Beartooth Ranch is one of Montana’s reputation ranches known and respected throughout Montana’s ranching community. Currently owned by the founder of Montana Silversmiths and previously owned by actor and director Mel Gibson, the ranch has had a grand history as one of the state’s largest purebred Angus operations under Mel Gibson and previously as one of the earliest adopters of embryo transplants in the purebred industry. Always known as the “Beartooth Ranch”, this 1,000 animal unit operating ranch consists of over 12,350 deeded acres and 1,000± acres of lease situated in the heart of the Stillwater River Valley just five miles southwest of Columbus. The center of the ranch lies in the valley floor and consists of hundreds of acres of productive irrigated meadows and four miles of protected riparian corridor along the Stillwater River punctuated by multiple small spring creeks that provide open water year-round. Adjacent to this rich central corridor, the ranch runs up through the breaks and pine foothills on both sides of the valley to offer huge expanses of lush, well-watered summer pastures and hundreds of acres of improved pastures. The wildlife and fisheries on this diverse ranch are extraordinary beginning with nearly four miles of “Blue Ribbon” quality trout fishing and moving to huge populations of mule and whitetail deer plus very good and improving elk numbers. Pheasants, waterfowl and upland birds are at home here as well and their numbers are only limited by judicious seeding of grain crops and predator control. Improvements include two comfortable homes, indoor riding arena, and complete shops, barns and other operating facilities – ideally set up for a 1,000 AU operation. In summary, this is a virtually all-deeded contiguous operating ranch in a prime location looking up at the dramatic Beartooth Mountains – Montana’s highest – offering, in addition, a complete package of recreational amenities from big game and birds to a quality fishery.
Just the Facts
- Location – Five miles southwest of Columbus and 45 miles from Billings.
- Acreage – Approximately 12,350 deeded acres plus 1000± acres of leases (primarily State and BLM).
- Acreage Breakdown – Currently estimating over 400 acres of irrigated land. Balance is native range with large areas of improved pastures that are normally cut for hay.
- Improvements – Two comfortable homes plus extensive shops, barns and small indoor arena originally set up for a purebred operation.
- General Operation – This is a well-balanced operating ranch estimated to support around 1,000 animal units. Currently, the owner leases out the various components of the ranch.
- Wildlife – Because of its lower elevation, Beartooth offers a diverse selection of wildlife from huntable populations of elk, deer, waterfowl, pheasants, and other upland birds to smaller mammals, raptors and extensive birdlife.
- Fishery - It is unusual to have both trophy quality elk and trophy quality trout on the same contiguous ranch. With nearly four miles of both sides of the Stillwater, Beartooth Ranch can make that claim.
- Conservation Easements – Less than 17 percent of the ranch is encumbered by a conservation easement. The balance of the ranch would be a major candidate for a conservation easement.
- Summary – A balanced and well-located historic 1,000 head working ranch with a complete set of recreational and scenic amenities.