The rankings aren't just based on big bucks and lunker trout. OL's editors measured and analyzed "the growth rate of the local economy, the unemployment rate, the degree of taxation, the time it takes to commute to work, the crime rate, housing prices, median household income and even the variety of cultural opportunities within easy driving distance." Then they did a sporting assessment, based on "the fishing and hunting opportunities each town offers, the trophy quality of the sporting opportunities, proximity to public land, the restrictiveness of the gun laws and whether the fishing and hunting is good year-round."
Sounds like UniverCity Connections meets "Hunting University."
Here's FC's grades (I'm guessing on a "10" scale):
Fort Collins, CO
HUNTABLE SPECIES: 8
FISHABLE SPECIES: 6
TROPHY POTENTIAL: 6
YEAR-ROUND OPPORTUNITIES: 6.2
PUBLIC-LAND ACCESS: 8
GUN LAWS: 9
I fear Outdoor Life might not have an up-to-date census for Renewal City, based on the 29,467 figure (Maybe they lost a "1" somewhere). But, then again, the phrase "huntable species" probably makes me most uncomfortable because it calls to mind some extravagant sa-faux-ri expeditions.