Sparks Pond Land and Water Reserve

2022-2023 Season


Location: Located between Forest City and Manito, off the Manito Blacktop. Access to the area is via a gravel road approximately 2 miles north of Forest City on the Manito Blacktop; turn left at Edgewood Terrace Mobile Home Park (2250N). Follow the gravel road to the hunter parking lot.  The Rollo Prairie Tract is located just north of Sparks Pond and northeast of the intersection 2900E County Road 2400N in Mason County.

Description: The Sparks Tract is 230.7 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. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site, including prescribed burning. 

Available Game Species:

SpeciesSeasonHoursSpecial Requirements
Deer (Archery) Statewide StatewideWindshield Card
Open to archer deer hunting without regard to firearm deer season
Pheasant, Quail, Rabbit, Hungarian Partridge Permit Only StatewideSite-Specific Permit
Non-toxic shot only
Fall Archery Turkey Statewide StatewideWindshield Card
Open to fall archery turkey hunting without regard to firearm deer season

Additional Site Regulations:
  • Limited hunting is allowed for fall archery season and upland game. Squirrel, dove, firearm deer and furbearer hunting are not permitted.  
  • All archery deer and turkey hunters are required to have a free hunter windshield card prior to hunting and can be obtained at Harvest must be recorded on the same web page by February 15th of each year. Windshield cards must be posted and visible from outside of vehicle. 
  • Hunters have the opportunity to apply for free upland game hunts at Sparks Pond SNA. Application forms can be obtained by going online at: Applicants may receive only one hunting permit each year. A drawing will be held in September at the Permit Office in Springfield to fill all available hunting dates. Additional information can be found on the web page or by contacting forest headquarters. Each hunter selected may bring up to 3 partners. 
  • Upland Game Hunters are also allowed to hunt Rollo Prairie in addition to the Sparks Pond Land and Water Reserve. Non-toxic shot is required for hunting upland game. This land is located northeast of the intersection 2900E County Road 2400N in Mason County.  This location is just north of Sparks Pond on 2900E.  Hunters need to stay away from all places of residence at a distance of 100 yards.
  • 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.​ 

For more information, contact: Sand Ridge State Forest, PO Box 111, Forest City, IL 61532 or by phone 309-597-2212 or fax 309-597-2240​ ​

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.