You are on the right track with the 357 Max AND a 357 max rechambered barrel by Mike Bellm!!!
You will not find a better setup for hunting in Ohio!!
Pick up a TC contender frame, I do not know if the encore can be had in a 357. Ask Mike Bellm.
He has the rechambered barrels ready to go and they will shoot rings around a standard TC 357 Max. I have one of his 10" models and 1" groups are the norm
He is using the 12" barrels now. I would also pick up some Accurate Arms 1680 poweder, some Hornady SSPB 180 grain bullets, CCI 450 primers.
.357 Maximum » Developing a Load
for more info.
Start at 26 grain and see if you can work up to 28 grains.
We are hunting an Ohio farm this year in SE ohio and that is the setup I am using.