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: 11/03/2015

Hillsdale Wildlife Area News

REQUIRED - Hunters and trappers must check-in using iSportsman prior to using Hillsdale Wildlife Area


Antioch Marsh - Expected to be excellent in 2015. Abundant quality forage (smartweed, arrowhead, duckweed) and plenty of water.

Browns Marsh, lower pool - Expected to be good in 2015. Seeded Japanese millet in July. Abundant forage. 

Browns Marsh , upper pool - Drained for maintenance. Pool will remain dry through the hunting season.

Youth-Mentor Marsh - Expected to be excellent. Abundant forage and cover.  

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 - 11/19/2015
Waterfowl Numbers Approximately 6,500 ducks, primarily mallard, were observed during a waterfowl survey on the morning of 11/19/2015. Other species identified included American coot, Canada goose, and Hooded Merganser. Please note that waterfowl numbers and locations change frequently. 
Water Level

Antioch Wetland - Nearly full. Excellent forage plants (smartweed, arrowhead, duckweed)

Browns Wetland, Upper pool - Drained for repairs.

Browns Wetland, Lower pool - 2/3 full. Excellent forage plants (millet and smartweed)

Youth-Mentor Wetland - 2/3 full. Excellent forage plants (millet and smartweed)

Hillsdale Lake - Normal pool (See Army Corps Daily Report).