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Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities at Middle Creek

 

NEWS!  Changes for 2020-21 hunting seasons are noted below. Failure to follow the new process will result in being unable to hunt.  

Middle Creek Shooting days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Middle Creek is divided into four areas:

    1. Public Hunting Areas – All hunting is permitted during all open hunting seasons, (except for the early Canada goose season at which time, Middle Creek is CLOSED). During the regular Canada goose season, the daily limit is one Canada goose. More information below.
    2. Public Recreation Areas – Waterfowl hunting is prohibited.
    3. Controlled Areas – Waterfowl hunting is permitted via a special drawing process. More information below. This area is also open to a permitted dove, archery, and flintlock opportunities.
    4. Propagation Areas – Entry by any means is prohibited. (Except for a special one-day flintlock/archery hunt held most years.)

Public Hunting Areas

Hunting is permitted during all open hunting seasons, (except for the early Canada goose season at which time, Middle Creek is CLOSED). If you are unfamiliar with the area, please stop by or call (717-733-1512) the Visitor Center and have someone explain about the various locations. Also, a three-dimensional floor map can be studied at the Visitor Center. Most of the waterfowl hunting opportunities in this area would be pass-shooting. There are, however two small ponds on the east side of the property, which may be suitable for duck hunting at times.

Controlled Hunting Areas

Waterfowl hunting is permitted via special drawing processes.

NEW!  Changes for the 2020-21 Hunting Seasons: Due to uncertainty and possible restrictions created by COVID-19, the administration processed has changed to minimize social contact for hunters on hunt days. There is no longer in-person check-in at the Visitor Center. Check-in will be completed online. Changes are highlighted.

Regular Drawing for Canada Goose Blinds

  • Filling out the application Hunters wishing to apply for a goose blind at Middle Creek must fill out the electronic form of the application. No other forms of applications will be accepted.
  • Drawing process – Applications are received, and reviewed prior to the drawing date. Usually, a public drawing is held at the Visitor Center on the date/time as specified in the digest. In 2020, drawings will be closed to the public. During the drawing process, the dates are filled from the earliest through the latest, unless we can accommodate the applicant's first or second choice of dates. The names of the successful applicants are recorded as each hunting date is filled. Applications are then processed. Successful applicants should receive their notification through the mail about one week following the drawing date. Information on the new online check-in process will be included in the mailing.
  • Increasing your chances of being drawn – If selected to hunt, you may bring up to three guests, for a maximum of four in the hunting blind. In other words, all four of you should have applied for the drawing in the first place. This would increase your odds of getting to hunt, even if only to be a guest of another in your hunting party.
  • If selected to hunt – you will be sent complete instructions on what date/time to arrive, and what to bring with you. You can also check the status of your application by visiting the goose blind application page.
    • Seven days prior to their hunt date, the blindholder must complete online check-in. For instance, if a hunter was selected for 11/21/2020, they must check-in online on 11/14/2020 between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. This lets us know how many hunters will be showing on 11/21/2020 so that we may assign any remaining blinds to no-show and secondary no-show applicants. After you check-in online, you will be assigned a blind and sent instructions via email provided on how to access your blind and the new check-out process (also done online at Middle Creek's website).
  • Disabled Access Blind – There is one blind accessible for hunters with disabilities at Middle Creek that can be applied for by filling out the electronic goose blind application. Hunters applying for this blind need to possess a Disabled Person Permit (permit to use a vehicle as a blind) and must enter their permit number on their electronic application.
    • Hunters applying for this hunt also need to check in online by visiting Middle Creek’s website seven days prior to their hunt. After checking in, instructions will be sent to the email you provided on how to access your blind and the check-out process (also done online at Middle Creek’s website).

Rules and Regulations for Regular Drawing for Goose Blinds

    1. Park only at assigned parking areas; do not park on roads. Driving across fields to and from blinds is prohibited.
    2. Follow guided markers to your blind as explained the morning of the hunt. This is important for your safety and to ensure a quality hunt for you and others at Middle Creek.
    3. Shooting is permitted only from your assigned blind; hunters must keep their firearms unloaded except while occupying assigned blinds. However, every reasonable effort must be made to retrieve crippled birds. Entering any other blind is prohibited.
    4. Do not shoot at geese out of range. Remember: LET THEM GET CLOSE!
    5. Hunters shall not have more than 10 rounds of ammunition (approved non-toxic shot only). Shot size for all waterfowl hunting is no larger than "T" shot. Hunters may give ammunition from their 10 rounds to others in the blind.
    6. When ducks or other waterfowl (including snow geese) are in season, hunters may shoot these birds from the blind. Hunters are still limited to 10 total rounds of ammunition each.
    7. Season limit of Canada geese – one (1) per person. All other limits to conform to state and federal regulations. Once a goose is harvested at Middle Creek, the hunter is no longer permitted to hunt from any of the blinds including the duck blinds. However, hunters that have harvested their one Canada goose per year limit can enter the blinds as an observer.
    8. All State and Federal regulations must be observed.
    9. No person shall leave any trash or refuse in or around any blind. Please leave the blind in better condition than you found it.
    10. Dogs must be kept under control at all times.
    11. Do not remove waterfowl from your blind until you are prepared to check out.
    12. When leaving your blind please remember to slide the blind covers back onto the blind so water does not get into the blind. If you have trouble getting the covers back onto the blind, please call the visitor center at 717-733-1512.
    13. Hunters may arrive for their hunt starting at 5:00 a.m. All shooting must end at 1:30 p.m. and hunters must be out of the Controlled Hunting Area by 2:30 p.m. When finished hunting, all hunters must electronically check-out at Middle Creek's website by midnight on their hunt day. Check-out information will be provided via email when you check into your blind seven days prior to your hunt. Hunters can still come to the Visitors Center at the end of their hunt if there are questions about their harvest.
    14. Decoys may still be rented by coming to the Visitors Center the morning of your hunt. The center opens at 5:00 a.m. and one person per hunting party may enter to rent or drop off decoys. Decoys must be returned by 2:30 p.m.. If you have rented decoys, please return them with the heads all facing the same way. Make certain you have returned all items for which you signed. You will be charged for missing parts or damage to decoys.

No-Show Drawings

If not selected in the regular drawing, you may enter a separate drawing to obtain an unclaimed blind otherwise known as "no-shows". Hunting days are the same (Tues., Thurs., & Sat.).

Hunters applying for this opportunity must apply online at the Middle Creek website seven days prior to their desired hunt date. To hunt on 11/21/2020, apply online on 11/14/2020 between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Only one application per hunting party is allowed and will be strictly enforced. Hunters can no longer enter this opportunity by showing up the morning of the hunt.

One to three days after the application deadline, hunters will receive an email either with their blind assignment or a notification that they have not received a blind and may try again. Hunters may apply for as many hunt days as they wish until receiving a blind but may only apply once per hunt day. Once chosen for a no-show blind, hunters can no longer apply for the no-show or duck blind opportunities and may only apply for the secondary no-show opportunity assuming they have not harvested a Canada goose on previous hunts. 

For hunters who successfully are drawn for the no-show blind, instructions will be sent to the email provided on how to access your blind and the check-out process (also done online at Middle Creek's website).

Secondary No-Show Goose Drawings

"Secondary No-Show" Drawings have been developed to allow a hunter that has already participated to try again, assuming they have not already harvested their one Canada goose/ hunting license year limit at Middle Creek. This process is the only way that a hunter may hunt multiple times in a blind, including if they have previously hunted a duck blind. Even if only one person in your party has been in a goose or duck blind previously during the present hunting license year, the others must enter this part of the drawing as well. 

This process is identical to the "No-Show" process: Hunters applying for this opportunity must apply online at the Middle Creek website seven days prior to their desired hunt date. To hunt on 11/21/2020, apply online on 11/14/2020 between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Only one application per hunting party is allowed and will be strictly enforced. Hunters can no longer enter this opportunity by showing up the morning of the hunt.

One to three days after the application deadline, hunters will receive an email either with their blind assignment or are notified that they have not received a blind and may try again. Hunters may apply for as many hunt days as they wish until harvesting a Canada goose. 

For hunters who successfully are drawn for the no-show blind, instructions will be sent to the email provided on how to access your blind and the check-out process (also done online at Middle Creek's website).

Duck Blind Drawings

Six duck blinds are operated at Middle Creek. These blinds are operational only during the time when duck seasons coincide with the Canada goose seasons (unless needed as an additional goose blind during goose season), and only on Middle Creek's shooting days. In addition, the blinds are open only if there is adequate water in the ponds in/around those blinds and the ponds are not frozen.

The process for obtaining a duck blind is the same as for obtaining a "no-show" blind: Hunters applying for this opportunity must apply online at the Middle Creek website seven days prior to their desired hunt date. For example, to hunt on 11/21/2020, apply online on 11/14/2020 between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Only one application per hunting party is allowed and will be strictly enforced. Hunters can no longer enter this opportunity by showing up the morning of the hunt.

One to three days after the application deadline, hunters will receive an email either with their blind assignment or are notified that they have not received a blind and may try again. Hunters may apply for as many hunt days as they wish until receiving a blind but may only apply once per hunt day. Once chosen for this blind, hunters can no longer apply for the no-show or duck blind opportunities and may only apply for the secondary no-show opportunity assuming they have not harvested a Canada goose on previous hunts. 

For hunters who successfully are drawn for a duck blind, instructions will be sent to the email provided on how to access your blind and the check-out process (also done online at Middle Creek's website).

At least one person applying for a duck blind needs to have waders. As a reminder, duck blinds can be hunted once per hunting license year. There are no "Secondary No-Show" duck blinds.

Rules and Regulations for No-Show and Duck Blind Drawings

  1. Park only at assigned parking areas; do not park on roads. Driving across fields to and from blinds is prohibited.
  2. Follow guided markers to your blind as explained the morning of the hunt. This is important for your safety and to ensure a quality hunt for you and others at Middle Creek.
  3. Shooting is permitted only from your assigned blind; hunters must keep their firearms unloaded except while occupying assigned blinds. However, every reasonable effort must be made to retrieve crippled birds. Entering any other blind is prohibited.
  4. Do not shoot at geese out of range. Remember: LET THEM GET CLOSE!
  5. Hunters shall not have more than 10 rounds of ammunition (approved non-toxic shot only). Shot size for all waterfowl hunting is no larger than "T" shot. Hunters may give ammunition from their 10 rounds to others in the blind.
  6. When ducks or other waterfowl (including snow geese) are in season, hunters may shoot these birds from the blind. Hunters are still limited to 10 total rounds of ammunition each.
  7. Season limit of Canada geese – one (1) per person. All other limits to conform to state and federal regulations. Once a goose is harvested at Middle Creek, the hunter is no longer permitted to hunt from any of the blinds including the duck blinds. However, hunters that have harvested their one Canada goose per year limit can enter the blinds as an observer.
  8. All State and Federal regulations must be observed.
  9. No person shall leave any trash or refuse in or around any blind. Please leave the blind in better condition than you found it.
  10. Dogs must be kept under control at all times.
  11. Do not remove waterfowl from your blind until you are prepared to check out.
  12. When leaving your blind please remember to slide the blind covers back onto the blind so water does not get into the blind. If you have trouble getting the covers back onto the blind, please call the visitor center at 717-733-1512.
  13. Hunters may arrive for their hunt starting at 5:00 a.m. All shooting must end at 1:30 p.m. and hunters must be out of the Controlled Hunting Area by 2:30 p.m. When finished hunting, all hunters must electronically check-out at Middle Creek's website by midnight on their hunt day. Check-out information will be provided via email when successfully selected for a blind.

  14. Decoys may still be rented by coming to the Visitors Center the morning of your hunt. The center opens at 5:00 a.m. and one person per hunting party may enter to rent or drop off decoys. Decoys must be returned by 2:30 p.m.. If you have rented decoys, please return them with the heads all facing the same way. Make certain you have returned all items for which you signed. You will be charged for missing parts or damage to decoys.

We reserve the right to cancel permits and deny any further privileges on the area to anyone violating State or Federal regulations or indulging in unsportsmanlike activities.