In this year's annual look by Outdoor Life magazine of the Top 200 places for sportsmen to live, Ohio produced two towns.
However, neither ranked anywhere close to the Top 10. The best that Ohio could do was 105th place with Port Clinton (cited as the lake's walleye fishing and nearness to Camp Perry).
Ohio's only other entry was Ashtabula, of all places, which ranked 149th, behind Erie, Pennsylvania at 115.
At the top of this year's listing is Bend, Oregon. The remaining Top 10 finishers, in order are: Pinedale, Wyoming; Rapid City, South Dakota; Kodiak, Alaska; Saratoga, Wyoming; Cooper Landing, Alaska; Lewiston, Idaho; Pendleton, Oregon; Sheridan, Wyoming; and Bismark, North Dakota.
Criteria included the obvious of state of economy, schools, livability and other such socio-economic indicators.
The heart of the rankings, however, is determined by these sportsmen-related factors: gun friendliness, fishable species, huntable species, proximity to public land and waters, and trophy potential.
Visit www.outdoorlife.com/besttowns2011 for this year's complete Top 200 listing and see if your vacation/retirement dream community is listed and ranked.
Mine made Number Three - Rapid City, South Dakota. I've also been to Bismark and there's no way I'd list in in the Top 10. Or maybe even the Top 200.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn