Hillsdale Wildlife Area

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REQUIRED Starting September 1st, 2015: Hunters and trappers must check-in using iSportsman prior to using Hillsdale Wildlife Area

Habitat types include a mix of cropland, woodland, and warm and cool season grasses. Common woodland species include, oak, sycamore, cottonwood, walnut, hackberry, ash, elm, hickory and eastern red cedar. Plum, sumac, and dogwood are common shrubs. During construction of Hillsdale Reservoir more than 70 percent of the standing timber was left within the reservoir basin to provide fish habitat. Walleye, catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill are abundant. Approximately 4,500 acres of water and 51 miles of shoreline are open to fishing. Roughly 7,000 acres are open to hunting at Hillsdale within the Wildlife area and State Park. Common wildlife includes: whitetail deer, bobwhite quail, squirrel, rabbit, beaver, muskrat, and a variety of waterfowl. Birdwatchers that venture to Hillsdale will see Bald Eagles, shorebirds, finches, warblers, sparrows, and hawks. One hundred acres of shallow water habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl is provided by man made wetlands in the Big Bull, Little Bull and Wade Branch drainages of the reservoir.

Area News - Updated: 12/01/2015

Hillsdale Wildlife Area News

iSportsman - Required

New in 2015 - Hunters and trappers must check-in using iSportsman prior to using Hillsdale Wildlife Area. When creating an account, be sure to record the 4 digit PIN number you assign to your account and the 6 digit Permit# that is unique to your iSportsman account. The Permit# is not the same as the KDWPT# printed on your hunting license. If you check-in using the automated phone system (1-844-500-0825) you will need to enter your PIN and 6 digit Permit#. It is also highly recommended you enter an email address when registering, so a temporary password can be emailed to you in the event you forget your account password.

Please call the Hillsdale State Park office (913-783-4507) if you have any difficulty with iSportsman.

Game harvest reported using iSportsman from September through November 2015:

Game Harvest
Coyote 1
Dove 246
Duck 442
Goose 1
Rabbit 39
Squirrel 107
Wild Turkey 1
White-tailed deer 20

Reservoir and Wetland Conditions

Wetlands are full and reservoir is ~3 feet high following November rains. The upper pool of Browns Marsh is being drained to repair beaver damage to the dike and water control structure; however, some water is still available and can provide hunting opportunities for a few hunters.

Excellent forage is available for waterfowl at all wetlands

See the Hillsdale Waterfowl Report for weekly updates throughout the season. 


Not all property boundaries are well marked. Be sure you know where public hunting is permitted and obey all signs. If in doubt, maps are available at the Hillsdale State Park office or under the Brochures tab or stop by the State Park office for clarification. 

Deer Hunters

It is NOT legal to use bait when hunting or preparing to hunt on Department lands

Treestands must be marked with your name and address or KDWPT#

Portable blinds may not be left unattended over night 

Please contact Eric Kilburg with questions: 913-783-4507.

General Information

Hillsdale Reservoir & WA (PDF 860.55 kB)

Manager: Eric Kilburg
Phone: (913) 783-4507

Special Regulations
  • REQUIRED September 1, 2015 - Hunters and trappers must check-in using iSportsman
  • Non-toxic shot required at all dove fields (sunflowers, wheat, and millet) 
  • Camping is permitted only within the State Park designated campgrounds.
  • Off road vehicle use and target shooting is prohibited.
  • Consult Office and area information signs regarding additional regulations.
  • Special Handicapped hunting is available within designated areas, contact the Hillsdale State Park Office (913-783-4507).
  • Attention: Trapping is authorized in areas open to hunting.

Here is a complete list of Public Land Regulations or you can download the regulation summary.


Hillsdale is one of the newest reservoirs in Kansas. Originally authorized in 1954 and completed in 1982, the reservoir is part of a comprehensive flood control plan for the Osage and Missouri River basins. In 1989 the Corps of Engineers leased 12,880 acres to the Kansas Wildlife and Parks to be managed for recreation and natural resources. The Wildlife Area includes roughly 5,000 acres located on the northern arms of the Little Bull and Big Bull Creeks.

Hillsdale Facilities
Hillsdale Waterfowl Report - 03/03/2016
Waterfowl Numbers Good numbers and good diversity of waterfowl. Spring migration is underway. Waterfowl were primarily using area wetlands and included mallard, pintail, shoveller, blue and green-winged teal, gadwall, common and hooded merganser, ruddy duck, and Canada goose.
Water Level

Antioch Wetland - 2/3 full. Excellent forage plants (smartweed, arrowhead, duckweed)

Browns Wetland, Upper pool - Drained for repairs.

Browns Wetland, Lower pool - Half full. Excellent forage plants (millet and smartweed)

Youth-Mentor Wetland - 3/4 full. Excellent forage plants (millet and smartweed)

Hillsdale Lake - About 1.5 feet below normal pool (See Army Corps Daily Report). Mud flats exposed near the waterfowl refuge.