2017 State Award Winners

Awards presented January 20, 2018.

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

Click here for past years' recipients.

2017 Individual Award Winners

Outstanding Service

Jack Price (Whiteford Valley Chapter)
Doug Redder (Highbanks Chapter) (photo)
Kyle Foster (St. Joe Valley Limbhangers)
Evan Traynor (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 Corporate/Sponsor

Watson's Manistee Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram (Manistee) (photo)

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

Outstanding Conservationist

Clay Buchanan (Wildlife Habitat Grants) (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

Joel Lundberg (Midland 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

Dylan Bernson (Bays de Noc Chapter) (photo)
Clay Jaskowski (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

Neway Center School  (Newaygo) (photo)

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

Jayme Randolph

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

Phil & Janice Kuhtic (Thornapple Valley 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

Trenton Hopkins (Flat River Chapter) (photo)

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

Tony Snyder (Turkeyville Toms 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.



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.


2017 L. A. Dixon Jr. Memorial Outstanding Chapter Awards

Total Dollar Club

Half Million Dollar Club

Tri-County Longbeards Chapter
White River Longbeards Chapter

Slam Award Winners

World Slam

Improved in 6 of 7 Categories

  • Grand Valley Chapter
  • Presque Isle Turkey Trackers
  • Sunset Shoreline Strutters

Royal Slam

Improved in 5 of 7 Categories

  • Alcona Turkey Trotters
  • Cass River Gobblers
  • Huron Valley Chapter
  • Macomb Lost Gobblers
  • North Ottawa Toms (photo)

Grand Slam

Improved in 4 of 7 Categories

  • Berrien County Trophy Toms
  • Bitely/Baldwin Chapter
  • Boardman River Chapter (photo)
  • Midland County Gobblers
  • Sebewaing Gobblers
  • Slate Stone Strutters
  • Tri-County Longbeards
  • Whiteford Valley

Women in the Outdoors

WITO Events Net Dollars                 

Thornapple Valley WITO $2997.29 (photo)
Turkeyville Toms - $1287.55

WITO Memberships                        

Thornapple Valley - 30 (photo)
Turkeyville Toms - 26

Wheelin' Sportsmen Benefit

Wheeling Sportsmen Net Dollars

North Ottawa Toms Wheelin' Sportsmen Dinner - $7979.40 (photo)

Chapters 100 and Under in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

North Ottawa Toms - $8709.41 (photo)
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - $7905.76
Fremont Area Chapter - $7795.81

Net to Gross                                      

North Ottawa Toms - 33% (photo)
Fremont Area Chapter - 33% (photo)
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - 32%

Regular Members                             

Black River Longbeards - 64
Elk Country Gobblers - 57
Turkeyville Toms - 56                     

WITO Members                                

Timber Ghost Gobblers - 16
Maple Valley Tall Tails - 15
Black River Longbeards - 14

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

Turkeyville Toms - 29 (photo)

Sponsor Members                        

North Ottawa Toms - 26 (photo)
Bitely/Baldwin Chapter - 14
Turkeyville Toms - 13

JAKES Members                         

Flat River Chapter - 65 (photo)
Crossroads Chapter - 26
Van Buren Longbeards - 21

Most Improved (Net Increase)                               

Black River Longbeards - $3334.81
Maple Valley Tall Tails - $1546.83                       
North Ottawa Toms - $1471.24

Chapters 101 - 200 in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards - $27,792.33 (photo)
Highbanks Longbeards Chapter - $18,209.09
Grand Valley Local Chapter - $17,961.52

Net to Gross                                      

Southwestern MI Longbeards - 66% (photo)
Highbanks Chapter - 51%
Grand Valley Local Chapter - 46%

Regular Members                             

Beard & Spurs - 119 (photo)
Macomb Lost Gobblers - 108
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 92

WITO Members                                

Eaton County Strutting Toms - 42 (photo)
Keweenaw Bay Cutters - 23
Beard & Spurs - 19

Wheelin’ Sportsmen                       

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

Sponsor Members                         

Sebewaing Gobblers - 23 (photo)
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 22
Sunset Shoreline Strutters - 20

JAKES Members                               

Waterloo Longbeards 113 (photo)
Cass River Gobblers - 51
Southwestern Michigan Longbeards - 45                                                  

Most Improved Chapter (Net Increase)              

Cass River Gobblers - $7622.74 (photo)
Macomb Lost Gobblers - $7575.86
Grand Valley Local Chapter - $6890.07

Chapters 201 and Over in Attendance

Highest Net Dollars          

Bays De Noc Gobblers - $22,542.50 (photo)
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - $18,690.77
Menominee Strutting Toms - $8529.54

Net to Gross

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 47% (photo)
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 35%
Menominee Strutting Toms - 21%

Regular Members                

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 167 (photo)
Menominee Strutting Toms - 108
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 99

WITO Members                   

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 47 (photo)
Menominee Strutting Toms - 12  
Whiteford Valley Gobblers - 8

Sponsor Members           

Whiteford Valley Chapter - 30
Bays De Noc Gobblers - 22

Wheelin' Sportsmen

Bays De Noc Gobblers - 12 (photo)
Menominee Strutting Toms - 1

JAKES Members                  

Whiteford Valley Chapter - 113
Bays De Noc Gobblers - 53
Menominee Strutting Toms - 24

Most Improved Chapter (Net Increase)