Contributors to this thread:
Considering trying move out West. Reason I put this in the elk forum is that will be my primary focus for hunting. Work as a remote consultant so my only real requirement is a high speed Internet connection, so I will have to be close to a town. Been to Bozeman a few years back and liked that area. Have not been to WY yet outside of the park yet. Just looking for general input on huntings opps, housing, taxes, cost of living, etc. from those lucky enough to have lived there. Thanks!
No help here, but if I were just 15 years younger, I'd move to Wyoming, like next week !
Western Wyoming is nice. The elk hunting may be better in Montana though...
Probably more options in Montana, but tax environment much better in WY. No income tax. Montanas income and property taxes are high.
I have a couple of hunting partners that had the same itch. they live near Helena. good waterfowl and elk hunting. they like living there a lot. good luck.
WY elk hunting opportunities for a resident are really good. That being said, I am not familiar with what MT has to offer.
Bozeman is a beautiful area, but the housing costs are crazy. I moved from Washington in 1995 to the Bitterroot valley in Montana never looked back and have no regrets other than the introduction of wolves. Already having a job you're halfway there. Visit both then make a decision!
"WY elk hunting opportunities for a resident are really good."
Truer words have never been spoken. I can walk into WalMart, buy a general licence, and have my pick of any general area in the state. Some people seem to think you need to have max PP to have a quality hunt...not true. Do your homework and you can have a great elk hunt every year. The downside is, there isn't a preference point system for residents, so if you want to hunt a limited quota area, it's strictly random draw.
As BullBuster points out, there is no state income tax in Wyoming. Property tax is very reasonable, and you get a tax break if you're a veteran. Our home is worth north of $300,000, and our taxes run around $1850 a year. That said, housing prices are obscene in Cheyenne. As far as the rest of the state, depends on the boom or bust cycle of the energy industry. Cost of living depends on where you reside. I highly suggest you stay away from the Northwest corner of the state (Jackson). That part of the state's populated by millionaire's/billionarie's.
The nice thing about living in Cheyenne is I still get all the perks of being a Wyoming resident, but I'm only 45 mins from Ft. Collins, Co, and an hour and a half from Denver. The University of Wyoming campus is 45 minutes away, so if you enjoy Division 1 sports, that's nice as well.
If it were my decision, Wyoming, hands down. Good hunting there and the money you save in taxes can buy an out of state hunting trip, after you tag out in Wyoming.
Not sure where you are thinking but some spots in Wyoming the nonstop wind will actually drive you insane, (from a former resident who is on recovery).
Man your making a lot of us jealous. My wife would never move there. It would have to be NM or AZ for me. Not near as good as WY opportunities
WY is the easy choice. From a quality hunt perspective, WY does a much better job than MT managing elk, deer, and PH, but this comes at the expense of some opportunity. Nonetheless, it's much easier to draw a good tag in WY all things equivalent for a resident.
i do not know... I would vote for MT... But I do love WY.
To the OP - See attached link, it has lots of good info about places to move to - shows ranking, crime, demographics, home/rent price, etc...
Just enter the state or city
Good luck in your search
For quality hunting......WYO....hands down. Then come up on non res tag and hunt MT when you fill your WYO tags.
Montana does not have a state income tax. Property taxes in Bozeman are a bargain compared to here in KS. Tons of elk hunting opportunities all around Bozeman, I’ve hunted the area the past 6 years. Friendly people, growing community, beautiful mountains all around you, great fishing...8^D I’m moving!!!
If I would have visited Sheridan, WY 25 yrs. ago I would be a resident there now,love the area and the hunting is great and still lose to Montana.
I thought Montana had a state income tax.
Wyoming!! Sheridan, Casper, pinedale, Alpine, rock springs, green river, Afton, big piney..all good places in my opinion.. not sure about high speed internet in some of those. I would be more inclined to live on the Western part to get away from those nasty prairie winds.
Wind? Heck, what most places call hurricane force, we call a slight breeze! ;-)
Wyoming. State tax savings on salary and during retirement. Cheyenne is conveniently located. Runner-up would be Cody though gets a lot of strain on livability from tourist ebb/flow overwhelming things in the summer. Second alternate would be scenic Jackson though never gets a vegetable growing season due to the bowl geography creating frost into early summer then again in late summer.
WY wind is no joke. I couldn't live there just for that. Oh, and the fact that you wouldn't know if there was an apocalypse in most parts of the state. The desolation in many parts of that state is crazy. I am by no means a city person, but the isolation of that state would get to me in a hurry when compounded by the wind.
Been elk hunting to WY 3x the ONLY and I do mean ONLY reason I didn't move to WY after the FIRST hunt was no B.S. my wife flat out refused and it would have ended our marriage. Once I retire in 10-12 years I will basically be living there, as my boys will be out and on their own. Met ALOT of people while in SE/WY and never met a nicer better class of great people anywhere else and I've been in 42 of the lower 48 states.
Montana has a state income tax as I have to pay it every year.
Having lived in Montana for a decade, and loving it, I would recommend Wyoming. If I could make the kind of money in Wyoming that I make here I would do it. I think as a hunter your all around opportunities are probably better, especially when you factor in the wilderness lands that most non-residents don’t get a chance to hunt. I would love to have something like that here in Montana even though I don’t hundred percent agree with it. Antelope hunting is out of this world, and I think the elk hunting is probably better when factoring the non-res pressure Montana gets.
Jingalls, not sure where you got your info, but we do have state income tax here. We don’t have sales tax.
Move to Wyoming, close to the Montana border. You will be living in Wyoming and not pay state income tax, and have low property tax. Jump across the border and shop in Montana and you won't pay sales tax.
Here is a Link to some of the available housing options in Wyoming, mostly the Western Side.
Good luck, Robb
LOL Robb... I think I will buy a couple of those!!
For just pure quality Elk and Mule deer opportunities it's WY all the way, but you leave A LOT of options/opportunities on the table by going there vs. MT. Montana is FAAAAR more diverse with all of it's high quality opportunities for ever single species. You can shoot 5 deer of varying varieties (Some include 2 bucks), there are plenty of elk and opportunities to shoot 2 a year if your greedy or have a family of 15 living under your roof. Not to mention we are superior to WY. in every other category from fishing, to upland birds, to Turkeys, to Sky Carp. Pretty much OTC on every species including Pronghorn, Mountain Tiger, Bear, and even Sheep if your man enough... 2cents
Lots of good input and things to consider so far ... thanx guys. At least we got it narrowed down to 2 states.
Robb, some incredible homes there but not for me. Older I get the more I am downsizing. Even if I hit the lottery, I would not get one of those ... too big of a hassle and no need to impress anyone. A 1500 sq ft cabin with a 2 car garage is all I need. Of course if it came with a few 1000 acres of prime elk country, that would nice, but again no necessary.
Be interesting to see the accounting difference between a no sales tax state (MT) and a no income tax state (WY).
You will pay high property tax in MT. Thats what makes up for the no sales tax.
The hunting.....I think WYO manages for quality while MT manages for opportunity. I live in Bozeman and love it but I'm starting to hunt out of state and after going there this year....wow. The hunting is better hands down. Just not as liberal of season. Live there and hunt both states.
Your requirement for high speed internet should not necessarily require you to live near a larger town. Some semi-rural areas have benefited from programs which provide that. There is always satellite internet, but I don't know if that suits your needs. Of course, the term "large town" is relative here in Montana. You may find some of our large towns which suit you just fine especially living on their fringes, but there are lots of very small communities. Living just outside of one of them puts you into what most Americans would find to be pretty rural. Weather, or climate, would be a major criteria for me, as there is a very wide variety. Contrary to popular belief, Montana has some relatively mild climates for the West. Where ever you live, your hunting will benefit from being a resident. But keep in mind, if you plan on going hunting in the other end of the state, it is the same as an out-of-state hunt in most places. It's like driving across three states.
Did you hear what SBH just said??? Lives in Montana/hunts out of state. Comments about quantity and quality aside have you ever been on the Mt FWP website? It’s like they don’t want us to be able to use it. Try calling their licensing department.... waste of time.”I’m sorry you need to speak to so and so and he’s out of the office today” I swear those people are anti hunter. Stop at a game check and you are guilty until proven innocent.
A call to Wyoming Fish and Game is answered by a pleasant voice from someone who usually takes care of your questions immediately. Pulling over at a game check is a pleasant experience too. The biologist loves his job, looks at your success as his success. He smiles and wishes you luck in next year’s draw.
Night and day! I despise Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Remember when they confiscated that hunters elk on the Wardens tv show because he took a photo before punching his tag. The judge threw it out but he never got his elk back or a dime for his license or expenses. A true picture of FWP law enforcement!
Joe. Don’t forget when MT fwp killed a 200 plus sheep on a busted sting operation! Yeah Montana FWP could use some big changes . Wyoming is where it’s at!!
I like both states But Montana is were I picked A small sheep in montana is still bigger than a big one in Wyoming. We have more goat tags. Antelope hunting Wyoming hands down. As far as Deer and Elk both have over the counter tags . As far as F&G the seam to get worse every year This year our Dem. governer took our best chance at taking Testers place By having our F&G go after him for buying resident tags when he only lived here most of the year
Mule power nailed it. I used to live in Western Wy, I liked it but my wife never did. We got interrogated at a game check in Easter Montana on our way back home, they had her in tears and she's never hunted a day in her life. And we had done nothing wrong..Total jack asses.
I would go with Wyoming also. That’s where I am retiring to for the many reasons guys have stated. Hunted there 3 times loved it.
Interesting Read - see link
CNelk, So According to the article the Progressive California cancer has choked out Oregon, Seattle, Colorado and is looking for a new host, Idaho.
I hope not, I really like Idaho. Beautiful country with some nice people!
Love hunting Wyoming but damn they have some long cold winters.....think I’ll stay in south central NM.
MT FWP is liberal and borderline anti hunting. I have enough good sources who have given me enough details to come to that sound conclusion.
And so is the Forest Service and actually even the Montana State Board of Outfitters my source being my own personal experiences. No more good old boys left.
Wyoming hands down... I have been a resident for 4.5 years general elk and deer tags every year.. Sum one once said a general Wyoming elk tag is like have in a draw tag in Colorado.. And I would have to agree. And for good measure a couple cow calf tags and a antelope tag or two...
If you don’t intend on owning acreage then MT-no question! Otherwise, WY because of no state income and property tax.
WY has a high sales tax, MT has none.
Both have large areas of public land. Both have large areas of public land that you can't get on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a MT boy through and through! Never move. We can hunt almost 9 months of the year. Our bowhuntint seasons are the best and we’ve got plenty of land and animals to hunt. We have it really good. BUT....man WYOMING has some quality opportunities because of how they manage. Especially for residents. You’ll be set either way. Great options.
For sure if ya stay on the main Home page!
On the right hand side you can pick a City/area, scroll down and pick Price Range and then do Search.....
Good luck, Robb
cnelk, thanks for posting that link. It is scary to realize that Boise is the fastest growing city in the US and that 85% of the people moving into Idaho are coming from California.
I can only imagine how frustrating is must be for Idaho natives to see what is about to happen to their state.
I hear you elkstabber. Boise is/was on my radar for retirement. This trend will definitely demote it.
Wyoming is some of the last of America. Regular, hard working people. Montana has too many liberals. Even some of the hunters in Montana are liberals. They support a senator who voted to trash Kavanaugh. That trash was just un-American. Just got back from a Wyoming Hunt. My son said that it felt like we were on a Musk Ox Hunt in the Arctic circle. Haha
Unfortunately, nasty wind and shitty winters may be the only way to fend off the Californication. I'd choose Wyoming.
I have hunted both a lot as well as ND. As great as I think MT is and the folks I met while there. I would give the edge to WY for hunting. As far as living either place, yeah I bet the winters are rough. You would have to be prepared for that. I grew up in Chicago, my wife and I are retiring to our land in WI but plan on being semi snow birds. I have a niece in FL who is a property manager and she will hook us up with some decent rentals after the holidays to about February when we would come back. Some years we might not leave. You could consider that if it's an option. Bill
Marktm250, thanks for posting this! So here I was this morning doing research between MT and WY, and this post pulled up! Lol.
I, too, will be making a move in the next year and am considering both of these as well as CO. I think my wife is really leaning CO, but she’s never seen MT or WY! I will also be working remotely.
Looking for best towns to raise my last two kids and a place where I can feel like I’m retired even though I’m not! Elk is most important to me too. Want as much opportunity as possible to spend September chasing bulls with my bow.
Life long (49 years) Montana resident. The decline in quality (at least what I define quality) hunting on public land has me choosing to spend my money going to Wyoming to hunt. The only hunting that has gotten better in this state over the last 20 years is for lions, bears and other predators.
OK. With no disrespect to MT, looks like WY has the slight edge here, although either is certainly a decent choice. Looks like the elk might get harassed by a few more resident hunts over the next few years . . .
Bill, I had the same plan. To take the edge off of winter, spend a few months in an RV or rental in FL or maybe south Texas and do some fishing.
"Unfortunately, nasty wind and shitty winters may be the only way to fend off the Californication. I'd choose Wyoming."
Interestingly enough, unhuntable (nearly, as limited hunting is allowed) federal land is actually playing the part of a saving grace for Wyoming and hunting there. Liberal Jackson Hole would be/get a whole heck of a lot bigger if federal land wasn't blocking a lot of development potential. It wouldn't take much for a liberal Jackson Hole to control the rest of the state.
I hope liberals don’t ruin Wyoming !!! I remember when they said California was one of the greatest places on earth to live and look at it now.... liberals......couldn’t pay me to live there !!
"If you don’t intend on owning acreage then MT-no question! Otherwise, WY because of no state income and property tax. "
WY has property tax.
However, all things considered I'm moving to WY.
Couple of things. Are you single, kids, etc. I've seen many a guy try to move to Wyoming (I'm a lifetime resident) only to have the problem of if momma isn't happy then no one will be!!!!! Many of the towns that you would probably consider have high speed internet so that shouldn't be a problem.
Here is an update. I plan to go to WY in the summer and will be in MT hunting for a few weeks late Sep.
I got a good idea from a friend. He has a friend that bought a piece of property in MT, put a steel building on it large enough to fit his RV. That is home base. In the winter, or whenever else it suits you, you take the RV and head somewhere else for a bit.
So I am looking for a small lot which has reasonable access and electricity/water can be available. Also, limited covenants that would permit a garage only with no permanent residence (at least for a few years).
"So I am looking for a small lot which has reasonable access and electricity/water can be available. Also, limited covenants that would permit a garage only with no permanent residence (at least for a few years)."
Me too :) Have found a few that are reasonable, but the CCRS are restrictive and don't allow the garage idea. I'd like to go that route for a few years until the kids are out of school then build a house.
I have lived in both states. Currently residing in NW MT. If I were to choose a state just for hunting it would be Wyoming. Sheridan or Laramie. apply for eastern mt as non-resident and live the best of both worlds.
WY is where I tell the wife I heading after cussing traffic here. What? 500,000 people in the whole state?
I like the multiple opening dates for residents on a GEN tag each year.
Dogger, why Sheridan or Laramie? Looks like Laramie had some high prices on lots. Again, I have to get out there and get eyes on stuff, but most of the stuff I have seen in WY is in the high desert and not too appealing, at least to me. Would like to be backed up against some woods or at least a view of a mtn range.
Other variables include reasonable access to decent elk hunting grounds and maybe other recreation such as dirt bike trails.
If having a "permanent resident" is required, just put up a 16 x 16 "house" and your pole building.
"If having a "permanent resident" is required, just put up a 16 x 16 "house" and your pole building."
Not that simple. Many CCRs dictate the size and sometimes some building requirements /design of the house. As well as not being able to have a temp dwellings like a travel trailer on the property. Basicly they are in place to not allow exaclty what we are talking about.
I live Montana. But if I were to live in Wyoming it would be either Cody or Sheridan. That said, if you're a bowhunter you might also want to compare the archery hunting seasons for both states. Here in Montana the archery hunting season for deer and elk and runs for six weeks. You can also use a bow during the rifle, which runs five weeks and includes the mule deer rut, so long as you wear the hunter orange required during firearms season. Drawing an archery antelope tag is almost a guarantee, is good in all antelope units, and runs from mid-August until well into October. There are also opportunities to draw extra deer doe tags and elk cow tags. Finally, while Montana cities like Bozeman and Missoula can be expensive there are alternatives like Great Falls and Billings that are less expensive (personally, I'm partial to Lewistown).
I've spent some time in each state and think they're both really nice. I tend to like WY better personally. I think Lander and Pinedale areas are good options.
As far as buildings go, you could just submit plans for a house and a garage and just build the garage 1st. That's what I did in UT. I built the garage to store materials and equipment and then built the house slowly about 5 years later. Outside of cities, I've never seen CCR's that dictate how fast you build or the order of operations.
There are a lot of new commercial buildings immediately east of the airport in Bozeman that you could keep your RV in w/electricity and water. Not as nice as a home lot but it could let you try your plan out w/o much hassle.
Having hunted in both states. I vote for WY, and the two places I would consider are Pinedale and Casper.
Another possible area to live is MountainView in the SW corner, which puts you very close to some good hunting and fishing across the border in UT. A lot of those UT elk and deer cross into WY to winter.