"....That sounds pretty bleak for sure,and I hate to hear it. To be honest with you it sounds like even NJ might have more opportunities for the upland hunter, and that's sad considering what Ohio once was!...."
Well said FLDBRED and You are CORRECT...... Excuses like "Ohio is too populated" or "land management and AG practices have changed" or "Ohio doesn't have enough public land" just don't fly. Where there's a will there's a way. I saw a recent copy of an old Ohio nature news magazine from the 1930's which said that something like 36,000 pheasants were stocked by the State that year and Ohio had allot less people and a bunch of wild birds then too. Today the State of Ohio stocks less than HALF that number of birds and wild birds are almost non existent.
In Ohio, since the early 70's, most of the State's legislators have commonly shown a lack of interest or coordination for good wildlife and land conservation management which might serve the interests of the average hunter or nature lover. Ohio's State legislator's decisions are mostly made in regard to the folks and industries who want to extract the most wealth out of Ohio's land resources. The health and diversity of the State's ecology is often pushed to the limit, or beyond. In the grand scheme of things beneficial conservation resources and funding are token gestures or left over scraps. Ohio's predominant legislative mentality in regard to hunting is led by the similar old european mentality of a relatively few established kingly hunting preserves that are held mostly by and for a privileged and or wealthy few.
These days it seems the best option for the average Ohioan who likes to hunt is to take up squirrel hunting.... or leave the state.
I believe that extreme efforts from folks affiliated with groups like the NGFA are largely responsible for the declines in pheasant numbers in Ohio and other regions. In the link below notice the mention of the late 70's and early 80's over production of grain harvest... this coincides with when wild birds pretty much suddenly disappeared in Ohio.
See; NGFA (National Grain and Feed Association) Foe of Wildlife and CRP? http://www.ultimatepheasanthunting.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10915