For Sale

Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary

$3,975,000 Froid, MT 2,560± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

Removed from the unrelenting fast pace of urban life are the rolling hills of northeast Montana’s Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary. This property features lakes, creeks, spring-fed marshes, rolling grassy hills, productive cropland, and extraordinary habitat for pheasants, sharptail grouse, Hungarian partridge, waterfowl, and both whitetail and mule deer. Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary consists of approximately 2,560 acres located 14 miles east of Froid, Montana, and approximately 40 miles west of Williston, North Dakota, with convenient access from all directions. The property’s wildlife prospers due to good nesting and winter cover with food sources located in close proximity to habitat areas.
Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary contains approximately 1,000 acres of cropland that produce wheat, lentils, canola, and other pulse crops. Although approximately 450 additional acres could be tilled, the owners have chosen to devote most of those acres to wildlife habitat. Approximately 250 acres are under a second ten-year Conservation Reserve Program contract. Those CRP acres feature mature native grasses and forbs for abundant game bird habitat.
Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary’s water resources add both to its beauty and capacity to support large quantities of varied game birds, waterfowl, and deer. One reservoir at full capacity covers approximately 160 surface acres and another reservoir covers approximately 40 surface acres. There also are numerous creeks, spring-fed marshes, and sloughs covered with cattails that offer excellent game bird habitat areas.
In addition to the natural and carefully nurtured habitat amenities, a 1,600 square foot manufactured home with an attached three-car garage is available to purchase as a fully furnished hunting headquarters.
For approximately fifteen years the current owners have diligently worked to establish productive game bird and wildlife habitat and have created a unique property that combines both a cornucopia of wildlife and agricultural income.

Just the Facts

  • 2,560± deeded acres
  • 1,000± acres of cropland
  • 250± acres in CRP
  • Numerous creeks, marshes, and sloughs
  • Two large reservoirs
  • 1,600± square foot manufactured home with garage
  • Incredible wildlife habitat for pheasant, sharptail, and waterfowl
  • Good whitetail deer hunting
  • 14 miles east of Froid, MT
  • 40 miles west of Williston, ND
  • Less than one hour to Sidney, MT


General Description

Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary consists of 2,560± deeded acres, of which approximately 1,000 acres currently are cultivated, and 400 acres are leased for grazing. Both the agricultural and grazing leases can be renegotiated by a new owner. The remaining 1,000 plus acres are devoted solely to wildlife habitat and water features. About 160 acres of the agricultural land is irrigated with an operating pivot that is included in the purchase price of the property. The grass and habitat acreage includes 250± acres under a CRP contract that began in 2008 and was renewed in 2020. The habitat areas, including the CRP acres, have been optimized with the assistance of Pheasants Forever and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The largest reservoir consists of 160 surface acres at full impoundment, with a secondary reservoir of approximately 40 acres beautifully situated in a valley setting. The owners have not allowed pasturing or grazing surrounding the water areas, and those areas provide prime pheasant and sharptail grouse habitat.

Broker's Comments

Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary provides a unique hunting and investment opportunity resulting from fifteen years of careful habitat improvement and wildlife management by the owners, who are devoted sportsmen. The owners are selling only because of their senior citizen status and aging bird dogs. The convenient location, water resources, wetlands, good agricultural production, and astounding numbers of pheasants, Sharptail Grouse, and waterfowl combine to make this property unique in all of Northeastern Montana, and a source of enjoyment and income for the sportsman and investor.

Learn about the locale

Location

Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary is located 14 miles east of Froid, and 40 miles south of Plentywood, both of which are known for their excellent pheasant and sharptail grouse populations. The property is also conveniently located 40 miles west of Williston, which features a new international airport and plans for a new regional medical center and shopping area. The property is easily accessible from all directions on well-traveled roads. 

The area’s economy is based primarily on agriculture with typical crops such as wheat, alfalfa, canola, lentils, and other pulse crops. Cattle production is also extensive in the area, with a small portion of the property leased for grazing purposes, providing additional income to the property owner. Numerous oil wells have also been drilled in the area, as the property is located in the western portion of the Bakken Field, which has become one of the primary shale oil producing areas in the United States.

Locale

The agricultural and pastureland on and surrounding Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary contributes to a strong game bird population. There are three farming and ranch operations near the property, each of which provides winter habitat for game birds as well as the security of good neighbors. In addition, the property is located approximately 14 miles southeast of the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge that includes the 8,000+ acre Medicine Lake and smaller water units, all of which create important breeding and stopover habitat for a diverse array of migratory birds. The proximity to Medicine Lake adds to the waterfowl hunting opportunities for Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary and is one of the unique and attractive features of the property. The general area also contains thousands of acres of Block Management hunting opportunities beyond those offered by Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary.

Sidney, the county seat of Richland County, is less than 50 miles south of Froid. It is conveniently located and has many small family-owned businesses and restaurants. In addition, Sidney Health Care Center offers an acute care hospital, clinic area, retail pharmacy, and an extended care facility offering a complete range of services from birth through end-of-life. It is complemented by an array of outreach services.

Climate

Northeast Montana typically offers ideal summer weather, although extremes occur periodically. Precipitation averages around 18 inches annually, with snowfall providing most of the run-off to fill the lakes and creeks on the property. Winters are what one would expect in Northeast Montana, with cold temperatures that generally are not cold enough to prevent successful pheasant, waterfowl, and deer hunting throughout the late fall and early winter. 

The rolling hills, vast vistas, and glow of morning sunrises and evening sunsets contribute to knowing that time at Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary is time spent in “the last best place.”

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 2,560±
Total Acres: 2,560±

Improvements

A 1,600± square foot manufactured home with an attached three-car garage is available for purchase. These improvements are on land leased by the owners from an adjacent property owner but are within several hundred feet of the Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary property. The home has three bedrooms, two baths, and comfortable living areas that the current owners use as a hunting headquarters. A buyer will need to negotiate with the landowner upon which the improvements are located for a continuation of the lease arrangement, although the possibility exists that the improvements will need to be moved to a nearby location on the property. The manufactured home has power, rural water, high-speed internet, and telephone service, all of which would be available if the manufactured home is moved to another location on the property. The owners previously negotiated with Sheridan Electric to have underground power extended to any location on the property up to a mile, and to any other location up to one-half mile, without cost to the property owner.

Water Resources

The owners intend to retain their mineral interest in the property. Water rights have been monitored by a capable water rights consultant with whom the owners have regularly worked to ensure their water rights are protected. In addition to the reservoirs, springs, and marshes, there are two wells that the owners have chosen not to use but are potentially available to a new owner.

Taxes

Annual real estate taxes are estimated at $6,253 per annum based upon past year’s taxes.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

The carefully developed game bird habitat over the last fifteen years now provides a pheasant population one seldom sees other than in parts of South Dakota. Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary’s pheasant numbers are enhanced by abundant food sources, including various feed grains and pulse crops, depending on what has been planted. The CRP areas have mature native grasses. The owners have left wide strips of a Pheasant Forever mix and weeds adjacent to the cropland. This allows game birds to easily move between cover and agricultural food sources throughout the property. Interior farm and ranch roads and lanes provide easy vehicular access to most hunting areas on the property.

The Montana sharptail grouse and Hungarian Partridge seasons begin September 1, and pheasant season generally opens in early October and runs through December. These long seasons provide extraordinary hunting opportunities for regularly harvesting a daily limit of pheasants and sharptail grouse. 

Because of the proximity to Medicine Lake, the lakes on the property are often covered with waterfowl, including ducks of all species, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, sandhill cranes, and for the birdwatching enthusiast, numerous shore birds and black wing-tip pelicans.

The abundant food sources do not only support extraordinary bird populations but provide forage for whitetail deer and antelope. The wide-ranging environment supports a diverse collection of raptors, predators, and songbirds.

Although the owners have not stocked any of the lakes for fishing, the depth of those lakes should support a good fish population resulting in successful fishing opportunities during the warmer months of the year. 

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Sand Creek Bird Sanctuary has been operated under the meticulous stewardship of the current owner to optimize both game bird and wildlife habitat. In addition to the outstanding hunting opportunities for pheasants, sharptail, waterfowl and deer, the ranch has several income streams: Four CRP contacts which pay a total of $4,581 per year while two agricultural leases generate nearly $40,000 per year. The Sand Creek Game Bird Sanctuary is a magnificent hunting property that generates significant income while allowing the game populations to flourish. 

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