View Full Version : Rank these states

October 20, 2007, 04:56 PM
If you know or can guesstimate fairly closely, please rank these states in order from highest to lowest, by

-Ratio of open public hunting land acreage divided by number of hunters (hunting licenses in a given year). Looking for the most wide open spaces and least likely to run into people/other hunters while hunting public land. I'll go ahead and start off by ranking them in my own best guesstimate:

1. Nevada
2. Montana
3. Wyoming
4. Idaho
5. Utah
6. Oregon
7. Washington
8. Colorado

I want to rank those 8, and I'm probably farily close, but it's gonna depend on both how much public land is available, the population of the state, the number of visiting hunters and resident hunters both. Do I have Montana & Wyoming backward? Is there a dark horse that should be higher on the list due to lots of public hunting lands or lotsa city slickers without as many rural hunters, or what?

Anyone have the actual stats for any given state on total public land acreage, or total # of licenses sold?

October 20, 2007, 10:13 PM
1. Nevada
2. Montana
3. Wyoming
4. Idaho
5. Utah
6. Oregon
7. Washington
8. Colorado
Well, I happen to know that Nevada has the highest percentage of public land of any state in the USA. They also have a draw system to limit the number of hunters in the field at any time. I would say Nevada is your best bet for a true solitude hunt, then Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. I have hunted all of these states, and if I could hunt ANY state in the nation, I would choose either Nevada or Wyoming first, then Montana or Idaho.

Oregon and Washington have some good areas and good draw hunts, but there are very few places you can go where you will not run into people. Despite the size of the states, they are both fairly heavily populated relative to Nevada or Montana. But that has both a good side and a bad side, trust me on that one.

October 21, 2007, 12:13 AM
I'd rate Alaska up there for a hunt where you will see few hunters. It is such a big place to get lost in. I usually don't run into very many people when I hunt Colorado as I like to go where most don't. Plus if you use Archery and Muzzle loaders you'll get even more away from the crowd. I haven't hunted out of State much only TX and AK so I can't comment on other States.

roy reali
October 21, 2007, 12:44 AM
If Las Vegas and Reno were removed from Nevada, our population density would be under four people per square mile. We do have some lonely places here. A guy I know here has a replica Civil war Mortar he fires on occassion. This he does ten minutes from his house. In fact, in many places firing off a Howitzer would hardly disturb anyone.;)

October 22, 2007, 11:43 AM
Here in Mt, many, many Forest Service roads have been closed to motorized vehicles in the last 15 years. I'm sure other states are similar.

Now, if you're horse hunting, this works out really well. Most who are hunting off their own two legs won't get more than 3-5 miles in (my nephew would be the exception). There are huge tracts that would have gotten quite a bit of traffic 15 years ago that are pretty remote and isolated now.

Outfitters and private horsemen will be the wild card. Most choose the designated Wilderness Areas. That leaves a lot of area for you to have the place to yourself.

Not sure if you are thinking of a guided hunt or what, but the horse issue makes a big difference in what's available.

October 22, 2007, 12:52 PM
Not sure statistically how Oregon would rate, but there are a LOT of people that would fit in the "city slicker" category.

I will say that the units that we hunt, you do see some people, but not bad. For Eastern Oregon mule deer rifle, the unit we go to we see a lot of camps, but very seldom see anyone once we start hunting.

October 22, 2007, 02:08 PM
I might remove Washington from the list based on those criteria and an additional couple which are harvest limits and length of season.

I might move Idaho up further based on your criteria and the addition of length of season. There are some pretty remote places in this state. Major population centers are way South (Boise) Middle (Lewiston) and North (Coeurd A Lane/Post Falls).

As mentioned I think things are getting better though because of the closing of roads due to funding etc... This keeps a lot of the road hunters away and alows you some free room.

October 22, 2007, 03:05 PM
yep, alaska has it

October 23, 2007, 08:36 AM
Don't come to Wyoming, WAAAYYY too many hunters up here:D So, stay away, stay far, far away ;)

October 23, 2007, 10:56 AM
yep, alaska has itNever hunted Alaska, as I suspect most people haven't. One problem is the cost of hunting Alaska, both in time and money. You have to have a guide. You have to be REALLY prepared for the weather. You have to be ready to part with more money than it would take to hunt in Africa. Just the travel time alone to get there and back is more than some people set aside as their whole hunting trip. And typically, people require total re-outfitting to be able to gear up for the hunt. While Alaska has many attractive features, I don't think I will be hunting there in this lifetime.
Montana has great hunting and true wilderness. It also has sudden weather changes and real winter storms. I can't remember if it's Montana or Wyoming that will not allow you to hunt wilderness areas without a guide, but a guide in Montana won't set you back half as much as a guide in Alaska.

October 23, 2007, 11:47 AM
I have hunted about 15 seasons in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in MT.Obviously like it there.Most of the hunts were in bow season and you probably had at least 10,000 acres to yourself.The only other hunters in there were on Cabin Creek,about 4 miles down the river.
In rifle season you may see some other hunters from a distance,but the outfitters have boundaries that they honor for the most part.
The guides come and go and I know the area better than they do,so you hunt alone mostly.But,they cook and get your stuff in and out 20 miles or so.
But,it is a wilderness hunt.Last year when I rode in it was 20 below zero and a 20 ounce water bottle froze solid in my pocket.You had to sleep with your water in the sleeping bag if you wanted to have a drink during the night,or it would be solid as a rock.Doesn't take long to get up take a whiz and get back in the bag.You can build a little fire,but aspen and pine don't last long.
Some men would rather stay in a cabin,and there are plenty of those hunts available.But,I just love the wilderness.

FF,I know you are not looking for a guided hunt.If you are interested in MT,go on line and apply for a license.Must be prior to June 1 2008 for 2008.Make sure you get a license,and then you have about 20 million acres of national forest to research.

October 23, 2007, 12:42 PM
Never hunted Alaska, as I suspect most people haven't. One problem is the cost of hunting Alaska, both in time and money. You have to have a guide.

Sure it is expensive so are most out of State hunting trips. I didn't think I'd see AK before I retired to hunt. I got lucky and talked to a few people and got asked on a DIY black bear hunt. No guide involved didn't have a whole lot of money involved in the hunt. I think I'm still less than 4K for the total expense of the hunt. That includes lodging, food, travel, gear, tags, and taxidermy. The gear I bought should last me several hunts here in Colorado as long as I don't grow any.

If you are in it for the adventure you can hunt most of AK without a guide as long as you are not going for sheep and big bear or hunting as a Non-resident Alien. I have a friend who did a drop hunt for moose. They didn't get one but they caught a lot of fish and had a great time and are planing their next hunt back there within the next 2 years.

As far as time goes either way you go Alaska or Africa you are probably going to take at least two weeks off from work anyway. While Africa appeals to some and I'd still like to hunt there some day, I dream of a big AK/Yukon moose more than anything else. I will not be satisfied until I get one, while that dream is still a few years off, I'll go back as many times as I can for the DIY adventure.

October 23, 2007, 02:03 PM
In case anybody is interested.Next year's Montana hunt is $3100 for the outfitter.The guaranteed license will be about $900.Air fare will be about $600.I'll leave at least a $300 tip.Lodging in Choteau and Great Falls will be about$150 and maybe another $100 for meals.So,it's a $5000 deal.
I have friends that drive out and hike in and have killed some nice Elk.But,where I like to go I would have to buy a couple of horses and probably four pack mules.Which is not reallistic for several reasons.
I know when people think of outfitters they think about New Mexico auctions or Texas caged deer hunts.Pretty unfair to the MT,CO,ID,WY,UT,outfitters who work their butts off to get hunters in to an area that they would never see any other way.

October 23, 2007, 06:16 PM
WA is the only state on the list that I have hunted. Bear hunted for a week, only saw two people which is good but never saw a single bear, very bad. When deer season opened it looked like a funeral train of trucks going into the woods-I do NOT think so.
Alaska has always been my dream and oneday I will. Maybe I will make good friends with WildAlaska:D

October 23, 2007, 06:59 PM
ZJ - $5K is a LOT for me. My hunting buddy and I have commited to saving our pennies for the next 5 years in order to do one great guided pack-in trip for bow elk.

Between my farm, my 4 kids, my wife's lousy teacher's salary and my meager earnings as a budget analyst for a university - there aint a lot of pennies left over each month.

Worst part about having kids late in life is I will be 61 when my youngest turns 18 - like there is any chance that will be the end of that financial commitment......

Fat White Boy
October 24, 2007, 09:08 PM
If you can get the license and tags yourself, I think you could charter a helicopter to haul you and your equipment in and out of your chosen area for that much money and have some left over...I know there are hunts and fishing trips like that in Alaska...

October 25, 2007, 09:22 AM
Worst part about having kids late in life is I will be 61 when my youngest turns 18 - like there is any chance that will be the end of that financial commitment......

God, I know the feeling.
My only child (son) is 5yrs old, and I am 45!

October 25, 2007, 03:51 PM
Well being a Washington hunter I can tell you that hunting public land can be frustrating. Thats all I hunt on but we go as far from the crowds and larger populated areas as possible and still run into lots of other hunters at times. People are using atv's where they arent allowed to get into the back country that we hike into. I just cant afford the $,$$$ to hunt on private land so I stick to the national forest.
My partner and I did manage to take a decent 4x4 muely this year though.

October 25, 2007, 04:38 PM
Worst part about having kids late in life is I will be 61 when my youngest turns 18 Welcome to the old geezers club. My first son was born when I was 45, my youngest was born 2 weeks after I turned 50. You do the math . . .