A Gun Owner’s Paradise

Outdoor Life has put together the top 200 towns for sportsmen. I’m shocked that any Pennsylvania towns made it on the list, but they put Erie at number 82. On the other hand, my home state had towns to make the cut: Bartlesville at 71, Poteau at 156, Elk City at 184, and Enid at 189.

Yes, some of you will complain that the number of fishing holes near a city doesn’t matter for purposes of gun ownership. I will agree – to some extent.

The list does take into account gun laws when it ranks the issues that matter for sportsmen.

Outdoors-related subcategories, which combine to account for 60 percent of the overall score, include the gun-friendliness of each town’s state, huntable and fishable species nearby, proximity to public land and waters, and the potential for taking a trophy-caliber animal or fish nearby.

It’s even the first thing they mention in the outdoor categories. I would also point out that the other factors can make a difference in the type of people you’re likely to have a neighbors – people who understand gun ownership as a tradition and a civil right who are more likely to vote against politicians who are anti-gun.

One of the best features of this list is that it also takes into account economic and quality-of-life issues. It’s great to be surrounded by pro-gun neighbors, but it’s also nice to have a job and be in a city where life doesn’t suck to raise your pro-gun children.

Socio-economic subcategories, which make up 40 percent of the overall score, include population percent growth since 2000, median household income, median home value, cost of living, unemployment rate, population density, mean commute time and amenities.

The magazine broke down several areas of interest – best for whitetail hunting, best for kids, best fishing, etc. I find one of the cities that tied for number one as best for kids is near the hometown of one of my best friends from college. She introduced me to shooting, and she has more hunting mounts than she knows what to do with. So I’d say she’s evidence that Evergreen, CO is very good for raising children with solid values – who also happen to be great marksmen. She’s also brilliant, so it speaks volumes about the school system.

For all of you curmudgeons who don’t want any neighbors nearby, they’ve got the list for you. (Tip: Look to Alaska.) If you’re winding down your time on the job, they’ve got lots of suggestions in Arizona and Florida for retirement. Your money will go furthest in these cities with the lowest cost of living and highest incomes.

9 thoughts on “A Gun Owner’s Paradise”

  1. I’m happy to see my home state of South Dakota well represented in the list. It really is a great place to live if you are an outdoorsmen. I still like to travel back there yearly to go pheasant hunting.

  2. My home town comes in @ #11, not too bad.
    If you’re politics lean to the right and you’re A+ on gun rights,hunting and fishing come on up and make yourself @ home.

  3. I’m just wondering how so many towns in New York made the list. New York is a beautiful state but one of the most gun unfriendly ones in the country.

    1. Because gun laws weren’t the only factor. They do have some of the lowest ranked gun laws in the chart (California comes in below them though). And there aren’t many – there are 5 out of 200. That’s only one more than Oklahoma. And their first one is at number 95.

      Most of the laws they are grading are focused on ownership and use, not carry. Plus, I’ve met some exceptionally pro-gun folks out of New York. Three of the NRA directors we have endorsed in recent years have been from New York. Not all of the state is like New York City.

  4. Funny enough, I live just south of town number 28… and yes, of course, I made a similar evaluation myself before chosing to move here.

  5. Born in Bartlesville in 1955, lived there til 1960, still have memories (still the same house on same edge of town, Thank You google earth).
    Lexington, Nebraska ’60 – ’67 (roughly between 66 Ogallala and 124 Kearney).
    California ’67 – Now.
    Self inflicted.

  6. Strange, of all the Nebraska towns on the list all, but one are the places I avoid like the plague during hunting season. The locals are cruel and petty, they’ll run their tractors in some places just to prevent you from hunting on CRP land and if your dressed like a hunter you’ll get a scowl before you ever get a seat at a small cafe. The Northern parts of Nebraska are the exception, churches will have cook-out fund raiser during hunting season and are generally welcoming.

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