Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area--Wyandot Co. Rd. 71 West

Tips for Birding

Certain parts of Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area in Wyandot County are off limits to the public. While much of this heavily birded 9,000+ acre wildlife area has no restrictions on access, the area bounded by County Road 68 and 75 on the south, County Road 71 on the north, Township Road 108 on the west, and County Road 119 on the east is off limits. There are signs that clearly mark these boundaries. Please, see Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area map.

For the most part, the refuge area of Killdeer Plains encompasses the vicinity of Pond 27 and the other large ponds at the east end of the wildlife area. Very good viewing opportunities can be had from along County Road 68 on the south side of the large ponds.

About this Location

The west end of County Highway 71 is west from Township Road 115 to Township Road 123.

About Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area

See all hotspots at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area

The 9,230-acre Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area lies in the grain farming country of north-central Ohio, eight miles south of Upper Sandusky. Wyandot County Road 115 provides access from OH-294, two miles west of Harpster, and from OH-309, eight miles west of Marion. OH-67 and OH-294 border the area on the west and north. Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area is quite flat, with little natural drainage; however, land adjacent to the Little Sandusky River on the east edge of the area is quite rolling.

Approximately two-thirds of the area is in cropland and grassland. The other one-third is divided almost equally between woods and shrubby coverts and water. The water areas include more than 1,000 acres of marsh, a 360-acre green tree reservoir, and 125 ponds ranging from less than an acre to 50 acres in size. Most small ponds are not shown on the map.

Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area is situated in a natural basin of flat, poorly drained soils formerly covered by prairie sloughs. The original prairie spanned about 30,000 acres. Early records report an abundance of deer, waterfowl, and furbearers. The “Plains” eventually were drained, with varying degrees of success, by ditching and tiling. Today, the agricultural land around the area is intensively farmed for corn and soybeans. The purchase of land for this area began in 1952.

Wildlife management activities included the development and management of several thousand acres of grain crops and grassland, primarily for nesting and migrating grassland wildlife. Trees and shrubs have been planted along field borders and in odd areas to provide permanent cover for upland wildlife. Woods have been protected and improved. Several of the ponds provide fishing opportunities. An 800-acre marsh was constructed in 1966. All suitable fishing waters were stocked with fish. Waterfowl production was enhanced through the provision of several hundred wood duck nest boxes and Canada goose nesting structures. The green tree reservoir was completed in 1994 with assistance from Ducks Unlimited. Pond 3 has been converted to a moist soil unit for the benefit of waterfowl.

The primary purpose of the wildlife area is for grassland wildlife management and associated recreational use. Uses that have become increasingly popular because of the area’s natural features and open character are nature lore, wildlife photography, and bird watching.

Restroom, portable toilet, at Wildlife Area Headquarters.
Accessible Electric APV Trail on former County Road 75, permit required. This road is closed to other vehicles.

Content from Ohio Ornithological Society, Ohio Division of Wildlife, and Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area webpage