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Wyoming
I've been throwing ideas around about moving out west and Wyoming has been the main state of appeal to me. I know several people here have traveled through the west on adventures and wondering if any wondered through Wyoming or if any one lives there.

Want to get y'all's opinion of the areas y'all went to and how the hunting was. I see that they have crane hunting and heard the goose hunting can be good in areas. I'm sure there are plenty of upland species to set sights on too, so just want opinions from the trust here.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Ben,
I've been to the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area twice, many years ago. That corner gets all the publicity. And the skyrocket high real estate follows.

The Miracle Mile and Golden Reef of the North Platte are world renown for their trout fishing.

An "overlooked" area is from Laramie west through the Medicine Bow Mountains/National Forest to Saratoga. I say "overlooked" because Im not sure anything about Wyoming is overlooked nowadays. This is in the southeast corner of the state. The junction of the Encampment River and North Platte are a tremendous fishery, less crowded than other places. This is a beautiful piece of God's creation.

I've not hunted there. I imagine it is a great place to hunt. Not so sure about waterfowl.

Good luck with your research and decision.

What is it you are looking for that would cause such a drastic move?

Larry
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
I was thinking of more on the southern end and had looked around Laramie and even nearing to Cheyenne and up to Wheatland to Casper. Looked around La Barge to the west but would rather be near the eastern states than the western states.

As far reasoning for thinking of moving comes from a variety of things. There is nothing bad here and I love my home state of NC. Love the coast and the mountains the wildlife and family and friends that are all here.

I've always had a draw to other places though. I've said before that it's tragedy that the Lord has created so many wonderful places and ecosystems and man only has so few years to experience it all in depth. One thing that I would complain of the NENC is there not much to do like state or national parks that you can enjoy out west.

So the wide open planes and large defined mountains (not the hill mountains of Appalachia) the different species of animals and trees. Open forests and snow along with a feel for more rugged terrain and frontier-like living draws me to something different.

Plus I've had my visits to Kodiak and to New Mexico that opened my eyes and wet my lips to other regions that has set a fire for something different. Even thought about moving to Kodiak but the long winters would be rough with the kids and wife so set my sights to the lower 48




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.

Last edited by:

benp: Feb 21, 2021, 6:36 PM
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
I love wyoming but have never lived there.
My son did an interned ship with game and fish and would have stayed if they had a permanent position availabl.
We have been on three do it your self elk hunts west of encampment and have done pretty well. There are a lot of hunters but plenty of elk.
The area is on the verge of some huge forest fires with all the beetle killed trees so be ready for some smokey summers until things stabilize.

We did well antelope hunting by the miracle mile.
I admire the ranchers living there.
Going to town for supplies is an all day event .
People there are still very friendly and helpful outside of the busy tourist areas.
If you are self sufficient it would be a wonderful place to live








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LAYOUT BOAT...a hole in the water that one fills with donut crumbs and empty shell casings.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Ben,
No practical advice from me but lots of encouragement. Do it you only get one ride on this planet make it count!

"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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Re: Wyoming In reply to
 

I have only lived in Wyoming during one summer a long time ago, but I have a good friend who lives in Cheyenne. The other commenters have covered the fishing. He is mainly an upland game bird hunter. He travels multiple times during the year to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma to chase prairie grouse, quail and pheasants. Cheyenne seems to be well situated for that type of activity. There isn't a lot of waterfowling in Wyoming besides the occasional jump shooting stock ponds, floating down rivers, and some dryland goose hunting. So you aren't going to have anything like Albemarle, Pamilico or Mattamuskeet. My buddy does say that the winds and cold get old during the winter, I think they are on their third or fourth major windstorm this winter, he says that they are having 85 mph gusts today and I-80 is closed from Laramie to Rawlins. Snow and wind they got, but they don't get hurricanes or humidity. Sure they get some forest fires and will have more but every state west of the Plains is going through that now. I'm not sure about jobs outside of the energy sector but its a beautiful state with great natural beauty.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
If you think winters are tough on Kodiak, move to Wyoming. The wind blows, incessantly... Wyoming also has the highest suicide rate per capita in the US. I like the badlands, but not sure I would want to live there.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Spent about half a year there. Loved every minute of it.

More cattle than people or cars. Brutally hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But the days in between are glorious.

Plus, drive through bars and no speed limits (at least when I was there).
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Brad, I can see you are located in Washington but am hoping you can comment on other western/Northwest states for waterfowl. How would you rank Idaho vs. Eastern Montana vs. Wyoming for waterfowl? I have read/analyzed the RealTree Outdoors statistics by-state but that only tells part of the story (has to take into consideration length of waterfowl season differences between Flyways/states and even within a state (Ex: Idaho)).
I agree there is a lot of history/tradition in the NC places you mention but access could be better (although NC is not at bad as Virginia) and the number of waterfowl on the Atlantic Flyway pales vs. other Flyways.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Thanks everyone for advice and comments.

I had read that the winds can get pretty fierce there and across all those mid states, seemed like Wyoming wasn't quite as bad as say Montana or the Dakotas but still something to consider. Used to 80mph winds from hurricanes but 80-90 degree winds are nothing compared to 10-20 degree winds, cold weather is great if there is little wind.

I've always loved duck hunting the most but as I age (ha 26 year old) I'm losing steam on chasing them around here. Weather has not pushed many birds down for some years now except the '17-18 season. Plus the local "guide services" are becoming more and more annoying with their yellow decoys measured in pounds, hard to feel comfortable hunting places when you don't have time to scout and check on what other people are doing. Found myself on corn before that I didn't know was there and it's not getting any better with this next generation.

So my other love is fly fishing which I know Wyoming has, turkey hunting would be next along with small game. Then the big game is after that and Wyoming has a lot more variety than the whitetail deer we have here.

Snow is something I would have to get used to. High altitude and rugged terrain would be a learning curve as well. The forest fires don't seem as prominent in Wyoming as some others, which might be a false observation from me, but still something I have looked at.

I like the idea of being near another state where I could hunt both sides of the borders for more opportunities.

The suicide rate was also something I saw in a YouTube video which doesn't concern me too much for me but is something I look at for how my kids might be affected. This was really one of the main negatives of the state that I've seen that everyone would agree on. Weather and temperatures and open spaces is up for opinions.

Job opportunities is something I need to consider more. By profession I am a aircraft sheet metal/structure mechanic. So need to think if I want to try and stay in a similar career or maybe change it up.

Thanks for the responses. Helping me sort through ideas in my head.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
If fly fishing is your passion I would look at each states stream access laws. Montana has great access for example.

Cold is relative in my opinion especially in a climate where is doesn't swing wildly. Once you live in it for a while your body acclimates to it quickly.

But hey if you do move to Wyoming keep in touch there are some wilderness area's I have enough points for Wink

"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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Re: Wyoming In reply to
David Clites wrote:
Brad, I can see you are located in Washington but am hoping you can comment on other western/Northwest states for waterfowl. How would you rank Idaho vs. Eastern Montana vs. Wyoming for waterfowl? I have read/analyzed the RealTree Outdoors statistics by-state but that only tells part of the story (has to take into consideration length of waterfowl season differences between Flyways/states and even within a state (Ex: Idaho)).
I agree there is a lot of history/tradition in the NC places you mention but access could be better (although NC is not at bad as Virginia) and the number of waterfowl on the Atlantic Flyway pales vs. other Flyways.


David, first a couple of things. I grew up on the Chesapeake, went to school on Lake Champlain and did my graduate work at Mattamuskeet. I have a deep respect and love for parts of the Atlantic Flyway, but as a waterfowler, I wouldn't live there again. Too many people, not enough opportunity, too restrictive access, among other things. So I am biased.

Eastern Montana, I'm defining by anything east of the Havre-Billings line is the Central Flyway. Beautiful, dry open land. Scattering of goose and duck hunting on rivers, reservoirs, a couple of NWRs some of it can be good. Upland game bird hunting is probably better than water fowling. Big Lake fishing on reservoirs and rivers. Big game opportunities are pretty good too. Fairly good access on public land and more opportunity on Block Management lands. Probably more fly fishing and water fowling in western Montana. Did I mention it takes almost 12 hours to drive across the entire state towing a travel trailer?

Idaho is entirely in the Pacific Flyway. Most of the waterfowling is along the Snake River in southern part of the state. Mostly private land but a few NWRs, WMAs and some tribal land. Everything from snow geese to diving ducks. Northern Idaho has some water fowling on the big lakes and a couple of WMAs and NWRs but its pretty limited and in the far north. Big game hunting is king and there is some good fishing.

Wyoming is not known for its waterfowling but there are certainly spots, reservoirs, lakes and rivers. But most of the state is in the Pacific Flyway so seasons are long and bag limits pretty generous. Central Flyway portion is probably better for waterfowl and seasons/bag limits a little more restrictive than Pacific.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Thanks Brandon,

There is a lot to think about. I guess one thing I forgot to mention for thinking of moving is dealing with work. Had a plan and sights set on transitioning to civil service but it didn't work out so it added to me thinking of trying something else in a new location, seems to be a transition point.

Might be a few years out though. But would like to start looking and planning, my third boy is due in less than 3 weeks so would be awhile after that to move. My oldest will be 8 in may and I have a 2.5 year old so have to think what it will be like for them because we will be leaving the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins here.

If I move out there I would gladly show some guests around the places. I guess a dream would be to have a place that I can work to make great habitat for animals and have people come hunt, not necessarily a guide service but something for family and friends.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
"My oldest will be 8 in may and I have a 2.5 year old so have to think what it will be like for them because we will be leaving the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins here."




This is something that we have always had to deal, with my family mostly in the northeast and my wife's back in Japan.
Not having a family and the support network they provide is tough, especially on the kids.
If I could do over again, looking back on life, I would have stayed closer to family.
Be prepared to spend $$$ on airline tickets for a family of 5 to travel back east every year. Or to fly grandparents out to see the kids.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Ben,

No real info about Wyoming because I have only either driven through or visited Devil's Tower (which was incredible btw). But I have a few thoughts.

Carl brought up a good point about the family structure and it being tough on kids (which you already recognized) but I will take it one step further. If you rely on your family to help watch the kids during the day or whatever, it will also be tough on you. You may be looking at increased child care costs for you and your wife if you move away from the family structure you have, so something to consider if you have not already considered that aspect of it.

If Wyoming is some place that you really think you might want to live, then my advice would be to take a couple of vacations to the state over the next few years and stay there during the WORST times of the year. The height of fire season, the deepest depths of winter for example. See if you or your family can handle that. Fires can be bad out west, and they will get worse before they get better I am sure. If you or anyone in your family is prone to allergies or breathing related problems, that may be something you need to consider. You guys might find a love of cold weather sports by going in the dead of winter. I mention that idea though because I have friends that have visited places during the nice parts of the year for whatever location they were at and they end up moving and reality hits them and the nice parts of the year are only that way maybe 20% of the time and the rest of the time is miserable. So, visiting during the awful time of year will give you a better idea of what it might be like living there year round.

Having visited Eastern Montana multiple times, I can tell you that the wind can be incessant on the prairie. I'd agree with a lot of what Brad said about Montana. I deal with hurricanes and tropical storms as much as you do but I would say that the wind up in MT is way worse than dealing with the wind down here. It can blow for days and it gets old quick. I was never in MT in the really cold parts of the year but there were days where it blew easily 30 mph for days, with stronger gusts and it makes hunting very tough and sometimes miserable when you are cold and can't get warm til you get back to the truck. Add in the cold and I'll take a warm, humid hurricane over cold, incessant hurricane or tropical storm force winds for days any day of the week. I kept an eye over the winter on my sage grouse areas and the last few storms negative temps and constant 25-35 mph winds has been the norm. There is so much about Montana that I love, but I really don't think I could handle the winters there. Snow and cold might be something to get used to but I don't know that I would ENJOY getting used to cold and wind and wind and more wind and even more wind on top of the cold (with or without snow).

I didn't know that WY was the highest rates of suicide per capita. That is interesting. Something else to consider is looking at drug use rates. One thing that I have noticed in all of the rural areas of MT that I have visited is the numbers of Meth Kills types signs that are posted. Petroleum County is one of the least populated counties in the lower 48 and the number of Meth Kills type signs is amazing. I talked with the Sheriff about it and drug use is by far the biggest "problem" (I think domestic violence came in second) for law breaking. So, wherever you move you might consider looking at the things that kids can do outside of school and what kind of social network they might have. Not gonna say that your kids will ever have a drug problem, but depending on where/if you end up relocating, they might have a higher chance of dealing with drug use by peers than where you live now.

I haven't hunted WY yet so I can offer no real information that wasn't already mentioned. I will say that Eastern MT ducks and geese seem to be more patchy and here today, gone tomorrow. I say that though knowing I never really targeted ducks or geese while we were out there. There were always a few ducks on potholes and stock ponds that could have been shot if I had gotten the migratory bird stamps and what not but I never did since we were out chasing upland game birds. There were a couple times that we were going to go shoot a pond or two for ducks but they weren't there the next day or the day after. If WY is that way, then you may not be thrilled with the duck hunting opportunities. But upland birds may easily take their place. I remember one year was an incredibly bad drought up in MT and still we made the trek to hunt it. One rancher asked why we made the trip in such a sucky year and I responded that even a bad year in MT is way better than a good year upland hunting in FL. I imagine that it would be the same from someone from NC....lots more hunting opportunities period out west than in the east. So, I imagine you would find something to replace ducks quite easily.

Access laws were mentioned for fishing, you may want to look at the same for hunting access. MT has great programs that allow hunters to access private property. WY might as well.

Those are just a couple of thoughts that I had....

Dani
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Thanks Carl and Dani,

Great points to bring up and really appreciate the in depth thoughts and responses from everyone. I hadn't thought of vacationing there during the worst times but it makes perfect sense. We were discussing going out there this fall and check a few things out.

The winter sports is something that, in our minds, we would enjoy to partake in. And I'll look more into land access and opportunities.

As far as drug problems I feel it's bad everywhere now. The city where I'm near to is a center hub from drug traffic because we are between big cities in Chesapeake VA and Raleigh down to Greenville and Wilmington. Drugs pass through here a lot and have known several people to overdose, a family member of my wife did not too long ago but they brought him out of it... twice.
So it's around no matter what but still something to think about because like y'all said the family support won't be accessible like it is now.

Thanks again everyone for the responses.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Wyoming In reply to
Brad, thanks for the input. If you grew up on the Chesapeake and did graduate work at "Skeet" then you know what I mean about VA and NC. No matter where a person lives,cthey need t make the best of the situation. As i write this i am sitting at the Piankatank River watching a few Ruddies and Buffleheads. They helped us turn past season from terrible to not-too-bad.