Outdoor Life’s Alex Robinson, a Wisconsinite and Packers backer, and Steve Hickoff, resident “Strut Zone” correspondent, PA native and Steelers lifer (who wrote a book about the team), faced off with some trash talk in these days before the Pittsburgh-Green Bay Super Bowl. Since the two are hardcore outdoorsmen, the trash talk naturally turned to which state has better hunting and fishing … Pictured: Hickoff
… and the stakes are high. If the Packers win, Hickoff will model one of the infamous cheesehead hats, and try to kill a spring gobbler this coming season while doing it. If the Steelers win, Robinson will don a Ben Roethlisberger jersey for the 2011 Wisconsin deer opener. Photos are required from the loser. What follows is a correspondence of the good-natured ribbing between Hickoff and Robinson ast the two try to prove that their state is superior. Pictured: Robinson
Alex: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
This national forest is scattered in pieces across the northern half of the state and covers more than 1.5 million acres of prime hunting and fishing territory. Unlike many of the over-crowded public hunting spots in PA, inside Chequamegon-Nicolet you can find some true wilderness areas if you’re willing to hike. The largest National forest in Pennsylvania is the Allegheny weighing in at a measly 513,185 acres. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is home to deer, bears, foxes, beavers, grouse, wild turkeys, wolves, lynx, bald eagles and loons. Do you PA guys even know what a loon is?
Steve: The Definition of “Loon” In Pennsylvania, a “loon” is the common reference for “one who is crazy and deranged.” Sort of like Packers fans who fork over 20 large for a hat resembling a big piece of cheese. Or guys who actually know how to spell “lynx.”
Alex: WI knows cold
Real outdoorsmen and women can handle cold temperatures. We don’t run and hide from snow or blustery weather. Out of the top 40 largest cities in the country Milwaukee is the second coldest (behind Minneapolis which borders Wisconsin). Pennsylvania didn’t even have a city that made the list … Wusses. Photo:
Steve: PA knows food
Since culinary imagination is sometimes limited in the Midwest, Green Bay just has cheese. Pittsburgh has cheese, and all this at Primanti Brothers (around since 1933, the same year the Steelers franchise was born) in the Steel City: Photo:
Alex: National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
Hayward, WI is home to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, which has been built into a giant musky. That’s right, we made a musky building. The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame has over 3,000 entries in its world record book. Its museum displays 5,000 fishing lures, 200 rods and reels, 400 mounted fish, and a room of outboard motors. What kind of halls of fame does Pennsylvania have? It’s home to the Weightlifting Hall of Fame, which features a 7.5-foot-tall statue of Bob Hoffman. We get it PA … you can lift really heavy stuff.
Steve: Steelers vs. Packers Hall of Famers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have 20 players, coaches and iconic franchise figures in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This doesn’t even include some Hall of Famers who spent part of their careers with the Steelers. The Packers have 21. Oops. I never was good at math.
Alex: Big Bucks
PA has come a long way in the big buck department recently. The western part of the state has been consistently turning out trophy bucks and some nice deer are even being taken in the east. But with that being said, Wisconsin is still the top dog. Look at it this way. The state record typical buck from Wisconsin was killed in 1914 by James Jordan and scores 206 1/8, which was once a world record. The state record typical buck from Pennsylvania? 189, more than 17 inches smaller than Jordan’s deer.
Steve: Deer vs. Turkeys
Deer? Yawn. Turkeys rule. Pennsylvania had wild turkeys even at the lowest point of depleted flock numbers in the Twentieth Century before the modern trap-and-transfer management programs kicked in and restored populations elsewhere around the country. PA in fact donated turkeys to other states to help grow their populations. According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, Wisconsin didn’t reintroduce turkeys until 1976. Bit of a late bloomer. Sure, Wisconsin is a sleeper state on the national wild turkey map, and a place regular Strut Zone correspondent Charlie Elk calls home, but Pennsylvania has always dominated the turkey hunting scene. Sort of like the Steelers in the National Football League. Photo: Gordon E. Robertson
Alex: Sunday Hunting
In Wisconsin we understand that the closest you can get to God is to climb up into a deer stand (a close second would be front row seats at Lambeau Field). However the guys from PA still haven’t figured this out yet. Not to mention you can’t buy beer in a lot of places on Sunday in Pennsylvania. We would never allow this sort of thing in Wisconsin. “When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God.”

-Fred Bear Photo: twbowes.blogspot
Steve: Sunday Resting
Pennsylvanians hunt and fish so hard they like to rest at least one day of the week: Sunday. Sleeping in helps them get ready for an afternoon of smash-mouth Steelers football. Photo: WayTru
Alex: Grouse
Park Falls, WI is the Ruffed Grouse Capital of the World, and they have the sign to prove it. There are many places to hunt grouse in Wisconsin, but none are more famous than Price County, where public game lands are managed specifically for grouse. Apparently Pennsylvania’s state bird is the ruffed grouse, which doesn’t mean much because PA’s state beverage is milk, and we all know that milk comes from Wisconsin. Come on PA, stop trying to rip us off.
Steve: Plan B
Grouse hunting is something you do in Pennsylvania when you’re not fall turkey hunting. Who drinks milk anyway? That sounds like some Wisconsin propaganda.
Alex: Muskies
Wisconsin is known for musky fishing and it’s home to Joe Bucher, one of the most respected musky anglers of all time. The world record musky also belongs to Wisconsin weighing in at 69 pounds 11 ounces (or 15 ounces depending on who you ask). Oh yea, we also have the Musky Capital of the world in Boulder Junction, WI. I have heard PA has muskies but they’re all small. Photo: thart2009
Steve: Why bother?
I think Wisconsiners call the musky the “fish of 1,000 casts.” Or is it 10,000? Either way, that’s just plain stupid to throw a lure into the water if nothing is smacking it with the fury of AP’s Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu. Photo: blueag9
Alex: More Lakes
There are more than 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin. How many does PA have? Sadly the Keystone state has only a few thousand and many of them are manmade. Also Wisconsin borders two Great Lakes while Pennsylvania barely borders one, and it’s Lake Erie, which hardly even counts. Photo:
Steve: Water, Water Everywhere
Great! Wisconsin has more water. It still won’t help Green Bay win the Super Bowl. Can I hear some applause? Anyone? More water, yeaaaaaah! Man, I need a nap. Photo: Asamudra
Alex: More Bears
New population estimates suggest that Wisconsin has more than 33,000 black bears. While Pennsylvania only has an estimated 10,000 bears. We’d offer to loan you some of our bears PA, but WI bears like lakes and we already established that you don’t have many of those either. Photo: hbarrison
Steve: More Bears?
The last thing Wisconsin should want is more bears. Aren’t the Chicago Bears a longtime Green Bay Packers rival? I mean, c’mon man. Photo: shadowjester07
Alex: We wear orange to football games
You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re a hunter if you live in Wisconsin. In fact, you can embrace it. On any given Sunday at Lambeau Field you’ll see thousands of men, women and children sitting in the stands wearing blaze orange. Go Pack Go!
Steve: We wear camouflage to football games
Nobody in Pennsylvania hides the fact they’re hunters. It’s a birthright. Kids even have a school holiday on the first Monday after Thanksgiving on the opening day of deer season. I do realize it’s tough to see all that camouflage behind the whirling blur of Terrible Towels at Heinz Field. Does eating a lot of cheese affect a guy’s eyesight?
Alex: The Mighty Miss.
The biggest river in Wisconsin is the Mississippi which is a hot spot for duck hunting and walleye fishing. The largest river in PA is the Susquehanna, which is a hot spot for pollution. In 2005 the river was so polluted that the American Rivers group named it “America’s Most Endangered River.” Photo: Jesster79
Steve: Bassmaster Classic
Pittsburgh hosted the 2005 Bassmaster Classic to fish the Three Rivers in July that year. Stacey King and Kevin VanDam caught the two biggest fish on the first day (smallmouth bass weighing 2 pounds, 14 ounces). Jimmy Mize earned first place with his 6.2-pound, five-fish limit. Ten Bass pros were skunked during weigh-in. Many attending anglers said that fishing the Pittsburgh city limits was pretty challenging. Yep, fishing is tough in PA, just like the Steelers.
Alex: Sharp-tailed grouse
Wisconsin doesn’t have a huge population of sharp-tailed grouse, but we do have some. The hunting season for sharptails runs from October 16 to November 7. I doubt anyone from Pennsylvania has even seen this species of bird before. Photo: Teo
Steve: Just Wondering
Why would any Pennsylvanian ever want to hunt a bird with a sharp tail? I mean, really. Why? Photo: USFWS
Alex: Less big cities
Wisconsin still has the small-town feel that you can only get in the Midwest. Pennsylvania’s biggest city, Philadelphia, has 1.5 million people. Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, has a population that is about a third of that. Lower overall population, less urban sprawl, more places to hunt. Photo: schwnj
Steve: Two-States-In-One
Liberal pundit James Carville (and hubby of conservative Mary Matalin) said that Pennsylvania is two cities separated by Alabama. One city is home to a football team with 6 Super Bowl wins (soon to be 7). Sure, Green Bay won the first two championships before the NFL-AFL merger, but only one since. Just sayin’.
OK OL readers it’s time for you to weigh in. Which state do you think is better for sportsmen and women. And while we’re at it, who do you think is going to win the Superbowl? Photo: BrokenSphere

With the Superbowl only days away the trash talk has begun. Which is a better outdoors state, PA or WI?