Ohio hunters looking for a great place to hunt white-tailed deer during the gun or muzzleloader season need look no farther.
Muskingum County has several key reasons why it’s the top choice for December deer hunters, including vast rural areas, high deer densities and plenty of public land.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife biologists predict that the 2002 deer season will be a record-breaker statewide, with more deer available than ever. Last year, Muskingum County’s gun season kill was over 3,600. With only a 3 percent increase in the harvest statewide, research indices show that more deer must be harvested if we are going to control herd growth. Statewide, hunters set a new harvest record of 22,513 deer during December’s statewide primitive deer hunting season. Muskingum County hunters contributed 697 deer.
Muskingum County regulations allow a hunter to harvest three deer (only one buck plus two antlerless deer, or three antlerless deer total) during the season. With a quest to harvest more deer, hunters will be out in full force as they attempt to accomplish this throughout December’s gun seasons. This means one thing – get to Muskingum County and find a comfortable place to sit, because deer will be moving throughout the gun and muzzleloader seasons.
Photo by Ken Thommes
There are some regulations that are unique to this area. For example, deer hunting will only be permitted during the deer gun season and the statewide primitive weapons season.
Because these lands have not been recently hunted, ODNR officials expect high success in 2002, making this a top-rated hunt for Muskingum County!
Additional acres are in Rich Hill and Meigs townships, along both sides of state Route 284. Look for maps that will be posted on bulletin boards in the campgrounds in ReCreation Land. There will also be maps available to view in local stores that distribute AEP maps and permits. For more information, permits and maps, including a map of the special deer hunting area, access the AEP Web site, at www.aep.com.
Hunters are reminded that the rules and regulations governing AEP’s ReCreation Land apply in addition to all state wildlife regulations. No ATVs are permitted except for those with special handicapped permits from AEP.
For more information, call the American Electric Power Company at (740) 962-1205 or the Ohio Division of Wildlife at (740) 594-2211.
Most of the region’s marginally productive farmland was originally acquired by the federal government during the 1930s under the Resettlement Administration. Surface ownership was later transferred to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, while the federal government retained three-fourths interest in the oil and gas rights. Subsequent reforestation and the application of forest management and protection practices have transformed low quality farmland into one of Ohio’s most beautiful and productive forests, according to Ohio Division of Forestry officials.
Blue Rock State Forest is open to visitors between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily. Motor vehicles are restricted to roads maintained for public traffic. Vehicles may not be parked where traffic or access to Forest Service roads is obstructed. Shooting is prohibited within 400 feet of any building, facility or recreation area and from or across any road or driveway. Discharge of any firearm is not permitted except during lawful hunting.
For answers to questions or to obtain more information in general about Blue Rock State Forest, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Dillon Wildlife Area contains over 3,600 acres in three sections. Area One is off state Route 16 south of Marne, Ohio. Area Two, the largest section to hunt, is directly south of the intersection of state routes 586 and 146. The third section is northeast of state Route 146. Look for county Road 500 (Cemetery Road) to access the central part of this area.
For more information about the Dillon Wildlife Area, contact the Tri-Valley area headquarters at (740) 454-8296.
Tri-Valley receives a great deal of attention from Ohio Division of Wildlife biologists in Muskingum County. Its large land area allows wildlife technicians and area managers to plant a number of food plots to attract late-season deer.
The Tri-Valley Wildlife Area is easy to find
from the town of Dresden. Proceed east of town on state Route 208, or south of town on state Route 666. State Route 666 borders the western edge of the area and travels close to the wildlife area headquarters.
For more information about Tri-valley Wildlife Area, contact the area headquarters at (740) 454-8296.
Powelson Wildlife Area is north of Zanesville on state Route 60. It is approximately seven miles south of Dresden. Both Zanesville and Dresden offer great dining establishments and lodging.
One recommendation is to check with the local state wildlife officer or Division of Wildlife District office for tips on farmers who have complained about deer crop damage. Many farmers in areas of the state with high deer densities request several kill permits each year to help reduce crop damage. Fortunately for hunters, many farmers rely on safe, ethical hunters to alleviate the problem.
Contact the District Four office at (740) 594-2211 for more information on finding farmers in need of help in reducing their deer herd. It just may produce a great place to take that buck of a lifetime.
For more information about reservations and accommodations, call (740) 453-4377.
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