanks Chapter - $18308.97

Net to Gross                                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards 70%
Highbanks Chapter 56%
Beard & Spurs Chapter 52%

Regular Members                             

Southwestern MI Longbeards 95
White River Longbeards 89
Keweenaw Bay Cutters 85

WITO Members                                

Beard & Spurs Chapter 24 photo
Timberghost Gobblers 17
Keweenaw Bay Cutters 16
Slate Stone Strutters 16

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

Turkeyville Toms 19
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards 10
Thornapple Valley 3

Sponsor Members                         

Southwestern Michigan Longbeards   24
Tri-County Longbeards 23
Grant Gobblers 21

JAKES Members                               

Waterloo Longbeards 113
Turkeyville Toms 81
Highbanks Chapter 68

Most Improved Chapter              

Gold Coast Gobblers Net Increase $6695.73
Highbanks Chapter Net Increase $6079.00
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards Net Increase $5916.73

Chapters 201 and Over in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars          

Bays De Noc Gobblers $23,534.00 photo
Whiteford Valley Gobblers $22,659.00
Menominee Strutting Toms $11,235.00

Net to Gross

Bays De Noc Gobblers 51%
Whiteford Valley Gobblers 40%
Eaton County Strutting Toms 33%

Regular Members                

Bays De Noc Gobblers 150
Menominee Strutting Toms 112
Eaton County Strutting Toms 79

WITO Members                   

Bays De Noc Gobblers 51
Eaton County Strutting Toms 44
Menominee Strutting Toms 9                          

Sponsor Members           

Whiteford Valley Chapter 34
Bays De Noc Gobblers 30
Eaton County Strutting Toms 10

Wheelin' Sportsmen

Bays De Noc Gobblers 4
Menominee Strutting Toms 1

JAKES Members                  

Whiteford Valley Chapter 104
Eaton County Strutting Toms 81
Bays De Noc Gobblers 40

Most Improved Chapter      

Menominee Strutting Toms - Net Increase $5742.08
Bays De Noc Gobblers - Net increase $4403.15
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - Net Increase $4369.19