Bst state for hunting? (read the requirements)


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MCgunner
June 1, 2009, 11:17 PM
I was going to continue this on my tax gripe thread, but decided it would make a better thread on its own and, hell, it's pretty much off season other than hogs and turkey, so we need as many threads as we can dream up.:D

So, WHAT STATE combines as much public hunting opportunity as possible along with good big game (deer and bigger) of some species or another, good waterfowl hunting (rather important to me), small game, and such? My wife keeps talking about Louisiana, her family all being from there, cajuns. I mean, other than being a Texan with a Texas drawl, I'd feel right at home there. I'm born and raised on the Texas coast. The fishing is if anything better than here, too. But, I don't think Louisiana has much more public hunting than Texas, which is damned near nothing except for waterfowl and small game. Certainly here, if you wanna deer/hog hunt, you gotta own land or pay an exorbitant lease fee. There's affordable hog hunting to be found, but forget about venison. Can't pay, can't play. I like New Mexico for big game, but there's one lake there I know about with any kind of waterfowl hunting at all. Lots and lots of GOOD public hunting for mulies, though, and if you can draw an elk tag, there's some decent areas for elk. There's even some decent pronghorn herds, but mostly, I think, on private ranches. I know I've seen a lot of 'em around Lincoln out on the high plain on the road up into the mountains at Ruidoso. Those are big ranches around there.

Okay, everyone, stick up for your state! Tell us the good and the bad. I know Texas, so spare me on that one, LOL!

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ChefJeff1
June 1, 2009, 11:21 PM
Idaho.

flipajig
June 1, 2009, 11:42 PM
Idaho or montana lots of public land in eather state and some of the best fishing around any upland game to big game just depends on what your lookin for.

Stinger
June 1, 2009, 11:57 PM
Texas sure isn't in the running...f you don't know someone or have mega-bucks. I would think it would be one of the western states already mentioned. Throw in Montana and Colorado, too.

jbkebert
June 2, 2009, 12:28 AM
Kansas

Large deer both whitetail and mule deer. A few area have elk mostly escapies from ranches. Ft. Riley introduced elk some years ago. Pronghorn herds in western areas. Small game a plenty, great water fowling (cheyenne bottoms). Pretty decent fishing in most areas, pheasant and quail, grouse, snipe, Quite a bit of public hunting areas and walk-in-hunting. A few areas are getting pig populations, Several options here to hunt and fish.

Girodin
June 2, 2009, 02:29 AM
I have to think if it wasn't Alaska it would be the western states like Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Montana. I am not knowledgable enough to rank them vis a vis one another but there is a lot of hunting for a variety of species to be had there.

Deer, Elk, Moose, Proghorn, bear, sheep, goats, mountain lions, game birds, turkeys waterfowl, small game, varmints. No hogs though to the best of my knowledge.

Utah has the only hunting on a truly free ranging heard of Bison in the US.

When I lived in Montana it seemed like a pretty good place to hunt. The winter did a number on those from warmer climates though.

MCgunner
June 2, 2009, 11:19 AM
The winter did a number on those from warmer climates though.

Yeah, bitter cold doesn't suit me. That and remoteness leaves Alaska out of the running. Just too far up there to even think about it. I might could handle a few months in the cabin in Montana, though. :D

3pairs12
June 2, 2009, 01:42 PM
Missouri offers some pretty good amounts of public land.

shaggy430
June 2, 2009, 01:55 PM
I'd say Montana if the damn wolves don't kill everything game animal there. My dad is saying he's noticed a huge decrease in the elk population since the bunny huggers brought the wolves back.

MCgunner
June 2, 2009, 01:56 PM
Well, I met a couple of OLD fellows, in their 70s, one year at the local WMA hunting ducks. It was a good morning and they'd limited and I'd limited and I caught up with 'em on the trail walking back to the parking area. These guys were inspiring. They trudged along and would stop and rest a bit, trudge some more. It's tough going out there for a young man, let alone a guy pushing 80. So, I stopped to rest and chat. They said in Missouri where they hunted on a NWR, you had to enter a lotto every year for a blind. Said that was the first year they'd not been drawn in many years, so one of 'em had a son down here working at one of the plants and they came down here to hunt just so's they wouldn't miss a season. Talk about some hard core waterfowlers!!!!! Well, I guess there's some hunting up there, but I don't know if I like the lotto drawing thing.

Right now, Idaho seems the place, but it's an awfully long ways from here to move. Hmm. Ain't plannin' on moving tomorrow, anyway, just wanna get an idea what's up where for good hunting. I do like the western states where just plain second amendment issues are concerned. Heck, most of the west is open carry which I'd find way cool.

Keep 'em comin', guys!

mljdeckard
June 2, 2009, 01:57 PM
Having lived in Utah all my life, me and my dad are growing weary of the beurocratic nonsense. I'll still tell anyone it's the most beautiful state in America, but every year we are thinking harder about going to Wyoming or Colorado to hunt.

Vern Humphrey
June 2, 2009, 03:47 PM
Arkansas has lots of National Forest land, long seasons and fairly generous bag limits:

Deer
Turkey
Elk (very limited, though)
Black Bear
Coyote
Squirrel
Rabbit
Ducks
Geese
Hogs (no limit)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 3, 2009, 11:14 AM
I feel for ya, MC.

I'm looking myself at making a move to Wyoming, Idaho, or possibly Montana, Utah, or even Nevada or Alaska. But I haven't yet taken into account the amount of public lands - so far Wyoming looks best from a huntable species, overall beauty, and gun rights perspective. But you might stay in touch with me, because I intend to do a full spreadsheet analysis of a variety of states on:

-Cost of lifetime hunting/fishing license
-Cost of out-of-state licences in states ADJACENT to the one being considered -Ease/difficulty of drawing in for moose, elk, bear, puma, etc., for archery, ML, & gun- any automatic/non-draw licenses for archery elk, etc?
-Amount of public lands & proximity to likely places I could live & earn a living. Amount of true wilderness areas with no 4-wheelers allowed.
-Gun rights generally
-Scenic beauty & mountains / extent to which the people care for their land (lack of litter, etc.)
-etc., etc., etc.

Sounds like both KS and AR are good destinations closer to the south - KS has some BIG whitetails and some nice pheasant & quail hunting.

MCgunner
June 3, 2009, 11:22 AM
But you might stay in touch with me, because I intend to do a full spreadsheet analysis of a variety of states on:

Sounds like you're gettin' serious! :D Yeah, Arkansas land used to be pretty cheap and I know people like Vern who bought up there back in the 60s and then moved up there. I don't think that's the case anymore, of course. But, ya know, if I had a few acres next to or near a national forest, why have more land that the tax man can mess with? I'd rather turn that money into more income/savings. Stuttgart is a mecca for ducks, especially mallards. We don't get many mallards down here in the marshes. The pintail is our mallard. :D I'm not sure how much of that is available as public or the laws regarding hunting navigable waterways up there. I like watching those hunting shows where they're hunting the flooded timbler, though. Cool stuff. They have rice up there, too, so should have some geese, probably not in the quantities we have, but there should be some good goose hunting up there, maybe. And, the wife has a life friend in Arkansas, a bonus. I don't know a sole in Idaho. LOL

Oh, I'd also toss in taxation in that spread sheet of yours. I think Arkansas has a state income tax, for one.

Vern Humphrey
June 3, 2009, 11:29 AM
I recommend visiting the states you are considering in the worst time of the year. Any state can be beautiful in the ideal season, but summers and winters can be real bears in many places.

I'm fortunate in being an old Arkansawyer -- I knew what I was in for. I built my house with a fully-furnished basement, with a wood burning stove for warmth. In the last year, my wife and I spent a total of over a month living in that basement, because of power outages caused by storms.

If you have always lived in cities, be prepared for a total lifestyle change -- you can't get plumbers, electrcians, and so on when you need them, so you have to do for yourself most times. You have to drive a long way to shop, and you probably won't find the great variety you're used to (thank heaven for Wal-Mart!)

Bwana John
June 3, 2009, 11:48 AM
AZ is 80% public land.

Elk, bear, deer, lion, duck, goose, quail, chukar, pheasant, turkey....:neener:

TheWarhammer
June 3, 2009, 12:56 PM
Oregon. Most folks there have never even heard of the concept of a deer lease. Better hunting, better fishing, better produce (except watermelons) and better weather for the outdoorsman.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 3, 2009, 03:21 PM
BwanaJohn, 80% HUNTABLE public lands? Are you sure?! :eek:

MCgunner
June 3, 2009, 04:05 PM
Aridzona has ducks? I didn't know Aridzona had WATER. ROFL!

I've ridden a lot of Arizona by motorcycle, love the state. There are some really neat places there.

Bwana John
June 4, 2009, 10:16 AM
BwanaJohn, 80% HUNTABLE public lands? Are you sure?!
No, 80% public land. Cant hunt in the National Parks or on the Indian Reservations for free. You CAN hunt in many of our National Monuments (which is different than most of the country)
That takes it down to ~55% HUNTABLE public land.

Aridzona has ducks? I didn't know Aridzona had WATER
We got somthing called the Colorado River flyway here.
Freekin geese are a problem there's so many of them.

I also forgot pronghorn, javalina, and bighorn sheep. And more rabbits and squirrels than you could imagine. Lots of dove too.

NELSONs02
June 4, 2009, 10:23 AM
It be bold to say any state is better overall, maybe for a particular animal.

We have big bucks here in WI and supposedly a bunch of coyote too but hell if I ever see any of em.

MCgunner
June 4, 2009, 12:12 PM
We got somthing called the Colorado River flyway here.
Freekin geese are a problem there's so many of them.

I also forgot pronghorn, javalina, and bighorn sheep. And more rabbits and squirrels than you could imagine. Lots of dove too.

Wow, now THAT'S VERY interesting. I've ridden much of the state on a motorcycle and have yet to find an area I don't like. Well, maybe down south around the tourist trap, Tombstone. Plain ol' desert out there. However, what I do like is the availability of high mountains within a short ride over most of the state. For instance, 110 degrees in August too much for you in Tucson? Take a trip up Mount Lemmon for the day. Or Kit's peak, that's REALLY cool up there with the observatory and all. There's a little mountain range north of Wilcox on I10 on the way to Tucson, federal prison there on the road where you turn off onto Hwy 366 at Artesia. Man, that road is a sportbike dream! Up top, it turns to gravel and there's a sign on it, some lake is 16 miles down that road. I didn't have that much time when I went there, needed to be in Tucson by the 6 in the afternoon, wanted to explore it more. Got some beautiful pix, though. I was on my old GoldWing loaded down anyway and didn't wanna do any primitive roads, not exactly a motocrosser. By the time I got up top on it, horsing that big POS around on that twisty road, my back was hurting me from the countersteering, anyway, LOL! I was trying to set a fast pace. Fast and GoldWing don't really go together, not the old ones like mine. But, I could sure have fun in Arizona exploring areas like that. Man, the vistas are worth the trip, let alone any hiking, hunting, or what not. I had no idea there was any decent waterfowl hunting in the state. That makes it all the more attractive. I'd probably wanna be located pretty close to that waterfowling, the geese, especially.

BFE
June 4, 2009, 06:43 PM
I feel for ya, MC.

I'm looking myself at making a move to Wyoming, Idaho, or possibly Montana, Utah, or even Nevada or Alaska. But I haven't yet taken into account the amount of public lands - so far Wyoming looks best from a huntable species, overall beauty, and gun rights perspective. But you might stay in touch with me, because I intend to do a full spreadsheet analysis of a variety of states on:

-Cost of lifetime hunting/fishing license
-Cost of out-of-state licences in states ADJACENT to the one being considered -Ease/difficulty of drawing in for moose, elk, bear, puma, etc., for archery, ML, & gun- any automatic/non-draw licenses for archery elk, etc?
-Amount of public lands & proximity to likely places I could live & earn a living. Amount of true wilderness areas with no 4-wheelers allowed.
-Gun rights generally
-Scenic beauty & mountains / extent to which the people care for their land (lack of litter, etc.)
-etc., etc., etc.

Sounds like both KS and AR are good destinations closer to the south - KS has some BIG whitetails and some nice pheasant & quail hunting.



When you get around to the full spreadsheet analysis of the different states I would appreciate a copy if you would please.

HB
June 4, 2009, 10:25 PM
Missouri...
Some of the best turkey, deer, and small game hunting to be found. Waterfowl hunting is great if the weather cooperates. Feral hogs are moving up, but thankfully not much of a population. Public land is everywhere. Probably best of all is our central location; it's easy to drive north for upland hunting, south for fishing and hogs, or west for larger game.
Come here :D

HB

caribou
June 4, 2009, 10:50 PM
ALASKA!!!

Yep, my game unit alone , GMU #23 is larger than Indiana and 94% huntable to locals, 85% fo everyone else.

All over Alaska the Hunting and Fishing is unbeatable.

Moose, elk, Sitka Blacktail, Caribou, Muskox, Bison, Black and Brown Bears with Polars for Eskimos.....too many species of small game and birds to mention.
Even our Govorner hunts.......

Cut Alaska in half, and Texas would be the third largest state...~~LOL!!~~

Titan6
June 4, 2009, 11:00 PM
I am sure Alaska is nice but I don't know about wading around in hip deep snow at 40 below in the winter.

Virginia is nice because there are lots of public lands and you can nearly the entire year. There are no elk or lope but just about everything else that is in the lower 48 can hunted there.

dullh
June 5, 2009, 12:00 AM
I'm also sure Alaska is nice, last frontier, all that, but, honestly couldn't we limit the discussion to states most people can reasonably get to? I'm sure it ain't cheap flying up there, driving is about a 5 day proposition, and that's just from a border state west of Minnesota (!) not to mention the paperwork you have to complete just to transport your rifle through Canada...someone said Texas is great if you have big bucks or know someone, seems the big bucks part would apply in spades to Alaska.

Grizfire
June 5, 2009, 12:03 AM
Idaho and Montana are my top two (I am biased 'cause I'm from and live in these parts).

One thing to consider is Idaho is small compared to Montana.

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