Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

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Edcyclopedia
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Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:09 pm

---My Ohio Muzzleloader hunt started the day after NH season closed on Dec. 15th---

I started working on the wife with the usual stuff like…
“Honey what’s not to love about me” or “all my friends went on out of state hunts” and the classic “well, at least I don’t spend my time in bars”.
She was a tough nut to crack being an accountant and all, with tax season nipping at her heals. I patted my eyebrows down and well --- She caved.

I did some quick research through a post on the beast and Spysar gave me a recommendation. From that point lodging was the issue.
After finding a nice cabin on Craigslist and being told it’s booked, however the lady was nice enough to offer an alternative cabin about 90-miles away in the
Wayne N.F. – Marietta Branch. The comfort factor was that I hunted the same region 2-years ago with an outfitter and my GPS showed only 20-miles away as the crow flies.

The cabin was booked on Dec. 26th after returning home from the outlaws’ house and our X-Mas celebration was complete.
The cabins owner was nothing simpler than Awesome to deal with! They purchased the 90-acres of hunting land to be close to her Mom after the Dad passed away.
A short while later - being environmentally conscientious folks they decided to look at reclaimed homes and attended an auction purchasing the structure
which was originaly a log church built in 1842. After relocating the log structure they added all the amenities to create a 4-star experience. My wife was jealous…

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The traveling was a little more than 700 miles from NH and 12 ½ hours of seat time. We did take a lunch break in PA, I couldn’t resist…

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My hunt was with 3-seasoned gentlemen, I guess I shouldn’t sugar coat it --> they’re old!
One a life-long smoker, huffing and puffing all the way up the hilly country and the other two needing hips or something
– Christ, they used up all my freaking Advil and Tums… They appreciated my humor – I think!

Getting to camp 1-day early allowed me to quantify some pre-scouted efforts (via aerial photos and topo maps) and focus on key areas.
(also gained some beast map help from DAN and BH!)
As mentioned it is “hills and valleys” terrain with mostly hardwoods and thorn-brush.
The thorn-brush likes to catapult hats at the most inopportune time and scratch the ba-jesus out of exposed flesh - I don’t recommend trying to beat it, go around it!
Trail cameras were put out to see the local talent, but I believe the big guys are shy…

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My scouting revealed a field edge along a hardwood ridge with a small pond close by. I spent some time locating a bed,
along with a merging trail head that trickled down to a creek. The trail crossed the creek and headed back up another ridge where I hung my climber.
I was fairly impressed with the activity/sign I saw but it was one large track that cuaght my eye.
I sat in this location for the full 1st day - seeing a tiny fawn in the AM broadside@ 40-yards and then a spike early afternoon on the same trail.

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After the 2nd morning (I remained in the same stand) I corralled the old bulls in my hunting party and readied them for a deer-drive.
I posted one guy (he decided not to sit were I suggested) and the three of us pushed the ridge top I believed the buck lived on.
My gut feeling panned out and the guy on the ridge jumped a decent buck (110-120”) with no shot opportunity.

After lunch I did a walk-about and found this Doe in its resting place.
Also found another Bed and wondered how anyone could sneak up on a whitetail in this hill country with no cover or foliage – tuff stuff!

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I was happy to see deer everyday along with hearing many UFO (unidentified fleeing object).
Unfortunately the 1st day was the only real day for shot opportunities - but the little deer got a pass.
No one in the Geritol Gang scored deer but the weather was near perfect and the company was memorable (fun).
The bonus was having an extended season!!! This was the Last Morning’s Sunrise…

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Also a "shout-out" to others that offered suggestions including Rack Addict, Kenn1320, Rutin, JRM6868 & U.P. MAN


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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby JRM6868 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:00 pm

Too bad you didn't connect Ed. Sounds like a great hunt regardless. The lodging looked awesome. Did you see any mature buck sign? Is it worth another shot? Muzzleloader season is a tough hunt unless you have a reliable food source being late season and the orange army already scared the crap out of every deer in the county.

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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Stanley » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:02 pm

Cool Ed story thanks for sharing the experience.
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby U.P. MAN » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:04 pm

Good stuff. Food,to much of it,makes things a bit tougher. No ag for miles. Also the deer weren't on their feet a lot for us either. Can't tell you how many scratches I came home with.

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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:03 am

JRM6868 wrote:Too bad you didn't connect Ed. Sounds like a great hunt regardless. The lodging looked awesome. Did you see any mature buck sign? Is it worth another shot? Muzzleloader season is a tough hunt unless you have a reliable food source being late season and the orange army already scared the crap out of every deer in the county.

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As U.P. MAN mentioned this country didn't have much of a defined food source - everything seemed to be food...
The group talked about going back, I'm sure one of the guys is game for it.
I know MagicMan would consider the Muzzle Hunt and we've already talked about it - TBD (I'm starting to have work issues which could damper things this year :( )
Also talked about trying the 1st gun season just for the fact you mentioned about the "abundance of walking pumpkins..."

The other factors for me is I'm finally getting into really good deer in my home state, so to leave during rut is hard.
The last factor is the family, a 5-year old boy requires a lot of attention and puts a load on the wife...
The length of my season plays the latter, archery starts Sept. 15th but the scouting etc starts well before that.
I'm even going to try Bear this year and that starts Sept. 1st - and the baiting, etc..

I liked the area and there were good deer numbers but the locals all said the same thing...
"2-3 weeks ago they stopped seeing deer in fields or crossing roads and less road kill" - tough time of the season to hunt.
Although having one years worth of information is a great start for the next - we'll see...
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Spysar » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:23 am

Thanks for the recap.
A buck will see you three times, and hear you twice, but he's only gonna smell you once.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Tadmdad » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:25 am

Enjoyed the read...nice recap of the hunt. You point out many important issues for the traveling hunter, time management being a big one. Never enough time to do everything, life is short, and once your time is spent you never get anymore. So might aswell follow things you have a passion for, whatever that might be. Think it..plan it..do it. :clap:
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Edcyclopedia » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:52 am

Tadmdad wrote:Enjoyed the read...nice recap of the hunt. You point out many important issues for the traveling hunter, time management being a big one. Never enough time to do everything, life is short, and once your time is spent you never get anymore. So might aswell follow things you have a passion for, whatever that might be. Think it..plan it..do it. :clap:


I thought I recognized your avatar... I just put two-and-two together (huntingnet)!
Look in the flying critters section and add a recap of 2011 season - I'd like to see!

ALSO gr8 analogies - very true...
Did you get that out of a fortune cookie ;)
Last edited by Edcyclopedia on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Tadmdad » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:04 am

Edcyclopedia wrote:
Tadmdad wrote:Enjoyed the read...nice recap of the hunt. You point out many important issues for the traveling hunter, time management being a big one. Never enough time to do everything, life is short, and once your time is spent you never get anymore. So might aswell follow things you have a passion for, whatever that might be. Think it..plan it..do it. :clap:


I thought I recognized your avatar... I just put two-and-two together (huntingnet)!
Look in the flying critters section and add a recap of 2011 season - I'd like to see!


Haven't been on that site in a while. With 5 DIY out-of-state hunts in 2011...wouldn't even know where to start.

But liked the writeup Ed, and appreciated the "geritol gang" comment. My buddies in S. Dakota that we pheasant hunt with (avatar picture) we call the dogs, "team geratrics", good times.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby JV NC » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:04 am

Looks like a fun hunt.

The accomodations look awesome.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby virginiashadow » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:50 am

Cool stuff Ed. Sounds like a blast of an adventure.
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Liberty-Hunt » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:19 am

8-)
It is nice to read you, I like your style!
"Huntingly",
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Re: Ohio's Jan. Muzzleloader hunt

Unread postby Scot » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:06 am

Also enjoyed reading the summary of your hunt. Sorry you didn't have an opportunity to take an animal.


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