Sandy Ford Land and Water Reserve

2022 - 2023 Season


LOCATION: LaSalle County, 5 miles northwest of Streator on the Vermilion River - North 18th Rd.-County 5.

DESCRIPTION: This site occupies 200 acres, all of which are huntable. The site is predominately wooded and the terrain can be fairly steep & rugged. There are about 170 acres of woodlands, 25 acres of old fields, and 5 acres of hill prairie habitat. There is no interior vehicle access for the public. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site.

SpeciesSeasonHoursBag limitsSpecial Area Regulations
SquirrelAug 1 – Sept.30StatewideStatewideSee # 1, 2,13
Archery DeerStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 13
Fall Archery TurkeyStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 1, 4, 8, 10, 13
First Firearm DeerStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
Second Firearm DeerStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
Muzzleloader DeerStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13
Special CWD DeerStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 8, 9, 10, 13, 14
Spring TurkeyStatewideStatewideStatewideSee # 2, 10, 11, 13

All regulations found in the Illinois Wildlife Code, Federal Regulations, and Administrative Rules will apply unless area regulations are more restrictive.


  1. All squirrel, archery, and Spring turkey hunters are required to check in prior to hunting and to check out and report their 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.
  2. Only shotguns may be used to hunt squirrels. Only size #6 lead or smaller, or steel #4 or smaller.  Spring turkey shot size restrictions are the statewide restrictions.
  3. Antlerless only in October.  Either sex from November 1st to the end of the season.
  4. Closed during statewide firearm, muzzleloader & special CWD deer seasons.
  5. Bonus Buck Program.  First state issued permit will be for antlerless deer only.  After checking deer at the Matthiessen State Park check station, a $5.00 permit may be issued for either sex.  Check-station closes at 6:00 pm.
  6. All firearm and muzzleloader hunters must have a Starved Rock site specific permit and are required to check in before 5:00 AM at the Matthiessen State Park check station.  A drawing to allocate standby permits will be held at 5:30am.  Standby hunters will be allowed to enter the field after the drawing at 5:30am & 12pm
  7. Unless exempt, all hunters will be required to furnish the following on the morning of the hunt: valid FOID card, current hunting license, and current habitat stamp.
  8. Tree stands and blinds must be portable and must be tagged with the hunter's name, address, and phone number. Stands, blinds, and accessories must be removed daily.
  9. 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.
  10. All deer & turkey harvested must also be checked in/reported as outlined in the statewide rules & regulations. Be sure to report your turkey as harvested on a special hunt area (Sandy Ford Land & Water Reserve) and not as harvested in LaSalle County.
  11. Must have a site specific spring turkey permit issued from Springfield.
  12. All hunters must attend the safety talk before entering the field.
  13. Further restrictions or closures may exist at short notice. See regulations posted at the site before hunting.
  14. Special CWD hunters must have a Starved Rock site specific permit in order to hunt.  Hunters are required to self-check in/out at Matthiessen State Park check station.  There will be no stand-by permits sold.
  • To construct or use any tree stand, climbing device or accessory using nails, screws or any device which pierces or cuts the bark of the tree on which it is installed.
  • To hunt in any area not designated as being open to hunting.
  • To park anywhere on the site except in the designated parking lot or for unauthorized vehicles to enter upon any trail.
  • To hunt with other than a shotgun during squirrel season, a bow & arrow during archery deer and turkey season, or a shotgun or bow and arrow during spring turkey seasons.
  • For any person to consume any alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs or to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on the area for the purpose of hunting.
  • To possess weapons in the field except during hunting hours.
  • To remove deer antlers from any State Park, Nature Preserve or Land and Water Preserve.

For further information contact: Site Superintendent; Starved Rock State Park, P.O. Box 509 Utica, IL 61373   Phone: 815/667-4726      

Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source’s civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, IDNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702; (217)785-0067; TTY (217)782-9175.