The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the residents of this state. The use of wildlife populations, whether it be for hunting or observation, is one aspect of this role. This Hunting Fact Sheet is provided to insure that regulations governing the use of our wildlife resources are available and understood. In addition, it is useful in acquainting visitors with common species and habitats on the area. IN ALL CASES, ask site personnel about additional rules, regulations, and site information.
LOCATION: The Sand Ridge State Forest (SRSF) office is located approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Forest City, Illinois, in Mason County.
DESCRIPTION: Total acres: 7,500 Huntable acres: 6,600 Open acres: 300 Timbered acres: 6,000
Sand Ridge State Forest is characterized by a flat to gently rolling terrain. Forest consists of approximately 3,500 acres of hardwoods and 2,500 acres of pine. Open acres are prairie and wildlife management fields.
SEASONS, HOURS, LIMITS:
Statewide (Closed during Controlled Pheasant Season)
Shotgun, .22 rimfire rifles or smaller, and air rifles .25 caliber or smaller permitted; hunters must have windshield permit
Statewide (season closes October 31st)
Statewide except during the Upland game season when hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shot size restricted to # 7 1/2, 8, or 9 lead, or 6 steel or smaller; hunting is restricted to field borders only; hunters must have windshield permit; except during the Upland Game season when dove hunting is only allowed in conjunction with the Controlled Hunting Permit.
(Spring & fall firearm)
Firearm spring and fall turkey hunting requires special Sand Ridge SF turkey permit allocated through the annual permit system (4) (5).
Hunters must have windshield permit
Firearm spring youth season requires special Sand Ridge SF youth turkey permit allocated through the annual permit system (4) (5).
(closed Mon. & Tues; Dec. 25)
9 am - 4 pm
See Controlled hunting information below
Firearm deer requires special Sand Ridge SF deer permit allocated through the annual permit system. (5) (6); hunters must have windshield permit.
Muzzleloader deer hunters must have a Mason County muzzleloader permit. (5) (6); hunters must have windshield permit
Tree stands must be portable and removed after each day's hunt. Hunters must have windshield permit
(Youth firearm season)
Youth firearm deer hunters must have a Mason County Youth Firearm Deer permit. (5) (6); hunters must have windshield permit
Raccoon, Opossum (Hunting)
Shot gun or .22 rimfire firearms or smaller is permitted. Hunters must have windshield permit
Coyote, Striped Skunk, Fox (Hunting)
Shot gun or .22 rimfire firearms or smaller is permitted. Season Hunters must have windshield permit. Coyote and Striped Skunk opens with statewide raccoon season and ends day before spring turkey season.
Waterfowl (Clear Lake Public Blinds)
10 Waterfowl blinds are allocated at an annual drawing held on the last Sunday of July at the Sand Ridge Site Office. Site specific rules apply.
|Trapping Season||Statewide||Site Specific||Permits allocated by drawing held at site office, call ahead for date, windshield card required|
ADDITIONAL SITE REGULATIONS:
- For additional information visit the Sand Ridge Sportsman Digest at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/SandRidge.aspx
- Windshield cards are required. These are available online at dnr2.illinois.gov/Windshieldcard Navigate to "Hunting/Trapping" and then "Public Hunting Areas" to print these permits. Hunters will be required to return to this website prior to February 15th each year to record harvest information. Failure to submit data will result in loss of hunting privileges for the following year.
- The controlled hunting program applications must be submitted on-line starting August 1st and are availabe at https://dnr.ilinois.gov/controlledhunt/
- Firearm deer hunting and Turkey Hunting permits are available through the permit Lottery System by going to https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/lpr/pages/deerpermitsfees.aspx
- Tree stands must be portable and removed after each day's hunting.
- Furbearer trapping will be allowed by site permit allocated at drawing at the site office. Contact the site for date of the drawing.
Additional hunting is permitted at Sparks Pond State Natural Area, Oakford Conservation Area, Henry Allen Gleason Nature Preserve and Revis Hill Prairie Nature Preserve; Visit Oakford Conservation Area, Henry Allen Gleason Nature Preserve and Revis Hill Prairie Nature Preserve https://www.dnr.illinois.gov
for additional site specific information.