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Old 09-14-2010, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
9 posts, read 15,932 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm finishing my long years of education in May 2012 and am just starting to think about where to relocate when the time comes. Montana is one of the top places on my list (along with ID - might cross-post to that forum as well) and I'd love some input on what are the best areas for me to research. I'll list out a few of the attributes I'm looking for:

Outdoor recreation - the biggest draw of MT for me! I enjoy spending my time hiking, backpacking, climbing, caving - you name it! Easy access to these activities and communities of people who are into the same things is a big priority for me. I run, so urban routes or trails are a plus, too.

Size - small to medium sized cities. Someplace big enough to get the basic necessities and meet people of similar age and interests. Any particular towns recommended for a 24 year old single woman? My profession is applicable just about anywhere, but a higher population would make finding individual opportunities a little easier.

Affordability - with student loans to pay off, this is definitely a factor (otherwise I'd just move to Jackson!). Is there a lot of variation in cost of living between different areas of Montana? I'll be renting (probably a fairly modest 1-2 br apartment or duplex) and own a dog.

If locals have any suggestions (in or out of the state!) I'd greatly appreciate them. There's still quite a bit of time before I actually move, but thinking about my options now certainly doesn't hurt!
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:06 AM
 
3,927 posts, read 4,067,269 times
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By Jackson I assume you mean Jackson Wyoming? If Jackson is a town you really like, does that mean a strong winter is actively desired or would you prefer milder winters? How important is having a major rock climbing area quite nearby? Does it matter if the highest nearby mountains are alpine (say over 9,000 feet) or sub-alpine (5-8,000 feet)?

Small and medium sized can mean different things to people. How small will you consider? 2,000? 5,000? What would be your upper limit of a medium sized metro? 50,000? 100,000?

Does the degree of community "hipness" with regards to the arts, restaurants / bars, green living, etc. matter much, some or not at all? Does the political lean matter?

Sounds like you are flexible but if the range is real wide it is harder for folks to make targeted suggestions.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Texas
9 posts, read 15,932 times
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Thanks for the response! I'll see what I can do about adding a few specifics. I don't have a strong preference about winters - to be honest, I've never lived in an area that had them, so it'll be something new to adjust to regardless. Easy access to good hiking is a bigger priority than climbing areas, and any mountains are just fine with me!

Size would have a lower limit of around 10,000, upper limit is just trying to avoid a huge metropolis. Job opportunities in small towns would depend on whether the area needed a new veterinarian. I would lean towards slightly larger areas but could definitely go for a smaller community if it had decent cultural offerings or outstanding outdoor opportunities. I lean left and am not religious. I know Montana is a more conservative state and have no problems playing nice with people of different views, but I would probably avoid an area where church functions comprise most of the social opportunities.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,466,937 times
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You might want to look here and get an idea of towns and locations. It's another part of City Data that people sometimes don't see.

Montana
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,609,464 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quintanion View Post
Job opportunities in small towns would depend on whether the area needed a new veterinarian. I would lean towards slightly larger areas but could definitely go for a smaller community if it had decent cultural offerings or outstanding outdoor opportunities. I lean left and am not religious.
[hat type="professional dog trainer" duration="40 years"]

If you're small animal only or a specialist, and especially if you're expecting a higher-end and higher-profit type practice, the opportunities are pretty much in the rapid-growth cities that have a sufficiently well-heeled yuppie and trustfunder population to support the much-higher rates such vets charge (Bozeman, Missoula which is more left-leaning if that suits you, and maybe Billings but if you like Jackson, you probably won't like Billings). If you're large-animal or mixed practice, locations are much more flexible but can be limited by the fact that there are only so-many ranchers and that's a shrinking market, and you aren't going to get the kind of "furchild" client that readily plops down $4,000 to give a 14 year old dog another 6 months of doddering around. And it takes a lot longer to generate trust in the ranching community, so building a practice can be slow.

I look at the vets-wanted ads occasionally and for small animal the positions offered are usually in Bozeman. I seldom see any for large animal. There was a mixed practice for sale in Big Timber a couple years ago, dunno what became of that. I haven't checked the ads in a few months, tho.

You might get in touch with the state veterinary board and talk to them (last I looked the sec'y and pres. were Bob Sager and Bruce Sorensen, I posted contact info for them on a similar thread a while back) about where they figure the opportunites are at. I knew both well back-when and they're straight-up guys.

[/hat]

<goes off, looks up info> Did you do a summer internship in Bozeman a couple summers back? How'd that work out?
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:06 AM
 
3,927 posts, read 4,067,269 times
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Alright. Missoula and Bozeman would be leading candidates for finding large communities of singles into hiking. Depending on what you think of Texas or more cowboy towns you might like Billings too, though it may not draw quite as much attention from out of state eyes as the first two. The mountains are further away but reachable. Still plenty of singles into the outdoors (in various ways including urban running). Kalispell and Helena are the main other Montana options. All these places are bigger when you add in the populations of nearby outlying areas. All could provide employment chances and recreational and social opportunities. Bozeman is probably the most expensive. Browsing past threads can provide a fair amount of useful observations to consider prior to visiting and selecting. If you also look at Idaho, Boise-Meridian-Eagle would provide options and a bit milder winters. Pocatello could be another option. Probably the least expensive of those mentioned. Judgment call whether you'd find the social feel quite as comfortable or inviting as some of the others given what you said earlier. Jackson would be accessible in about 3 hours though (in good weather). In Wyoming, Laramie, Sheridan, Cody and the Lander-Riverton area can also compete for attention.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-15-2010 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Texas
9 posts, read 15,932 times
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Thanks - all of this info is really helpful! Right now the main locations that I'm thinking about are Missoula, Bozeman, Boise and maybe Coeur D'Alene - will definitely have to do some research on other areas listed as well!

Reziac: Your vet/animal specific input is much appreciated. I would like to do mixed (dogs, cats, horses +/- food animals) but small animal options are generally easier to find. I didn't end up spending my summer in Bozeman. A big part of my reason for posting here is that I get a few weeks of off-site rotations in my final year of school and plan to spend them in an area I'd consider moving to after graduation. The first step is figuring out exactly where that is!
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:36 AM
 
3,927 posts, read 4,067,269 times
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Of course, if you try one spot and later decide you want to try another based on more knowledge and experience in the region or changes within your priorities, there is that option subject to job or possible mortgage challenges.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,297 posts, read 3,343,915 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by quintanion View Post
I'm finishing my long years of education in May 2012 and am just starting to think about where to relocate when the time comes. Montana is one of the top places on my list (along with ID - might cross-post to that forum as well) and I'd love some input on what are the best areas for me to research. I'll list out a few of the attributes I'm looking for:

Outdoor recreation - the biggest draw of MT for me! I enjoy spending my time hiking, backpacking, climbing, caving - you name it! Easy access to these activities and communities of people who are into the same things is a big priority for me. I run, so urban routes or trails are a plus, too.

Size - small to medium sized cities. Someplace big enough to get the basic necessities and meet people of similar age and interests. Any particular towns recommended for a 24 year old single woman? My profession is applicable just about anywhere, but a higher population would make finding individual opportunities a little easier.

Affordability - with student loans to pay off, this is definitely a factor (otherwise I'd just move to Jackson!). Is there a lot of variation in cost of living between different areas of Montana? I'll be renting (probably a fairly modest 1-2 br apartment or duplex) and own a dog.

If locals have any suggestions (in or out of the state!) I'd greatly appreciate them. There's still quite a bit of time before I actually move, but thinking about my options now certainly doesn't hurt!
IMHO......I should think your best bet would be to contact as many vets as you can and question which ones mights be interested in taking on an assistant . To my way of thinking, this is how you would get your name spread around and ultimately begin to lay the grounf work for your own practice. I would think just trying to start out on your own and being unknow in a given area that you have chosen,,,,,,whould be 'pretty touggh.
Good luck.
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