Wilson Wildlife Area

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Area News
Wilson  Waterfowl Report
Wilson Gallery
Wilson Wildlife Area Calendar
Wilson Reservoir Fishing Information
Wilson State Park

Click on the "News" or "General Information" links above for 2018 Dove Field information, refuge dates, contact info, and other current events.

Click HERE for Wilson Lake brochure map

Click on "News" link above for Wilson Wildlife Area refuge boundary maps

Wilson Wildlife Area is located in the scenic Smoky Hills of northcentral Kansas and is on the upper end of 9,000 acre Wilson Reservoir. The 8,069 acre public hunting area is made up of 5,000 acres of rugged rolling hills of native prairie, approximately 2,000 acres of cropland, and 1,000 acres of riparian timber along the Saline River, Cedar Creek, Turkey Creek, and Elm Creek.

Area management focuses on providing a quality experience for visitors, and managing wildlife and wildlife habitats for optimum hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities. Pheasant, quail, turkey, dove, rabbit, whitetail deer, waterfowl, furbearers and many songbirds and non-game wildlife inhabit or pass through and use the area.

The area has a waterfowl refuge that was established in 1996. Hunting opportunities are fair for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds. The area receives heavy hunting pressure during season openers and can provide less crowded conditions later in the hunting seasons.

Information shelters on the area and the Wilson Area Office have more information available.

Area News - Updated: 08/31/2013
2019 Managed Dove Fields (PDF - 11.22 MB)
2019 Managed Dove Fields

Updated August 19th, 2019

Sunflower fields will have portions of fields mowed leading up to the season.  Wheat fields may be burned, mowed, or disked depending on conditions.  Wilson Wildlife Area does NOT require non-toxic shot for dove hunting.  Managed dove fields are open to all hunters SEPT 1.

There are 2 managed dove fields at Wilson this year, both of which are ~4-5 acres in size. Sunflowers were planted late due to wet conditions so seed production will likely not be maximized until after the Sept. 1 opener. Both fields are located along 193rd St. on the north side of the reservoir. See the attached map for specific locations.

Wilson Wildlife Area Wildlife Refuge Boundary Map (PDF - 4.80 MB)

The refuge is closed to all access September 1 through January 31 except by special permit only.  This map is to be used for general reference only. Signs will mark the actual refuge boundary. Use the posted signs as the true boundary.

General Information

Wilson Wildlife Area

Contact: Scott Thomasson

Phone: (785) 658-2465

Wilson Area Office
#3 State Park Road
Sylvan Grove, KS, 67481


                                CURRENT EVENTS
ATTENTION: The refuge at Wilson Wildlife Area will be closed to all activities Sept 1 - Jan 31 except by special permit.


Special Regulations
  • Camping, fires, and off road vehicle use are not allowed on the area.
  • No Cliff jumping


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


The 8,069 acre Wilson Wildlife Area was made available to the Kansas Forestry Fish and Game Commission under the terms of a license with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1965.

Wilson Facilities
Elm Creek Boat Ramp
  • Type of Facility: Boat Ramp
  • Location of Facility: 38.936369 -98.629865
  • Click for more information

    This Boat ramp is used for small watercraft and is not usable when lake is 5 feet low.

    Located 6 miles north of Bunker Hill.

Cedar Creek Boat Ramp

Area Maintenance Building
  • Type of Facility: Information Center
  • Location of Facility: 39.973018 -98.723434
  • Click for more information

    Field office and equipment storage.

    Located 6 miles north of Bunker Hill.

Wilson Wildlife Area Calendar

    Wilson Waterfowl Report - 09/19/2019
    Waterfowl numbers 80-120 ducks. Blue-winged teal with some mallards, gadwall, and shovelers.
    Mallard Migration Rank

    Mallard Migration Rank = 0

    The Mallard Migration Rank is subjective and ranges from 0 (no mallards) to 10 (Peak Mallard Numbers)

    Water level 1519.5; 3.5' above conservation and dropping steadily.
    Hunting conditions Fair. There are more shallower water areas present due to flooding than in past years, but food sources are limited.
    Expected hunting success Poor. There is little to no moist soil vegetation in most of the flooded areas resulting in poor food sources for waterfowl. Currently there is little waterfowl use of the area. Flood waters have washed away most of the vegetation and created very limited areas to hide in.

    Boat ramps: Cedar Creek boat ramp is currently open. The Elm Creek boat ramps are currently under water.

    Reminders: Wilson Reservoir is in the Low Plains Late duck zone. Teal season in this zone runs from Sept. 14-29. The regular duck season opens Oct. 26 and closes Dec. 29, 2019. It then reopens Jan. 18-26, 2020. Dark goose (except white-fronts) and light goose seasons run from Oct. 26-27, 2019 and Nov. 6, 2019 - Feb. 16, 2020.   White-fronted goose season is open Oct. 26-Dec. 29, 2019 and reopens Jan 25-Feb. 16, 2020.

    The light goose spring conservation season runs from Feb. 17-Apr. 30, 2020.

    All access (including hunters, fishermen, and boating) is prohibited Sept. 1, 2018-Jan. 31, 2019 on the mid-lake refuge and the refuge located at the west end of the lake.

    Click HERE for Duck Season, Regulation, and Research information.

    Click HERE for hunting regulations in Lucas Park, Minooka Park, and Sylvan Park.