We scoured the United States to find places where great hunting and fishing starts right at the edge of town.
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When we started our “Top 200 Towns for Sportsmen” program in 2008, our goal was to provide you with an exhaustive list of cities and towns that, in addition to having excellent and abundant hunting and fishing opportunities nearby, are also great places to raise a family and provide a high quality of life. That same mission continues today.
How We Rank Towns
For our fourth-annual ranking, we highlighted towns that give you the best chance of finding a good-paying job and allow you to live comfortably within your means. With that in mind, we double-weighted three of our socio-economic categories this year to reward towns with low unemployment rates, high household income and a low cost of living.
Where We Get Our Stats
The website city-data.com has proven to be invaluable since we began this program. This is where we get the data for the bulk of our socio-economic categories: Population, Population Growth Since 2000, Median Household Income, Median Home Value, Cost of Living, Population Density, Unemployment Rate and Mean Commute Time. (Note: All data from city-data.com is from 2009, the most recent available. The national average Cost of Living Index rating is 100.) Our School Grade numbers are from great-schools.org. Our Amenities scores are based upon access to services such as hospitals, cultural outlets and institutes of higher education. Combined, these categories measure each town’s Quality of Life score, which makes up 40 percent of the overall ranking.
The Outdoor Life
The other 60 percent is based upon the Outdoors score, which reflects each town’s performance in the following categories: Gun Friendliness, Fishable Species, Huntable Species, Proximity to Public Land and Waters and Trophy Potential.