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Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area

 Hillenbrand  FWA
Managed by Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area
812-512-9185
Office Hours:
Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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Hillenbrand FWA advisories

  • Cattle will be present in fenced-in areas on the western side of Hillenbrand FWA until Sept. 24. Property managers are using the cattle to implement prescribed grazing, a newer management tool that combats invasive species, increases native plant diversity, and improves wildlife habitat.
  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to protect Hoosiers and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Please visit on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19 for a listing of what is open, closed, restricted and canceled.

  • Description

    Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) is dedicated to providing quality hunting and fishing opportunities while maintaining 3,631 acres of upland game and wetland habitat, lakes and shallow impoundments. It is located east and west of S.R. 59 approximately five miles north of Linton.

    The property was purchased by the state in 1995. Wildlife management efforts began immediately on the mostly reclaimed surface mine land in Greene County. Hillenbrand is 60 percent grasslands with 125 acres of wetland habitat. The property is named after Indiana businessman John A. Hillenbrand II for his dedication to Indiana's natural resources.

    Most revenues used in land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of Hillenbrand FWA  are from the sale of game bird habitat hunting stamps and federal aid programs supporting sport fish and wildlife restoration. Federal funds are derived from taxes levied on sport fishing, shooting, and hunting equipment. Indiana hunters and anglers are proud to provide this property for the enjoyment of all people.

    Hillenbrand FWA is managed by Goose Pond FWA.

    Prescribed grazing

    Cows in field.

    Prescribed grazing is used to create beneficial disturbance on Fish & Wildlife Areas (FWAs) and accomplish specific vegetation management goals using domestic livestock. A limited number of livestock will graze or browse an area of land for a pre-planned timeframe to benefit native plants and improve wildlife habitat.

    Hillenbrand FWA is piloting this new management practice for the Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. In partnership with a local private cattle producer, cattle grazing is expected to occur in two fenced-in areas on the western side of Hillenbrand FWA during the summer months. Public access will not be affected, but visitors should be aware and take caution when entering areas where cattle are present.

  • Activities

    Fishing

    • Hillenbrand FWA has 125 acres of available water impoundments, including 27-acre Horseshoe Lake.
    • Primary species include bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and catfish.
    • Gilmour, Crystal, Long, Moss, Midland, Beaver Dam and Front lakes have gravel boat ramps.
    • All lakes are limited to a maximum 12-volt electric motor.
    • No check-in is required for fishing. However, check for closures during waterfowl hunting season.
    • There is a 14-inch minimum size limit on largemouth bass. All other size and bag limits apply. See fishing regulations for details.
    • Midland Lake is stocked with trout. A fishing license and trout stamp are required to fish for these species.

    Hunting

    • Deer, turkeys, rabbit, squirrels, quail and woodcock are common. Limited hunting for dove and waterfowl is available. All hunting seasons and bag limits apply.
    • Small game, deer and waterfowl hunters can pick up daily permits at a self-service check station (see map).
    • Deer hunting is by self-service sign-in procedure. Tree stands are allowed from Sept. 15 to Jan. 31; your name, phone number and address must be visible from the ground.
    • The first five days of spring turkey hunting is by reserve draw only; reservations must be claimed by 5:30 a.m. ET at the Goose Pond FWA office. Unclaimed reservations will be offered in a standby drawing at 5:30 a.m. in the Goose Pond FWA office. Registration is required.
    • The shell limit for waterfowl hunters is 25.
    • The shell limit for dove hunters is 50.
    • Hillenbrand FWA participates in all youth hunting seasons. Drawings are held for youth turkey hunting.
    • Hunting areas accessible to persons with disabilities are available.
    • Dog training is permitted east of County Road 1100 West. You must sign in on the dog running/night hunting sheet daily when training dogs.

    Trapping

    • Trapping opportunities are by drawing only. A special drawing for trapping is held at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday in October at the Goose Pond office. All traps and snares must be set underwater.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Need a reason to get outside and move? You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Some activities include trash pick-up, basic gardening, painting, and more. Call the property office for details.

    Wildlife Watching

    • Enjoy watching deer, wild turkey and various bird species on the 3,631 acres of Hillenbrand Fish & Wildlife Area. Large congregations of migratory waterfowl can be seen in the wetland areas.
    • Mushrooms, berries, and nuts may be gathered, however a written permit is required to remove plants, animals, rocks and fossils.

    NO Camping and NO Swimming Allowed.
    Please Read and Obey All Signs.

  • Rules

    A record of Fish & Wildlife Area property rules can be found on the Indiana Fish & Wildlife Area Rules webpage.  Property specific rules can be found below, if applicable.  Contact the property directly for specific questions.

    Permits

    In addition to a hunting and/or fishing license, the following permits are required:

    • Permission to hunt during the day on Hillenbrand FWA must be obtained before entering the field. Daily hunt permit cards must be in possession of the hunter and recorded through established self-service procedures outlined at the check-in station. Self-service drop boxes are located on the property for your convenience.
    • Night and predator hunting is allowed.
    • No check-in or written permission is required for fishing. There is a minimum size limit of 14 inches for largemouth bass in effect on all state-owned, operated or leased waters except for free-flowing streams. Some restrictions may limit fishing during waterfowl hunting season. Call the Goose Pond FWA office for details.
  • Maps