Central Montana’s Judith River Ranch: Livestock, Hunting, and Recreation
Central Montana’s Judith River Ranch is truly one of Montana’s hidden treasures. The ranch encompasses over 5,400 acres of scenic Montana landscape in the Judith Basin of Central Montana. It boasts miles and miles of flowing Judith river and Salt and Bear Springs creeks, rolling terrain, timbered breaks, grassy meadows, brushy bottoms, and several small seasonal drainages. This ranch encompasses approximatly 5,500 acres, of which 3800+ is deeded and the balance being BLM and State leases. The ranch is practically improved with housing for employees or guests, equipment storage, shop and livestock facilities. The Montana Bison Ranch is home to huntable populations of record class elk, and mule deer. It also offers excellent hunting for whitetail deer, waterfowl, turkeys, and upland game birds. The clean fresh water of the Judith River provides excellent fishing for rainbow and brown trout, sauger, walleye, bass, catfish, and northern pike. There are also 3 private fish ponds stocked with trout, catfish, and record class yellow perch. For the rancher, investor, or sportsman this is a must see property.
This ranch has been managed over the past two decades to produce trophy elk. It also serves as an excellent grass ranch for cattle or bison with excellent fences, cover, and water. There are about sixteen miles of eight-foot high game fence enclosing about 1,600+ acres that previously held a private elk herd. Gates have been lowered to allow free passage of deer and elk.
The ranch is located in Fergus County in central Montana, about 45 miles north of Lewistown and 15 miles west of the town of Winifred. Lewistown is the county seat of Fergus County and is a full service city with all the amenities one could need. The nearest major airports are in Billings, Montana’s largest city, or Great Falls, each about a 2 hour drive from the ranch and provide a broad range of services.
The ranch is situated in an area where families have farmed and ranched for generations. The current owners have owned the property for over 25 years. The local economy is driven by agriculture, but coupled with the areas topography, proximity of public lands, the Missouri River, Judith River, and world class hunting and fishing, recreation has also become a growing segment in the local economy.
Water & Minerals
The ranch has over 5 miles of Judith River frontage. The Judith River, a tributary to the Missouri River, is supported by Big Spring which is one of the largest cold water springs in the world. The Judith River offers excellent recreation, a source for livestock and wildlife water, and fishing. Several miles of Salt Creek and Bear Springs Creek also course through the ranch. There are other seasonal drainages that feed the water ways on the ranch as well. The ranch has excellent water rights and all rights held by the seller will be conveyed at closing. All mineral rights held by the seller will also be conveyed at closing.
The ranch is comprised of about 3,818+/- deeded acres. Of those about 191+/- acres are classified as forest land and another 15+/- are classified as fallow land. The balance is made of approximately 1,417 acres of BLM lease and another 222 of state leased acres for a total of approximately 5,457 acres/
The ranch has a modest set of improvements consisting of three very similar 2 bedroom, 3 bath split level homes that were built in 1979. The homes overlook the Judith River and were recently supplied by fiber optic cable for high speed internet. The owners occupy one of the homes and the other two are primarily used as storage. There is also a 36’x42’ shop with metal siding and roof and a 40’x80’ prefab steel building. One notable attraction to this ranch is the approximate 16 miles of eight-foot high game fence that encompass over 1,600 deeded acres.
The owners of the ranch have been recently leasing out the grazing to neighbors on a year to year lease. The ranch can easily run approximately 400 cow/calf pairs from June through October. With the diversity of the lands and the way it is fenced and improved there are a variety of ways one could operate the ranch.
For the sportsman or wildlife enthusiast the property and the region are home to a broad range of wildlife and activities that Montana is famous for. Elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and many other smaller mammals call this ranch home. A variety of game birds, and waterfowl also reside on the ranch. The Judith River and two creeks provide excellent fishing, canoeing, or kayaking opportunities. There are many species of fish that inhabit the river including trout, walleye, catfish, and northern pike. The diverse makeup of the ranch also allows for other activities like hiking and fossil hunting.
This unique offering is an exceptional working/recreational ranch located in the heart of Montana. Opportunities to own a ranch like this don’t come around very often. Coupled with the spectacular views, recreation, and the livestock operation, this is must see property.
• 5,457+/- acres (3,818 deeded, 1,417 BLM, 222 State of Montana)
• 5.5+/- miles of Judith River frontage and several miles of Salt and Bear Springs Creek
• Outstanding spring/summer/fall grazing for cattle
• Exceptional elk and mule deer hunting
• Healthy population of waterfowl and game birds
• Excellent fishing in Judith River and private ponds
• 16 miles of eight-foot high game fence enclosing over 1,600+/- acres
• High fence and handling facility suited for diverse use
• Three homes and two quality outbuildings
• End of the road ranch with private access
• Less than 2 hours away from two major airports
• Extensive and valuable water rights and water sources for recreation and agriculture
• The perfect Montana location with breathtaking views and landscapes
The real estate taxes for 2017 were $3,171.54
Cash at closing.