The Kennedy’s Roost Ranch is located approximately one hour east of Billings, MT and consists of 757± deeded acres in the beautiful Sarpy Creek Valley. With nearly 3 miles of Sarpy Creek meandering through the ranch and nearly 400 acres of sub-irrigated meadows, the owner passionately engaged in an extensive rehabilitation project to recover creekside habitat and regenerate native grasses in the meadows. Professional guidance on this project was provided by the USDA, Pheasants Forever and a private consultant from Prairie Land Management. More than 5,000 native trees have been planted adjacent to the stream to replace areas where overgrazing had significantly reduced the native oak and ash trees. The result of these efforts has increased the base pheasant population dramatically. Strategic placement of cereal crops in the meadows has been key to attracting large numbers of elk, whitetail deer, mule deer and antelope. In addition to improved habitat, there is an impeccable set of improvements which include a log-built owner’s residence and a 72x64 sq. ft. Sand Creek Post and Beam barn with 1,400 sq. ft. apartment. Kennedy’s Roost is the product of the owner’s passion for pheasant, elk, and deer all just over an hour from Billings.
Just the Facts
• 757± deeded acres
• 350± acres that are farmable
• Nearly 3 miles of Sarpy Creek meanders through the ranch
• Approximately an hour to Billings, MT
• Log owner’s home
• 72’x64’ post and beam barn with living quarters
• Large population of pheasant
• Trophy elk
• Good deer population
The property consists of nearly three miles of habitat and meadows along Sarpy Creek and adjacent foothill pastures. The land was in a degraded state when purchased in 2011 having been overgrazed for decades. It has been the focus of an extensive rehabilitation project to recover the riparian habitat and regenerate native grasses in the meadows. Professional guidance on this project was provided by the USDA, Pheasants Forever, and a private consultant from Prairie Land Management. In excess of 5,000 native trees were planted adjacent to the stream to replace areas where overgrazing had significantly reduced the native oak and ash trees. The result of these efforts has increased the base pheasant population from 100 birds to over 600 in only five years. Strategic placement of cereal crops in the meadows has been key to attracting large numbers of elk, whitetail deer, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. The rehabilitation of the meadows and range has significantly increased the big game numbers as well as the populations of pheasant and sharptail grouse.
Less than one and a half hours from Billings, Kennedy’s Roost Ranch sits in the productive Sarpy Creek Valley and offers outstanding pheasant, elk and deer hunting. A small but tastefully built log home and a masterfully built barn with upper living quarters complete the package. With 757± deeded acres of which approximately 400 are riparian or meadows the ranch is easily operated and accessed off a paved road. This ranch will be of interest to small operators and sportsman alike.
Learn about the locale
Easy access to the region’s largest communities - including Billings and Miles City – is one of the main features of Kennedy’s Roost. Both of these towns are within a one hour drive. Local communities of Hysham, Forsyth and Hardin are within a half hour drive and provide all necessary services.
This is an area of good sized reputation ranches whose value has increased as a result of the growing big game populations. Kennedy’s Roost as mentioned earlier is a bit of jewel in the midst of larger ranches. In many ways, it represents the ideal situation that so many seek out – a retreat carved out of much larger ranches. This creates a symbiotic relationship with established operators with whom one can work to take advantage of the agricultural aspects of the property – such as hay and grain production and livestock grazing.
The ranch headquarters lies at an altitude of 2,700 feet above sea level. Ranch records indicate that precipitation generally has run between 12 and 14 inches over the last 40 years. At this altitude in Montana, the ranch would have a long growing season of over 125 days. It would have a temperate and comfortable year-round climate by Montana standards with idyllic and long falls and springs, and warm temperatures in the summer. Winters would be considered mild with only occasional periods of snow.
The ranching community of Sarpy Creek began as early as the 1880’s and really expanded with the coming of the railway through Hysham at the turn of the century. The ranch was owned by several families who initially grew crops, then evolved to hay and cattle. Evidence of early efforts with horse- drawn equipment is in the lineup that is displayed adjacent to the driveway. It is not an unusual story for one of Montana’s reputation ranches. Most ranches like this one stay in the family and the ownership transcends the generations. It is very unusual to have a ranch of this caliber offered for sale. The new owners will be only the fourth owners in over 100 years.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 775±
Total Acres: 775±
Main House - This is a six year old 1,274± square foot custom-built log home by Whispering Creek Log Homes. It is an engineered home utilizing the outside one-third of pine logs for the exterior to give it the look and feel of a log cabin. It is prebuilt and is assembled on the site. Engineering drawings are available. Several hundred homes of this type in various configurations have been constructed in the Montana area with great success. The energy efficiency is top notch providing a warm home in winter and a cool home in the summer. From the attractive “hand planed” log exterior to the steeply pitched massive roof system, these homes speak of quality and distinction. Neither air conditioning nor robust heating system is required. The home is heated by a centrally located steel and brick hearth type stove. It provides heat to the 1,274± square feet over a 15-hour time frame. The interior is well designed using local materials as well as high-quality finishing materials. It will accommodate a family of four.
Custom Barn – This is a timber frame construction building with a 64’ x 72’ footprint and includes first- class amenities in the 1,400± square foot loft with multiple suites that can sleep up to ten people. It features R40 insulation on the ground floor and R60 in the roof system. The ground floor has floor heat and the upstairs has electric heat.
Carriage House – This is an original 1920 era building that was wired and insulated in 2012. It serves as a dog kennel and storage.
Equipment - The ranch comes equipped with a 75 HP Case/IH tractor and all the necessary attachments for all farm work. All fencing has been updated and all the streamside habitat has been upgraded.
Learn about the recreational amenities
Kennedy’s Roost has become locally famous as a hunting retreat. The extensive habitat work has dramatically increased pheasant and grouse populations and turkey numbers have recovered. Many whitetail, mule deer and elk have been taken as well as hundreds of pheasants.
In 2014, a 405 point bull elk was taken by local hunters just off the ranch. This is a testament to the trophy quality of the elk in this area.
Learn about the general operations
Although viable as a small cow/calf agricultural operation, the true value lies in its excellent hunting and recreational potential. All the work is done, and it is ready to be enjoyed by anyone that truly loves the beautiful setting and rich habitat. In 2014, the smooth brome grass was eliminated and native grasses replaced it allowing for haying of smaller areas with much higher yields. The ideal operating scenario for a property of this size is to work with established local ranchers to sharecrop the hay and grain and lease out some grazing as needed to improve habitat for wildlife.