For Sale

Deschland Ranch

$12,000,000 Lewistown, MT 7,182± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The Deschland Ranch, located about 15 miles east of Lewistown, is a classic cattle ranch offering timbered draws, strong grass range, and a good hay base along the North Fork of McDonald Creek, which passes through for over six miles. It lies in a contiguous block of nearly 7,200 scenic deeded acres providing complete privacy and control of one’s environment. The ranch is capable of running 400 mother cows plus replacement heifers and bulls while putting up an average 400-450 tons of hay on approximately 250 acres. It combines the characteristics of an optimum working ranch with outstanding hunting recreation for elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, and upland birds. The modest but comfortable improvements include two homes, a hunting cabin, and a solid set of operating improvements and corrals. It represents an opportunity to acquire a significant holding in a highly sought-after community in the heartland of Montana.

Just the Facts

  • Acreage: Nearly 7,200 deeded.
  • Acreage Breakdown: About 6,400 acres of rangeland, 252± acres of dryland hay, 530± acres of improved pasture. 
  • Location: Fifteen miles east of Lewistown.
  • Recreational Amenities: Good hunting for elk, deer, and upland birds.
  • Water Resources: Over five miles of McDonald Creek traverse the ranch.
  • General Operation: Good balanced operating ranch supporting 400 cows plus replacement heifers and bulls.
  • Summary: Outstanding operating ranch with great scenery and recreational amenities located close to one of Montana’s sought-after small towns.

General Description

The Deschland Ranch is loaded with sought-after features, all within an easy drive of Lewistown. Even though it is close to town, it offers a sense of privacy that one would associate with a much more remote ranch. It is accessed off a gravel road across a state section which provides insurable access to Highway 87. The ranch is appropriately improved and completely blocked up with the addition of a state lease. Deschland Ranch encompasses approximately 12 square miles and enjoys views of both The Little Snowy and the Judith Mountains. The mixed terrain creates tremendous wildlife habitat as well as contributing to its stunning setting. With multiple pine-filled drainages, grass-covered benches, and miles of creek bottom the diverse habitat provides feed, water and cover for elk, deer, antelope, and upland birds. Good private two-track roads access most of the ranch. As one traverses the property, one cannot help but be impressed by multiple picturesque landscapes hidden within the boundaries of the ranch. Water is located throughout with an artesian well, stock wells, reservoirs, springs, and the North fork of McDonald Creek, all helping to create a sustainable environment for livestock and wildlife.

Broker's Comments

Deschland Ranch, with views of both the Snowy Mountains and the Judith Mountains, represents a rare opportunity to purchase over 7,000 acres of contiguous land in the heartland of Montana. The ranch will impress both the cattle operator and the sportsman with abundant wildlife, productive hay ground, strong grass, and plenty of water. It is a privilege to offer an opportunity to buy a significant holding in one of Montana’s most highly respected ranching communities.

Learn about the locale

Location

Approximately fifteen miles east of Lewistown, in Fergus County, the ranch is accessible via US Highway 87. Lewistown, known for being the geographic center of Montana, is the largest commercial center of central Montana, providing a full range of banks, equipment dealers, hotels, motels, restaurants all in a thriving business community. The Central Montana Medical Center is a 25-bed critical access hospital and a 64-bed, five-star rated skilled nursing center. They provide a full range of services from rehab, home health/hospice, in/outpatient surgical services provided by a complete staff of specialty physicians. The Lewistown Municipal Airport has a 6,100’X100’ runway with an overrun of 1,400 feet that can service all private jets. The nearest commercial air service is in Billings, the largest city in Montana. Logan International Airport provides the most extensive air service in the state with Alaska, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta providing daily flights.

Locale

Lewistown is the focal point of one of the most respected agricultural communities in Montana. Lying in the central part of the state between the Judith and Snowy Mountains, it is blessed with relatively high annual precipitation and a comfortable year-round climate. It is the county seat of Fergus County, with a population of approximately 6,000 residents and a county population of around 11,500. While its primary focus is to provide services for one of Montana’s richest farming and ranching regions, it has a multitude of other amenities. Big Spring Creek, one of the most sought-after spring creek fisheries in Montana, flows through Lewistown providing water for the city. It’s said to be the third-largest freshwater spring in the world. Upland bird hunters and big game hunters file into town in search of elk, whitetail and mule deer, sharp-tailed grouse, and pheasant every fall. Lewistown has always stood on its own two feet due to its distance from Montana’s larger towns, which has allowed the community to offer a rich cultural and social life. 

Climate

The elevation of The Deschland Ranch varies from approximately 3,750 feet to just over 4,000 feet above sea level. The climate is relatively mild with highs averaging 81 degrees in July and average lows in January around 15 degrees. The number of frost-free days in this area is consistently around 115 days. Annually the area receives 15-18 inches of precipitation with an average of 50 inches of snow contributing to the total. This area in central Montana, due to elevation and annual precipitation, can stay green for much of the summer. The vibrant colors of fall are particularly dramatic in this area.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

  • 6,394± acres range
  • 252± acres dryland hay
  • 530± acres improved pasture 
  • 5± acres homestead 
  • Total deeded acres 7,181± 

Deeded Acres: 7,182±
State Leased Acres: 320±
Total Leased Acres: 320±
Total Acres: 7,502±

Improvements

Main Residence

The residence was built in 1892 and remodeled in 1993. The main floor is 2,062± square feet and has three bedrooms and two full baths. It is on a concrete foundation and is wood frame constructed with a metal roof.

 Second Residence

The residence was built in 1993. The main floor is 1,848± square feet with a full 1,848± square foot basement and has three bedrooms and two full baths. It is a wood frame constructed house with a metal roof.

Hunting Cabin

A small one room off-grid cabin.

Garage

The garage is 750± square feet and was built in 1993. It is wood frame constructed with a metal roof and dirt floor. There are two vertical/horizontal doors. 

Livestock Building

Built in 1914, the pole constructed building has a dirt floor, metal roof, and a sliding horizontal door.

Shop

The shop is 1,500± square feet and was built in 2000. It is pole constructed with a metal roof, dirt floor, and two sliding doors.

Quonset

The Quonset is 3,240± square feet and was built in 1998. It is a pole constructed building with a metal roof, dirt floor, and two sliding doors (front and back).

Water Rights

Eleven water rights are filed on the wells and for surface water. There is an artesian well that was rated at 100 GPM but later checked and flowed at over 300± GPM.

Mineral Rights

No mineral rights will be reserved by Seller.

Taxes

Annual property taxes are estimated at $7,630 based upon past years.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

Wildlife is abundant on the Deschland Ranch due to the diverse habitat and plentiful water. The North Fork of McDonald Creek flows through the ranch for approximately 6 miles and provides cover and feed for “Critters” ranging from elk, deer, bear, waterfowl, and a multitude of birds and raptors. The quality of whitetail deer and elk is spectacular. The previous Montana state record black bear was taken on the ranch in 2005. The ranch is not only home to bear, deer, and elk, but antelope, pheasant, and upland birds are plentiful on the grassy benches and farm fields. This is truly a wildlife paradise with unlimited potential for further food plot enhancement and water development.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Deschland Ranch has been operated in conjunction with the neighboring ranch, which leases the ranch on an annual basis. As a stand-alone unit, it is better suited for seasonal grazing. The ranch should carry 400 cows, replacement heifers, and bulls for the grazing season. In addition, there are approximately 250 acres along the creek bottom that puts up 400-450 tons of hay as a supplemental feed source for the cattle. 

Back to Overview

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