Wildlife Illinois

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Sparks Pond Land and Water Reserve

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Site Characteristics

  • Huntable acres: 230
  • Habitat: Sparks Pond is 230 acres in size. The area consists of approximately 170 acres of woodland and 60 acres of agricultural fields which were restored to prairie in the spring of 1996. Approximately 30 acres are restricted and closed to hunting. In addition, two privately owned in holdings are posted and closed to hunting. The area also has several wetlands, home for two state endangered or threatened species. There is an additional 155.9 acres located at Rollo Prairie Land and Water Reserve. This agricultural area was acquired in 1999 and is being managed to promote prairie habitat. Several small wetlands have been restored at this site as well.
  • Digital Map
  • Printable Map

Site Specific Regulations

  • All statewide hunting regulations apply at site unless noted hereafter.
  • Site requires use of windshield card (except for upland hunting), displayed on vehicle dashboard, to report hunting effort and harvest by 15 February.
  • Use Hunt Planner to find hunting seasons open at this site.
  • Upland Game Hunters are also allowed to hunt Rollo Prairie in addition to the Sparks Pond Land and Water Reserve. Hunters need to stay away from all places of residence at a distance of 100 yards.
  • Species-specific rules:

Deer

  • Archery
    • Statewide regulations
    • One non-piercing, portable tree stand or ground blind allowed per hunter. Tree stands and ground blinds must be portable and must be removed at the end of each day.
    • Prescribed fire may be conducted during archery hunting season. Notification to the public for prescribed burning will be posted on the Sand Ridge State Forest web page and Sand Ridge telephone answering machine, 309-597-2212. Additionally, prior to igniting any prescribed fire a horn will sound 3 times to notify any person within the burn unit they must exit the area within 45 minutes. A second horn will sound 3 times 15 minutes after the first, indicating 30 minutes to exit area.​

Turkey

  • Fall Archery
    • Statewide regulations apply.

Waterfowl

  • No waterfowl hunting offered

Squirrels/Rabbits

  • Squirrels
    • No squirrel hunting offered
  • Rabbits
    • An application for a free upland game permit must be submitted for a lottery drawing to be held in early September. Online applications only; available from Aug 1 – 31. May only submit 1 application per year.
    • Non-toxic shot required
    • Open by permit only on Saturdays and Tuesdays from the opening of the upland game season through the end of December except during firearm deer hunting.
    • Only 1 hunting party, consisting of the permit holder and no more than 3 companions, will be allowed each day.

Upland Birds

  • Pheasant/Quail
    • An application for a free upland game permit must be submitted for a lottery drawing to be held in early September. Online applications only; available from Aug 1 – 31. May only submit 1 application per year.
    • Non-toxic shot required
    • Open by permit only on Saturdays and Tuesdays from the opening of the upland game season through the end of December except during firearm deer hunting.
    • Only 1 hunting party, consisting of the permit holder and no more than 3 companions, will be allowed each day.

Furbearers

  • No furbearer hunting/trapping offered

Amenities

  • None