Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Award Recipients

The following awards, given each year at the North American Rendezvous, honor the sportsmen and women who make outstanding contributions to conservation, fair chase and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

The Jim Posewitz Award 

For advancing ethical, responsible behavior in the hunting and fishing fields by example, leadership or education. Through advocacy or programming, they have proven themselves as a galvanizing force in maintaining a positive perception of hunting and angling in the eye of the general public. This person exemplifies the BHA ethos as a role model to novice and seasoned hunters and anglers alike to ensure that our sporting heritage maintains its prominence in 21st-century society.

Jim Posewitz and Gayle Joslin, 2016
Randy Newberg, 2017
Eric Nuse, 2018
Karen Boeger, 2019
Jim Akenson, 2020
Adam Gall, 2021
Mike Woods, 2022
Corey Ellis, 2023
Tim Brass, 2024

The Rachel L. Carson Award

For an outstanding emerging young leader who has gone above and beyond in their contributions to the conservation, hunting, or angling communities. A worthy recipient should be in the early phase their career, should demonstrate leadership in the field of conservation, and display strong potential in their future contributions to fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Additional qualities include personal alignment with BHA’s mission and values and a strong commitment to the standards of fair chase.

Kyle Hildebrandt, 2020
Jeffrey Edwards, 2021
Mateen Hessami, 2022
Harrison Stasik, 2023
Jacob Young, 2024

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award

For exceptional work on behalf of military veterans and active-duty military service personnel. This award recognizes an outstanding AFI volunteers whose selflessness and dedication to BHA and AFI have made a significant difference in the local military community, conservation efforts, and the overarching mission of BHA.

Marty Bartram, 2022
Justin Spruiell, 2023
Ryan Burkert, 2024

The Aldo Leopold Award 

For outstanding effort in conserving terrestrial wildlife habitat. The award recipient embodies Leopold’s quote “To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.” This person has contributed significant time and achieved notable accomplishments that have led to the long-term enhancement and protection of wild lands. The recipient as displayed the ability to raise awareness through testimony, advocacy campaigns, or fundraising support for BHA’s continued on-the-ground efforts. 

Bob Marion, 2012
Craig Grother, 2013
Jim Posewitz, 2014
Joe Gutkowski, 2015
Mark Heckert, 2016
Ed Arnett, 2017
Bill Hanlon, 2018
Virgil Moore, 2019
Bill Geer, 2020
Jared Oakleaf, 2021
Liz Lynch, 2022
Tony Wasley, 2023
Dan Parkinson, 2024

The Sigurd F. Olson Award 

Honors outstanding effort to conserve rivers, lakes, or wetland habitat. Olson recognized the ecological significance of healthy aquatic habitats, as well as the innate and almost spiritual connection that we have to these places. This award is given to someone who embodies that understanding and has worked tirelessly to protect, restore, and preserve aquatic habitats.

Greg Munther, 2012
Derrick Reeves, 2013
Bob Mirasole, 2014
Mark Norquist, 2016
Larry Weeks, 2017
Bill Platts, 2018
Frank and Jeanne Moore, 2019
Josh Mills, 2020
Joel Gay, 2021
Lukas Leaf and Spencer Shaver, 2022
Don Holmstrom, 2023
Patrick Saunders, 2024

The Ted Trueblood Award

For a journalist whose work covering important conservation issues shows outstanding communication on behalf of backcountry habitat and values, and tells the story of our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife. The recipient is considered a positive and unbiased source of conservation news and information for hunters and anglers.

Tradbow Magazine, 2012
Tom Wharton, 2013
Scott Willoughby, 2014
Rich Landers, 2015
Hal Herring, 2016
Anthony Licata, 2017
Kris Millgate, 2018
Steven Rinella, 2019
Christine Peterson, 2020
Don and Lori Thomas, 2021
Rob Drieslein, 2022
Andrew McKean, 2023
T. Edward Nickens, 2024

The Larry Fischer Award 

For outstanding corporate contribution to BHA’s mission. This award celebrates the remarkable corporate partners that have made exceptional contributions to advancing BHA's mission. Corporate partners play a pivotal role in supporting BHA and its chapters by generously donating funds and products, empowering them to effectively raise resources for vital local initiatives. Moreover, these deserving partners extend their support beyond financial means by actively engaging in communication efforts and rallying supporters to advocate for crucial conservation legislation at both local and federal levels.

First Lite, 2015
Kimber, 2016
Seek Outside, 2017
Rep Your Water, 2018
Filson, 2019
goHunt, 2020
Vortex Optics, 2021
Traeger, 2022
G&H Decoys, 2023
Walton's, 2024

The George Bird Grinnell Award 

Presented to the outstanding BHA chapter of the year, noted for their hard work, innovation, and successful initiatives. The chapter receiving this award has made an undeniable difference on behalf of public lands, waters, and wildlife, and has displayed outstanding effort in the areas of state policy, stewardship projects, membership growth, events, fundraising, and/or communications. The chapter adheres to organizational standards and guidelines and exhibits a collaborative ‘One BHA’ spirit. It is comprised of exceptional volunteers who consistently exceed expectations. 

Colorado Chapter, 2015
Montana Chapter, 2016
Wyoming Chapter, 2017
Minnesota Chapter, 2018
Michigan Chapter, 2019
Pennsylvania Chapter, 2020
New England Chapter, 2021
Arkansas Chapter, 2022
Texas Chapter, 2023
Washington Chapter, 2024

The Mike Beagle-Chairman’s Award

Given to the individual who has shown remarkable dedication to BHA's mission. The person receiving this award has exemplified extraordinary commitment and passion in advancing conservation efforts on behalf of BHA. Their tireless work spans various projects, from spearheading state-level policy initiatives to bolstering BHA's federal endeavors. Whether stopping detrimental legislation or championing new laws to promote conservation, they have consistently demonstrated a steadfast alignment with BHA's mission as the voice for public lands, waters, and wildlife. Their unwavering commitment not only amplifies BHA’s collective voice in the conservation arena, but also inspires others to join in our noble cause.

Barry Whitehill, 2012
David Peterson, 2013
Oscar Simpson, 2014
Mark Richards, 2016
Holly Endersby, 2017
Ben Long, 2018
David Lien, 2019
Erik Jensen, 2020
John Sullivan, 2021
Joel Webster, 2022
Buzz Hettick, 2023
James Brandenburg, 2024