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18 Great Sportsman Colleges to Apply to Today

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Colby College

Are you a sportsman or woman looking at colleges to apply to? Check out these colleges that have great opportunities for shooting, hunting, or fishing. 

Shooting:

  • West Virginia University – Taking a victory for 16 of the total 35 NCAA Shooting competitions since 1980 (including the two most recent), West Virginia stands as a powerhouse for shooting. If you’re also an angler, WVU has a fantastic fishing club that took first in the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational in August of 2013.
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks – With a rifle team that has won 10 NCAA Shooting competitions, a little under a third of the competitions since their inception in 1980, Fairbanks, Alaska is a great option for young prospective shooters. The town also boasts impressive ice fishing as well as some great big game hunting for caribou, moose, and brown bears.
Flickr/James Brooks
Flickr/James Brooks

 

Hunting:

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison – This college claims the Badge Hunting Club, a relatively new, but well organized club that has access to nearby farms for deer hunting via gun or bow (helping out the farmers in the process) and knows of a number of great spots for waterfowl. The club is also active in their community, promoting Learn to Hunt programs and safety classes.
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis – OSU offers an “open to all students” seasonal hunting schedule that targets turkey in the spring, deer/elk bow hunting in early fall, and deer rifle hunting in late fall. The college also has a recreational and competitive rifle shooting club that celebrated its 70 year anniversary this year.
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Oregon State University – Flickr/saml123
  • University of Wyoming – Located in south-eastern Wyoming, UW is a great location for big game hunting. With an abundance of antelope in the area as well as elk, the Laramie area is great for a hunter out on the plains. There is also a good amount of trout in nearby mountain streams and lakes if you have any angling tendencies.
  • Colorado State University – Nestled between the Pawnee National Grassland and the Roosevelt National Forest makes CSU an excellent college for the young sportsman who is looking to bag a nice elk or catch a beauty of a trout. Pawnee National Grassland also offers great waterfowl hunting and mount lion hunting.
  • Paul Smith’s College – This school is home to the 7,700 acre Paul Smith’s College Conservation Easement Lands. The land is open to the public for all kinds of outdoor recreation, but seems to shine for hunters. Hunters must still comply with state laws and regulations to obtain some of the many species available, such as black bear, beaver, bobcat, coyote, white-tailed deer, fisher, red and grey fox, squirrel, snowshoe hare, waterfowl, ruffed grouse, woodcock birds, and wild turkey.
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Wikipedia
  • South Dakota State University – SDSU is located in the East River Deer area of South Dakota and has an abundance of whitetail deer as well as some mule deer peppered throughout. The state also offers a “Special Buck” license for residents that allows hunters one “any deer” on private land, provided permission is granted by the landowner.
  • Texas A&M University – With the Texas A&M Texas Trophy Hunters association, this college is a great place for the social hunter who is looking for a school to find a great group of hunting buddies. The organization features a number of great events throughout the year and has started a Big-Buck competition for the first time this season.
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Research Park on the Texas A&M Campus –  Flickr/Stuart Seeger
  • Murray State University – Situated close to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area makes this college an excellent option for the hunter who also likes to fish. Deer, turkeys, ducks, squirrels, rabbits all abound in the area and you can pull bass, crappies, catfish, or sauger in Lake Barkley or Kentucky Lake.

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Fishing:

  • North Carolina State University – If you’re an angler who focuses on bass, NCSU is a great college for you. They have got an excellent fishing club, the BassPack, with an impressively organized network of anglers ready to help out their fellow members. The location of the school doesn’t hurt either, being within 50 miles of a number of astounding lakes, such as Falls Lake.
  • Auburn University – Another great college for bass fishing is Auburn University. Their fishing club, the Auburn University Bass Sports Club or AUBSC, hosts the Southern Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, a competition aimed at giving collegiate anglers more opportunities to compete. With a wide variety of water nearby, this school offers anglers a well-rounded fishing experience, targeting both rivers and lakes of varying sizes and intensities.
Flickr/Robert S. Donovan 
Flickr/Robert S. Donovan
  • Virginia Tech – The Bass Fishing Team boasts an impressive number of sponsors, giving the Hokies’ anglers a near professional experience at the tournament level. But, what it boils down to is the ease of angling at any given time, and VT excels there. With some of the best small mouth fishing in the country and a good deal of large mouth, this college is a great option for the bass fisher looking to up their game.
  • Georgia College and State University – This college is on the small side of things, but is another school whose proximity to great waters makes it excellent for the aspiring angler. Within ten miles of the campus is Lake Sinclair and about an hour drive north is the Oconee National Forest. The Oconee river is also within walking distance from campus.
  • Murray State University (Kentucky) – The fishing around MSU is, of course, phenomenal and the Murray State Bass Anglers are another great fishing club with a strong support network setup for novice anglers as well as those looking to get into the tournament scene. Western Kentucky also features some great hunting with turkey, waterfowl, and deer on the docket.
  • Montana State University – Nicknamed “Trout U” by fly fishing legend Bud Lilly, MSU is an impressive location for the fly fisherman. Located north of Big Sky and Yellowstone National Park, MSU offers some of the best fly fishing in the country, this college has a lot to offer for any avid outdoors woman/man.
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Flickr/USFWS Mountain-Prairie
  • Tulane University – With Lake Pontchartrain to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Tulane is an excellent college for an angler. The area boasts impressive large mouth bass, crappie, catfish, and monstrous garfish. You can also find some great speckled trout or, my personal favorite, red fish.
  • University of Tennessee – This college offers clubs for both fly fishing and bass fishing. Both clubs offer great support for novices all the way to those coming in with experience. The fly fishing scene is a little smaller and more personal, with their goals aiming towards establishing a community at the school. The bass fishing club boasts an impressive list of sponsors and continuously makes serious headway in competitions.

Go learn the important things that college teaches you while simultaneously having fun in the outdoors at one of these Universities.

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18 Great Sportsman Colleges to Apply to Today