2020 Whitetail Awards Night and Chapter Dinner Meeting

 In Events

Another annual Whitetail Awards Night is in the books. If you did not attend, you really missed out.  But do not worry, we captured the highlights here!

Do not forget to get your tickets to our EVEN BIGGER 20th Annual SCI Fundraiser Dinner on March 20th and 21st.

Get your tickets here:

20th Annual SCI Fundraiser Dinner

Who Got Awards at the Whitetail Awards Night?

Attendees brought in their racks and mounts to be scored and admired. Awards were given to hunters with the highest scoring bucks in several categories and one overall WINNER!

Related: How Does Your Rack Measure Up? How to Score Deer Antlers

The TROPHY for the “Over-All Largest” Free-Ranging Michigan Deer with a score of 148–4/8″ was awarded to youth hunter Max Cochran 


Whitetail Awards Night

Largest Michigan Buck with a Bow: Daniel Knevel with a score of 125–3/8″

Whitetail Awards Night

Second Largest Michigan Buck with a Bow: Ryan Kopydlowski with a score of 96–2/8″

Whitetail Awards Night

Largest Michigan Buck with a Crossbow: John Knevel with a score of 116–2/8″

whitetail awards night

2nd Largest Michigan Buck with a Crossbow: Jim Munk with a score of 115–7/8″

whitetail awards night

Woman Member who took the Largest Michigan Buck: Anna Nguyen with a score of 119–6/8″

whitetail awards night

2nd Largest Michigan Buck with a Modern Firearm: John Knevel with a score of 123–7/8″

Youth Member who took the Second Largest Michigan Buck: Laila Knevel with a score of 134–7/8″

whitetail awards night

Check out Laila’s story from 2017: My First Deer: A Youth Hunt Experience

Largest Michigan Buck with a Muzzleloader: Dave Boedeker with a score of 88–1/8″

whitetail awards night

2nd Largest Michigan Buck with a Muzzleloader: Dr. Terry Braden with a score of 65–7/8″

whitetail awards dinner

Largest Out-of-State Buck: Dr. Brian Metcalf with a score of 161–7/8″

whitetail awards night

2nd Largest Out-of-State Buck: Pam Metcalf with a score of 142–2/8

whitetail awards night

Largest Estate Buck: Joshua Reynolds with a score of 270–2/8″

whitetail awards night

2nd Largest Estate Buck: Anna Nguyen with a score of 236–3/8″

whitetail awards night


Congratulations to all the successful hunters, especially the youth hunters that attended (Laila Knevel (award winner above), Max Cochran (award winner above), Bri Metcalf (first deer), Lucas Hart (two nice bucks, one being his first buck)).  Also, Congratulations to Margaret DeLong and Dan Knevel for winning Grizzly coolers and Bruce Caltrider for winning the .450 Howa Legend.

Who Gave Presentations at the Whitetail Awards Night?

We were very lucky to have two outstanding presentations by top experts in the field of developing land for optimal deer habitat.

Randy VanderVeen of Strategic Habitat  and Ridge Bollheimer with Hunter’s Ridge Food Plot Service.

Developing Small Track Land to Maintain Buckswhitetail awards night

Randy and his team at Strategic Habitat do just what their business name suggests. They help landowners strategize how to maximize their land to create optimal hunting conditions.

“Turn your property into an amusement park for deer.”

Randy educated us on the best practices to bring in big bucks to your land and keep them there. Mature bucks want security, hidden food, and hidden water. He uses methods like Timber Stand Improvement (TSI), Hinge cutting, and hiding deer stands.

Randy also touched upon things to consider then planting food plots and he recommended watching “Dirt to Soil” a seminar on YouTube by Gabe Brown.

For more information on this topic and Randy’s services visit his website at: Strategic Habitat

Best Practices for Planting Food Plotswhitetail awards night

Ridge Bollheimer followed Randy with excellent advice for planning and planting successful food plots. He covered how to prepare the area, equipment to use, types of crops, and things to watch out for.

Food plots allow for less human foot traffic on your land which allows the deer to get more comfortable there.

Ridge also encourages all landowners to send in a soil sample to Michigan State University before planting food plots. This helps you to know what you might need to add to your soil for optimal growing conditions.

For more information on this topic and Ridge’s services visit his FaceBook site at: Ridge Bollheimer

Both presenters talked about the pros and cons of till vs. no till practices when it comes to planting.

The general steps are:

  1. Spray
  2. Work the ground
  3. Spread the seed
  4. Cultipack

The following are the best crops for deer:

whitetail awards night


** Interesting Note – As you can see above, the John Knevel clan won many awards with great bucks harvested on their Jackson County property.  Years ago, John had work done on his property by Jake Ehlinger who worked with our speaker, Randy Vanderveen, in their early years as they were learning their Whitetail strategic habitat development techniques.  John has also had work done on his property by Ridge Bollheimer who continued improving the property habitat with food plots.  John and his crew are proof positive that the strategies implemented by our two speakers produce big and many bucks!

Thank you to everyone who supported this event!

Many people helped to execute such a fun event. Thank you to our SCI Lansing Chapter members who volunteered (Dr. Terry Braden, Dr. Ron Lanford, Jeff Swehla, Ed Edwards for measuring) and a special thank you to Jim Munk for coordinating the event.

Many Thanks to SPORTSMAN’S WAREHOUSE IN Lansing for bringing and processing the .450 Howa Legend transfer for our raffle and for attending the event. If you haven’t been to their new store in Lansing on the westside by Menards, go check it out! 

Thank you to the Kesslers and the staff at Eagle Eye Banquet Center for always taking good care of our chapter.

Thank you to all of our vendors and speakers who attended as well.

Want to Join Safari Club International?

Safari Club International is the leading voice in the fight to protect the freedom to hunt, both in the United States and internationally. The SCI Departments of Legal Advocacy Resources and International Affairs and Government Relations are headquartered in Washington, D.C., advocating on behalf of SCI members and non-members alike. From staff dedicated to legislation and policy to a team of litigators, SCI hunter advocacy is at the forefront of protecting the hunting heritage. SCI and the SCI Foundation provide the voice of the hunter in treaties that affect hunting and wildlife conservation worldwide. This is where SCI and SCI Foundation go beyond what other hunter organizations do and why their work in this arena is critical to preserving the right to hunt.  Plus, we have lots of fun and events like this one!

To find out more information about SCI and joining our chapter, click below:

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

hunting trips