I wish I lived out west.


Well-Known Member
Nov 17, 2009
First of all, I am from South Carolina. And after hunting in Colorado three times, and North Dakota once, I am convinced that I need to relocate. But where? If a man wanted to pack up and move, where would you guys say would be a great place to start searching. I would like to be in a place with mountain views of course, abundant wildlife, places to shoot long-range safely, and above all, ample hunting opportunities. Is there anywhere out west that meets this criteria.

I know in South Carolina, the humidity sucks, the fire-ants are a plague, and our deer are tiny. We do have a liberal bag limit of 10, but still hunting here to me has no comparison to the west. So relocation has been crossing my mind alot lately, although I must admit, I wont be doing anything soon. I'm talking, maybe 10 years from now due to family ties and other commitments.

But there is no reason I cant keep my eyes peeled for the ideal property between now and then right?

Where would you guys suggest would be a great place to settle? I'm open to any and all suggestions...
Been there done that and note the following is a bit tongue-in-cheek.......

I "grew up" in PA, joined the Navy, ended up in Idaho and tho't I died and went to Heaven. (Initial feeling) Was great during the Navy days. Three years of all the hunting, fishing and shooting I could stand.

It all depends on how well you like to eat. I was told by a reputable fella if you want to make a million dollars in Idaho you have to work a million hours. (I think you have to work 2 million hours in WY). Thus a decent income is important.

When I was working in Louisiana I could hunt in PA and ID way more than when I was raising a family and living in ID. Those times have changed but I'm at the tail end of those years of really strong desire and energy. I'd just about shoot some meat out back than make a long trek in the wilderness area.

My recommendation would be to not make any rash/rushed decisions until you have the money thing straight. Otherwise hook onto the 5th wheel and head on out......
I couldn't agree with royinaidaho any more than if I'd have said it myself. By the way - you have to work 3 million hrs. in Montana. Moved here 30 years ago, from what i was making before moving here I had more time and money to hunt where and when I wanted than anytime after moving here.
The problemb with the best places to hunt and fish is theres NO work. The only people who can afford to live in such places are either independently wealthy, or retired. When these 2 groups make up 3/4 or MORE of a towns population, the economy will be relativly stagnent. Nothing against the wealthy or retired at all!!!
Someday Id like to be both, but as far as being able to afford to live where you want, its a ROUGH GO out here. I used to work 4 jobs at once just to live in Halfway Oregon.(THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD IMO) so I could hunt and fish. I worked so much that I never had time to go play. Now-a-days, Im married and have 2 kids and live in my own patch of subberbia hell on the edge of town in Central Oregon, so I dont feel too cramped, and ''HOME'' isnt more than 4 hrs away. Id love to go back but Im affraid I wont be able to untill Im either ''rich or retired''. And unfortunately its that way everywhere ''out West''. It is beautiful, and wide open in some places still, but jobs are non-existant wherever the huntin and fishin is best, Besides, youve got NASCAR. So, long story short if you figure out the secret PASS IT ON TO ME PLEASE! I wanna go back home!!!
Ihave grown up in NWMT, it is a great place, but with economy I HAVE BEEN convenitely unemployed the last 2 falls. Now Im telling my wife that I may have to look for work in AK, MY SON and I dream land:D
If I remember correctly Ol' Mike moved to Boise about a year ago. He was pretty sour on the job opportunities and was looking for greener pastures.

Haven't seen him here for quite awhile.....

I you want to hunt like a local, get the license and tags and pack up your stuff and head for the mountains or desert. That's the way we do it. There are those who can put you into some good general hunt areas. It just takes time and effort.

Best bets, though more expensive, are the guided hunts. Contact Redbone Outfitters, a sponsor here.
You guys are killing me. But I gotta be honest, I have pondered what I would do to make a living out there if I don't strike it rich beforehand. If I wait until I retire, then I don't see me climbing up and down those mountains very well, so I don't want to wait that long. I have considered the midwest, that way I could drive farther west or back east pretty easily. And still be close to some good hunting. Who knows what the future will hold, but you can bet I will be brainstorming for a while yet...

I'm addicted to the Rockies...

Oh yeah, we do have plenty of Nascar around here... And some beautiful beaches.. Charleston, SC is one of my favorite places in the USA.. I just eat way too much when I go there.. LOL..
You have to do some trips along the journey of life, or as you say you feel like you have missed it.I HAD BIG IDEAS a few years ago and as a builder the economy for me is zero, mortage until Im 76 at current rate. But my son and I NEVER miss and opening day, bow or rifle,and go Every weekend, I make the most of MT, and some ID TOO:D
Great thread. I am going to be done with school in a little over 2 years and then i will be relocating to wherever i want and can study. But first there will be a 3month hunting trip, ofcourse :D. I have been thinking about Texas, a lot of exotics, antelope, big whitetail, hogs (one of my favorite critters to hunt), even some elk. Not to mention several good technical universities.
Well, I've lived in CA, VA, IA and NE. Unless you count shipboard life in the Navy. I settled down in SD and I love it here. I do like a lot of other places. Most states out west have some pretty great stuff. Buuuuut, like was mentioned already, the economy is in the toilet. You'll never get rich in law enforcement but I get a lot of chances to meet the ranchers and scout for hunting spots. Out where I'm at there are lots of prairie dogs, coyotes, deer, antelope (bad winter for antegoats game and fish predicting over 90% winter kill) turkey, ducks, geese pheasants (lots) grouse and the fishing is actually pretty darn good. Cost of living is down and housing is pretty cheap. So, finding an income is about the only thing. I buy state and rez licenses and can hunt anywhere I want just about. Oh, also gun laws are good and easy to get concealed carry license here.

Good luck
The date is wrong on this pic, it was taken in late October 2009.
I do not know your circumstances and i understand not everyone has the opportunity to do it this way,but here is my take on whats been discussed. I was in your exact position about 10 years ago, and always figured I would live in northern idaho or montana. I had a friend going to college in butte, and we spent alot of time over the 4 yrs he was there fishing and scouting with him and his born an bread montana room mate. I fell in love, but everyone kept telling me i'd better bring my money with me, because its tough to make it there. I will try to keep this as short as possible, but basically one day we had a guest speaker come and talk to us about career transition. (It was some business class, not sure which one). He said that the average person changes carreers (not jobs) something like 5 times. he believed the reason was that people get the best jobs they can and then try to live the life they want around that. He believed the best way was to imagine the life you want to live, where you want to live it, and then get the job that allows you do it. again this doesnt always work out and depending on your circumstances, a person may not have the opportunity to make that happen. But this really hit home to me, so I did alot of research on what type of succesful carerrs a person can have in places like idaho and montana. I picked one, and then got the education needed to pursue that career. I am not preaching, i am only saying, if you want to live somewhere like idaho or montana, there are some professions that allow you do live there and do well. I wish you luck and hope you get there.
Regardless of what I said above, I turned down several six figure annual incomes (they all began with a 1:)) and opted to move back to Idaho at my own expense ($10k). Family of 9 plus Boudreaux the cat. Oldest was a Junior in high school.

Family came up in july, wife picked out a house, I called the owner who said if I offered him, xxxxx he'd take it. I offered xxxxx over the phone. He took it, the rest is history.

The carolina poplars that were sticks are now 50' high. Kids are gone.

I've had 7 distinct careers and 4 to 5 jobs in each career.

Also, when I got here I had no employment. That lasted 3 days.

Thus it can and most probably should be done but not without some outside help, mostly from above.

Desire and commitment seem to be the key.

There are whole towns that went belly up out here but there are those tough ones with the great independent attitude that are still there and will stay. Take a gander at Stanley Idaho. There are some tough salt of the earth folks in that neck of the woods.

The only regret that I have, possibly, was that I turned down a career and good paying job in McCall. That was really dumb but things turned out very well in spite of that decision.

With 7 children raised, a great wife and 14 and a half grandchildren, and still robust enough to trek around the mountains I'd say I done pretty fair......

Also, when ya make a decision the next task is to make that decision right!

Oh, and don't look back....... you'll turn to salt.:)
Warning! This thread is more than 15 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.