The 8,200± acre Rosebud South Ranch lies immediately east of State Highway 314, approximately 45 miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming. It consists of a series of coulees and small valleys that rise from the Rosebud Creek valley to the high divide that separates the Rosebud Creek valley from the Tongue River valley. This is reputation grass country watered by natural springs that puts big gains on calves and yearlings. The natural geography of this country with its brushy draws and lightly timbered hillsides also offers great cover for wildlife, and the ranch has good populations of mule deer and growing populations of elk – not to mention good upland bird habitat. Dryland hay can be cut on approximately 68 acres of meadows, but this is primarily an unimproved grass ranch with no structural improvements – truly an uncut diamond.
Just the Facts
- 8,200± total acres with 7,200± deeded
- Primarily deeded, blocked, contiguous grass ranch
- Watered by natural flowing springs
- Estimated to carry 500 cows for a seven-month season
- No structural improvements
- Located at Kirby, Montana, 45 miles north of Sheridan, WY
- Reputation ranching country
- Excellent mule deer and upland birds
- First time offered to public
The Rosebud South Ranch is a classic Montana landscape which begins on the edge of the Rosebud Creek valley, where it fronts Highway 314 for over three miles. As one climbs out of the valley, one passes through a series of what would be described as “breaks” which are made up of narrow valleys or coulees which expand into a broader, more gentle series of open basins and broad expanses of open range as one rises to the horizon some four to five miles from the highway in an easterly direction. There are enough conifers and brushy areas to provide cover and shade for wildlife and livestock as well as to create that patented western feeling. Water is provided by live springs, some of which are developed and piped into tanks or small reservoirs.
Rosebud South represents a very rare opportunity to buy a primarily deeded and well-blocked grass ranch in the coveted Kirby community, an easy drive from Sheridan, Wyoming. The lack of structural improvements leaves an open canvas for a new owner.
Learn about the locale
The ranch lies along three+ miles of paved State Highway 314 that forms its western boundary approximately 45 miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming. This section of highway passes by three different locations that were at one time or another designated as the town site of Kirby, which now exists, in name only, as the Kirby Saloon. The ranch adjoins the southern boundary of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and its eastern boundary lies along the high divide separating the Tongue River and Rosebud Creek valleys. The town of Busby lies about 15 miles to the north, Hardin (the county seat) is 50 miles to the northwest and Billings, Montana’s largest city, is around 90 miles also to the northwest. Most Kirby ranchers use Sheridan as their social and trade center. However, Billings with its superior commercial air service, extensive medical facilities, growing commercial and entertainment infrastructure, and lack of a sales tax draws many in that direction. Sheridan has always been the social hub and will likely retain that role with many Kirby 7th and 8th graders moving in to Sheridan for school.
Kirby is a well-established ranching community and is known as “reputation ranching country” throughout the region. It primarily encompasses the Rosebud Creek valley from its headwaters in the Wolf Mountains to the point where it enters the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Ranches in this area have stayed in the same hands or traded internally for many generations. If the Rosebud South Ranch sells to an outsider, it will be an unusual happening, although it is fair to say that the famous Spear O Ranch just across the highway changed hands in February of this year after 100 years in the same family. Generally, it is very unusual for ranches in this area to be publicly offered for sale.
The climate in this area is heavily impacted by the Wolf Mountains which form the west side of the Rosebud Valley and their relationship to the Big Horn Mountains. Annual precipitation along the Wolf Mountains in the Rosebud Valley can exceed 20 inches. However, we do not believe that it reaches these levels on Rosebud South. The upper reaches of the ranch do show excellent grass cover. Perhaps the most compelling features of this area are that they do not experience the extreme variations that impact many parts of Wyoming and Montana. Generally, while they do experience dry and wet years, extreme drought is very rare. Additionally, precipitation does fall on good soils which have excellent water-holding capacity.
The Jones family owns Rosebud South, and they have been members of the Kirby community for nearly 100 years. This is a separated part of their main ranch and they put it together through trades and acquisitions of homesteads over the years. As is often the case with families, a variety of internal factors have forced the sale of this part of the family ranch to create liquidity. Jerry Jones, who now runs the family operation, has stated that he would be interested in leasing the ranch back should the next owner not be a rancher.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
- 7,200± – Deeded (estimated)
- 607± – State lease (191 AUMs)
- 402± – Private lease (Also for sale) (Annual cost $1,600)
- 8,200± Total (estimated)
There are approximately 68.5 acres that have been cut for dryland hay at one time or another and are assessed by the county as wild hay. The balance of the ranch is exceptional native rangeland.
Deeded Acres: 7,200±
State Leased Acres: 607±
Private Leased Acres: 402±
Total Leased Acres: 1,009±
Total Acres: 8,209±
There are no conservation easements on the Rosebud South Ranch. SPECIAL NOTEThe 402± acre private lease is offered for sale separately for $325,000. Contact listing broker for details regarding price and terms.
The ranch is basically unimproved except for fences and spring developments.
The primary sources of water on the ranch are an estimated ten natural springs. Three of them are piped into tanks and a fourth one flows into a reservoir. The ranch would benefit from additional water development. Water rights filings with the DNRC show nine stock water rights and one well.
The sellers will transfer all the mineral rights that they own to the new owner.
Real estate taxes are estimated to be approximately $3,000 per year based on past years’ history.
Learn about the recreational amenities
The ranch offers outstanding mule deer habitat and this is would be viable source of additional revenue. The area is beginning to see more elk and there is certainly future potential for archery hunters. The habitat is there. In addition, upland birds such as Hungarian partridge and sharptail grouse are found throughout the property.
Learn about the general operations
Rosebud South has been operated in conjunction with another ranch. As a stand-alone unit, it is best suited for seasonal grazing. Based upon an estimated carrying capacity of two acres per AUM (Animal Unit Month), the ranch should carry 500 cows for a seven-month grazing season. Since the entire capacity is based upon native rangeland, it is fair to say that it will vary from year to year depending on precipitation.
The property is fenced into six pastures, so it does lend itself to some level of rotational grazing depending upon the level of water availability.