Contributors to this thread:
Best state to live, hunt, and fish?
I have been blessed with the ability to live anywhere in the Western U.S. and work for the State of California. I am currently living in Lake Havasu City, Az. and have become thoroughly frustrated with my inability to draw a tag in my home state. I would like to move somewhere I can enjoy my two passions.....Fly Fishing and Hunting!
Anyone have an opinion as to the best state for this and why? Taking into account cost of living, real estate, population, weather.....etc.
I can hear it know......If we told you how good it was it won't be good for long. Thought I would try anyway though.
Alaska. Black bear in Spring, Salmon and big rainbows in the summer, Caribou, moose, black bear, brown bear, sheep and goats in the fall.....Grouse, geese, ducks. Great mountains to hike and run in, and awesome cross country skiing and back country skiing in the winters.
HC, Head for the Big Sky!!! Start a new life here! Leave the big city problems, for good hunting I would look around Butte Mt. Elk, Deer, Antilope, every thing and great fishing. Good folks in that area of the state. Firefly2
Try Alberta Canada! I take it you are a firefighter and I know the cities in Alberta are hiring. As far as a combination of fly fishing and hunting as well as job opportunities you can't beat it.
It's hard to beat Colorado! OTC hunting for elk and some pretty good trout fly fishing on a number of famous rivers. PM me for more!
If you can make a living, central Montana is a great place to live. property values are still low in the rural areas, and toward the population centers they are still reasonable, but starting to climb.
Montana residents enjoy OTC elk and deer, with a 6 week archery season, a 5 week general season for those. Antelope is very easy to draw or archery only 900 series tags are a guaranteed draw. Lots of upland birds and waterfowl, Moose Sheep and Goat are tough to draw, but your odds are much better as a resident. Fishing is tremendous here, some of the best flyfishing in the world!
Great Falls or Lewistown would be a couple of areas to look into...
If you can handle the winters, I'd say Montana. Otherwise, would look into CO, or northern NM. Gotta look at what's within a reasonable drive too - Northern NM has AZ, TX, CO, & OK within reasonable distance. CO (thinking Denver - winters aren't bad here) has NM, KS, UT, NEB, & Wy pretty close, which all adds up to alot of opportunity if you're willing do go out of state.
All depends on what is really your passion.
Thanks for the input all. I almost made the move to West Yellowstone, Mt. but got scared. Don't get me wrong, cold weather and snow don't bother me but the tourist traffic and isolation kinda made me nervous. Is a Montana winter as bad as everyone makes it out to be or are they just a bunch of wimps? This 126 degree weather where I'm at now is for the birds. Wait, it's so hot not even the birds wanna live here.
Montana or Alaska for sure.
Not trying to steal this thread, but I've been wanting to buy some land out west. Build on it as I get time and money, and move out there once my career winds down or I just get fed up with life in the east.
What part of Montana would be the best to look for land? I don't care to be within driving distance of any shopping malls and am on a limited budget. Anyone have a suggestion?
I've done some looking on line, but all i've found is these mini ranch development deals (10-12 35 acre lots). I don't think that the prices associated with them are reasonable, but then again I don't live in Montana...
What about Alaska? It used to be that you could buy land for a dollar and acre. Now the state sells it for "fair market value". Does anyone know any deals for land in Alaska in an area where you could do some hunting?
Are there other hidden gems, relative to cheap land?
Thanks in advance,
Flyfishing and bowhunting.......Wyoming is your ticket. It's the least populated state in the US while being one of the largest. Not many people, cheap to live, and trophy critters abound. Heck, there's more antelope in the state than people.
How about California, you could fly fish for surf perch and bowhunt stray cats.
Where in Northern Ca. is it cheap? I know the fishing is top notch but if drawing a tag is anything like the California Department of Motor Vehicles I can't see it being a great hunting state. I did a little time in the Reno, Nv. / Tahoe, Ca. Not affordable for anyone but lottery winners. Am I wrong or just uninformed?
Dont forget that Redding gets up around 110 and stays there for a chunk of the summer. At least that is the experience our crews have had working there.
FROM WHAT I'VE READ HERE I'M ABOUT READY TO MOVE TO ALASKA. I CAN'T STAND HEAT, I LOVE THE FALL AND WINTER. EXCEPT WHEN IT RAINS WHILE I'M HUNTING. IT DOESN'T USUALLY GET TO HOT HERE BUT 30 DEGREES AND UP IS TOO MUCH.
I live in Alabama, but would love to have a place in Wy. where my wife and I could live about 6 months out of the year. My pockets are not quiet that deep. Dreaming! DD
go to alaska thr true last frontier.
Well, if you pick your spots and stay north of I-80, Wyoming is the place. We have the smallest population in the country, phenomenal hunting and fishing (many world famous blue ribbon streams)and a high number of the largest elk, antelope and mule deer in the record books. The economy is booming (the only state with a surplus each of the past 5 years), the schools consitently outperform most states in the country and the crime levels are extremely low. This state is also the most tax friendly in the country. Do your research and you'll appreciate the move. I'd look into places like Lander, Riverton, Pinedale, Cody, Buffalo and of course my hometown, Sheridan as top choices. Those towns have it all: mountains, streams, hunting, booming economy, a lack of isolation (unlike West Yellowstone) little to no wind and the friendly hometown atmosphere of most Wyoming people. Now, I'd better shut up before my fellow Wyomingites get upset at me for letting the cat out of the bag.
I'll stick with Iowa. I don't need a pilot's lisence to access hunting property, and I'm only a whitetail hunter so I'm not concerned with shooting everything with a hoof, teeth, and fur.... Not enough time in the day to become an expert on 15 varieties of game!
If I were looking to start a new life I'd go to Canada no doubt. get duel citizenship and you would have it made all the moose hunting you want and big Whitetails, wow the bowzone is right out the door. Calgary, Edmonton, thousand of square Kilometers of bow only, and it don't get 126 degree either.
Go west young man, haven't you been told Montana's full of women, whiskey and gold. I live in Butte Mt, VERY RESONABLE living, close to it all outdoors. Chamber of Comm. Number 406-723-3177, see for yourself Firefly2
What about HI? Other than the cost of living, distance, etc. You guys don't even want to talk about winter do you? Outdoor lifestyle is what the Islands are all about.
Fly fishing??? Why? We use 20lb fish for bait. (no joke, seriously) Why not fight something that will burn your legs on the reel? My biggest fish is bigger than my biggest elk, 738lb blue marlin, about an hour and 20 min.
Or ask Stump-EE, a 200 lb Ahi (yellowfin tuna) is pound for pound the toughest fish that swims.
You can even jump in the water and do a little "bowhunting" with a sharp stick and rubber bands.
Seasons??? License??? None of the above. 24/7, 365.
We do lack some on the Big Game front. But we do have deer, sheep, pigs and goats. And again, seasons??? Bag limits??? (You do need a license though.)
Oh well, I do see your point. I do try to make it to the mainland at least once a year to hunt North American Big Game, I've done Mule deer, Blacktail, Elk, and Black Bear so far, many more to come I hope. If I can just make a little more money I see 2 or 3 trips a year in the future. Good goal yeah?
Good luck to you wherever you land! A good life is where you live it!
The state of intoxication?
I will drink to that Straight Arrow!
Missoula MT...five month bow season, some of the best dry fly fishng in the state and you can fish almost year round been living here for 4 yrs and wouldnt move anywhere else in the country
I moved to Alaska for one reason.......the outdoor experiece (hunting). I truely love Alaska and plan on raising my kids here but theres a few things I've learned as well. The hunting (good hunting) is not cheap and requires a good amount of time. Fly outs and 2 week vactions add up in a year. Also, the winters are long. Cabin fever hits me pretty bad around Feb. knowing that spring bear is still, at least, 2 months away. If you are mobile it is worth a try. Alaska is not for everyone but if you can give it a shot you might find that it is "your" kind of place. That being said if I had to move tomorrow it would be to Montana.
Montana theres no better place to live no sales taxes and 8 diffrent types of Big Game to Hunt. and long seasons you can get up to 7 extra Deer Tags and 3 Antelope tags.
Massachussetts for sure! I'm ducking the tomatoes now! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! A state where the old flintlock/muzzleloader on the state house wall actually has a gun/trigger lock on it! I'd love to be in some of the states I hear you guys talking about all the time! Not that we don't have big bucks here, but I don't actually have the luxury to get to pass up 6-8 pointers thinking a nicer one will come by w/in the next few hours. Elk??..Antelope..?? I see pictures of them! LOL! If I had my choice and could purchase a good chunk of property...it would probably be Montana/Colorado/Kansas/Missouri or Illinois?? Awww..man..now I'm in a "state" of confusion/depression!
whitetail i hear ya....lol! we have those trophy spike horns that you have to hunt for 2 weeks straight to get a crack at here in masss! not to mention our costs of liveing are so cheap..........!!! ya,........ lol!
How about Idaho? I think that is a well kept secret.
I was born and spent most of my life in Wisconsin chasing our legendary deer herd.
That being said, I'd move to Montana in a second if I had the chance.
gotta agree with manitoba can't beat western canada monster white tail and mulies and great fishing.Try the transfer program for a year a few of my buddies did and loved it.
Boy I hate to do this, but Nebraska has it all. Trout, Elk, world class Whitetails,and Mules. Turkeys. Mountains, plains, forrests. Few people get off I-80, so they don't see anything but flat. And corn. Which is O.K. by me,I'd hate to see paradise overrun. There you go the secret is out. Did I mention the summers are very hot and humid, and the winters are brutal? There's nothing to do here ( except hunt and fish ) It's so sparsely populated that you have to travel to see people
Hey fellow Montanans, didn't we agree to accentuate the negative? Bitter cold, impossible winter travel, poor economy, miserable school system, a Californian behind every latte' machine.... I hear Nebraska is nice. ;^)
So DJ when are you leaving? Mabe you should Move to Ca. to replace all the people that moved here. Lots of Hunting a nice winters And After your there a while you will be Bilingual. (BYE)
No thanks, Dan. I'll stick around to fill the void vacated by your sense of humor. ;^)
SW Missouri is where I hang my hat. If we could get all the Californians moving in to move back to California it would be an even better place. I love NW Nebraska and how could you not like a state like Montana with all those witty westerners in it.
Not Montana, it sucks here. You would hate it. Go to Colorado.
South Florida is the Best...............hot summers, hot winters, Racoons are plentiful, with a State population of almost 20 million, and some of the highest property taxes in the country what more could you want!
Well I brought this up because we have the same question with some exceptions. We can't have months of cloud cover (seasonal depression) and we want the fishing to be as good as the hunting. Also looking for a state with good amount of public land that is abundant with deer.
We live in northeast Ohio and I have had it with this place. All I ever wanted was to be able to hunt and fish and this place is the pits for these two things.
If I lived in a sunny place with 30+ deer per mile I would be loving that :)
I gave Argentina some serious thought, because Obama is ruining this country. chose wisely
R-man you may be on to something with that thinking ;)
HC, not sure what you are applying for in AZ but, it can be relatively easy to draw tags here, depending on how picky you are.
Just think of all of the NRs that would love to trade you places.
If you decide to leave, don't forget to buy your lifetime license, it will save you when you become a NR.
NY is the place high taxes, high home prices even high fuel cost why not NY !!!
It all depends on whether you like hiking, and expedition style hunts, or sitting in a tree stand. I live in BC, and it offers pretty well the best hunting in NA IMHO.
Don't go to Alabama, you might run into TBM. Always thought I would like to live in Wyo. , sure do like to visit and hunt there.
Not Montana...our whietails are about gone,muledeer numbers have crashed, prairie goats gone, and what elk we have left are running from the wolves.....
Definitely not Wyoming. Remember, nonres requires adult supervision to hunt wilderness areas! Judging from the posts on a recent thread, they're the only places that have anything to hunt anyway.
Whitetail, trigger locks? Classic!
CT has to be at the bottom of the list however I will admit that we're getting some good deer hunting here lately.
What do you want to hunt? For example, if pigs are high on the list, Montana is out. Wyoming is good if you can deal with the wind (along the I-80 area), can float rivers (you can't stand in the water on somebody's private "land", and can figure out boundaries of property without fences, signs, etc. Alaska and Canada get dark and cold and stay that way for a long time, but they have very good hunting and fishing (by the way, has Canada pulled its firearms head out its ass?). The liberal OTC States (Oregon, Idaho, Montana) tend to have tougher public land hunting, for generally smaller animals. Really good fishing, although it's amazing how many people are flyfishing any decent-sized river in Montana these days. Colorado has big mulies and an elk herd that is twice the size of the next largest State. Don't know about real estate prices and you do hear about lots of hunters afield. Nevada is like AZ - huge critters but good luck drawing. Utah has good hunting and fishing. New Mexico has good hunting - might be a tad dry for top fishing in many areas. And CA, well the latest stupid thing they did was ban lead hunting ammo statewide. The downhill trend continues there. Wish I knew more about the midwest and south, because there are areas with really good fishing (maybe not fly for trout tho) and they have pigs. Public land hunting appears to be limited.
Lots of people (myself included) dream of moving to good hunting and fishing areas. Hope you realize yours.
Montana or Wyoming have my vote. Just like Colorado without the liberals.
Georgia would be hard to beat. Mountains in the North, the Atlantic to the East, hogs,deer, bear and pretty fair fishing for just about anything you like to catch.
Moloka could also hold my attention for the fishing, hogs, fallow deer and goats if I could get to BC for my Septembers.
Everyone thinks paradise is somewhere else. Because what we all want is mostly gone. Quality hunting is a product of under utilization. Very few wildlife agencies or legislatures are going to allow that to happen. Quality is in a crash decline everywhere in the outdoor world. My vote is Iowa, but it tends to lean a bit liberal/socialist.
R. Hale, you're such an optimist!
I'd live in Wyoming, BC, or New Mexico if I was single. My family keeps my family here.
If your a liberal then Colorado is for you. All the piss ants from California have made the front range their home and brought all their yuppie shit with them. They destroyed California now their working on Colorado. Wyoming is the place you want to be. Tons of public land, elk, deer, pronghorns, moose, sheep, goat, bear, lions and now the feds have released lots of wolves to shoot. Resident tags are pretty cheep too. Serious 1st. class fishing....everything from trout, walleye, crappies, catfish to bass. Tons of waters and streams to fish. Low cost of living. Winters aren't too bad depending on where you live. Real estate is reasonable. And no state income taxes. Oh, and there's no reason to hunt out of state.
As a Minnesotan, I'd have to say that Montana winters are quite tropical in relation to ours.
I've lived out west(Co.) and I have to say, fishing out there really sucks when you are from MN. Out west they measure fish by the inch, here we measure by the pound.
I would not suggest MN as a place to move, but the Dakotas would be my choice. Perhaps the best fishing in the country, and plenty of deer, pheasants, and waterfowl to hunt.
Tell me what Alberta doesn't have. Tell me what doesn't grow the biggest in Alberta. Then tell me where you can make more money than Alberta. Then consider the small population.
Ya, I know where I'd go
New Jersey for me. You can hunt while checking the mail. HUNT
Alaska if cold winters don't bother you. The daylight difference is blown way out of proportion, especially for the southern end of the state.
I'm going. I may end up down in Montana eventually, but for atleast 3-5 years I'll be Alaskabound.
I will say Oregon or Washington.
Tons of elk Tons of salmon Mule deer whitetail and black tail Turkey's like crazy some pheasant
West side black bear out the butt. Plus your right near all the other good ones. Oh Oregon has some pigs.
When one season ends the other starts. Plus
Don't come to Ohio. The state has cut the deer herd in half if not more. I used to see 15-20 deer per day 10 years ago now I can sit 3-4 times and not even see a deer. The ODNR caved in to the farm bureaus and insurance companies. I'm a nurse and have thought about leaving myself. I love Wyoming!!
Wyoming is horrible. Hardly any people, way too many antelope for my likes. The views suck....no sky scrapers. Some towns have fly fishing problems and it causes people to drink. People even wave at you with all of their fingers not just the middle one. But the killer is that they simply won't take my tax dollars. The darn wilderness areas are reserved for the locals also.
I'd avoid Wyoming at all costs.
Grew up in WI and spent a lot of time in the UP, loved it but wanted more... Likely won't move back.
KS was the best place on earth, at the time... Still miss it and the people and hope to go back someday.
Idaho... Was awesome, loved every single day... Things to hunt or fish 365 days a year. I will miss the place a lot.
Montana, took several vacations there with Hunt Man... Pretty well convinced I will retire there...
Alaska... Just got here. Been a dream forever, like most hunters. I will experience it, all of it that I possibly can and it's going to be great.
BC, would be the ideal place to retire, just across from Montana!
"Tell me what doesn't grow the biggest in Alberta."
Any place but U.P. Michigan...Im not kidding !!!!
Oregon for sure. Now we don't have as many elk as colorado, or as big of deer. But if you put in your time you can kill every single year. If you want to do some real fly fishing then come to oregon and hook into one steelhead. You will never look at trout fishing the same.
As Brotsky points out, we're all a bunch of liberals here in Colorado...go to WYO!! ;-)
British Columbia, but that ain't a state so nevermind.
Anybody know if you have to renounce your US citizenship and become a Canadian if you relocate to Canada? Or can you have duel citizenship?
I'm trying to figure that out too....................WYO or MT???!!!. Some parts of Canada look nice, but I won;t even consider it.................until they let me bring my pistols! ;-)
I still love Kansas, Mule deer, White tail, Antelope, Elk, Turkey, Pheasant, Quail, Ducks, Geese, and plenty of species of fish to keep you busy. However, I also love my sisters place on the Yellowstone outside Columbus, MT
Okay I havent seen anything about this state yet, but here goes...Oklahoma is centrally located to everything there is to do in my world....First of all we have Kansas sized whitetails in the NW corner of the state and the rest of the state is overun with whitetails in general and lots of nice ones....not to mention the tags are over the counter and you can kill up to six whitetails. Next we have over the counter antelope hunting in the west end of the panhandle and bear hunting in the eastern half of the state. You have all the quail, duck and turkey hunting you can stand.We have three areas of draw hunts for elk; however, we are just hours away from elk hunting the mountains in New Mexico (where I hunt) and Colorado not to mention snow skiing in the winter. If you are into water, the eastern half of the state state is "red neck yacht club" on steroids with 8 or 9 giant lakes and numerous rivers...There is hardly no where else you can buy a lakefront home on a sandy beach for as low as $100k. NW Arkansas is next door and is home to really killer brown trout fishing and we also sport some good trout fishing in the SE corner of our state. The cost of living here and buying property and the cost of nice homes here is cheaper than any of the states Ive seen on here because Ive priced them. Anyway Oklahoma has all the hunting and fishing you can stand and recreational stuff you can do.....the other good part is we are very conservative and dont have a ton of stupid over regulation.....dang that sounded like a commercial...lol
Been to every western state either hunting or flyfishing. If I were to move from NC tomorrow, there is no doubt about it. Boise, Idaho. Has everything a sportsman could want within a 4 hour drive. Medium size city amenities. 1.5 hours in either direction puts you on some INCREDIBLE dry fly fishing. Hunt mulies, elk, whitetail, antelope, bear, chuckar, dove, turkey, whatever.. More miles of fishable river within 3 hours than you could fish in a lifetime.
Wyoming. Not Jackson, but most everywhere else.
Pinedale's the best!
You can't really retire from US and live in Canada can you?
When I was out of college, I fished for trout all over the west........ That was a long time ago..... Now adays, no thanks.......
I give an escrow check tomorrow morning, on my accepted offer, a a piece of paradise, with home in the UP........
If I had to explain it, you would not understand....
The UP is the center of the universe
Southern Michigan. We have close to a million hunters. You might be able to find 10 acres for yourself. No bucks over 2 and a half. Great hunting.
Sorry man but you either have really bad luck, unrealistic expectations, or no patience. Since 2006 I've drawn 4 elk tags here in AZ. Two cow tags, two bull tags. I've also drawn desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope twice in that timeframe. I've hunted deer and javelina every year on OTC or leftover tags. There are lots of opportunities for those willing to hunt with a bow and arrow.
I know what you mean about the fishing, but come on Lake Havasu is becoming an excellent smallmouth fishery and has been a great largemouth fishery forever. Plus huge stripers and flatheads up and down river. Lee's Ferry is pretty good for trout, no? Only a short drive to the coast for ocean varieties.
You must be looking for the Holy Grail. Maybe try Alaska. I hear you can hunt sheep, moose, caribou, and bears every year. Good luck in your search!
Since he posted this in 2006, I wonder where he is today?
Hey, You Canucks that are chiming in. He did say anywhere in the Western US which means the UNITED STATES! Sorry, just a little patriotic to the ole US of A! I'd choose Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, or Idaho in that order. That's provided you think the opposite, politically speaking, of most Californians. Notice I did not recommend my home state of Colorado but someday I hope I can again. Best of luck to you!
Alabama ain't bad in places. We got some great fishing and lots of deer and hogs. Probably one of the best places in the world to call in bobcats and pretty good yote and fox hunting too. Turkey hunting is something you have to seek because they ain't everywhere anymore. Liberal bag limits. Its just not easy here but that makes it easier in other places.
I've never been to AK .... but other than the obvious issues with traveling everywhere to do it all .... can any place compare ?
Arkansas has black bear, whitetails, turkeys, hogs, small game abounds, excellent fishing of every kind, 5 1/2 months of archery season, tens of thousands of acres of public lands, public rivers/lakes ....
it aint a bad place
Its pretty hard to beat the hunting and fishing opportunities in a lot of the eastern states PA and Virginia being two that come to mind. I can hunt deer in MD from 5 SEP till the end of Jan with lots of tags and travel out west anytime I want to do an elk or antelope hunt.
Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado....hands down.
Hawaii has THE MOST hunting and fishing opportunities by far of any state, but its expensive as hell, and there are no Elk. But you can hunt all game mammals 365 days per year with no bag limits on private lands and limits of at least 1 animal per hunter per day on public lands. There are Hogs, Mouflon Sheep, Feral Sheep, Spanish Goats, Blacktail deer, Axis Deer, most game birds except Geese and amazing deep sea fishing.
def not nebraska. alaska would be #1 (if you could get your wife to live there) #2 wyoming, #3 montana
I moved from Colorado to BC four years ago. Neat to hunt stone sheep, grizzlies, black bears, moose, whitetails and mule deer and have 10 other big game species plus wolves to contemplate hunting someday when you have the time. This fall I"ll add a week long blacktail rut hunt in a good area.
Not necessarily easy bowhunting due to wolf pressure now, but nice to know you can try. And the grouse are coming back so the Vizsla is getting a good workout.
I have lived in Hawaii, WV, VA, LA,AZ, AK, MN, and GA.
Also, I have hunted in AL OH, NC, NM, MT, and WY
Arizona was the best based on the above list
Oregon is the best.....Elk, Blacktail ,Mule Deer,Columbian White Tail,Bear, Turkey,Upland, Goose, Duck, Fly Fishing, Lakes, I live here in central Oregon...As far as Pigs, very few in Oregon, F&G want everyone of them Eradicated.......
It's in Canada but Winnipeg Manitoba, world class fishing and hunting within a couple hours or closer. Relatively cheap housing, booming economy, health care, and four seasons!
My choices are in the western states are #1 Montana. #2 is a close tie between Wyoming and Idaho. Both have great hunting and fishing and depending on the locality real estate prices vary a'lot. Colorado ( where I live ) is a state that has so many game species to hunt and a ton of elk and a reputation of good mule deer in some areas that would be hard to beat. Real estate here is not cheap and from what I have seen it isn't cheap anywhere. Just more or less than another place. Washington might be a place to explore as I looked at home prices on the Olympic peninsula and they where reasonable given where you live and the vast amounts of land to hunt and fish. I would like to learn more about folks that have transitioned to Canada? Wondering about what the resident status would be if you moved there and stayed a US citizen? " Cannot understand why no handguns" ..but it is there land not mine! Bob.
I will never leave Montana. But if I did Wyoming would be the only place I would live.