Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area

Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, Medaryville: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area Reviews: 4.5/5

Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area

Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area
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45 reviews
Very good

Kathy C
3 contributions
Amazing Experience!!!
Dec 2019
I was just there to see and photograph the sandhill cranes during the weekend after Thanksgiving. We had some challenges with the weather as most of the days there were gray skies and sunrise and sunset was a bust. However, if you drive the back roads and check out the farmer's fields you will often see large numbers taking off, landing, jumping and dancing while tossing sticks and other debris up into the air along with eating. I did not realize until afterwards but the count that had dropped to about 10,000 from the week before was back up into the 20,000 range. A good place to eat is Anita Cup of Coffee right near Jasper-Pulaski as far as home cooking goes. Another great place is the Wooden Nickle in North Judson. There's typically a blast off in the mornings although it really did not happen except for one day this trip.
Written December 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cleveland, OH5 contributions
So much fun to watch the cranes gliding in for a landing!
Nov 2019
Such a cool place. During the fall, migrating cranes overnight at the marsh, and from about 15 min before sunset to 15 min afterwards, they are all stacked up like planes at JFK waiting to land in the marsh! Beautiful area and so much fun to watch for a total birding geek like me. There is an observation tower so you can get a good look without disturbing them. Great experience. I spent the rest of the weekend up at Indiana Dunes - great getaway all around!
Written December 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claude O
161 contributions
A well choreographed ballet of sandhill cranes
Nov 2019
Located close to Medaryville, northern Indiana, off I-65, Demotte exit, approximately 16 miles from the highway. The place is easily accessible and with ample parking. Actually, there are 2 parking lots - the closest one to the viewing platform is only handicap accessible, with more than 10 parking spots, the other lot is further away with more than 60 spots. A short walk through fragrant pine trees takes you to the viewing platform which is handicap accessible, approximately 30 ft high. The platform is an ideal spot for sandhill cranes watching. To watch the birds' well choreographed ballet, you need to bring binoculars or monocular for close viewing.
Written November 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dyer, Indiana4 contributions
Sandhill Cranes
Nov 2019
The viewing deck is such a nice place to watch the cranes. My husband said watching the lines of cranes fly in was like watching the planes return from a bombing mission during WWII. They just kept appearing on the horizon. The birds were so majestic to watch. Flying in in formation banking together to land. I just kept turning left to right following the groups coming in. The day we were there it was foggy. It was like magic watching them appear thru the mist. Loved every minute if it.
Written November 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Lenox, IL1,195 contributions
Interesting Place to Visit
Dec 2018 • Couples
My wife and I took two trips to see the Sandhill Cranes at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildllife Area. We went there in November with the Will County Forest Preserve and in December by ourselves. Both occasions the weather wasn't the best. In November, we were fighting rain and it December we were fighting the cold temperatures. Besides that, we enjoyed watching the Sandhill Cranes. Someone on our first visit describe it like seeing and hearing planes coming into O'Hare Airport.
Written January 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michigan City, IN10 contributions
Surreal Sight
Nov 2018 • Friends
Phenomenal and surreal - the number of sandhill cranes you will see is stunning. Count got up to 29,000+ cranes this year! Best to arrive at sunrise or just before sunset to see the most cranes. They fly in from all directions. At 3.5 ft tall with a 7 foot wingspan, they are an awesome sight. The chatter of their calls is delightful and watching them dance as they reunite is a sight to behold. Worth the drive. Dress warmly...it can get windy on the viewing platform. DNR platform has a few viewing scopes, but you’ll have to take turns using them. Better to bring your own binoculars. Best time to visit is Nov and first half of Dec.
Written December 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ted F
189 contributions
sand hill cranes - great place to see them
Nov 2018
during fall migration, a great place to go see sandhill cranes is Jasper Pulaski. The best time is later in the afternoon as the cranes are arriving from the north and south and collecting on the meadow prior to lifting off to go to their overnight areas nearby.
Written December 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pam W
Ann Arbor, MI118 contributions
Once in a lifetime experience!
Dec 2018 • Couples
The count for cranes was 29,000+ per the DNR website and we weren’t disappointed! Sunset was at 5:14 but the weather all day was gray and drab so dusk could have appeared at 2:30. We arrived an hour early and that is when the largest numbers were flying in. We stayed about a half hour past sunset but by about then things were a trickle. We drove 2 1/2 hours from Fremont, IN and would do it again.
Written December 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Indianapolis, IN116 contributions
An awesome experience!
Nov 2018 • Couples
We had no idea we would see so many cranes. We got there at 3:30 which we thought would be way early since sunset was reported to be 5:33pm that day. Within 10 minutes cranes were flying in. Some groups were 4 or 5 birds and some groups were 50-60 birds. The temperature was 23 degrees and I had forgotten to bring gloves so we stayed in our car and watched them fly in over head. We could see them in the field with binoculars. I had to go to the restroom so we left after an hour and 45 minutes. We saw several thousand cranes and it was amazing.
Written November 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Palos Heights, IL7,202 contributions
Incredible wildlife viewing so close to Chicago
Nov 2018 • Couples
Advice for fall crane-watching:
1. Monitor the Indiana DNR website for for their weekly crane count and other updates
2. Arrive at least 1 hour before sunset. If coming from Chicagoland and points west remember that this is in the Eastern time zone and adjust your timing accordingly.
3. Dress warmly, bring hat and gloves; you will be just standing still in the cold (and maybe rain and snow)
4. Bring binoculars, spotting scopes, cameras with powerful zoom lenses. The cranes do not gather close to the viewing area but several hundred feet away.
5. Be aware there are no toilets or concession stands here. There are toilets just east of the viewing area at the fish and wildlife area offices.
6. Be patient; sandhill cranes were arriving for awhile well after the sun had set.

It was fall and for days now we had been hearing the endearing calls of the migrating sandhill as they flew overhead (sometimes hearing the calls and not spotting their flying “V” formations). Finally we just had to heed their call. We had last visited this wildlife area in Indiana over 10 years ago also for the fall migration (there is a spring migration visit as well, of course). While we were impressed by the number of cranes I don’t recall being blown away by the sight. This time we were left mouths agape at this fall spectacle. At times the dusk sky was full of cranes sweeping and swirling as they came in to land. Their continuous rattling, gurgling, bugle-like calls (“kuh-roo, kuh-roo!”) drowned out our whispered conversations of awe; I don’t know why we even whispered, the cranes were so loud they couldn’t have heard us anyway. It was nothing like this 10 years ago.

What did we do differently this time? Basically, better timing. We monitored the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources website for the weekly crane counts: 2,067-4,591-5,965-12,722. These were issued on Tuesdays. The highest count was >32,000 back in 2002, so we figured that since the crane count had doubled in the previous week the subsequent weekend might see near-peak numbers. We this committed to viewing them on the next weekend, no matter the weather.

The parking lot was a short distance away from the viewing area. One could observe the cranes from ground level (behind a wood barrier) and from a raised wood platform which had telescopes. We could see deer in the distance beyond the ever-growing flock of cranes on the ground; the deer must have figured out this was a no-hunting-allowed part of the wildlife area. Cranes are omnivores eating not only roots, tubers, and seed but insects, snails, snakes, frogs, rodents and even other bird chicks (!). During the fall migration, however, they take advantage of the recent fall harvest to feed in the surrounding farms feasting on grain left on the ground before spending the night at this refuge. These particular sandhill cranes were on the Eastern Flyway and were headed for their winter grounds in Florida. While they are strong flyers able to maintain speeds for 30mph cranes are also excellent gliders who naturally prefer to use the wind to their advantage and save energy. Like hawks they use thermals - rising columns of warmer air - to gain altitude. With favorable tailwinds they can travel 500 miles in a day. Their flying “V” formations are no mere accident or coincidence but another technique to maximize their flying efficiency. Arrayed at approximately 45 degree angulation with the following crane slightly higher than the one in front, the vortices created by their flapping wings makes it easier for the next crane to fly. Scientists have even shown that they don’t flap in unison but in a particular sequence to enhance this effect.

We had arrived well before sunset and were getting cold. We had already seen more cranes than before and decided to leave after the sun set. We had just walked a short distance away from the platform when the background noise of the bugling cranes rose in a sudden crescendo accompanied but what sounded like a rush of wind. We turned around and saw massive flock after flock take to the air. We had no idea why and hurried back to see what was going on. It turned out we had almost missed the climax of the entire evening because even though cranes were flying off suddenly in large numbers thousands more were suddenly flying in from all directions. We didn’t know which way to look. My camera kept focusing and refocusing as cranes kept swooping into and out of its field of vision. They darkening sky may not have been blotted out by flocks of cranes but it came pretty close to it. THIS is what we had imagined and it was incredible to have finally experienced it for ourselves.

The count for our weekend came out to 23,727. Having seen the magnificent chaos of the migrating cranes understanding how the Indian DNR even comes up with such an exact number is beyond me. But there certainly were thousands of them there that evening.
Written November 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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