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Wayne National Forest

Brian_goes_hunting

Active Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
181
Location
Maryland
Heading to Ohio this weekend to do some scouting in Wayne National Forest. Looks like a big chunk and am having a hard time trying to pick where to begin... wondering if anyone here would be willing to point me in the right direction. Thanks.
 

State forest hunter86

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
192
I hunted near Marietta on the wnf in 2016. We went out the last week of October and had fun. Not easy hunting but definitely some nice buck in the area. Thinking about heading back this fall!
 

Brian_goes_hunting

Active Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
181
Location
Maryland
What part you going to? I live smack in the middle do the Ironton District.
I was thinking of starting off of Howard furnace road and doing some scouting there. It is so big and on the north end there is a lot of private property speckled in. Definitely looking forward to seeing what it looks like in person. It’s going to be 2 days of scouting 1 overnight. How much pressure does it get during the rut?
 

flinginairos

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
3,939
There’s so much public land in Ohio it’s insane. There’s a LOT more than the Wayne too. Look into the AEP lands, Zaleski, Brush Creek, Shawnee, Crown City, and there’s a bunch more I’m forgetting I’m sure. Wherever you go, look for places with multiple “edge” features, pines to hardwoods, old clearcuts to hardwoods etc. You can see this stuff easy on an aerial and you can dial in a spot pretty quick. There are big bucks all over Ohio, just need to put in some work for them. I’ve scouted all those places I’ve mentioned and found great sign in all of them.


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baz77

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
638
Location
Southern Ohio
I was thinking of starting off of Howard furnace road and doing some scouting there. It is so big and on the north end there is a lot of private property speckled in. Definitely looking forward to seeing what it looks like in person. It’s going to be 2 days of scouting 1 overnight. How much pressure does it get during the rut?
I’ll shoot you a PM tomorrow when I have more time too.
 

JSEXTON23

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Messages
921
Location
Ohio
There’s so much public land in Ohio it’s insane. There’s a LOT more than the Wayne too. Look into the AEP lands, Zaleski, Brush Creek, Shawnee, Crown City, and there’s a bunch more I’m forgetting I’m sure. Wherever you go, look for places with multiple “edge” features, pines to hardwoods, old clearcuts to hardwoods etc. You can see this stuff easy on an aerial and you can dial in a spot pretty quick. There are big bucks all over Ohio, just need to put in some work for them. I’ve scouted all those places I’ve mentioned and found great sign in all of them.


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Actually, Ohio ranks 44th in the country for Public Land holdings. We have less than 4% Public Land throughout the entire state, and not all of that is accessible to hunters.

Those tracts you point out are very large and it might seem like there is a ton of public land, but those places are tucked in the SE corner of the state and far from most metro centers. The reality is there isn't that much public in Ohio, and the state continues to sell large chunks every couple of years. This doesn't mean you can't kill deer on public in Ohio, but as a whole, other states have way more available land.
 

woodsdog2

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
2,315
I am only a couple of hours from Ohio, I wouldn't mind some state land recommendations of some decent buck holding areas.
 

Gumbymedic

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
574
Location
Toledo, Ohio
Actually, Ohio ranks 44th in the country for Public Land holdings. We have less than 4% Public Land throughout the entire state, and not all of that is accessible to hunters.
You're not kidding. Up here in the NW corner of Ohio, all public land is swarmed by hunters. A lot of land that goes up for sale seems to be gobbled up by the Metroparks. That would be ok if they let us hunt on some of it. They do hold a drawing for a controlled hunt for a couple of their properties but getting selected is not easy. The only state that seems to have more hunters per acre of public land than Ohio is Michigan. (Just my opinion as I have not done any research on this)
 

Mattyq2402

Active Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
155
Check the ground by new straitsville, lot of quad and nike activity but off the beaten trail there are good bucks. Seen some giants off of 33 over the years. Zaleski is also a good idea. Like jeff sturgis says, get over the first big hill or two and you are away from the pressure.
 

beaston

Active Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
189
You're not kidding. Up here in the NW corner of Ohio, all public land is swarmed by hunters. A lot of land that goes up for sale seems to be gobbled up by the Metroparks. That would be ok if they let us hunt on some of it. They do hold a drawing for a controlled hunt for a couple of their properties but getting selected is not easy. The only state that seems to have more hunters per acre of public land than Ohio is Michigan. (Just my opinion as I have not done any research on this)
Here in the NE corner there is little to no Public ground and the leasing is a disease. The metro parks around Cleveland and The Cleveland museum of natural history have purchased ground like crazy but it's not open to the public or has limited access if you can get permission. IMO Ohio totally sucks at providing and maintaining public ground and has very little to offer compared to other states.

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Whitacl

New Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
3
Been around the Brush Creek area as well as many of years around Atwood State Park both produce good #s of deer and some big bucks. Have to be willing to go where no one else is willing to go. Spend time on topos and aerials. Will save you tons of time.
 

SNIPERBBB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
586
Location
SE Ohio
If you want to play in Wayne, you better like mountain hikes. Dragging deer out can be a struggle depending on how far you go back. Does get pretty crowded around when trapping season comes in as that is when the rut gets heavy.
 

Deerkins

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
44
Honestly, doesn’t seem to be a big difference between the big public pieces in south east Ohio. I’ve been to a bunch of them.

the hunting is far from easy, from my perspective. Generally, It will require a good amount of scouting to find a good spot.
 

mudda2474

New Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Actually, Ohio ranks 44th in the country for Public Land holdings. We have less than 4% Public Land throughout the entire state, and not all of that is accessible to hunters.

Those tracts you point out are very large and it might seem like there is a ton of public land, but those places are tucked in the SE corner of the state and far from most metro centers. The reality is there isn't that much public in Ohio, and the state continues to sell large chunks every couple of years. This doesn't mean you can't kill deer on public in Ohio, but as a whole, other states have way more available land.
I agree. There is nowhere near enough Public Land in Ohio.
I’m in SW of Ohio and there are very few places you can hunt (if your like me and don’t own land). The few public plots there are within 2hrs of Cincy are small and crowded. I swear, after Covid started EVERYONE was in the woods here…. You would have thought, they were giving away money in the woods! :grinning:
 
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