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Aught6Fan
03-17-2013, 10:49 AM
Just curious, but if your job and other obligations were such that you could live anywhere in the lower 48, with regard to hunting opportunities, which state would it be and why?

I've pondered this question many times, but haven't had enough experiences in other states to say.

CrimsonArrow
03-17-2013, 10:55 AM
Colorado. Good OTC tags for lots of archery hunting, plus close proximity to other great hunting states. I've heard the fishing is good, too.

Caseyu
03-17-2013, 11:00 AM
If money was no issue or work i would live in ruby valley at the base of the ruby mountains. Favorite place in the world but i am a little too social to live that far from friends and family. So some property up there will do for now ;)

Drhorsepower
03-17-2013, 11:20 AM
Colorado. Good OTC tags for lots of archery hunting, plus close proximity to other great hunting states. I've heard the fishing is good, too.

What he said.

Grantbvfd
03-17-2013, 11:22 AM
McLeod MT. My favorite place!

BKC
03-17-2013, 12:25 PM
My parents moved me to Colorado when I was 5, they were both from the east coast, so I could have been much worse off. Colorado has it all even if you don't hunt. I love this state, but so do a lot of liberals and they are screwing it up! It is also an expensive place to live. When I retire, I may have to move to get away from the left and not spend my money faster than I want to. That being said, I have always liked Dayton, WY. Not as windy as the rest of the state and it is at the foot of the bighorns and minutes from Sheridan and a good Hospital and 2 hours from Billings and enough of a big city feel for me.

Rodzilla
03-17-2013, 12:29 PM
I think Utah or CO, California is not a bad place to live, but super expensive, and the hunting in my mind great for small game and waterfowl, but marginal for Big game. That is why after October my mind switches to Waterfowl. Its all Big Game from Aug to Oct. Allot of liberals here in CA too, that is why there is so many Mountain Lions in this state = Bad!

Colorado Cowboy
03-17-2013, 02:25 PM
I was born & raised in California, am actually a 4th generation Californio. But things really got out of hand in the 70's...too many people! My wife and I both knew we wanted out when I retired. Spent 20 years looking in all the western states for our retirement home. Came down to Stevensville, Mt where my Grandfather was born, Lander, Wyoming and here where we live in SW Colorado. The way the politics have gone in the last couple of years, almost wished we would have picked Lander. If I had it to do over, probably would.

We never considered anywhere east of the Rockies. Still love it here, but too much Denver politics are being felt here.

ivorytip
03-17-2013, 02:33 PM
idaho!!!:) i used to live in hamilton montana and ill return there to reside one of these day. so pretty those bitterroots are.

Umpqua Hunter
03-17-2013, 04:13 PM
I've thought about this a number of times. For the lower 48 these are my two best ideas so far:

Wyoming: From a tag standpoint, Wyoming would be hard to beat. You can antelope hunt nearly every year. Elk tags in good units are relatively easy to draw as a resident and if you don't draw you can hunt the general season. The same thing for deer, and a couple of the general regions are pretty descent deer hunting letting you hunt every year. You could trophy hunt those tags then get some antlerless tags to fill the freezer. If a guy can afford some land, I believe landowner tags are available. I understand Wyoming has no personal and no corporate income tax.

Arizona: From a location standpoint I think Northern Arizona around Flagstaff would be hard to beat. You can hit a lot of great hunting country in a one day drive (SW Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, Western Colorado). Very good late rifle elk hunts or good archery elk hunts can be drawn every 4-5 years. OTC archery deer is available. Good landowner tags are available in NM and CO. For fishing, Lake Powell is only a couple hours away and is amazing for stripers, bass and crappie. A guy could keep his freezer chock full of fish. In the winter, the desert is only a couple hours south.

Now if all 50 states could be considered, and you were flexible, I think residency in Alaska, living there in the summer and fall then heading south for the winter would be hard to beat. Salmon and halibut fish in the summer. In the fall hunt sheep, moose, grizzly, black bear, goat, Sitka deer...etc...without a guide or outfitter. Alaska I understand has no personal income tax, no sales tax, and an annual dividend kickback to residents.

Fink
03-17-2013, 05:54 PM
For fishing, Lake Powell is only a couple hours away and is amazing for stripers.

For a second there, I thought you were talking about strippers..

WY would be really hard to beat. Pretty good OTC elk and deer hunting, Great hunting in limited quota units, tons of public land, small population, and cities large enough that you don't have to be in BFE if you don't want to be.
CO would be pretty good. Good OTC elk hunting, easy enough to draw deer hunting. Denver is there, for when you have to actually work for a living...
I'd say Montana, but there are too many grizzlies up there, and I'm skeered of grizzlies.

packmule
03-17-2013, 06:29 PM
Hard to beat Texas for hunting opportunity. MLD seasons for deer, year-round hunting of some kind. Only thing it's lacking is mountains. Not a ton of public land in most areas, but leases are reasonable.

xtreme
03-17-2013, 07:25 PM
Not sure about Alaska, but I should be leaving Colorado this year, as soon as my house sells. My house is located in the best snowmobiling area in the world and I can walk from my house to hunt deer, elk, bear, and antelope, still I can't stand the politics and the liberals. Wyoming and Lander would be on my radar screen. Getting too old for the snowmobiles anyway

eye in sky
03-17-2013, 08:03 PM
Montana would be my first choice, but due to the fact there are not many opurtunities there for my career field, I will be moving to Colorado this summer. I cannot wait!

jjenness
03-17-2013, 08:25 PM
Well I have lived most of my life in MT, but have also tried out NM and CO for a while. Now that I am in not only the state that I wanted to be in, but the very city that my wife and I said we wanted to live in, I can point out some of MT's issues. First, there is entirely to much big blue sky, the streams and rivers have to many fish, the water is too clean, the elk bugling in Sept. and Oct. force me to take to much time off work every year, the deer eat my garden every summer, and we also have more cows than people in this state. Things that I wouldn't wish on anyone, so I hope this helps deter's you from following my mistakes. ;)

trkytrack2
03-17-2013, 09:11 PM
Somewhere around Buffalo, Wyoming area. I've lived in Cheyenne twice, Casper once and both Colorado and Nebraska. I prefer Wyoming. Stuck in eastern Colorado for now and hate it. Colorado is a great place to hunt but it has gotten so crowded and screwed up by the liberals it's soon to follow California in every aspect. You hear all the time how hunters are declining but if you go big game hunting in Colorado, you know that is bull crap.
The hunting in Wyoming is great for a resident. Tags are fairly cheap; drawing tags are fairly easy and if you don't draw a tag, you can hunt the general seasons. Tons of public land and a resident can still get access to private fairly easy. What's not to like?

shootbrownelk
03-18-2013, 07:10 AM
I've thought about this a number of times. For the lower 48 these are my two best ideas so far:

Wyoming: From a tag standpoint, Wyoming would be hard to beat. You can antelope hunt nearly every year. Elk tags in good units are relatively easy to draw as a resident and if you don't draw you can hunt the general season. The same thing for deer, and a couple of the general regions are pretty descent deer hunting letting you hunt every year. You could trophy hunt those tags then get some antlerless tags to fill the freezer. If a guy can afford some land, I believe landowner tags are available. I understand Wyoming has no personal and no corporate income tax.

Arizona: From a location standpoint I think Northern Arizona around Flagstaff would be hard to beat. You can hit a lot of great hunting country in a one day drive (SW Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, Western Colorado). Very good late rifle elk hunts or good archery elk hunts can be drawn every 4-5 years. OTC archery deer is available. Good landowner tags are available in NM and CO. For fishing, Lake Powell is only a couple hours away and is amazing for stripers, bass and crappie. A guy could keep his freezer chock full of fish. In the winter, the desert is only a couple hours south.

Now if all 50 states could be considered, and you were flexible, I think residency in Alaska, living there in the summer and fall then heading south for the winter would be hard to beat. Salmon and halibut fish in the summer. In the fall hunt sheep, moose, grizzly, black bear, goat, Sitka deer...etc...without a guide or outfitter. Alaska I understand has no personal income tax, no sales tax, and an annual dividend kickback to residents.

Umpqua hunter, there are no landowner tags in Wyoming, and good Elk units are hard to draw for residents, actually a non-resident with max points has a much better chance to draw "hard to draw" blue chip units for elk and deer than residents do. IMO.

Drelk
03-18-2013, 08:36 AM
Wyoming has landowner tags. They r not transferable. But we have them

Umpqua Hunter
03-18-2013, 10:40 AM
Umpqua hunter, there are no landowner tags in Wyoming, and good Elk units are hard to draw for residents, actually a non-resident with max points has a much better chance to draw "hard to draw" blue chip units for elk and deer than residents do. IMO.

My understanding is Wyoming does have landowner tags. A buddy of mine has property in the SE corner and has killed several 350+ bulls on those tags. After studying the draw odds the last 20 years in Wyoming I have seen residents can draw some excellent elk tags every 3-5 years (of course not the most popular in the state like 31, 58, 100, 113..etc.). That opportunity at limited entry tags in quality units is rare in most states.

Kevin Root
03-18-2013, 11:08 AM
I've thought of this many times on where and if the grass was greener on the other side of the mountain. I see this question brought up often, not just on hunting forums but in general conversations. From my observation it's not state specific when it is asked. What matters most and is most important to one person, may not matter as much to another. Family, friends, community, beliefs, healthcare, education, activities, jobs, politics, weather, safety, and the locations that make up our different ecosystems are just some of the things that make up our level of comfort and make up where we call our home.

I think each state has it's own beauty, wonders and adventures, along with some downfalls should one want to search hard enough to find and dwell on them. It's good to be informed, find wisdom, strive and fight for our freedoms, safety and our values. It's also good to be in a place where we feel we belong.

It's also good to desire joy and happiness in our lives but I don't think that necessarily comes from just being in a particular place. It's a bit more complex or perhaps more simple of a solution depending on how a person resolves or reacts to where they're living, their circumstances and where they choose to live.

Eberle
03-18-2013, 01:37 PM
Wyoming! Alaska would be a close second.

jenbickel
03-18-2013, 05:13 PM
Wyoming! Alaska would be a close second.

Well big brother why don't you move to Wyoming! Then you could hunt with me!

Eberle
03-19-2013, 07:57 AM
Well big brother why don't you move to Wyoming! Then you could hunt with me!

Well Sis, I'm waiting on the lottery to come through! I'm going to buy the Medicine Bow River Ranch & relocate all of our family! You are going to be in charge of hunting & fishing. I'll handle the cattle, no scratch that I'll hire some one to do that. I'll tag along with you & be your camera man.

spark
03-19-2013, 11:52 AM
Since I've been in all of the lower 48 at one time or another that is a hard choice. It would certainly be west of the Mississippi. The PA game commission has decimated the whitetails here. I'm thinking I could learn to handle cattle and shack up at that Medicine Bow Ranch until the owners get tired of me and then move on to southern Colordo around Ouray. Hunting opportunies are waaaaay better than what's in PA.

packmule
03-19-2013, 12:01 PM
I wouldn't mind a nice ranch just on the ID side of the Tetons.

HuskyMusky
03-19-2013, 12:30 PM
I'm not sure I believe 1 place has it all, so I'd either need a few places, or to move periodically.

I'm pretty sure I'll either end up in IL or CO. Other states are great/have their perks, but to live in forever.

Eberle
03-19-2013, 01:40 PM
Since I've been in all of the lower 48 at one time or another that is a hard choice. It would certainly be west of the Mississippi. The PA game commission has decimated the whitetails here. I'm thinking I could learn to handle cattle and shack up at that Medicine Bow Ranch until the owners get tired of me and then move on to southern Colordo around Ouray. Hunting opportunies are waaaaay better than what's in PA.

If you don't mind being a ranch hand we can take you in. Maybe you could be over wildlife sensus? I just hope your not a competitive sportsmen. These days my #1 little Sister is awful hard to beat! LOL (Aint that right Jen!)

spark
03-19-2013, 02:22 PM
If you don't mind being a ranch hand we can take you in. Maybe you could be over wildlife sensus? I just hope your not a competitive sportsmen. These days my #1 little Sister is awful hard to beat! LOL (Aint that right Jen!)

I am flatered by the offer but I must confess my counting skills are limited by the number of digits on my hands. ;)0

shootbrownelk
03-19-2013, 04:24 PM
Wyoming has landowner tags. They r not transferable. But we have them

Correct you are, my mistake. We do have landowner tags, but there are conditions such as animal use days. And as Drelk stated, they are not for sale or transfer. You have to have a pretty good chunk of ground to qualify.

Fink
03-19-2013, 09:41 PM
Wyoming! Alaska would be a close second.

So, eberle... Oklahoma doesn't make your top two?!? I just landed in Tulsa a few hours ago, felt like I arrived in the 7th circle of hell, several fires in the distance, Arkansas river was non existent... When was the last time it rained here!?

Eberle
03-20-2013, 06:14 AM
So, eberle... Oklahoma doesn't make your top two?!? I just landed in Tulsa a few hours ago, felt like I arrived in the 7th circle of hell, several fires in the distance, Arkansas river was non existent... When was the last time it rained here!?

2007 was the last year we had above average rainfall. 2011 was the worst drought in the history of OK. If we don't get some rain this year it will be the 5th consecutive year in the drought. We have reduced our cattle herd by 40% over the last four years. I'm tired of the hay shortage & low to dry ponds! So no, Oklahoma does not make my top two. Wyoming is a redneck state similiar to OK. Heck it's name speaks for itself "The Cowboy State". Plus it was the home to my hero & greatest cowboy to ever live Chris Ledoux!

BOHNTR
03-20-2013, 06:32 AM
Four more years and I'll be retired in Buffalo, WY for good.........and I'll put a new meaning to the therm, "Gone Hunting".

meathunter
03-20-2013, 10:09 PM
Having lived in MT, AZ, WY, NV and now ID, I probably would go with Montana, although Idaho is a great place with all the public land, especially being close to the Tetons, the Park and WY. Every place has had its' goods and bads. I can hunt bears otc in a couple of weeks, steelheading this weekend, otc elk & deer every year. Variety and checking out new places is my thing, but Idaho will be my home for next 5 to 10 yrs.