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Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area

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  • Pigeon River FWA Alerts (1)
    • A portion of Cedar Swamp WCA will be closed to pheasant hunting during the 2023-24 season. Maps of the closure are provided at the main sign-in locations on the property. For more information, call the Pigeon River FWA office at 260-367-2164.

8310 E. 300 N. 
Howe, IN 46746

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 71
Mongo, IN 46771

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Time zone

Office hours
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Property hours
Always open. Some activities may have limited hours during certain times of the year. Call the property for more information.


Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area provides quality outdoor recreational opportunities while maintaining 11,794 acres of land, 529 acres of lakes and impoundments and 17 miles of free-flowing river. The property contains a mix of habitat, including hardwoods, wetlands, and upland fields. It is home to many endangered species of plants and animals.

The area was established in 1956 when three reservoirs, Mongo, Nasby, and Ontario, in the Pigeon River Valley were given to the state. Since then, the state has acquired additional land along the river valley.

Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of Pigeon River FWA are derived from the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Funds are also received from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs to aid fish and wildlife restoration. These funds are derived from taxes levied on sport hunting, shooting, and fishing equipment. Indiana hunters and anglers are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people. Hunting, fishing, and bird watching are some of the most popular activities that occur on this property.

  • Amenities

    Pit toilets are available on the south side of the main office parking lot.

All hunters, range users, and dog runners are required to sign in and obtain the appropriate one-day access permit before entering the field at this property. The one-day permit card must be completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or property office before you leave.

All other visitors are encouraged to obtain a miscellaneous one-day access permit before entering the field. The one-day access permit should be kept with you while visiting, then completed and returned to a self-service booth, drop box, or the office before you leave. The information you provide will help us identify ways to improve Indiana’s FWAs for all users. We appreciate your patience in taking the extra time to complete the permit. Your feedback and comments are valuable to us.

  • Fishing
    • Pigeon River FWA has 17 miles of river and approximately 500 acres of water available for fishing. You can find locations to fish on the Where to Fish map.
    • Primary species caught include smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, and panfish.
    • During waterfowl season, portions of the river and certain water bodies are closed to fishing, including sections A, D, K, and J, as well as the Mongo millpond. Call the Pigeon River FWA office for more information.
    • All waterbodies are trolling motor only.
    • Boat ramp locations can be found on the Pigeon River property map.
    • Parking is available in parking lots only.
    • Some of the popular locations to fish include Troxel Lake, Beaver Dam Lake, and the Mongo Millpond. Trout are released in various locations on the Pigeon River as well. Shoreline fishing is popular at Rainbow Pit and Massassauga Marsh.
    • The property is open to bowfishing.
  • Hunting
    • Hunting for deer, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, dove, pheasant, and wild turkey is common at Pigeon River FWA.
    • All hunting seasons and bag limits apply. See Hunting Regulations for details.
    • Shooting of woodchuck (groundhogs) is not allowed.
    • Additional hunting opportunities are available including youth hunts for deer, turkey, and waterfowl.
    • All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.


    • Deer tree stands and ground blinds may be used and left unattended from noon, Sept. 15 through Jan. 10. Tree stands and ground blinds must be legibly marked in English with either the owner’s DNR customer identification number or the owner’s name, address, and telephone number. Fasteners (e.g., screw-in steps and screw-in bow and gun hangers) and anything else used in conjunction with a tree stand and a tree or pole climber that penetrates a tree more than ½ inch are prohibited.


    • Dove hunting is by reserved draw Sept. 1 and 2. A no-show draw is held at 11 a.m. at the office both days. Dove hunting on the property is done by self check-in at the main office Sept. 3 to the end of season.


    • Put-and-take pheasant hunts start the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The online reservation system opens in September. Hunters may claim their reserved spot the day of their hunt between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the main office.
    • Small game hunting is closed in Sections A, B, D, and E throughout the put-and-take season. All other hunting activities, including deer and waterfowl, are allowed in these sections during put-and-take.
    • Put-and-take hunters are only allowed to harvest pheasants during their hunt. The shooting of woodcock, rabbits, and other animals while put-and-take pheasant hunting is not allowed. The bag limit is two rooster (male) pheasants per day.
    • Lead shot is allowed for pheasant hunting on Pigeon River FWA.


    • Spring turkey season is done by a reserved draw system online prior to the spring season. Pigeon River FWA offers a daily no-show draw throughout the season. Doors open at 4:30 a.m. at the main office, and the no-show draw is at 5:30 a.m.
    • During spring turkey season, including youth weekend, only turkey hunters are allowed on the property until after 1 p.m. Turkey hunters must be out of the field by 2 p.m.
    • Call the office for information on the reserved draw system for Cedar Swamp WCA and Marsh Lake WCA.
    • Fall turkey hunting is allowed.


    • Waterfowl season draws occur opening weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of both early season and regular season at 5:30 a.m. in the main office. Doors open at 4:30 a.m.
    • Steel shot only.
    • Call the office for information on the reserved draw system for Cedar Swamp WCA and Marsh Lake WCA.
  • Shooting range
    • Pigeon River FWA has an archery range, 25-yard, 50-yard, and 100-yard ranges, and two shotgun stations.
    • There is no fee.
    • Bring your own targets, eye, and ear protection.
    • See the Fish & Wildlife Area Shooting Ranges webpage for more details.
    • Hours of operation are:
      • Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday-Tuesday from March-December
      • Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday during January and February
      • Closed Wednesdays, Thursdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
  • Trapping
    • Trapping is allowed on the property by draw only. View statewide trapping regulations in the Hunting & Trapping Guide.
    • Trappers Draw is held on the first Saturday of October at 10 a.m. at the Pigeon River FWA office.
  • Wildlife watching & birding
    • Pigeon River FWA provides excellent wildlife watching throughout the year, especially during spring waterfowl migration.
    • Bald eagles, osprey, and trumpeter swans are often seen on the property.
    • The best wildlife viewing location is the L2 parking lot (Waterfowl Resting Area overlook).

    This property is a stop on the
    Indiana Birding Trail Logo

More activities

  • Biking
    • Biking at Pigeon River FWA is limited to county roads. There are no mountain bike trails and off-road travel is prohibited.
  • Dog running
    • Dog running is allowed in Section A.
    • Field trials can be conducted during specified times. Call the office for more information.
  • Foraging
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered.
    • Please note that during spring turkey season, only hunters and anglers are allowed on the property until after 1 p.m. Please call the office for dates and any questions.
  • Hiking & walking
    • While there are no designated trails, there are access lanes that can be used to explore the property. These lanes are maintained for staff use only and may not be mowed all year long.
  • Water recreation
    • Pigeon River FWA has approximately 529 acres of lakes and impoundments, and 17 miles of river.
    • Canoeing and kayaking are allowed but are restricted in certain waterbodies during waterfowl season. Call the office for more information.
    • Swimming is prohibited.
    • Boat ramps are located throughout the property. See property map for details.
  • Volunteering

    You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Some activities include trash pick-up, invasive plant removal, painting, and more. Call the property office for details or email


Other properties managed by this office

  • Anspaugh Wetland Conservation Area is a 110-acre property bordering Loon Lake. Hunting is allowed by written permission only.
  • Cedar Swamp Wetland Conservation Area is a 982-acre property. Hunting and trapping by permit are allowed and hunters must sign in. Waterfowl and spring turkey hunting is available through a draw system.
  • Jimmerson Lake Wetland Conservation Area is an 83-acre property. It is available for waterfowl hunting only. Sign in is not required.
  • Marsh Lake/Crane Marsh Wetland Conservation Area is a 659-acre property. Hunting and trapping by permit are allowed and hunters must sign in. Waterfowl and spring turkey hunting is available through a draw system.
  • Ropchan Wildlife Refuge is an 88-acre nature preserve. It is not open to hunting. It joins property owned by ACRES Land Trust and DNR Division of Nature Preserves.
  • Scott Mill Wildlife Management Area is a 113-acre property. Archery hunting is allowed and sign in is not required. Trapping is available through the trappers draw at the Pigeon River office the first Saturday of October at 10 a.m.
  • Turkey Creek Wetland Conservation Area is a 7-acre property open to hunting. Sign in is not required.

For more information on these properties, contact the Pigeon River FWA office at

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