Good bucks if one is lucky enough to reach maturity, but hunting pressure is heavy, heavy, and sounds like a war zone during the week long deer season and poaching is or can be an issue too... It'll be a culture shock your first gun season there, just ask Bowriter who hunted Clendening one year...8^) How any deer survive gun season in that part of the county is amazing with the amish if it's brown it down mentality,,, although some do seem to find little sanctuary pockets if a good buck can run the gauntlet and get there opening morning.... Deer population has been in decline the past decade or so and nothing like it was when I was growing up here...
Although I worked a few years in Cadiz back in the early 80's and eastern Harrison County, I really can't comment about that portion of the county anymore, but if you need any info on western portion of the county feel free to PM me...
Buddy of mine was getting old and wanting to move in town and going to sell me his 14 acres with bad drive lane to his mobile home for 30 grand a few years ago,,, but anyhow I mauled it over and took too much time the oil/gas boom happened... I hosed up...
Kimble companies (mining and garbage companies) own most of the larger tracts of land there and sell permits (although sold out, unless somebody opts out and creates and opening) on the ratio of about 1 hunter per 10 acres.... So say if a tract of 400 acres, expect 40 hunters permission to hunt there, so it can't be managed yearly unless there are openings and you have enough hunters with the same mentality or enough money to manage it....
I can tell horror stories how close I've been to being shot during these deer drives... The ones that go whistling buy your head will scare you, but it's the one that you don't hear that gets you...
I didn’t catch the feedback you got on Kentucky. I’m about to try southeastern Kentucky. Any reason I should think twice about it?
If you had to pick between Pa to the east or Indiana to the west which would you pick to hunt?
I’m sure if I posted that I’m looking for land in Iowa’s zone 5 I’d here all sorts of grim stories too. LOL!
The great thing about this site is that by some incredible coincidence I was contacted by someone I know well and he helps the owner manage the property, has hunted there and can name off all the bucks killed. I’m still in disbelief over this. He reached out to tell me about his buddies property in Harrison and it turned out that’s the one I’m looking at. Small world.
The descriptions above are not even close to what he described. It’s not a 180 caliber location but they’ve got good numbers of 140-150 bucks, no trespassing issues and the area is all surrounded by private and very little pressure. He said that when they pass deer it’s more likely than not they see them the next season. They’ve taken several good bucks there, all bow.
I’m headed there today.
County i am in has very small woods. Any bigger woods is already being hunted . I have done good here ,but really had to put the work into it. I like that though . Just like to get my wife on more deer to keep her going . She bow hunts deer and bear ,with numerous taken. She has bow hunted our county and has numerous does ,but has never seen a buck from a stand here . Has bow hunted since 2006.
I confirmed there is no trespassing issues at all, very little gun pressure, and an amazing amount of deer. This area of Harrison must be an anomaly compared with the descriptions from others about the county. Owner shared his trail cam inventory and I can see progression of the same deer year after year. He showed me his sheds and I saw all the deer shot on the property. Very decent bucks but no slammers.
However, some of what was mentioned above about Harrison proved accurate. The county is good for 130-150 bucks. Occasionally they take 150+ but generally rare. Not particularly heavy bucks either, probably due to the soil and strip mine activity which is prevalent there.
I already notified the seller and the agent that I would pass on the property. Not really due to the class of bucks, but rather the limitations of what I could customize due to the topography which was very steep with deep draws. The only opportunity I had to customize plots was at the very ridge tops and that was limited to maybe 15 acres at best. The land was also a jungle, with autumn olive everywhere. It was a jungle in December, so I can't imagine what it looks like in September! I remarked that I'd hate to make a bad hit, or have to drag a deer out of those hills for more than 30 yards!
Because it was a jungle, and the topography was so steep, no way anyone trespasses on it. They would either die from a heart attack climbing those hills, or lost forever in those tangles. It was AMAZING deer bedding cover and the entire 100 acres is what I would consider a sanctuary. As I told the owner, the land is perfect for a couple guys who want to hunt over a feeder. But for guys like me who's passion is habitat improvements and plots - this was not the place.
So my search continues. Looking at Licking and Muskingum lands and a few others. I think I'm going to scratch Harrison off my list for now.
Thank you for all the input. It was very much appreciated.
Muskingum and Licking are great counties... Worked Newark area several times through the years and the last time being the spring and summer of 2018, and have always liked the area to hunt which I did back in the day.... Also the hills are very pretty there and the genetics are great, I think Muskingum has the state's most B&C entries, or used too...
May also want to look at Guernsey and Coshocton counties, had family farms there I hunted a bit there back in the day, but if I had my druthers of all of them, it would be Muskingum...
Good luck with your search...
Kentucky was my first choice but the drive is another 6 hours from central Ohio. Decided to focus there even though land prices are double or more.
I have been hunting hocking county ohio for about 15 years now. The steep gutters and ridges that are so thick you cant walk through it does sucks for hunting. That is exactly what our property is. We have 8 ridges and every one of them is steep and so thick you cant walk them without a pair of snips and alot of time.
As much as I hate it, this property holds so many deer because of it. I see deer movement all day long because they feel safe in those thickets. I have areas that I will not hunt unless I have a buddy around because there is no getting that deer out of the woods.
I wouldnt dismiss the land based on those two factors. From my experiences the thicker the better! We have a corn field and soy bean field in the front of the property and the deer only hit them in the late evenings. There is so much browse that they dont hit The fields like other areas. A guy next to us had a big food plot but stopped doing it because he had better success hunting trails through the thickets.
Best of luck to you.
Ps i shot this buck off our property this year. Biggest one taken since we have been hunting it.