The Great Lakes region got some recognition this month when Outdoor Life magazine named Appleton, Wis., the best hunting and fishing town in the United States.
With Lake Winnebego, Fox River and Green Bay nearby, there are plenty of fishing opportunities. And 52,000 acres of nearby public hunting land doesn’t hurt either.
“You don’t have to get far out of Appleton to hunt, fish, trap and do other outdoor activities,” said Kay Brockman-Mederas, wildlife biologist in Shawano, Wis., with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
And according to Outdoor Life, area deer hunters do pretty well for themselves, with record-winning bucks shot within 50 miles of downtown Appleton in the last five years.
Brockman-Mederas said Appleton’s culture is outdoorsy. People live in town to work, but they tend to come from hunting backgrounds, she said. Youth mentoring programs designed to get kids outdoors help the town continue the tradition.
But hunting, fishing and trapping aren’t the only outdoor activities in town, Brockman-Mederas said. With the abundance of state forests and parks nearby, there are also opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching and photography.
Other Great Lakes cities recognized were Traverse City, Mich.; Lake Placid, N.Y.; Ely, Minn.; Wellsboro, Pa.; Montauk, N.Y. and Harrisburg, Ill.