Hillsdale Wildlife Area News

Dove Hunting- Correct Maps will be provided soon.

Each year, SEVERAL AREAS are specifically prepared for dove hunting. A total of 7 fields were managed to attract doves in 2013, not including burned down wheat fields. Approximately 36 acres of sunflowers/millet will be partially mowed/disked prior to opening day, and 45 acres of wheat will be cut/burned down.

New this year-Area 1/Special Hunts Tract1 is a KDWPT special hunt, a Dove Hunting Youth/Mentor area, has been developed approximately 1 mile west of the intersection 255th Street and Waverly. This area will be reserved the first two days of the season for the selected few who applied for the hunt on the KDWPT Special Hunts website. A Mentor, in this case, is someone 18 years or older and accompanied by at least one Youth- a youth under 16 years of age. The Mentor is the only one who can apply for the hunt. To apply to hunt this area with a youth, you will need to sign-up online. Follow this link http://kdwpt.state.ks.us/news/Hunting/Special-Hunts-Information to get signed-up of the Youth/Mentor Special Hunt. The last day to sign-up is August 11th. You will be contacted by email or phone if you are awarded one of the hunts you chose. The Special Hunts will start September 1st and end the evening of September 2nd. After September 2nd the area will open up to all public hunting. A Free daily dove permit will be required to hunt the area at this time. The permit will be available on site at the field. The primary objective of this "Dove Mentor Area" is to provide additional "out of the rush" hunting opportunities for the Youth-Mentor hunters. By limiting the access on the area, the hunters should have a more quality hunt. More Special Hunts to come in the future.

Area 2East(Field 3) and West(Field 2) Wade Dove Fields- Areas are located North of the Wades Branch access area. East and West Wade Dove Fields will be NON-TOXIC Shot ONLY this year. Habitat: The fields are made up of approximately 12 acres of sunflowers/weeds. Sunflowers look better in the West Field 2, with cleaner rows, but both fields produced seed and should offer some decent hunting opportunity. There is also 3 acres of Pheasants Forever food plot mix in the middle of Field 2. ATTENTION: With the East and West Fields being so close to Wades Branch Wetlands, the fields will be NON-TOXIC Shot ONLY. Hunters will be ticketed if caught hunting with Lead Shot in the area.

Area 3- Hillsdale Point Dove Fields 4 and 5- Area is located off of Hillsdale Point, just West of the old dove field off of Harmony Rd. The East field is Field 4, and is 4 acres. The West field is Field 5, and is 3 acres. Habitat: 7 acres of Sunflowers, and 27 acres of wheat close by. The sunflowers look good, and have produced some seed. There should be some dove hunting opportunity on these fields. Daily dove permits will be required to hunt the two sunflower fields at Hillsdale Point. Dove permits and permit stations will be located at the field. Hunters who do not possess a permit may be ticketed.

Area 4 - 223rd St Dove Field 6- Area is located approximately 4 miles west of HWY 169 on 223rd St. and south of KDWPT parking lot. Habitat: The field is made up of approximately 10 acres of White Proso-Millet and Foxtail. The millet did not grow very tall, not offering very good cover. There are plenty of trees on the outer edge that should offer some cover. With the seed from the millet and foxtail, area 4 should offer some dove opportunity. The millet is still green. Area may offer more opportunity later in the season if the weather stays warm. There is cut and burned wheat around the area as well.

Address comments and suggestions to Lucas Kramer at the Hillsdale Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Office (913-783-4507).

See the Hillsdale Wildlife Area web page for detailed aerial photos of all managed dove fields. Click on maps, then click on the little bird symbols for dove fields.

A Hunting/Survey Permit -All dove hunters hunting the Youth/Mentor dove field after September 2nd are required to obtain a "free" Daily Dove Hunting Permit while hunting doves on this field. Free permits will be available on site. The top half of the permit is completed and deposited into a mailbox (at the hunting area) before hunting. The bottom portion is carried while in the field, data recorded and deposited into the mailbox at the completion of the hunt. A new permit is required for each hunt. This information is being collected from many managed dove fields in eastern Kansas in an effort to evaluate dove management activities on public lands. This information will help us maintain and improve funding for managed dove fields in the future. Thanks for you cooperation and participation with this survey.

I appreciate everyone's cooperation filling out hunter survey cards honestly. The information regarding the number of hunters using the area and the number of doves taken are important factors for evaluating the continued effort to provide Managed Dove Fields. Rest assured we are not looking at how many shots it takes any particular individual to take a dove. However, we are interested in the beneficial economic issues related to hunting doves. We are also interested in how much lead is being deposited on Manged areas. This year Hillsdale will be having one Non-Toxic Shot ONLY area close to Wades Branch wetlands, so pay close attention to the signage in the area.

Food Plots- (Maps to come) All food plots including sunflowers,corn, and milo are planted as early in the growing season as practical each year within the Hillsdale Widlife Area. Planting activities generally start in April and last all the way into July. 2013 Ag fields consist of wheat, corn, and beans. KDWPT has also planted milo, proso-millet, Japanese millet, sunflowers, and wheat. We will be looking into increasing our food plot diversity in the near future. Examples would be turnips, alfalfa, etc.

Waterfowl/Wetland Update

flying duck

The Hillsdale wildlife area has four managed wetland areas including the Novice area described above. See the Hillsdale Wildlife Area web page maps for aerial views of all managed wetland areas. Click on maps, then click on the wetland symbols. The park manages one wetland area below the dam also.

Mentor/Novice Area (click to see)

A Mentor/Novice Area has been developed to provide enhanced hunting opportunities for the new or beginning hunters. All hunting activities including Waterfowl, Deer, Turkey, and Small Game in this area are restricted to mentor and novice hunters ONLY. A 20-30 acre wetland, The Big Bull Wetland, has been completed at the dead end of 223rd street east of Spoon Creek Road on the upper west side of Hillsdale Reservoir. The primary objective of this "last wetland" is to provide additional hunting opportunities for the mentor-novice hunters. We hope to recruit and encourage new hunters by the more experienced hunters. A Mentor, in this case, is someone 21 years or older and accompanied by at least one Novice- a youth under 16 years of age or a person who has not possessed a hunting license in the last 3 years. Address comments and suggestions to Lucas Kramer at the Hillsdale Wildlife Parks and Tourism Office (913-783-4507).


On-going projects for 2013 are to incorporate more prescribed fire across the Hillsdale WA landscape during all times of the year. We have already burned over 350 acres of grassland mixed with woody vegetation so far this year, including a small 5 acre summer burn on some reed canary grass. We are also removing as many unwanted woody plants as we can mechanically and chemically. We are mostly concentrating on Eastern red cedar in the up-lands and willows in the wetlands. Our main goal right now is to get the native grass established in areas where the cool seasons have really came on, which is everywhere.

Other projects are re-setting the water control structure in Browns Wetland, the East Unit, along with spraying, mowing, burning, and disking all unwanted vegetation. We also are waiting to here back from NWTF to see if they will help fund additional tree removal South of Smith Creek Area to improve nesting for species like Bobwhite Quail and Wild Turkey. We really appreciate all assistance they have provided in the past, and look forward to working with them in the future.


Hillsdale Wildlife Area put out a newsletter this Spring, and will plan on putting one out this fall, prior to hunting season.

Fore more information and pictures of Hillsdale Wildlife Area please visit and "Like" our new Facebook page.