I'm glad I'm not the only one to think this.
Look - I'm the first to say I hate NJ .... NJ still has crap areas (I'm a very short car ride to Camden - and when I get jury duty, I have to look forward to making that trip. ) Property taxes are ridiculous. Hunting licenses and permits are expensive. State is run by crooks and gun-hating liberals.
But in the past week I scouted a new public place looking for turkey - last Saturday and last night. It's deep in the woods yet only a short drive away. I spotted 4 hen turkeys. I bumped a half dozen deer. I brought my fishing rod with me because I knew there was some fishing holes in here that I wanted to scope out - and I caught a pickerel within 5 minutes. Watched two beavers swimming and making all kinds of racket by splashing with their tails (I guess they didn't want me around). Watched some geese swimming about 200 yards away and saw a mallard land 100 yards from me - hmmm, I think I just found an awesome waterfowl spot! I heard two barred owls calling to each other. I thought to myself, "in this one area, there's waterfowl, turkey, deer... and if I was a trapper, beaver." I didn't see any squirrel, but they have to be in here too - perfect environment for them. All this with lots more surrounding woods that I haven't even walked through yet - so enough space to easily get away from other people especially in the mornings during the week (which is when I normally get out).
And that's just one spot. My "normal" spots are closer to me and have just as much variety of wildlife - including fox and coyote as well as plenty of squirrel (and crow! don't forget that).
Take a slightly longer drive and get to the beach for some salt water fishing or for the annual crabbing trip in the bay (and while crabbing I also like to wet a line to fish for some striper - not keepers, but good fighting size nonetheless). Not to mention if you go the other way you can hit the river.
So all within less than an hours drive (most within 15 to 30 minutes of me) I can hit the woods, ocean, river, or bay for turkey, deer, geese, duck, squirrel, fox, coyote, crow, fresh water and salt water fishing, crabbing. I honestly don't have time to do it all (I also like to go pheasant hunting with friends, too, at a semi-wild preserve that is 40 minutes away).
Of course this isn't the Garden of Eden (you need something to look forward to when you get to heaven ) and I'm sure there are parts of the country that are as good or better. We don't have big deer like the midwest. We don't have large bass like Florida. But overall, the hunting and fishing and crabbing in this state is varied and (almost as important) close by! What good is it if you have to drive 1 or 2 hours to go fishing or hunting? I like hopping in the car and having the option of driving just 15 minutes and being able to fish or hunt - and most of my spots are 30 minutes or less of a drive.
When I do move out of this state, before I decide to go somewhere I'm first going to compare its hunting and fishing opportunities to the opportunities we have here because I think overall we do have it pretty good in that department (I just pray where ever that is that it is acceptable to the wife ).
Edited by mazzgolf, 04/20/17 - 11:43 AM.