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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

State Parks > Parks & Lakes > Monroe Lake > Monroe Lake - Hunting and Trapping Monroe Lake - Hunting and Trapping

4850 South State Road 446
Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 837-9546

Paynetown SRA, Fairfax SRA, Allen's Creek SRA, Cutright SRA, Moore's Creek SRA, Salt Creek SRA

Hunting and Trapping

Monroe Lake provides a wide variety of hunting options. Woodland species such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and grouse are hunted on over 7,000 acres of woodlands. Upland fields and early successional habitats of over 3,500 acres provide rabbit, woodcock and mourning dove hunting. Night hunting for raccoon, fox and coyote is permitted. State hunting regulations apply to all legal species. The 10,750 acre lake and the over 400 acres of managed wetlands offer waterfowl hunters the chance to hunt open water, streams and marshes for migrating waterfowl. Special hunts are held in managed seasonal Waterfowl Resting Areas and selected mourning dove fields on a draw basis. Reserve waterfowl draws are offered through the online application process. Contact the property office for additional information. Archery and firearms shooting ranges are not available. Safety Zones are closed to all hunting. Wildlife viewing areas are abundant.

Monroe Lake allows the use of bonus county antlerless deer tags.

Trapping opportunities are available through a sealed bidding process for specific trapping units. Contact the property office in late summer for details on the bidding process.

All hunters must register and sign the waiver of liability at one of the nineteen hunter sign-in stations on the property. Hunter sign-in is mandatory, and failure to sign in and out properly may result in a fine. All game taken must be recorded on a required one-day hunter permit card that is carried with you as you hunt and turned in at the end of the day. At some properties, the card must be returned to the same hunter sign-in station where the waiver of liability was signed; please look for that requirement when you check-in. Take and use only one card per day. This system provides valuable wildlife management information.

2016 Waterfowl Season

Early Duck Season, Oct. 29 – Nov. 6, 2016

Open Areas

Main lake, Crooked Creek and the Crooked Creek marshes are open to hunting during legal shooting hours. Mandatory check-in and possession of one day waterfowl hunting permit required. Hunting parties must hunt at least 300 yards away from safety zones, recreation areas, resting areas, and other hunting parties.

Resting Areas

Stillwater-Northfork Resting Area - marshes will be hunted as public draw hunts on the following days; Oct. 29. 31; Nov. 2, 4, 6,  (Oct. 29, 31 and Nov. 6  will be drawn at 5:30 a.m. and will hunt until noon). All other hunts will draw at 10:30 a.m. and will hunt from noon to sunset. All early season hunts will be public draw, parties of three first. The Nov. 6 hunt will be Eastern Daylight Saving time. All hunting sites in the area north of the south boundary of the Northfork Resting area to the Kent Bridge on the Northfork of Salt Creek and the Stevens Creek Bridge on Friendship Road will be by drawing at the Northfork Check Station. Waterfowl hunting will be permitted only from designated sites in this area. Some areas may not be flooded, check with Paynetown office for sites available. A shell limit of 25 shot shells per hunter will be in effect for all Stillwater-Northfork hunts.

Middlefork Resting Area will hunt during legal shooting times on the same day as Stillwater for all day hunts during the early season. Hunting parties must hunt at least 300 yards from another hunting party. Middlefork is divided into two relatively equal zones with zone one checking in at the Crooked Creek Check Station and zone two checking in at the Paynetown Office or Cutright Check Station. 

Southfork Marshes will hunt on the same days and times as Middlefork Resting Area. Draws will be held for all hunts at the Robertson Cemetery check station 90 minutes before shooting time each morning, maximum of three hunting parties of three hunters each per marsh. If the check station is not manned, mandatory self-check-in is required. Road access will be very difficult.

In all Resting Area hunts parties of three draw first, two second, and one last.

Late Duck Season, Nov. 19, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017

All areas of the lake not in waterfowl resting areas or under special restrictions, including the Crooked Creek marshes, are open hunt zones, mandatory self check-in, first come-first served, legal shooting times, check-in at designated check station for area to be hunted. Hunters must stay at least 300 yards from resting area lines, recreation and safety zones, and other occupied hunting sites. All times for the late season will be EST.

Resting Areas

Stillwater-Northfork marshes will be hunted as public draw hunts on Nov. 19, 22, 28, Dec.1, 4, 10, 13, 18, 21, 27, 30, 2016 and Jan. 6, 8, 2017. The reserve hunts will be Nov. 26, Dec. 7, 16, 24, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017. The hunt times for public draw hunts will be listed on the waterfowl calendar. The calendar of dates and times is available at the Paynetown office, online and at all manned waterfowl check stations. Parties of three draw first and a party of three hunters is required to claim a reserve hunt. All reserve hunts are afternoon hunts with a 10:30 a.m. draw. A shell limit of 25 shot shells per hunter will be in effect for all Stillwater-Northfork hunts.

Middlefork Resting Area will be open to hunting on the same day of the late season that Stillwater-Northfork is hunted, for all day hunts. Hunting parties must hunt at least 300 yards from another hunting party. Middlefork is divided into two relatively equal zones with zone one checking in at the Crooked Creek Check Station and zone two checking in at the Paynetown Office or Cutright Check Station.

Southfork Marshes will hunt on the same schedule as Middlefork Resting Area. Draws will be held at the Robertson Cemetery check station at 6 a.m. Should the check station not be manned, mandatory self-check-in is required, maximum of three parties to a marsh, three hunters to a party.

Goose hunting, Oct. 29 - Nov. 6, 2016 and Nov. 19, 2016 - Feb. 12, 2017

Permitted during open seasons on the main lake and in the Crooked Creek area within state and federal regulations. Goose hunting in waterfowl resting areas will be during drawn duck season hunts only. Information on other hunting opportunities will be available at the Paynetown office (812) 837-9546.

2016 Youth Duck Hunt, Oct. 22-23, 2016

A special hunt will be held on October 22 and 23, 2016 for hunters 15 years old and younger, accompanied by an adult (not allowed to hunt ducks on that day). Youth hunters are required to abide by all harvest restrictions and bag limits. For these youth hunt days, all open hunt areas of the lake will be hunted within the regular season restrictions. A special drawing will be held for resting area hunts. On Oct. 22, Stillwater-Northfork will draw at 5:30 a.m. and will hunt from legal shooting time until noon. On Oct. 23, Stillwater-Northfork will draw at 10:30 a.m. and will hunt from noon till sunset. Times are Eastern Daylight Saving. Southfork will hunt on both days for all day hunts. Drawings will be held at the Robertson Cemetery Hunter Check-in Station, if not manned self check-in is required. For these hunts only, parties of two and three will draw together, (at least one youth hunter required per party). Youth hunters will not have a shell limit for Resting Area hunts. Some areas may not be flooded, check with the Paynetown Visitor Center for areas and blinds available. Middlefork will hunt on the same schedule as Southfork with mandatory self-check at either Crooked Creek, Cutright or Paynetown Office check stations only.

Directions to check-in stations

Stillwater-Northfork: East on Highway 46 from Bloomington to Kent Road (4.1 miles from Highway 446 light, orange check station on right), turn right on Kent Road and cross the bridge, check-in station on right. Should this area be under construction, continue east to Belmont, turn right (south) then right (west) again on Kent Road., continue to check station on left.

Southfork: South on Highway 446 to Tower Ridge Road (Deam Wilderness, Maumee Scout Camp), Turn left (east) on Tower Ridge Road and take every left turn past the fire tower. This brings you to Robertson Cemetery; turn left again, check-in station is on the right.

Calendar