Now, declaring a best state for hunting is difficult from the get-go because it all depends on what we’re talking about hunting: hog, duck, turkey, wolf, bison? Also, we’ve left Alaska off of consideration because while there may be more game to hunt here in the lower 48, Alaska’s openness and public lands give it quite a hunting advantage.
So down here in the mainland, Montana makes a very strong case for offering the best all-around hunting experience and options. There is a little of every kind of animal, plenty of mountains and National Forests (Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest alone covers 3.32 million acres), beautiful scenery and it’s cheaper than flying up to Anchorage.
Archery, rifle, handgun or shotgun -- or even just armed with a camera -- here are some of the best Montana locations for hunting:
Elk - Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Southwest Montana
Whitetail Deer - Swan-Seeley Valley, Western Montana
- Deer and Elk seasons begins Sept. 1 for archery and Oct. 20 for general hunting. Backcountry HD’s for general hunting start mid-September.
Pheasant - Lewistown, Central Montana
- A great youth hunting trip, pheasant season dates begin Sept. 22 for kids and Oct. 6th for everyone else.
Turkey - Long Pine National Forest, Southeast Montana
- Fall 2012 dates for turkey hunting run from Sept. 1 - Jan. 1.
Mountain Lion - Northwest Montana
- Montana is one of a few states that allows the hunting of mountain lions. Hound hunting for mountain lions begins Dec. 1 and runs through April 14, 2013.
*Season dates may vary by district, so always check local regulations
What do you think?
Where is the best hunting found in America? Texas could make a quality argument, as could some other destinations like Missouri or Arkansas. Or does Montana really offer the best hunting experience in mainland America?