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Try Shawnee State park down by the Ohio River. Tons of public land, not much pressure and good bucks if you're willing to hike up the mountains.
 

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We've killed several nice bucks (125-140 calss) in the Hoclking Hills region (Old Mans Cave area) on public land. We bowhunted the first two weeks in Novermber.
 

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BIL went down somewhere on the east side for the opener last year. They managed a nice 2.5/3.5 and a doe between 4 guys.
 

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Zaleski State Forest. somewhere near 20,00 acres of public hunting. pretty rough terrain. its south of hocking.
 

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try any of the state lands in souteast or eastern part.hunting during the week seems to be the least crowded.pre-rut usually starts the last part of oct and the main rut is usually around the 10th of nov.give or take a few days.some of the state lands do offer camping during these times and most of this will be primitive unless you have a self-contained camper.there is many goo local motels with-in driving distances of most of the land with many amenities.you can check out the ohio dnr web-site and check out the counties for thier harvest records.this could narrow down some areas for you.

private land is hard to obtain unless you know some but,is not impossible.knocking on some doors and being polite goes a long ways around here.

as for guides,there are many and you'll have to just go through the list and do the process of alimination on them.
 

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Hunting Farmer, I went with a group of guys last year and we are going back this year as well. We found a guy that we could rent cabins and a some acreage for one or two guys and the rest went to the state land. There is quite a bit of state land around the SE portion of the state and as long as you got good legs you shoudl do alright. There are good deer to be had down there and from what the guys say they didnt even have much company and when they did every body was cordial.

Its a different world down there from the amount and quality of deer you see to the amount of people you see. In 6 days of hunting I saw more bucks than I have up here in the last 6 seasons. Not to bad on the wallet either if you do it right.
 

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anyone have any advice on a good place to go for a do it yourself hunt. I am open to state land or thru an outfitter. Hunted in loudonville a few years back and looking for another area to try. thanks
I live in Bowling Green near Toledo there are a bunch of state owned spots here. LMK if your interested in PM I will share with you.
 

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I have hunted s.e ohio a couple times now.

It is rugged down there the hills are big . But with that said that is why they get big down there .

I for 1 am not hauling a 4 point out of there.

with the new ohio regs you can quarter your deer and pack it out. .

that would be much easier than dragging that beast out whole
 

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the muzzy season can be a fantastic time to hunt here.the only problem of it is the weather.it can be 40 and sunny or 20 below and windy.just be prepared for changes.there are alot of really nice deer taken each year during the muzzy season.you will see alot of deer or hardly any each day.try to find some of the trails they are using and your going to see deer.if you can get onto an area that has farmland next to it or on it, this is another great area to hunt.if you do take a buck during this time of year,be careful on handling it.thier racks have been known to fall off while transporting them out of the woods.
 

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Try Shawnee State park down by the Ohio River. Tons of public land, not much pressure and good bucks if you're willing to hike up the mountains.
shawnee is a great spot, i have 97 ac. a mile north of it, but it is RUGGED down there....its not like we are use to up here in mich....BUT there are more booners down there than mich.... last year on nov. 7 i saw aa buck at a gas station in otway by S.N.F. that was a typ. 12 that was all of 200 in...... there are big ones down there , but it is steep hills & thick cover, copper heads & TICKS ( bad this year )
 

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Great thread guys. I was just driving back from Myrtle Beach through Ohio saying to myself I want to come down and hunt these large hills.

Definately looking at Shawnee forest and a couple others. Any more good area's that haven't been mentioned?
 

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We have hunted south east and west over years. Best advice I would give is go!! Try to go during the rut or the opener of shotgun if you are hunting state land. The opener of shotgun I hunted a good area of state land that I had never hunted or walked. I walked in on the first morning after looking at aerial imagery and shot "at" a 135-145 at 25-15 and 5 yards missing everytime. Did the same on an area I looked on the ariels and walked in in the dark to the area I never saw in person and shot a 120 7 pt. I have 3 other stories like this that I don't like to relive. All stateland and all spots were located by using aerial imagery. Key is rut and funnels. Works everytime as long as the hunter doesn't miss or blow it. I an happy to give up any info I have since we hunt Indiana now. Pm me.. I am happy to point out exact spots I have blown it.

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Try delaware or Big island. I have hunted both and have seen some great deer. Early season archery is good. Stay away for gun season, everyone and their brother is driving the fields and woodlots. Also, pheasant season is nuts for the same thing with pheasant hunters chasing the released birds. They help push the deer out of the fields, so if you can find a place near the release fields, but far enough away to give the deer some cover, it can be good. Delaware has an archery only section that links to the state park. Do some homework and you will see deer.

For now, I have been fortunate and landed some property to hunt in the urban zone around Columbus. Still, not an easy hunt, but it is close to the house and I shoot 3-4 deer a year. Harvested 3 bucks over the last five years, all 140+.
 

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My brother in law and I are definately headed down for the gun opener to SE ohio on state land. Anyone have any more specific spots that they might share, no problem if you don't I totally understand. This will be my first out of state hunt and I need all the help I can get.
 

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My brother in law and I are definately headed down for the gun opener to SE ohio on state land. Anyone have any more specific spots that they might share, no problem if you don't I totally understand. This will be my first out of state hunt and I need all the help I can get.
I live in Athens Ohio. Send me a line and I can send you to some good spots for public land


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Ill be getting laid off beginning off Nov and my ol man retired last year and we were thinking about maybe trying a long weekend hunt. We thought about hooking up the camper but wasn't sure if there was camping aloud in the public hunting areas. Any info would be great as we've never done this and just starting looking at areas to hunt. Thanks in advance.

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There is camping close to the pubic hunting grounds but you will still have to drive 10-15 mins to most.


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