Wildlife Illinois

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Spring turkey 1st lottery open

Sandy Ford Land and Water Reserve

Site Contact Info

Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 203
  • Habitat: The site is predominantly wooded with fallow fields and hill prairies. The terrain is fairly rugged, with some steep bluffs.
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Site requires use of windshield card, displayed on vehicle dashboard, to report hunting effort and harvest by 15 February.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • The interior of the area is inaccessible by vehicle of any kind.
  • Hunters should note postings for restrictions and regulations or closures.
  • Hunters may only possess weapons in the field during hunting hours.
  • It is unlawful to remove deer antlers from the site.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Only antlerless deer may be taken in October. Harvesting deer of either sex is allowed from Nov 1 to season end.
    • Hunters are required to check-in prior to hunting, check-out, and report harvest immediately after the hunt’s conclusion on the sheets provided at the Sandy Ford parking lot. 
    • Hunters must display and return parking passes daily.
    • Archery deer hunting is closed during statewide firearm, muzzleloader & special CWD deer seasons.
  • Firearm, Muzzleloader, and CWD
    • Firearm hunters must have a site-specific permit.
    • Hunters are required to check in before 5 am at the Matthiessen State Park check station.
    • A drawing to allocate standby permits will be held at 5:30 am.  Standby hunters will be allowed to enter field after drawing (5:30 am or 12 pm).  
    • The first state-issued permit will be for antlerless deer only, but when an antlerless deer is taken and checked at the manned check-station at Matthiessen State Park’s maintenance building, the hunter may purchase a $5.00 permit for either sex.
    • Check-station closes at 6 pm.
    • Must have valid FOID card, current hunting license, and current habitat stamp
    • All hunters must attend the safety talk before entering the field.
    • All hunters engaged in firearm and muzzleloader deer hunting are required to wear a cap and upper outer garment of solid and vivid blaze orange of at least 400 square inches while hunting.
  • One non-piercing, portable tree stand or a blind is allowed per hunter. Stand or blind must be tagged with hunter’s name, address, and phone number. Stand or blind must be removed daily.

Turkey

  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations, but is closed at the site during statewide firearm, muzzleloader & special CWD deer seasons.
  • Spring Shotgun
    • Requires a site specific spring turkey permit issued from Springfield.
  • Both spring shotgun turkey hunters and fall archery turkey hunters are required to check-in prior to hunting, to check-out, and to report their harvest immediately after the conclusion of the hunt on the sheets at the Sandy Ford parking lot. Hunters should report the turkey as harvested on a Special Hunt Area (Sandy Ford Land & Water Reserve) and not as harvested in LaSalle County.
  • Hunters must display and return parking passes daily.

Waterfowl

  • Waterfowl hunting not permitted

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Squirrels
    • Squirrel hunting permitted from Aug 1 – Sept 30
    • Shotguns only; shot must be size #6 lead or smaller or size #4 steel or smaller
    • Required to check-in prior to hunting, to check-out, and to report harvest immediately after the conclusion of the hunt on the sheets provided at the Sandy Ford parking lot. 
    • Hunters must display and return parking passes daily.
  • Rabbits
    • Rabbit hunting not permitted

Upland Birds

  • Upland bird hunting not permitted

Furbearers

  • Trapping
    • Furbearer trapping not permitted
  • Hunting
    • Furbearer hunting not permitted

Amenities

  • None