My wife and love the west and love to bowhunt in the backcountry. We are a stones through away from retirement and could get by on part time and or seasonal employment. Our dream is to be a resident in a retirement friendly state like Wyoming and snowbird down to a southern state in our RV for 4-5 months. What state would pick to be a resident in if you could live anywhere??
Nothing wrong with Colorado, there are lots of hunting opportunities. Just gotta divorce yourself from the politics. Yeah it getting crowded, but once retired (like me) you're able to hunt areas where people are not. People have to work, and wherever the jobs are is where people are going to reside. Also, The first $25k of retirement income is not taxed in Colorado.
I do find in Colorado, more people spend alot of time complaining, that would be better spent recreating in some way. In fact I'll be bowhunting today. Have PLO deer licenses that last until Nov. 30
I'm content in Colorado. It's where I was born, and where I'll likely die. That said, snowbirding in the south during the winter months has become increasingly more appealing to us each year. There's something about that hot, humid, and salty air that seems to heal the everyday aches and pains that age and cold weather brings on.
Wyoming is a great state, but my wife would be bored to tears there. She needs more social activities and culture than I do. Splitting time between Colorado and Florida seems to work for both of us.
Colorado still has a lot to offer. I moved to Vail in 1971 at 18, and now live in the northern front range. We have a great property in the foothills. (I watched a 4X4 mule deer this morning harassing a doe, and there are 10 turkeys in the yard as I write this). However, it is getting crowded, and traveling to the high country on weekends is to be avoided. We've been all over the country, the last several years with an eye to where we might want to move, but the best we can find is maybe a move to another part of Colorado.
Keepemsharp I think I’ll let the young folks fight this on the front lines. Like one of my brothers said “I’ll keep the clips loaded”. Plus I’m not very vested in arms and ammo, put all my eggs in the archery basket.
One thing no one has mentioned is access to quality medical services. If you are reaching retirement age and don't want to relocate again at some point, you might want to consider that. No one travels to Wyoming or Montana for quality medical resources when something serious comes up. There are other areas I would consider if I were 20 again, not so much at 67, but then again, when I was 20 Colorado was a LOT more enticing, with far fewer people, than now.
We relocated from CO for a super job opportunity in BC when I was 57 that is in a relatively rural area, but very near the regional 85,000 person population center. The town has the regional hospital, University, COSTCO, Walmart, Home Depot, all the auto dealerships, etc.
BC has 16 species of big game (15 huntable in 2020), all but 3 species available on over the counter licenses. Our location has a moderate climate, we have 35 fruit trees in the yard on our recent build, lots of irrigation water for my wife's gardening, etc.
We became dual citizens after 6 years or so. Anyway, the move has worked out for us and we liked leaving all the CO growth and traffic behind. BC politics are left leaning around the big cities, but right leaning locally...at least in Canadian terms.
Bow hunting has been very good to me in province with a Grizzly, Canada moose, Stone sheep, Mt caribou, Roosevelt elk and Blacktail going in the freezer. Also a bunch of black bears and some whitetails. Unfortunately, BC has "poor" mule and whitetail hunting by my standards, mainly due to a 3-month rifle season combined with First Nations hunting and predators...Wolves, Coyotes and a lot of Cougars.
That said, it in't easy to get into Canada to work unless you have a specialty they are looking for.
Without doubt or hesitation WYOMING. Least populated state with 6-7x FEWER people in the ENTIRE state then in many a SINGLE American city. As my friends in Wyoming say Wyoming is MILES and MILES of MILES and MILES. I plan on retiring there, buying a home as far away from everything and everybody as I can get and live out my years in piece free people and from social media.
I've had this discussion with my wife recently. I've lived in PA my entire life, it's home and I love the hunting and fishing. I hate the government in PA and the way things are run. Unfortunately our two major cities on each side of the state, Pittsburgh and Philly carry the majority of the vote and the rest of us have to live with the results.
You all might think I'm crazy but if I had to move states I'd head straight for West Virginia. I've spent a lot of time working in WV the past 15-20 years and it's everything PA is without the shitty government. The wife's pick is a state with a beach LOL.
Makes a huge difference when you are single or an empty nester, vs. relatively young with a career, wife who likes social activities (and not thrilled about 8 months of wind and cold), and kids into sports and other extracurricular activities. A place like Pinedale WY might not be the best place for that family, although it sounds great from the outside.
If you're looking at relocating as it pertains to hunting, I think an important thing to consider is what you get as a resident over being a non-resident. Some states, you don't pick up too much more being a resident compared with other states.
Where you actually want to live is a whole-nother discussion.
My wife and I are looking into South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Colorado politics and population is getting worse by the year. We have a young family and it is hard to pick up and leave, and job prospects are not as appealing as my current job, but we’ve been getting our ducks in a row for a couple years now, finish my bachelors degree in March and that should help, we are going to visit Idaho and Montana this spring, hopefully the job markets pick up and we can find a new place to settle down...
Can't come up with somewhere I like better than Wisconsin. four season, need more conservatives, but no: hurricanes, actual earthquakes, poisonous snakes, weather is neutral really. Can visit the rest.
Left NY 11 years ago; moved to OK and built a new house. Retiring with 75% of pension, the difference in state taxes allowed the house. Have been able to hunt CA 5 times over that period. Compared to NNY, the winters here are comfortable. In effect we are reverse snowbirds spending summers in the much cooler foothills of the 'Dacks. Saw the largest buck of my lifetime last week while waiting for rifle season...200yds behind my house. Going to try to crossbow hunt next year as we have a long bow season. A drawback here is there seems to be a lot of poverty where we are ( a very rural area).
^^^ I think not! :) I moved from N Minnesota 32 years ago and you couldnt kick me back there.
Recently retired. N Colorado. Comfortable. Nice house/place to hang out. Nice weather. Working some side jobs to stay busy. All the hunting/fishing I need is within 4 hrs - Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska. Good Bowsite friends nearby. Good medical in the area.
Alaska would be my pick. Followed by Wyoming. After that, if not here in WV, it’d have to be some where near good off shore fishing. The more I do it, the more I realize unless I’m chasing elk out west or a dream hunt of one of many species in Alaska, I’d rather be on the Gulf Stream reeling in some fish.
Whitetail and such back home just fill voids of time now. I love to spring turkey hunt though. So, I’d never give that up. I’m just bored with typical whitetail hunting as a staple.
For me I always thought of Colorado, but close to a boarding state that would give me one more place to hunt. I always said at 58 I would put my business up for sale and make that move. But now my long time girlfriend has 7 years before retiring (teacher) so my plans are pushed back some. Maybe? Keep thinking of doing it by becoming a camp host at a camp ground. Come late August send her back home and I stay in Colorado till archery seasons over. Then drive the Rv back home and hunt whitetails.
I'll stay in Wisconsin, 4 seasons keep me too busy. Like the Fall, Winter and spring the best. Hunting, Ice Fishing and the spring fishing with 15000 lakes and unknown miles of streams and some wild steelhead streams keep me going. I did like Idaho, a lot. More so than any of the other western states. No desire at all for the South, I like to stay North of Central WI. The wife, well we have a lot of disagreements on that. We had an offer from my inlaw that he would buy us a house if we moved to Florida. You could not pay me enough is all I said.
Never been a camp host but I've stayed in campgrounds out here in CO, WY, ID, and OR with them and talked to them quite a bit. You won't get much archery hunting time unless it's immediately adjacent to the campground. They're expected to be onsite pretty much all the time. You'll have to deal with some drunken yahoos who have a "hooray for me, to hell with you" attitude. If you get a gig next to a river or lake you can fish right there during off-time, but they are tough to come by because there's a seniority system involved with awarding the jobs. Some campgrounds close after Labor Day and that would be your best bet. Some others stay open through September.
I've been a lot of places, problem is it's getting harder to "get away". I can go to spots that were considered paradise 20 years ago and they're will be somebody there waiting when I show up. I think a better approach is try to find happiness and be content where you are...unless you can move to the moon and be left alone there just ain't no guarantees your newfound location will be any better than the last.
South Farm, I am no expert on rattlers but I think that it makes a big difference where in Wyoming you go. I've spent quite a lot of time in Wyoming over the years and never encountered one in the higher country. In the lower antelope areas it can be a different story as I did kill 4 in one day on an antelope hunt. Some in southern Wyoming are the mean little sidewinders so don't tell a rancher down there that you let one live as they get pretty ticked off......Badbull
Jaquomo, It seam like a lot of them camps grounds close up right after labor day. Not sure how many close up. But a few in places I hunted were closed and gated up by the times I got out hunting. So its just something I'm going to look into in the next year or so. I'm guessing that some close up earlier than others ???
Idaho is full?!!! Damn, oh well, no Elk, deer, sheep, rams, moose, bear, Mountain lions, birds etc. to hunt there, no steelhead, trout, perch or other fish to fish anyway. Not much for public land either. LOL.
Yeah, they close at all different times. This year a big USFS campground near me closed the third week of September, and it was totally arbitrary. I was standing there with them when the host and the Forest Supervisor discussed and decided when to notify campers and lock the gate.
Oz, I spent some time in Whitefish in the late 70s and 80s, skiing big Mt., and canoeing the lakes. Went back there two years ago and it was like a smaller version of Jackson Hole. Its sucked actually, compared to what it used to be. Got a friend in Col. Falls area, he has a good spot, is a Kalispell native. It is pretty hard to afford anything there now. I was looking at Craig , maybe decent opportunity there along the Missouri.
jingalls, Don't hesitate to long on buying around Cody or it will go away quick!!! Lived here all my life and haven't seen anything like how property is selling right now!! People buying homes sight un-seen etc. just incredible.
Nobody mentioned Eastern WA. We recently sld our place on the west side to some Facebook manager. (thank you) and moved to just outside of Spokane. great area for everything. from thier can be in Idaho MT and even Wyoming in 6 hours. lots of fishing and deer/turky. fine dining in 30 minutes. 4 seasons. but alas everything is being bought up
Thisismyhandle, At least the Libs will now be in charge. So Covid will disappear, Racism is over, since both were caused by you know who. And everything will now be free. What’s not to like about the North East. Unless of course your into freedom, the 2nd amendment and keeping your own money.
Kinda surprised there is not alot of talk about AZ or NM.
For me....I'm still hoping to get a place in MT or WY because of wide open spaces, natural beauty, variety of critters, trout fishing, taxes or lack of, decent politics and friendly folks. I lived on the Oregon coast for 5 years and at one time would have thought about that. Great place for outdoors and beauty but it got Californicated and the politics went that way. The I-5 corridor rules the roost. I recall Bend, OR used to be a quiet little town back in the 80's. Last time I was there in 2005 it looked like an urban Yuppieville, USA and I didn't recognize it. That was very sad to me.
If it was strictly a fishing call....where I was born and raised....Florida. Hunting is a little weak but there is always something to fish for in salt or fresh water. You will always have something to fish for year round. Don't care for the heat or tourists though. The politics is shifting to the left-wing as New Englanders have been moving there and changing things for the worse IMO.
I'd consider a move to Lyle, WA and fish/hunt the Klickitat every doggone day I lived out my life in retirement. Hunt and fish all the tribs, ridges, and drainages from Washougal to Wenatchee, via Goldendale. Lefty-owned state because of Seattle, but I can steer clear of that cluster #@$*...
Altitude Sick, the northeast is just too overcrowded for me. The winters are(normally) cold and summers hot n humid, which is cool but Connecticut just doesn’t have the New England charm that the northern N.E. States have. There’s some good hunting here but not on the level of the Midwest and mountain states. Also yeah I love freedom, 2A and the idea of not paying ridiculous taxes. I’m a union member so anyplace I go before I can retire needs to be union friendly. Which eliminates basically every state past Missouri.
I am 55 and scouting states to retire in. Many years ago, I had an idyllic image of living in a remote cabin with a wrap around porch, overlooking a miles and miles of expanse. Now, yes I would love it. But I also recognize I will want to access my grandkids and healthcare. Although I would still like to live in a rural environment, I need to have a larger airport to hop on a plane or have a good hospital within 2-3 hours.
I have a place in mind, but who knows. My target locations have moved several times in the last 5 years.
Brotsky seems like a heck of a person - that made Midwest's comment especially funny. I second South Dakota - no state taxes and a great jumping off point to other parts of the West. My wife and I were in Rapid City in September - holy cats it has expanded since we lived there in 2014.
If I were retiring I think I would be considering (in no particular order):
1. Cost of living 2. Recreation (hunting, social activities, golf, whatever is important) 3. Crime rates 4. Access to good medical care 5. Closeness to family (either immediately close or easy travel) 6. Weather 7. Politics in as much as they impact the other issues
I spent (give or take) the first 20 years of my life in the rural south, the next 20 mostly in central California, and now I'm in S. Alberta.
1. Cost of living is high and I make less than I did in Cali. 2. Lots of things to do for recreation, but with a young family I don't seem to make the time or have the energy for any of them. I've got elk, moose, and deer in the freezer and I haven't been hunting since I moved here, so it's not a total wash. 3. Crime ain't the best in Canada, but better than than most metro areas in the US. 4. Medical care has been great 5. All my extended family is spread across the entire continent 6. Weather is abysmal - stupidly cold 6-8 months of the year, buggy in the summer 7. Politics are conservative by Canadian standards.
I like living here, but now that I have typed this out I don't think I'll be retiring here haha
Unless my kids marry and start families here, then that my trump the other considerations
in the process of closing on the (overpriced) sale of our "other" house in western MT, currently living (last 7 years) in eastern MT and now need to decide what's next. Might stay here on our 80 acres and a log cabin but mid-60's people have to have some access to healthcare and social interaction. I've spent the last 35 years in MT but am looking at WI, MI or back to my home state of PA. Right now WI is the frontrunner except don't like their taxes. We will do some visiting next summer to see if any of those feel right. On the other hand, the 170's whitetail I missed this season along the Missouri River might still be there come next September!
Resident big game hunting would be lower on the list for me since that season doesn't last long. Fishing, including lakes for walleye, smallmouth and similar fish along with fly fishing for trout would be high on the list since that would keep me occupied 8 months out of the year and I need to justify the new Ranger multi-species boat I bought a year ago. Mountains and high desert are also a requirement. Being born in southern Idaho and spending most of my life in NV I need to be able to see mountains. An income tax free state would be highly preferable. Politics don't really play into it since NV has been a blue state for too many years with the influx of Cali's.
Central Washington fits the fishing requirements perfectly. There's good upland and waterfowl hunting in the area and it's an income tax free state. Plus it's a few hours from the ocean and I've got a good friend who's retired and he's got a great ocean boat. The only downside is that big game hunting in the state of WA is probably the worst of all the western states.
That said, I've got a ton of points built up in NV and will have some great hunts locally the next 2 - 3 years so I'm not going anywhere until I burn these elk, deer and antelope points and hopefully draw the CA or Rocky Mt. Bighorn Tag with the 25+ points.
JL nobody mentioned AZ because it sucks now! Flipped from a reddish shade of pink to a bluish purple in one election cycle. Not just because of Trump. Mark Kelly who is a lying snake in the grass got elected, legal weed passed, and a 3.5% tax on anybody who earns more than 250k for teachers union to rob. 1000s of Californians coming every day. Sounds wonderful huh?
Hey Heat. This is from California (Northern). We already got all the undereducated old white retired dumbazzes we need up here from Southern California ... so I won’t mention the three mountain ranges we have ... with all kinds of hunting and fishing in jillions of miles of public land in those mountains ... the BLM high desert ... etc.; in order not to encourage any more moving up here. I wish there was a way to encourage them to move on to Boise and Texass maybe ... and Arizona. You would love them.