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Author Topic: Best hunting and fishing state  (Read 786 times)

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Offline quilbilly

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Best hunting and fishing state
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:41:21 PM »
Sitting here dreaming of moving to a different area. Living in Washington state we have a little of everything but probably not the best of anything. Also high license and tag costs, which I just bought and is probably bringing this on, don't help. About half of the license and tag fees go to the general budget and not back into the game department. 

So the question is which state and specific area has the best combo of hunting and fishing? Off the top of my head the top 3 might be Montana, texas, and minnesota. 

Montana has great variety and too notch bird hunting and good big game. No coastline hurts the fishing but the freshwater fishing is good. 

Minnesota has or used to have good pheasant, great grouse and woodcock and solid duck hunting. Big game though is limited to bear and deer. Fishing is good for pretty much anything. Maybe not blue ribbon trout from a river but still good.

Texas has good big game, although maybe not for variety. Excellent upland bird and OK migratory. Pretty good fishing too. 

Any other thoughts or anything to add?
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 01:09:42 AM »
Alabama has massive 50 mile long plus TVA impoundments for freshwater fishing, arguably the best largemouth bass fishing in the country (Guntersville is listed as the most bass tournament fished lake in the country for a reason), some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country with one of the top 5 smallmouth ever caught (Wheeler and Pickwick Lake), world record spotted bass fishing (Smith Lake), stupid good deer hunting, hundreds of miles of public hunting land, excellent saltwater fishing (more red snapper caught per mile of shoreline than Florida) and some really good people.

Not to mention SEC football.


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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2020, 01:15:52 AM »
Everything sounded good till you threw in SEC football 🏈😂😂

Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2020, 08:59:59 AM »
   I would say it depends on what you want to hunt or fish for. As Robert said Ala has great fishing and they have good turkey and deer hunting.

   Here in WV we have some good fishing for many species - not as good largemouth bass as down south. Great deer and turkey hunting, lots of people hunting bears with dogs and good small game hunting.

   Licenses are not terribly expensive - I don't keep up with them now as I have permanent/lifetime hunting/fishing/trapping license. Hunting on your own land does not require a license.

   I think every state likely has some good hunting and fishing. It is just what you are interested in. Good luck.
Howard Green
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 09:39:30 AM »
I thought of the south, but the lack of big game variety is what limited it in my mind. What would separate alabama from say LA? The small shoreline is also why I didn't put Alabama even though I thought of them. Also other southern states have better waterfowl. Then there is also the lack of upland game variety. 

The south is really good at what it has but seems off the top of my head to lack diversity except when doing offshore fishing. Great whitetail, hog, bass, and waterfowl. No other big game to speak of unless you draw an elk in appalachia. Upland bird pretty much limited to quail. 

In all honesty the best would be a British Columbia resident, but I'm not canadian so. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2020, 10:14:28 AM »
What would separate alabama from say LA?
Why the answer to that question is obviously Mississippi.  ::) 

Texas has very little public land, and as is true with all of the Southern states, the only variety of (un-fenced) big game is Whitetail deer.  Elk, Mule Deer, and Antelope are generally limited to the Rocky Mountain states. 

I would love to pick Colorado but for various reasons and without question, my choice would be Wyoming.



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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2020, 10:54:58 AM »

For a state I would pick Alaska, great fishing for salmon, trout and artic grayling. Hunting for deer, moose, elk and bears.

I'm not really interest in bass fishing or bird hunting though.
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Online sawguy21

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 11:27:15 AM »
Between the bugs, the rain, and the COLD I have no desire to live in Alaska although I would like to see it.;D You are right, we have it all here in British Columbia but the regulations and fees are onerous. Where are you in WA? Idaho, Montana and Oregon are not far away and have a lot to offer as well, you would never cover it all in one lifetime.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2020, 01:05:51 PM »
I'm surprised K-Guy didn't mention his home state, Maine ! Something like 3000 miles of coastline and then thousands of lakes.

NH and ME both have good sized deer and a short moose season, bear season. Turkey hunts, good bird hunting in the right forests and lots of forest relative to population.

Ya, there's some bugs and cold. During the winter there is still coyote hunting, a rabbit season, lots of trapping.
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2020, 01:59:05 PM »
I thought hard about maine. But waterfowl, particularly puddle ducks, are high on my list. Then add in no quail or pheasant of much quality. The moose and bear are a big plus and good grouse hunting too. Good saltwater fishing. 

Oregon is just a slightly improved washington but worse licensing and tag options IMO, Idaho is a slightly worse montana. One thing Idaho has is top notch elk and chuckar hunting. You can find fishing just as good in most western states for fresh water. Also the waterfowl is worse in idaho. 

Alaska is great but what you're hunting for is so scattered. If you live in the panhandle it's bear, grouse and deer with awesome fishing. The game changes further north to moose, caribou, ptarmigan, bear, and some waterfowl. You can't just hop in a car and drive. It probably is the best overall but so hard to hunt it and live there. Also what elk are there? Hadn't heard much about elk there. I know some rosie's were transplanted up there but that's a really small area to hunt em. I'll have to look it up. 
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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2020, 02:22:44 PM »
I'm surprised K-Guy didn't mention his home state, Maine ! Something like 3000 miles of coastline and then thousands of lakes.


Maine really nice and I have deer in my yard often(21 acres out of town) but the big game hunting in Alaska is part of the reason I picked it. Also I moved here from BC and love trout fishing and a trout over 10 lbs is rare here. Plus if you have ever hooked an artic grayling you've had a good fight, they have a very large dorsal fin giving a 5 lb fish the fight of a 20 lb anything else.

I thought there were Elk there maybe I was miss-informed.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2020, 02:27:54 PM »
Tennessee, only 3 miles north of me, has draw Elk hunts and Alabama has some the of the best dove hunting in the country.  What makes Alabama different is that the Appalacian mountain range runs into it, so there is some lowland and highland timber, swamps, watersheds, rivers, impoundments, whatever.  It's a very diversified ecosystem.  

As far as freshwater fishing species within 60 miles of me, we have largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, white bass, pure stripers up to 40 lbs, hybrid stripers averaging 8 to 12 lbs, rainbow trout, brown trout, world class catfish (the professional catfish tournament out of Wheeler had many in the 50 lb class), big walleye, and sauger, not to mention bream, crappie, and loads of other fishing, all going on at the same time.  Airboating for gar and carp is also popular.  

As far as saltwater fishing, once the boat leave the inlet, all the gulf coast states have about the same fishery.  With Federal waters only a few miles out, and with the closeness of the gulf stream, tuna, marlin, Mahi and other big game species are abundant.

There's literally not enough time to fish and hunt for everything thats happening at any given time. I know because I try, and it can't be done.  There is enough fishing diversity that I own three boats, a bass boat, a saltwater offshore center console, and a duck boat.

As I mentioned, deer hunting is off the chart.  

As far as what my esteemed colleagues from other Southern States are saying, I agree, they are top tier, also.  There is very good duck hunting anywhere along the Mississippi River, and also the Tennessee river, which is 40 miles away.  The duck hunting, even in north Alabama is good enough that I have a duck dog and muddy waders.  Ducks Unlimted even has a few parcels of land here.  Of course, the more southerly, the better the duck hunting.

We don't have bear, and there are a few places that raise pheasant, but they taste like chicken and we can buy them at Zaxby's.  

I realize I sound like a real estate salesperson, if I didn't already live here, I would move here.  Even of you don't move to Alabama, just move South somewhere.   :D :D

Oh, did I mention we have the SEC?  ROLL TIDE!!
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Offline K-Guy

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2020, 03:33:24 PM »
I realize I sound like a real estate salesperson, if I didn't already live here, I would move here.  Even of you don't move to Alabama, just move South somewhere.   Oh, did I mention we have the SEC?  ROLL TIDE!!


I notice you left out the High temperatures and Humidity!!! :D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2020, 05:18:29 PM »
When i was growing up in mass, the neighbor was an old man who ran a hunting guide service in quebec.  He had a nice place with a lot of bird dogs and hardly worked, only to bring likely wealthy people on hunts as far as i ever knew.  He brought back some big critters on trailers quite often.  Big bear and bull moose, hed shot elephants in africa and all that stuff.  A fanatic.  

Anyway the two things that stand out from hom were that 1. The moose are in maine but youll die of old age before you get a tag in their lottery (may not be true, no idea) and quebec where he was going was completely wilderness.  Get lost and die or wind up eaten.  Indians still fighting each other over tribal disputes.

  He bought every canoe he could and peddled them up there like a car salesman, said there are no roads, travel is by 4x4 atv, boat or pontoon plane.  He had 2 new suzuki 250 king quads and did 80 miles a day on trap loops when he was up.  My lasting impression was you do whatever you want in backwoods quebec.   Sorta like backwoods appalachia but snowed in half the year.
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2020, 05:42:05 PM »
I'm allergic to humidity. Haha. Yes the fishing sounds great. Ducks sounds about the same as here, but being limited to whitetail and dealing with SEC fans might be hard. If only the elk make it down there. Does alabama allow multiple deer tags. I had a friend who lived in WV for a time and swore they let you get 4-5 tags a year. Might make me give up elk if I can get multiple bucks. 
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Offline barbender

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2020, 06:41:02 PM »
I don't think anywhere can match the hunting opportunities the western states have, unless you're solely a whitetail fanatic. As far as freshwater fishing goes, MN is pretty hard to beat.
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Offline timberking

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2020, 01:34:51 PM »
I'm going to speak up for my home state Arkansas.  World class fishing, a lot of public land from refuges to national forest plus the Razorbacks.   WPS (wooo pig soieeeee) You are welcome.

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2020, 05:47:35 PM »
Hunted and fished a lot of states, i enjoyed the experience, if i killed/caught something, all the better.  I miss the little stream where I grew up fishing with my dad, never caught much, best fishing on earth.
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Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2020, 06:49:45 PM »
Im in Arkansas, and as a resident, we have at least 4 deer tags anywhere (and depending on what zone youre hunting in, up to 7). Resident fees for combined hunt and fish are only $35.50, duck and trout stamps are extra. We have free range elk, but you do need to draw a tag for those. Everything else is we have is great. Please come down and help decimate the feral pig population! There are SO many critters that dont even have a total limit, then you have some with a daily and some with NO limit, like coyotes! BTW out of state licensing has a very wide swing depending upon: what you hunt, time span, species, maybe more. I dont have an AGFC book with me in the...office!
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2020, 11:19:25 PM »
4 deer and the amazing waterfowl would be good. Throw in some long distance cousins and I might have to make a visit. Also have family in oklahoma, good upland solid deer but no other big game and the waterfowl is just middling. Oh and oklahoma is ugly. 
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Offline quilbilly

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Re: Best hunting and fishing state
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2020, 11:20:44 PM »
Oh forgot to compare the difference, the outfit for deer, elk, upland, and migratory bird came out to 175 with tax. A complete saltwater and freshwater plus shellfish would be another 80+
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