Fishing, Hunting

What State Has the Best Hunting and Fishing?

What State Has the Best Hunting and Fishing?

If you are like most hunters or anglers, then chances are that you have a certain amount of pride for the hunting opportunities offered by your home state. But what state has the best hunting and fishing?

Whether you have a spot that has consistently awarded you with good-sized bucks or are simply fond of the fishing experiences you have enjoyed within a stone’s throw of your house, it’s easy to hear a question about the “best fishing state” or the “best hunting state” and want to cast your vote for your own stomping grounds.

There is another reason why so many answers are given to those two questions, however.

Beyond home-state fondness, the truth is that naming the “best” fishing or hunting state is virtually impossible, as each different state has its own unique outdoors culture.

One state may have the widest array of fish species, while another may be low on rainbow trout and bass fishing opportunities, but absolutely flush with steelhead.

Another state may statistically rank as the best place for bagging a trophy buck – most sources say Kansas for that one – but completely miss the top 10 in buck to hunter ratio or hunter-friendly accessibility to public hunting property (according to, those titles go to Alabama and Wisconsin, respectively).

And still other states may lack decent whitetail hunting regulations, but make up for their limitations in other exotic game species, from alligator to elk to black bear.

Quite simply, your pick for “best hunting state” or “best fishing state” will not only depend on your own experiences – where you have lived, where you have hunted, etc. – but also on your unique hunting or fishing preferences. It will depend on the types of game you like to hunt, your choice fish, the hunting/fishing environment, or even the bureaucratic process for securing a hunting or fishing license.

One of the most beautiful qualities of outdoor sports is that no one hunter or angler can experience everything there is to do in their sport. That means that everyone in the hunting and fishing worlds has a different perspective, which in turn means that ranking the “best” states for those sports is, well, impossible.

The questions go on and on for determining your hunting and fishing preferences. Are you primarily a fly fisherman, or do you opt for different species of fish and different types of bait?

Are you a rifle hunter, or would you rather go after game with your bow?

Do you know a private landowner who will let you hunt on his or her land, or are you left to the mercy of crowded public hunting properties?

Each of these considerations, as well as many, many more must be considered for determining which state is right for you from a hunting or fishing perspective. There is not one right answer, but instead 50, as to which state is best for either activity.

With all of that said, we would love to hear from you, our readers, about which state is considered the best for hunting or fishing in the country.

Let us know which state wins your title of the best fishing or hunting territory in the comments below, and tell us why that state gets your vote.

About Staff Writer

Wide Open Spaces is devoted to publishing engaging content in the hunting, fishing and outdoors areas that will both inform and entertain readers while cultivating a community of like-minded individuals gathering to discuss, share and interact.

Hands down, without a doubt South Dakota. My opinion only place you can fill a whitetail, mule, elk (if Resident), Antelope, grouse, pheasant, turkey, limit of geese, ducks, and limit of walleyes all in one week adventure if all seasons were together. Not to mention the opportunity to bag all trophies. Variety and the feeling of being free, I don't think you can beat South Dakota. Not to mention the best pheasant hunting in the world. Lake Oahe, offers some of the best walleye fishing in the world along with the glacial lakes in Northeastern South Dakota, which is a top destination for ice fisherman in the country. If you like monster pike or searching for jumbo perch that is the place to be. Waterfowlers you are smack dab in the middle of the central flyway. Turkey hunters, the black hills is a top destination for that, along with the open prairies for monster mule, antelope, and whitetail. You want an outdoor experience you can't choose a better destination. 


I live in Kentucky, but in my experience I would have to say Northern Alabama has the best fishing in the Eastern United States. With the Tennessee and Coosa River systems you have a very diverse fishing. You can fish for Largemouth at Guntersville or Wheeler, Smallmouth at Pickwick or Wilson, or go for the monster Spots at Weiss or Neeley Henry. Not to mention the Crappie fishery that Weiss is. Needless to say, this is where I want relocate to when I retire! And that is only 6 months away! Hopefully we will become  residents of Arab, Alabama within the next 2 years (Good Lord willing that is). Right now I just want to get down there for the Bassmaster Classic in February of next year, which will be held at Guntersville.