By Montana Grant

Posted: July 23, 2023

Big Sky Country is certainly the Last Best Place, but for what? For every person you ask, you will get a different answer. These answers also change with time.

What did Montana offer that was Best for migrating Pioneers? They crept across the state in Conestoga wagons to find what? A new home? Freedom? Land? The problem was that there were people here before them, and that hasn’t changed.

Montana has become Americas playground and vacation destination, and Montana still has no State tax for non-residents. I wonder if Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull ever considered charging a State Tax.   The state is becoming more popular, crowded, and is losing what made it great. We now know what the native people felt when they were pushed aside.

Fortunately, Mother Nature keeps things under control. Harsh weather and Winters are not for out of staters. If the wealthy continue to raise property values to the point where no one else can afford to live here, who will supply the services they require? Waiters, cleaners, maintenance folks, and other people that are needed to support their lifestyle need a place to live too.

So, what is Best about Montana?

Fishing   Montana was the best trout fishing on the continent until the secret got out. Now, everyone and their mothers want to rip lips on our waters. The worst fishing here is still better than everywhere else. Good luck fishing in the summer when the flotillas of tubers are filling the waters and accesses.

National Parks   Yellowstone and Glacier are amazing National Parks. The crowds continue to grow, and these parks are being loved to death.

Hunting    Elk, Bison, mule deer, whitetails, pheasant, and other critters are on everyone’s bucket list. Locals can’t compete with the excessive crowds. Access to private land has become near impossible due to posting, nonresident leases, and outfitters.

Beer   Opinions are like…. Everyone has one. Montana is home to tons of microbrews. Good luck finding a favorite.

Food/Steak The best steak can find is off my backyard grill. Great western meals are tough to find. Folks from other places want to eat comfort food from where they came from.

Trucks   The high sided tourist van or multi-seat Expedition RVs are the tourist choice. Montanans can barely afford an old truck. Battery powered rigs will help make locals go back to horses.

Breakfast    There are still some good breakfast spots that serve Biscuits and Gravy, but tourists want bagels and Yolkless eggs. Vegans hate bacon, sausage, and Montana steak.

Places to live   good luck! Californians can sell their homes in their state for a million dollars and buy something cheaper in Montana. Then they fence it, post it, and close it down to fishing and hunting. No access allowed.

Freedom/ Independence    Montana can boast a population of under 1 million people. That is at risk as Big Sky Country becomes Americas playground. The freedom and open spaces come at a price. Cold winters, deep snows, and gun carrying residents offend some transplants.

The “BEST” is in the eye of the beholder.

Montana Grant

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