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Hi all, I've been thinking for the past couple years that I would like to plan a DIY archery hunt on public land in one of the states surrounding PA. I have never hunted out of state but next year I want to make it happen. I have been looking into info on Ohio (specifically the Egypt Valley) area and from what I have read the area doesn't get much pressure until the gun seasons open up. It also seems that the wilderness area is very thick, tight hunting. Other posts on this forum and others seemed to indicate that maybe this isn't a great area to hunt anymore so I'm reaching out to HPA for some advice: am I looking in the right direction? Should I be looking at another area in Ohio? Or another state altogether? I live in SEPA so I could hunt MD, DE, NJ, and NY just as easily. My ideal goal for this trip would be to at least see a P&Y buck and hopefully get a shot. In your opinion, which state gives me the best chance? Thank you in advance!
 

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If you got to Ohio sportsmans forum there is a guy that goes by COONSKINNER. He and a group get together every weekend and full week during November to hunt Wayne National Forrest. It looks like a lot of fun, but I have never been there to archery hunt. It may be another option to look at. Good luck.
 

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What you heard about Egypt Valley is correct.

Many public hunting areas in OH are reclaim areas and are very steep, rough and tough places to hunt, but many have nice bucks. The public hunting areas that are more rolling get heavier pressure for obvious reasons.

Hunting huge forest areas like Wayne National Forest contain deer, but areas are a challenge to hunt/pattern deer when you have no time to scout.

All that being said, if you are like me you welcome the challenge, thrill and environment of new areas.

You might consider adding a couple of other good states to your list...Southern IN and KY.
 

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jk6140 said:
If you got to Ohio sportsmans forum there is a guy that goes by COONSKINNER. He and a group get together every weekend and full week during November to hunt Wayne National Forrest. It looks like a lot of fun, but I have never been there to archery hunt. It may be another option to look at. Good luck.
My first hunt in ohio was with coonskinner and his gang. Very knowledgeable guy. The wayne national forest is where its at. Hunt the Athens unit of the wayne, and you'll have a great chance at a big buck. Be sure to make an early season trip, as a rut hunt can be a bit crowded. I passed on a pope and young buck on the wayne the first week of the season this past year and then ended up killing a bigger non typical. Pm me if you have any questions.
 

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hunt where you can spend the most time.

a 5 hour drive every time makes scouting trips and actual hunting a bigger deal than a 1 hour drive. more scouting & more hunting time trumps a better area. where you're at, maryland sounds like a natural choice to me. they are killing alot of nice bucks there too.
 

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I need to do some more research on Maryland. My plan would be to spend a weekend over the summer to do some scouting and then another weekend in the early season hunting and scouting and then taking a full week in early November to hunt the rut. Sunday hunting would be a must for me to make the most of my time. I haven't done a lot of research on Wayne National Forest but I'll look into that area. I'm not afraid of tough hunting... I'll put in the time if it means that I might end up with a P&Y buck in front of me! I think my limit is about 5 hours each way so IN and KY are probably out for me, at least for next year. I would feel differently if I was using an outfitter but I need to keep it somewhat practical to make the drive a few times for scouting. Thanks for the input everyone, keep it coming!
 

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If Sundays are a must and you plan on hunting public ground you might as well cross MD off the list....Sunday hunting regs are different in each county and limited to private land.

NJ has Sunday hunting on some public land and lots of deer but a poper could be tough to find. You could try NY also, unit 7m has loads of public ground and would be a out a 3-4 hour drive...less deer than NJ but also less pressure and you can hunt Sun.

Best overall chance at a trophy is OH...if you can make the drive and spend enough time.
 

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I spent a week in ohio this fall in probably the worst possible conditions known to man. The hurricane!

I covered a good bit of ground all public and while there is deer I certainly didnt see sign indicating that there are monsters all over like magazines and what not would lead you to believe. I saw the majority of the deer standing on private land and where I was the private is tied up mostly with leasing.

I had a decent time but I wont be back to that area of the state again. I wasnt blown away, well almost literally but not by deer sign.
 

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southern ohio has a reputation for big bucks, and it is well deserved. but that reputation makes hunters, land leasers, and outfitters flock there. ohio is a pretty diverse state, and theres lots of other areas with less pressure. mebey the big buck potential isn't quite as high in some of those other areas, but topography, access, and less hunting pressure makes those areas a better option.

btw, i personally know of at least 3 gross b & c bucks taken in trumbull county this fall. while trumbull county isn't well known like some of the se counties, the potential for monsters is there. and imo, broken farm country is easier to hunt than many other types of terrain.
 

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You live where a P&Y buck is very possible as it is.I'd spend more time in your area gaining permission,scouting.Driving to new terrain to hunt can be tough,and you'd have to have alot of luck involved to pull it off.If I wanted to chase big bucks, it would be on a trip to Nebraska or Kansas and unt some of their walk in farms.There, I think you have a better chance of getting it done in a week and not being over run with other hunters.Too many people know about Ohio.I think if you could find a farm on the eastern shore of Md you'd be in great shape for a P&Y buck.Tough part is the access.Join a club or put together a lease.Sure it wouldn't be hard to find guys willing to go in on a lease in Md;deer huntings best kept secret for now
 
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