Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Best Towns For Sportsmen Named By Outdoor Life

New York, New York-Outdoor Life magazine ranks the top towns for hunters and anglers to live in its June/July 2009 issue. The magazine used extensive data to score 200 towns on available sporting opportunities and quality-of-life for its second annual ranking. Lewiston, Idaho, population 31,794, took top honors on the magazine's "Best Places to Live" list. The magazine also names 10 great towns on the list for whitetail hunters. For complete details on all 200 towns, please visit

"Outdoorsmen want world-class hunting and fishing, but like everyone else, they also want to have a high quality of life," says Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life. "The towns on this list offer the best of the outdoors as well as decent homes and schools and good-paying jobs. They are truly dream towns for sportsmen."

Last year's second-place finisher, Lewiston, ID, moved up one place to score the top spot on Outdoor Life's 2009 list. Lewiston heads a list of three Idaho towns in the top ten-more than any other state. Lewiston's score was elevated by the town's access to world-class hunting and fishing, as well as the economy and industry of the Pacific Coast and Asia. Dubbed "The Gateway to Hells Canyon" Lewiston is located near North America's deepest river gorge, offering the town's 31,794 residents access to public lands and waters and a wide variety of fishable species. Hunters will also find whitetails and mule deer, turkeys, elk, black bears and mountain lions nearby. Other Idaho towns in the top ten include Idaho Falls, making its first appearance on the list at No. 3 (tied with Rawlings, WY), and Pocatello, which maintained its previous year's ranking at No. 5.

Marquette, MI, the easternmost town in the top ten, jumped five spots to No. 2 on the list. At No. 3 (tied), Rawlins is one of two Wyoming towns in the top 10; Sheridan, which moved down four spots to No. 7 due in part to rising cost of living, is the second. North Dakota's capital, Bismarck, rose four spots to No. 6, based in part on the strength of its duck, geese and pheasant hunting. Coming in at No. 8, Pierre, SD, was hailed by Outdoor Life as the capital of "arguably the most hunter-friendly state in the country." New to the list, Rochester, MN, coming in at No. 9, boasts a population of 99,121, the largest of any of the towns in the top ten. At the opposite end of the spectrum, with 6,106, is Carbondale, CO, at No. 10, which enjoys the smallest and fastest growing population of any of the towns in the top ten.

Outdoor Life's 2009 "Best Places to Live"

1. Lewiston, ID
2. Marquette, MI
3. Idaho Falls, ID (TIE)

3. Rawlins, WY (TIE)

5. Pocatello, ID
6. Bismarck, ND
7. Sheridan, WY
8. Pierre, SD
9. Rochester, MN
10. Carbondale, CO
11. Kodiak, AK
12. Kanab, UT
13. Cody, WY
14. Granby, CO
15. Page, AZ
16. Sioux Falls, SD
17. Saratoga, WY
18. Colorado Springs, CO
19. Mountain Home, AR
20. Roseau, MN (TIE)

20. Glasgow, MT (TIE)

For detailed rankings including all 200 towns visit The website also includes a comment section for sportsmen and women to sound off on their favorite outdoors paradise and thoughts on the rankings.

To determine the 2009 "Best Places to Live," Outdoor Life started with the 200 towns from the previous year's list and added 50 additional locations from readers and colleague suggestions. Towns were ranked based on more than 20 criteria, with Outdoor-related factors given slightly heavier emphasis in computing the results than Quality-of-Life factors. Outdoor factors considered included gun-friendliness of each town's state, huntable and fishable species nearby, the town's proximity to public hunting land and fishable waters, and the potential for taking a trophy-caliber game animal or fish nearby. Quality-of-Life factors considered included population growth since 2000, median household income, median home value, cost of living, unemployment rate, mean commute time and amenities (schools, hospitals). Certain socio-economic categories were weighted more than others to determine the overall Quality-of-Life score, which was combined with the overall Outdoor score to reach each town's rank.

Outdoor Life ( is the source for hunting and fishing adventure. Outdoor Life provides technical information and insight to the more experienced outdoorsman, including field reports and gear guides to supply hands-on hunters and anglers with the most current knowledge about their passion, supplemented with the latest techniques, tactics and tips. Outdoor Lifeachieves this by featuring how-to articles written by the experts in the field, the best and most captivating adventure stories from the woods or on the water, comprehensive regional coverage of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in specific areas and annual gear tests conducted by the Outdoor Life editors. Outdoor Life is published 10 times a year by the Bonnier Corporation.

The Bonnier Corporation ( is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences through more than 40 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events.