Five Pa. towns make national Top 200 List

State College, Pa. – Five small cities in Pennsylvania have been
listed among Outdoor Life’s “Top 200 Towns for Outdoorsmen” in the
magazine’s Dec.-Jan. ’09 issue.

In the story, written by Andrew McKean, few towns in the
northeast were named. But Wil-liamsport, was listed 128th, Carlisle
was named 155th, Bradford 164th, State College 180th and Scranton
193rd.

Towns were rated based on the following criteria: population,
huntable species available, fishable species available, “trophy
potential,” year-round hunting and fishing opportunities, public
land access and lack of gun laws limiting sportsmen.

In the Outdoor Life story, the top 10 towns for sportsmen were
named, in this order: 1. Mountain Home, Ark.; 2. Lewiston, Idaho;
3. Sheridan, Wyo.; 4. Cody, Wyo.; 5. Pocatello, Ida.; 6. Lewistown,
Mon.; 7. Marquette, Mich.; 8. Dillon, Mon.; 9. Page, Ariz.; and 10.
Bismarck, N.D.

In the story, Outdoor Life claims that after doing months of
extensive research, the magazine compiled a list of the Top 200
towns for hunting and fishing in America.

“We started by combing through every population center in the
United States with more than 4,000 people,” the story states. “We
gathered comprehensive data on the overall quality of life the
towns offered.

“Some of the factors we considered were the growth rate of the
local economy, the unemployment rate, the degree of taxation, the
time it takes to commute to work, the crime rate, housing prices,
median household income and even the variety of cultural
opportunities within easy driving distance.

“Then we looked at how the towns stacked up purely from a
sporting perspective,” the story continued. “We rated them on the
fishing and hunting opportunities each town offers, the trophy
quality of the sporting opportunities, proximity to land, the
restrictiveness of the gun laws and whether fishing and hunting is
good year-round.”

Outdoor Life claims to have put all this into a massive database
and developed a formula that gives slightly heavier emphasis to the
sporting opportunities than to the quality-of-life rankings.

“These places exist in every state – towns where you can step
out your back door with a fly-rod or a shotgun and find abundant
fishing and hunting opportunity in sight of the municipal water
tower,” the story states.

“Areas with decent weather and accessible public land and gun
laws that don’t criminalize hunters.

“Places where the economy is vibrant but the pace of life is
slow. Towns with good schools and hospitals and a strong sense of
community.

“Places where you can wear fishing waders or a camouflage
hunting jacket into a bar and not call attention to yourself.”

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