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Old 08-19-2012, 07:51 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,115 posts, read 981,529 times
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So, a question for native Montanans, as well as transplants. I am considering a relocation to what seems to be the happy hunting grounds for all those interested in America the way it used to be(to the extent possible), massive outdoor opportunities(hunting, fishing, camping, shooting), and living amongst red-blooded, freedom-loving family folks such as ourselves. The children are near grown, the wife and I both have jobs which will allow us to transfer almost anywhere in the US, and we have a strong hankering for more space, less people, and a cooler climate than the one we currently live in. Cold is not an issue for us, heat is far more of a negative. We like to live quietly, spend our free time outdoors doing the things mentioned above, and not have big brother telling us how to live. We are, however, interested in becoming a useful part of a community that we can fit into. So the question, then. What are the best areas in your great state for folks such as ourselves to set roots?
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:12 PM
 
443 posts, read 713,016 times
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Look into the Flathead Valley. Montana's Flathead Valley
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,750,566 times
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A lot depends on what you want as your post was pretty general and the requirements could be met just about anywhere in the state.

If you give us a little more information about what you want, we might be able to give you some solid suggestions on where to look.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:57 AM
 
406 posts, read 1,204,593 times
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Big brother is everywheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrreeeeeeeeeeee.........
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: SW MO
1,115 posts, read 981,529 times
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Thanks for the replies. We are looking for good hunting(mainly elk and deer for meat), places where temps stay below 90F the vast majority of the time, and people who still see America as a place where one makes their own life and is free to live it, rather than this idea that someone else is responsible for making sure one has what they need. We live in the Ozarks now, and while it is still a beautiful place, it is getting crowded, the summers are blazing hot, and the drugs and welfare are increasing all the time. We have decided it is time to look for places more to our liking on several fronts, and Montana in general seems to fit the bill as well as anything. Idaho was a contender, also, as well as eastern Washington, but those have been ruled out due to various things. We are primarily looking at the western side of Montana, as my wife grew up in Oregon, Washington, and California(I try not to hold that against her), and loves the mountains and pines. I do too. Not Great Falls, we don't want a lot of wind all the time, and not Missoula, no desire to live or work in the "left bank", but wherever else there are good folks, good hunting, and a cool climate is ok. She works for the dreaded Walmart, so we can live pretty much anywhere withing driving distance of a Walmart store. (Narrows the options a bit, but life is imperfect.) I am a jack of all trades, and so will likely be able to find work regardless, I always have. We have been looking at the entire state, although I confess we have spent a lot more time looking at the western half.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
451 posts, read 844,880 times
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Polson
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,750,566 times
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Western third and a Wal Mart does limit your choices, Monte is a far better guide on that side of the divide than I am

On the eastern side of the divide, there are Wal Marts in Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls and Butte kind of straddles the line.
Of those, I would probably go with Anaconda as it is close to Butte, easy communte, but very nice area and good people without the crowding of the other choices. Not as expensive either, and there is some industry coming back to Butte so you might find a job too.

Good hunting in that area too, and Georgetown Lake is a great place to go fishing.

Good Luck
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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MTSilvertip, we are not bound to the western third, by any means. we have looked at everywhere from the Little Belts to Dillon, to Kalispell/Libby. In talking with my wife, it has come out that she does not want to live surrounded by nothing but dense forest, or out on the plains, and she like her sunshine. So I am actually leaning away from the Missoula/Kalispell part of the state, due to the dense forests and the inversion phenomenon of winter. In all reality, we are looking for an area with enough moisture(and sunshine) to feed our gardening obsession, plenty of trees but mixed with open space, cool temps the vast majority of the time(I can see a heated greenhouse becoming necessary), and good hunting. I am serious about good hunting because that is currently where the majority of our meat comes from, and I do not expect to change that, especially when there are elk about. I do not know of many meats I like better. In reading this forum and others, it appears to me that, while some cities(Butte and Missoula particularly) have concentrations of wolf-lovers and tree-huggers who just happen to vote for Socialist government at every turn, most of the state is populated with folks like myself. Meaning, those who don't mind hearing a wolf howl, as long as it stays out of the pastures, like trees because they are pretty, and make great firewood and lumber, and vote as best they can for government that leaves them alone. So I am confident that we can fit in almost anywhere. I am seeing people on this site that appear to be the type that I would love to meet and spend time with, so that's a good indication, too. Really, I have picked out the location of every wallyworld in the state, drawn an acceptable commute radius around each, and started looking at the counties that fall into that circle. Based on the information I am getting from my wife, thus far we have Butte, Bozeman, and Helena, with Great Falls and Billings not entirely out of the running, mainly because the radii for commuting to those locations puts us either into the Little Belts or within easy distance of the Beartooths. Billings is a last choice, but we have not ruled out even Polson or Kalispell until we get out there and actually see places and meet people. Obviously, one must visit a few times to have any real feel for an area, and we plan to do just that. I will likely make a trip out this fall, and we will be making a fairly intensive trip in the late spring/early summer 2013 time frame. We are open to pretty much any place in the western half of the state, with a preference for locations central to the outdoor opportunities of that whole side of the state. Thank all of you for the input. I value the opinions of people who are already living where I hope to end up. Next best thing to being there myself.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,750,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryboy73 View Post
MTSilvertip, we are not bound to the western third, by any means. we have looked at everywhere from the Little Belts to Dillon, to Kalispell/Libby. In talking with my wife, it has come out that she does not want to live surrounded by nothing but dense forest, or out on the plains, and she like her sunshine. So I am actually leaning away from the Missoula/Kalispell part of the state, due to the dense forests and the inversion phenomenon of winter. In all reality, we are looking for an area with enough moisture(and sunshine) to feed our gardening obsession, plenty of trees but mixed with open space, cool temps the vast majority of the time(I can see a heated greenhouse becoming necessary), and good hunting. I am serious about good hunting because that is currently where the majority of our meat comes from, and I do not expect to change that, especially when there are elk about. I do not know of many meats I like better. Pronghorn antelope is hard to beat if it is taken care of in the field properly

In reading this forum and others, it appears to me that, while some cities(Butte and Missoula particularly) have concentrations of wolf-lovers and tree-huggers who just happen to vote for Socialist government at every turn, most of the state is populated with folks like myself. Butte was a center for liberal politics for a long time, but with the mine closing and the loss of unions, they have been actually coming back to their senses. Lot of solid hard working folks in that area now. Montana's first female governor, Judy Martz, was from Butte and a very competent and decent person.
Most of the liberal ideology is concentrated within the city limits of most of the larger towns, with Missoula, Helena and Great Falls leading the pack, but once you cross the city limits, most folks are pretty sensible.
Helena gets inversions too

Meaning, those who don't mind hearing a wolf howl, as long as it stays out of the pastures, like trees because they are pretty, and make great firewood and lumber, and vote as best they can for government that leaves them alone. That defines a lot of the residents of the state, pretty independent bunch here for the most part.

So I am confident that we can fit in almost anywhere. I am seeing people on this site that appear to be the type that I would love to meet and spend time with, so that's a good indication, too. Really, I have picked out the location of every wallyworld in the state, drawn an acceptable commute radius around each, and started looking at the counties that fall into that circle. Based on the information I am getting from my wife, thus far we have Butte, (Be sure to check out Whitehall, Anaconda and Opportunity) Bozeman, (Belgrade, Manhattan, Logan and Three Forks)and Helena,(Townsend and Boulder are easy commutes to Helena and nice places to live too) with Great Falls (Cascade is one of my favorite small towns in Montana, and not far to commute to Great Falls)and Billings (Park City, Columbus, Belfry, Red Lodge, Laurel) not entirely out of the running, mainly because the radii for commuting to those locations puts us either into the Little Belts or within easy distance of the Beartooths. Billings is a last choice, but we have not ruled out even Polson or Kalispell until we get out there and actually see places and meet people. Obviously, one must visit a few times to have any real feel for an area, and we plan to do just that. I will likely make a trip out this fall, and we will be making a fairly intensive trip in the late spring/early summer 2013 time frame. We are open to pretty much any place in the western half of the state, with a preference for locations central to the outdoor opportunities of that whole side of the state. Thank all of you for the input. I value the opinions of people who are already living where I hope to end up. Next best thing to being there myself.
Much of the state would meet your criteria with the exception of a Wal-Mart. There are a lot of Island Mountains like the Crazy Mountains or the Judiths and Snowys or the Bull Mountins, that meet everything you have stated, except the Wal-Mart part.

Plan to spend a lot of time on the road as everything here is a long way from everything else, but if you do some work on the web looking at areas and real estate sites, and then Google Earth and go to their street view, you can save yourself some time and money as the street view especially is a great way to look without being there.
Only drawback is that not every street or road here is available on street view, but the ones that are provide a great way to visit without leaving home.

Look at towns like Frenchtown or Dillon or Ennis or Twin Bridges as well in your search. There are some nice areas there, and some are not too far for commuting.

Good Luck
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:47 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,644 posts, read 8,920,557 times
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Check out Livingston. It's 25 miles away from Bozeman which has pretty much any chain store you need. There are forests and wide open spaces and plenty of hunting and fishing. It is also pretty welcoming of outsiders. The only drawback is the wind.
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