Just received the June-July issue of “Outdoor Life” in the mail at work and the cover story is a list of the 200 best towns for sportsmen in the United States.
Four Oklahoma towns made the top 200, but it wouldn’t have been the four I would have chosen.
The magazine listed Bartlesville at No. 54, Poteau at No. 145, Enid at No. 168 and Elk City at No. 182.
The magazine based its ratings on socio-economic subcategories such as median household income, median home value, cost of living, unemployment rate, mean commute time and amenities such as schools and hospitals.
Outdoors-related subcategories used in the rankings included the 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 big game trophy-caliber game animal or fish nearby.
I guess the socio-economic subcategories justifies the inclusion of those cities, but just based on hunting, fishing and the outdoors, here are four towns I would choose before Outdoor Life’s selections:
Eufaula instead of Bartlesville: I probably would prefer my daughter marry a man from Bartlesville than Eufaula, but for stuff to do outdoors, there is no comparison. Admittedly, I am biased because I grew up near Lake Eufaula, but it is the best crappie lake in the state not to mention the excellent smallmouth bass and catfishing.
Deer, turkey and duck hunting are plentiful in the area. And look at all of the good lakes just an hour or two north and south of there.
Broken Bow instead of Poteau: Hey, the state largemouth bass record came from Broken Bow Lake, the Lower Mountain Fork River is the best trout stream in the state and Three Rivers and Honobia Creek WMAs are right there. Not to mention nearby Pushmataha County has more Cy Curtis bucks than any other county in the state, including the state typical record.
Woodward instead of Enid: The towns are not that far apart but Woodward is closer to more public hunting areas and next door to Woods County which has produced some monster bucks. Woodward also is closer to better bird hunting at the Black Kettle National Grasslands and to antelope and pheasant hunting in the Panhandle.
Frederick instead of Elk City: Hackberry Flat is nearby for waterfowl hunting and the best public dove hunt in the state. The state non-typical record buck was taken near Frederick. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is nearby and Lake Texoma is not too far away.
Those are my four. Agree or disagree?