Home Forums Campfire Forum Montana or Wyoming

Viewing 17 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      Guys,

      I posted this question on another thread, but wanted to start it again fresh on the Big Game thread.

      In three years, I will be retiring after 35 years in public school education. My wife and I are considering moving to Montana or Wyoming for our retirement years. Our main focus would be an area with a good elk population along with mule deer, etc.

      I want to stay far a way from the golf course/ski resort areas that drive up the prices of good hunting land/property.

      There are tons of resources on the net to answer the above questions, but I really respect the opinions of tradbow hunters.

      Both are great states…lets hear your thoughts guys.

      Thank you,

      Ireland

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      I have been through both states, but that doesn’t mean much

      Howard Hill thought Wyoming could not be beat for the variety and numbers of big game available… Of course that was 80 years ago.

      If it were me, I would take a few seasons to hunt/visit each state. That aught to answer any doubts.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Don’t overlook northern Idaho, a state with massive amounts of wilderness lands and therefore, very liberal hunting seasons in those areas.

    • FUBAR
      Member
      Post count: 252

      I’ve hunted Wyoming a couple times. Has a lot of piblic land. From what I’ve seen, it seems like Montana may have bigger animals, but I don’t know what they have for public land

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      One thing I’d suggest researching and steering clear of – areas where oil and gas development has been rampant, which applies to Wyoming more than Montana.

      The Pinedale anticline area (southcentral WY), for example, has seen the mule deer population decline by 60% in the last decade, largely the result of major oil and gas development in the heart of their winter range. This used to be some of the best mule deer hunting in the state. And unfortunately, while acknowledging it, the state and the BLM don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it. The air quality in Sublette County has also deteriorated so much that people are going to the hospital with spontaneous nosebleeds and schools are closing on days when it is particularly bad.

      There are still great parts of Wyoming for sure, but you don’t need to spend long in places like Sublette and Powder River to know that there are probably better places to retire.

    • Larry O. Fischer
      Post count: 92

      Both are good choices, Montana has lots of hunting opportunity, however the elk seem to get all of the pressure. Public ground in the western part of the state, block management on private ground elsewhere. Wyoming has smaller population but is growing along with the energy exploration. Don’t forget to factor that into your equation. The energy boom can drive up prices faster than golf courses or ski resorts.
      Larry

    • runamuck
      Post count: 34

      My little brother lives in Montana but travels around for his work and been in Wyoming a number of times in the last couple years. He hates it there because of the devestation from the oil and gas companies. He didn’t like the wind either. Western Montana is beautiful and there is a lot of areas that would be great to retire in. Dave is right nothern Idaho is beautiful lots of elk, deer (mule and whitetail) bear and great turkey hunting. Have a great retirement.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      runamuck wrote: Western Montana is beautiful and there is a lot of areas that would be great to retire in.

      x2.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      runamuck wrote: My little brother lives in Montana but travels around for his work and been in Wyoming a number of times in the last couple years. He hates it there because of the devestation from the oil and gas companies. He didn’t like the wind either. Western Montana is beautiful and there is a lot of areas that would be great to retire in. Dave is right nothern Idaho is beautiful lots of elk, deer (mule and whitetail) bear and great turkey hunting. Have a great retirement.

      Runamuck,

      Thanks for the great insight. I have considered northern Idaho in my quest. Do you or Dave have any “special” places in northern Idaho that you would recommend?

      Thanks again to everyone who has assisted with my research!

      Ireland

    • wywildart
      Post count: 3

      Ireland,
      I have lived in both states like every thing there are the plus and minus factors for both states. First I want to address your statement about land prices in hunting land. Unless you are extremly wealthy there is little to buy for hunting ground. It is usally such huge tracks of land its usally in the millions. Its not like Iowa where a 40 acre parcell gets you some hunting. Game is some what more spread out and public land will be what you hunt the most. As for retirement you may check out both states to see what gives you the best tax breaks to get the most out of your income. Wyoming has no state income tax and Montana has no sales tax for example. Personaly I like WY I think that there system for tags provides a more quality hunt. We have a lot of limited quota ares for all the game species. MT does to just not as many for deer elk and antelope. I usally draw one or two tags for the special units and they have been great hunts. WY also has a lot less roaded areas and a lot more wilderness areas than MT. But it is also pretty rough country compared to MT. Non Residents can not hunt wilderness areas in WY unless with a guide or a resident which can cut down on traffic. But I have had plenty good hunting in MT so dont get me wrong. If I where to live in MT I would pick Lewistown preferably next to Don Thomas. I would chose this area because it is central in the state and has a decent population but not huge. It has a hospital and shoping close by. The Missouri breaks offers some of the best elk bowhunting around with out Grizz and wolves to deal with. Its not as hard of hunting as the mountains and is limited in quota for out of staters I beleave. Lewistown is awesome because it does not have the ski resorts and trout streams like Bozeman and its pretty. Sorry Don I gave up your spot. For WY I like Cody where I am at I have to deal with Griz in the back country but its just part of the wilderness experiance. I have shot some nice game and really injoy puting in for special tags and if I dont draw there is plenty of general areas to hunt. I have 7 acres arrigated and I have my horses and life is pretty good. Its windy all winter though which chases quite a few people back to where they came from. My wife works for the game and fish but if she could get a job in Lewistown I would be Don Thomas’s next door neighbor. Now you got me wondering where I want to live. Also 12 months of residency in WY before you can get resident tags and 6 months for MT. Hope this helps Scott Teaschner

    • Homer
      Post count: 110

      Ireland — Until recently at least, the Salmon area hadn’t succumbed to the inflated land prices of similarly great western places, and it’s amid some excellent hunting and fishing country. The politics are extremely right, but that the way with most of the rural West these days. I agree that WY, with its market-hunter energy development mentality, would not be on my personal list. My family has even been forced to give up annual camping vacations there. Entire towns, like Pinedale (previously a hidden gem imho) are taken over by transient work forces and all the social disruption that sort of invasion brings. Western MT gets colder with more snow, while eastern MT has unvelievable winds. Another thing about small MT towns that may put some folks off is the near-constant sound of trains and their whistles, since most of those towns were built alongside train tracks and the trains still run. They all have great sporting ops, though as Dave says the abundance of designated wilderness in norther ID puts it ahead of the pack in my books. You would be doing yourself a great disfavor to buy a place for the rest of your life without first taking a good long “blue highways” tour of the entire area. I trust that further confuses you. 😛

    • runamuck
      Post count: 34

      Ireland,

      I guess the big question is how large a town do you want to live in and do you have any special needs such as a medical conciderations? Coeur d’ Alene is the largest nothern city and is closer to Spokane than to Boise. The area did have a very large Nazi pressence but Morris Dees came in sued them and destroyed their networks. There are a few in Sandpoint left but for the most part they are gone. I have to agree with Homer though the Salmon region is one of my favorite ever. I am actually heading up to one of my favorite spots on the Salmon river to camp and fish for a week. The water is a beautiful blue/green color and crystal clear. Nice mountains but not nearly as brutal as the Mission mountains outside of Missoula Montana. Montana does a way better job of clearing the roads during the winter than Idaho but if you don’t mind being snowed in then its not a big worry.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      Homer wrote: Ireland — Until recently at least, the Salmon area hadn’t succumbed to the inflated land prices of similarly great western places, and it’s amid some excellent hunting and fishing country. The politics are extremely right, but that the way with most of the rural West these days. I agree that WY, with its market-hunter energy development mentality, would not be on my personal list. My family has even been forced to give up annual camping vacations there. Entire towns, like Pinedale (previously a hidden gem imho) are taken over by transient work forces and all the social disruption that sort of invasion brings. Western MT gets colder with more snow, while eastern MT has unvelievable winds. Another thing about small MT towns that may put some folks off is the near-constant sound of trains and their whistles, since most of those towns were built alongside train tracks and the trains still run. They all have great sporting ops, though as Dave says the abundance of designated wilderness in norther ID puts it ahead of the pack in my books. You would be doing yourself a great disfavor to buy a place for the rest of your life without first taking a good long “blue highways” tour of the entire area. I trust that further confuses you. 😛

      Guys,

      The information has been outstanding from everyone!!! Thank you all for your time and efforts!!!

      My wife and I will be leaving in late July to review all the areas you men have suggested above. We have two full weeks, which will give us a start. I’m one-two years away from retirement, so we have the time to research all the areas. We will spend even more time next summer in the locations mentioned above.

      Thanks again folks,

      Ireland

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      I’ve worked in both states and traveled extensively in each. I love them both! The variety of game along the east slope of the Bighorns is fantastic. Not a real restricted area, either. Big game, gamebirds, etc…..

      Somewhere around Dayton, Buffalo, Sheridan, etc. would suit me just fine.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Homer wrote: Entire towns, like Pinedale (previously a hidden gem imho) are taken over by transient work forces and all the social disruption that sort of invasion brings.

      That’s a shame…..Pinedale is a great little town. I haven’t been there in several years, but it was always the supply point for forays up into the Wind Rivers.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      tailfeather wrote: I’ve worked in both states and traveled extensively in each. I love them both! The variety of game along the east slope of the Bighorns is fantastic. Not a real restricted area, either. Big game, gamebirds, etc…..

      Somewhere around Dayton, Buffalo, Sheridan, etc. would suit me just fine.

      Tailfeather and others:

      Thank you again for the great information. I really appreciate your time and efforts in responding.

      Thanks again guys,

      Ireland

    • SDMFer
      Post count: 54

      A month or so back a report came out claiming Laramie, WY to be a great place to retire. While I’ll never have the luxury of retiring, I have lived in Laramie for the past 3 yrs and can tell you it wouldn’t be at the top of my list. Especially if you want to chase big game, while there are a few wilderness areas close and lots of public land with plenty of elk, the majority of it is over run with people from the Colorado front range and elsewhere. Something I think has gotten worse in my short time here. Not to mention the booming ATV/OHV industry in the area, it makes quiet spots hard to find.
      Just wanted to add this incase you had came across the previosly mentioned article about retiring in Laramie.

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      SDMFer wrote: A month or so back a report came out claiming Laramie, WY to be a great place to retire. While I’ll never have the luxury of retiring, I have lived in Laramie for the past 3 yrs and can tell you it wouldn’t be at the top of my list. Especially if you want to chase big game, while there are a few wilderness areas close and lots of public land with plenty of elk, the majority of it is over run with people from the Colorado front range and elsewhere. Something I think has gotten worse in my short time here. Not to mention the booming ATV/OHV industry in the area, it makes quiet spots hard to find.
      Just wanted to add this incase you had came across the previosly mentioned article about retiring in Laramie.

      I had not read the post about “retiring in Laramie”. Thank you so much for the “heads-up” on the area.

      Best wishes,

      Ireland

Viewing 17 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.