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I haven't yet but i'm heading out in november to muskinggum county public land. It's a very inexpensive hunt and i went out to scout and there are deer everywhere
 

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heading out in october to hunt with southern ohio outfitters...
 

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Yes,try to hunt off the beaten path,well known areas like Muskingum and Licking are crowded. I hunt southwestern and couldn't be happier. Big bucks are all over ohio,you just need to find them like anywhere else. The biggest mistake guys make is thinking there's a 160 class behind every tree just cause they're in ohio.
 

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Most of SE Ohio public lands will be busy during the last 5 days of October thru Thanksgiving for Bow, then in gun season it gets worse.

SW Ohio has less public ground, but better top-end bucks, and you may be able to find some private land yet. I know in SE Ohio, inlcuding Muskingum, and Licking counties, gets hunted really hard, and leasing has really taken off...tough to find spots in much of that region.

Try Adams County if you don't want to go further west...some really big bucks coming out of there in the last few years, and there is some decent public land. But like the rest of Ohio, you are going to have to walk in to find a decent spot that is not hunted by plenty of other folks.

Oh, and don't get too excited about AEP ground...everyone has been talking about how great AEP ground is, and now it's how great AEP ground was, it really has taken a beating over the last five years or so. Don't get me wrong, some really nice property there, and what they have done is great for outdoors men and women, and there are deer there, but you will see crowds similar to hunting NJ public lands (well, before crossbows) and I know I wouldn't want to travel to Ohio for something I could find here. You'll see deer, mostly 1.5 yr old bucks and does, but if you walk in deep enough, you will find the mature bucks, just have to work pretty hard for them on AEP.

In my opinion, and I have hunted on or near AEP ground for over 10 years, you have a better chance of scoring a P&Y buck on some limited access hunts in NJ, like Fort Dix or a number of UBNJ properties, than you do on AEP ground. Hey, from what I hear there are no hunters on WMA's in North Jersey, so you may even do better there. ;)

I hunt Morgan and Noble counties, but if I had to plant roots again, it would be Adams County. Good luck wherever you go, even in the most crowded places, if you walk far enough, you can find decent hunting.
 
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