7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/04/2004
Posts: 4
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

I am looking to make a move. I most defiantly wish to continue living where there is excellent and available elk and deer hunting. Fly-fishing is also a major part of my life. I am currently in Wyoming so I know that state very well.

How does the hunting here compare to that in other western states? How easy are tags to acquire? What are success rates like? Any ideas would be welcome.


cowgal's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

Colorado has a lot to offer, particularly the northwest corner. Excellent elk, mule deer and antelope hunting. Tags are OTC (over the counter) for elk in most non-trophy units. For mule deer and antelope, you do need to apply and build up points. The length of time needed will depend on the unit you wish to hunt in. I believe our success rates are good, not sure how they compare to Wyoming, but you could check the DOW site for some stats. Maybe someone else on this board could point you in the right direction.

For excellent fly-fishing we are only an hour or less from many high mountain lakes & streams, and then of course we're just a few hours from the fabulous fly-fishing on the Green River (below Flaming Gorge) in Utah.

Personally I think Wyoming is a great state too. Since we live close to Wyoming & Utah, we obviously have spent a lot of time in both of those states, especially fishing.

Good luck with your decision!

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

WY has way more pronghorns than any state (pretty sure). So getting antelope tags as a resident is probably easy.

CO has way more elk than any state, so getting resident elk tags is easy.

For all other species and in high demand units, I don't think there is a significant difference between the western mountain states.

CO offers quite a bit of trout fly fishing, but then so does WY, UT, ID, and MT.

If you like the outdoors, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the rural mtn areas of the mtn states.

Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/14/2004
Posts: 62
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

I don't live in Montana but when I do,, it will be by far the first choice. Wyoming second. Check into the Libby area of Montana. There are every opurtunity there you'd need. Very few bunny huggers and lots of game and fish. The people are nice too!

Joined: 01/10/2003
Posts: 274
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

Idaho has it all. OTC on all game. Deer elk bear and archery antelope. Excellent fishing as well. I would not make a move anywhere else. Love the hunting here.

Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 138
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

Idaho is all right;
you will need to get to the backcountry or private land to get away from folks.

We also have a major ATV population. You must read the REGs constantly as they change allot, I would suggest getting the full regs from IDF&G as the ones given for free are not the full regs and do not list everything you may need to know, you will see a notice to this in their small print.
I have lived here in Idaho most of my life and I wouldn’t change for anything

Location: Colorado
Joined: 04/04/2004
Posts: 7
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

I lived in MT (Great Falls) for 9 years, then moved to Wyoming for my high school years (my parents still do) and now I live in CO and have for eight years. I have hunted in all three states. But my experience in MT was over 19 years ago so I understand things have changed.

If you live in WY, I'd say stay there. As said above, all these states offer some great opportunities for outdoor enjoyment. Hunting and fishing. I'm fond of MT still, but having been back a couple times recently, the state is not the same as it was 19+ years ago.

I go to WY every few months and my dad hunts their for lots of species every year. He has taken lots of nice game from Elk and Deer to Turkeys and Coyotes.

Colorado is great too, but it is more populated than either of the other two. If that is a concern, you are currently in the least populated state (WY). They DO have more Pronghorn than people in that state. I consider that a plus.

If you are bored of WY, you probably haven't found all the secrets it offers yet. But depending on your reasons for staying / leaving, you will probably be happy in either of these states.

I could list the things I like (and dislike) about each, many are unique to the state, others are found in all three. So it is totally based on what you prioritize as "must haves" and "must NOT haves". It is up to you. You can the same species in all three states except for Desert Sheep... that is only in CO. Weather is also slightly different across all three states. And definitely varies even between towns.

In Montana, I have hunted the Little Belt mountains, the Big Belt mountains, the Bob Marshall, and the Sun River area west of Augusta. I prefer the areas west of Augusta including the Bob Marshall, unfortunately the Grizzly population is out of control there IMO.

In Wyoming, I have hunted the Grand Teton area (special permit), Shoshone Nat Forest, the Ferris mountains, and Pilgrim Creek area. Again, the areas in the NW part of the state are really being overrun with Griz IMO and hunting there now is a bit more worrisome.

In CO, I have hunted multiple areas in the White River National Forest, the Routt National Forest, the Sangre de Cristo mountains (Wilderness) and a couple other areas. Some were good, some not so good.

So bottom line, I bet you can find everything you want (related to the outdoors) in WY where you currently are already unless you want to get out for other reasons, then both CO or MT would be excellent choices. Libby (as mentioned above) is a BEAUTIFUL town relatively close to Kalispell and Glacier NP. You would have access to lots of outdoor stuff there as you would anywhere.

If you can list some specifics of what you are looking for, I'm sure we could give you even more details.

As far as hunting opportunities in all three, I believe residents are better off than non-residents. From what I can tell, there are fewer really GOOD areas still secret than in the past. CO has the preference point system so you can build up points and have a guarantee of drawing a certain area after you have acquired the number of points needed. That is nice. I believe WY and MT may have started the same thing for some species recently.

Enjoy the choice... you really can't go wrong with any of the 3 states unless you picked Circle or Jordan, MT... those places are like remote outposts in a field of badlands and sage. Just my opinion.


[ This Message was edited by: COHunter on 2004-04-05 11:38 ]

Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
What Mountain State is the best to live in????

Can't understand why you'd want to move from Wyoming. If I were to leave Colorado it would probably be to move to Wyoming. Not only does WY have just as many hunting opportunities as any other Western state, but the cost of living is low, crime rate is low, taxes are low, and as a capper the public education system is rated well above average.

I find myself wondering what it is about Wyoming that makes you want to move away?

One thing for sure, you won't get much better hunting for elk and deer in any other state--a little better maybe, but not a lot better. If you calculated an "overall hunting rating" for the combination of elk and deer, WY would probably tie with Colorado and maybe Montana--toss in antelope and WY would almost certainly win.

[ This Message was edited by: donmillion on 2004-04-06 11:19 ]