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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i get asked this hundreds of times a year,prolly the#1 question...
i always say to hunt the largest parcel of public you can find since most want to be away from other hunters.also i believe the larger public lands like the 3 districts of the wnf are less likely to be crowded than small state parks,especially close to big cities.pick a district of the wnf thats closest to you,then find the largest single solid parcial of land in it you can find and go to the area farthest from civilization...remember the wnf ,no matter what district is dotted with private land within its boundaries...also remember all 3 districts have equally good deer numbers...
shawnee state forest is one big block of public land...its one great big partial,not even the wnf has a bigger area of a solid block of public hunting...its more rugged than the wnf in most cases...and in my opinion has larger bucks...one thing to remember is there are a good amount of big bucks,theyre hard to see but theyre there in all that timber.you just have to scout and hunt hard for them...
one thing nice about the wnf and public land i'm aware of is theres laws prohibiting 4 wheelers and baiting...this keeps a lot of guys from hunting here...a word of caution though is it can be very hard to get your deer out...this is where scouting comes in and a good topo map...you need to know the lay of the land because theres almost always an easier direction to drag out a deer without going up any hills...knowing where all the creek drainages wind up by the road can be very helpful...by scouting you should learn that well...its the difference of a drag out that can kill you or one thats downhill all the way by following a creek right to the road,many times theres a foot path along the creek...one thing i tell everyone coming to hunt is theres really no best place in our area,it just needs someone there...deer are very evenly distributed within the forest from just off the road to out in the middle...not so with hunters,theyre more likely on the edges and theres more the closer you are to towns...no hunters need to be on top of each other...respect other hunters,if you hear a guys on a big buck,dont go hunt next to him,theres other big bucks in other areas besides those big bucks could be 3 miles away in a day or two...right at your original stand...as for lodging ,there should be motels near by in most cases but camping is the ticket...you can set a tent just about anywhere in the wnf(no so with shawnee)...and be to your stand just by walking in just a few minute...
with the wnf before you even go,pick the district nearest you,check out the topo on line or buy a map...locate the biggest/remote parcel in that district...find the best route to it and get out there and scout it...good luck...:biggrin:
 

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I just returned from a 4 day scouting trip to the athens, nelsonville, area. Lost some wieght gained some knowledge.My hunting partner and I have decided on Zeleski. We tried scouting wnf but didn't find those big parcels of land you talk about. Wear did we go wrong? I have most of the maps for that area, but lots of roads and private land, even a new super highway. Would like to be in the biggest piece I can find. Thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just returned from a 4 day scouting trip to the athens, nelsonville, area. Lost some wieght gained some knowledge.My hunting partner and I have decided on Zeleski. We tried scouting wnf but didn't find those big parcels of land you talk about. Wear did we go wrong? I have most of the maps for that area, but lots of roads and private land, even a new super highway. Would like to be in the biggest piece I can find. Thanks for any help.
i guess 3 miles long by 1 mile isnt big enough...and then several right next to that separated just by gravel twnshp roads...i cant see you getting bigger at zaleski but if you want it...go to shawnee state forest it'll have all you can handle...:biggrin:
 

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Don't listen to ****! There's not a lot of deer in WNF! Hunt urban units! Stay away from National Forests!

****, you keep this up you're gonna have a 1000 guys stomping all over your camp! Lurkers are lurking.

Geezer, help you're boy out before he has the whole Midwest huntin WNF! **** always says theres enough for everybody, but not if he keeps this up! Dang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don't listen to ****! There's not a lot of deer in WNF! Hunt urban units! Stay away from National Forests!

****, you keep this up you're gonna have a 1000 guys stomping all over your camp! Lurkers are lurking.

Geezer, help you're boy out before he has the whole Midwest huntin WNF! **** always says theres enough for everybody, but not if he keeps this up! Dang.
oh i know...but so far its worked out fine and i know some of these lurkers did very well from info here about the wnf...makes me feel warm inside...but it takes hard hunting to be successful in most cases...one thing they have in common,the successful ones...they hunt all day,everyday...:D
 

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i guess 3 miles long by 1 mile isnt big enough...and then several right next to that separated just by gravel twnshp roads...i cant see you getting bigger at zaleski but if you want it...go to shawnee state forest it'll have all you can handle...:biggrin:
hey coonskinner, I'm not knocking wnf. I drove 14 hrs to get there just to scout. no sleep on the 1st day, my mind wasn't working that good. Ended up in Zaleski on the 2nd day. Maybe I missed the 1x3 mile area. Give me a road or intersection and I'll check it out this fall. I,m willing to wear out a pair of boots to find a good place. I hope troutbum is't right about no deer and a 1000 hunters. Even if there is a 1000, I say good luck to them all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hey coonskinner, I'm not knocking wnf. I drove 14 hrs to get there just to scout. no sleep on the 1st day, my mind wasn't working that good. Ended up in Zaleski on the 2nd day. Maybe I missed the 1x3 mile area. Give me a road or intersection and I'll check it out this fall. I,m willing to wear out a pair of boots to find a good place. I hope troutbum is't right about no deer and a 1000 hunters. Even if there is a 1000, I say good luck to them all!
zaleskis fine...hunt hard and you really up your chances...:D
 

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Zeleski is ok. My first morning gun hunting was in 2009. I know I herd 100 shots and I was 1.5 miles from the rd. There's good deer there but sometimes the little chunk of land is better than the large. Just saying. Regardless,,,,,u can't go wrong with any larger tracts. They all have good bucks.


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Anything south of the halfway line that that divides Ohio in half is great hunting ...I call this the mason dixon line ...:D
How about south of I-70?

That would be fine if it weren't for Newark, Cambridge area being so productive even closer to Columbus is good. There are some nice deer wondering around those parts. Lots of farm feed for those deer and enough cover for them as well. Most of the land is privately owned.

Sorry, got off topic for awhile. I just remember driving from Gahanna to southern Ohio to hunt.

If I were living in that area today, with these high gas prices, I'd hunt out toward Wagram, Blacklick, Pataskala, area. I bow hunted that area after work when I worked day shift. I only know about that area because that's where I lived and worked. I only traveled to Southern Ohio once or twice a month because it costs money I didn't have.

Take advantage of where you live or work then maybe travel to these large parcels of State land for an extended hunt.

Rgjz06
 

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right... i live on the pickerington line in reynoldsburg...ain no way you hunt them areas unless you know someone really well or got a lot of money to throw away...but no matter,i prefer the wnf over areas if you look west you see columbus highrises...:D

whooty the reason i say pick large parcels is to get away from other hunters...which is one of the top questions when ones interested in public hunting...some may laugh but most large block public land does not see a hunter not only in archery season but gun season too...most hunters just hunt the outskirts...the harder to get to an area the less hunters...but you better be ready for some tough hunting and once you get a deer,a real tough haul out...you cant use 4 wheelers here...and thats the main reason nobuddy goes far...:D
 

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How about south of I-70?

That would be fine if it weren't for Newark, Cambridge area being so productive even closer to Columbus is good. There are some nice deer wondering around those parts. Lots of farm feed for those deer and enough cover for them as well. Most of the land is privately owned.

Sorry, got off topic for awhile. I just remember driving from Gahanna to southern Ohio to hunt.

If I were living in that area today, with these high gas prices, I'd hunt out toward Wagram, Blacklick, Pataskala, area. I bow hunted that area after work when I worked day shift. I only know about that area because that's where I lived and worked. I only traveled to Southern Ohio once or twice a month because it costs money I didn't have.

Take advantage of where you live or work then maybe travel to these large parcels of State land for an extended hunt.

Rgjz06
I live I cambridge and we are a real small town. Deer season week is probably the most profit we get in a wee all year. Big time around here. Alot of land is privatley owned but people are pretty nice and would most likely let you hunt their farms.

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right... I live on the pickerington line in reynoldsburg...ain no way you hunt them areas unless you know someone really well or got a lot of money to throw away...but no matter,i prefer the wnf over areas if you look west you see columbus highrises...:d

I'm sure things have changed in that area sense I hunted there, however.

I hunted around there many years ago. I would ask the farmers if i could bow hunt their land. They didn't mind me bow hunting. Several told me i was the first bow hunter that asked them to hunt on their place. There are two answers to the question and most of the time it was yes. Crop damage may be the opening you need to get your foot in the door. Deer damage their crops and you are there to kill them. I wouldn't have any problem asking them today.

I agree, it is better to hunt southern ohio but that area is so close. I was able to get an hour two in right after work. There was some good deer in that area when I hunted there. I'm sure their relatives still live there.

Whooty the reason i say pick large parcels is to get away from other hunters...which is one of the top questions when ones interested in public hunting...some may laugh but most large block public land does not see a hunter not only in archery season but gun season too...most hunters just hunt the outskirts...the harder to get to an area the less hunters...but you better be ready for some tough hunting and once you get a deer,a real tough haul out...you cant use 4 wheelers here...and thats the main reason nobuddy goes far...:d
rgjz06
 

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hunted zeleski this year during the bow season and I never seen so much pressure. I came out of the woods at lunch to have 7 trucks from louisanna stop and ask if I was done because they wanted to hunt that area. Dont get me wrong 2 guys I was with saw 2 great bucks but its big steep hollars. I would focus on the smaller tracts that borders the private. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hunted zeleski this year during the bow season and I never seen so much pressure. I came out of the woods at lunch to have 7 trucks from louisanna stop and ask if I was done because they wanted to hunt that area. Dont get me wrong 2 guys I was with saw 2 great bucks but its big steep hollars. I would focus on the smaller tracts that borders the private. JMO
ditto...:D
 

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hunted zeleski this year during the bow season and I never seen so much pressure. I came out of the woods at lunch to have 7 trucks from louisanna stop and ask if I was done because they wanted to hunt that area. Dont get me wrong 2 guys I was with saw 2 great bucks but its big steep hollars. I would focus on the smaller tracts that borders the private. JMO
i scouted an area of AEP super hard for bow season a couple years ago. showed up the first day to hunt it and there was a van and a truck from New Jersey. I see a few guys loading up their climbers and bows and ask them what general area their heading to and they said they had no clue. said they were just going to wander around till they found somewhere good and setup. I was a little bent out of shape and never hunted the place once. I asked them about their license plate and they said they heard about AEP and the big bucks and had to come hunt it LMAO!
 
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