Yellowstone River Hunting Retreat

$1,250,000 Forsyth, MT 842± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The 842± acre Yellowstone River Hunting Retreat lies immediately north of Highway 94 and only five miles east of Forsyth, Montana. With over three miles of frontage on the Yellowstone River and over 500 acres of acres of farmland, the habitat for pheasant, waterfowl and deer is remarkable. Having no improvements to maintain and being less than 90 minutes from Billings, this hunting ranch is one of the premier recreational opportunities in Rosebud County.

Just the Facts

  • 842± deeded acres
  • 324± acres of state lease
  • Approximately 500 acres is being farmed by a tenant
  • Approximately three miles of Yellowstone River frontage 
  • Good whitetail, mule deer, turkey, waterfowl and pheasant hunting 
  • Five miles east of Forsyth
  • 30 minutes to Miles City and 90 minutes to Billings
  • No improvements 
  • Easy road access

General Description

The Yellowstone River Hunting Ranch is accessed off of the frontage road that parallels Interstate Highway 94 to the east of Forsyth. One turns north through a neighboring farm and a good ranch road drops down off a high bench to a lower bench entering the property more or less in the middle. As one looks to the north across the property it appears that there is an endless expanse of level dryland farming on both deeded and state leased acreage. Looking off in the distance to the perimeter of this seemingly limitless open space, one is aware that it is ringed with pine trees and that you are only looking at just over half of the total property. Looking to the east and west the flat benches narrow and it is clear that something else is going on just beyond one’s vision. 

A drive across this bench takes one to the edge where a variety of views can be enjoyed of the other half of the property which includes a series of breaks leading down to the river and of course the river bottom itself. The breaks are wonderful and one cannot help but imagine the large mule deer bucks which thrive there. A good ranch road leads down to the river bottom which is magical. It includes a drainage area which has a series of long ponds or sloughs, large areas of cottonwood forests, open riparian pastures amongst the cottonwoods, and 90± acres of irrigated cropland which could be planted into any crop of one’s choosing but preferably one that would provide feed and cover for the upland birds and waterfowl. It all lays out in a rough semicircle with the river forming a boundary all along it. As seen from above it feels like one’s own lush private paradise and driving through it is like going from one unique landscape to the next. 

Broker's Comments

This is an extraordinarily diverse sporting property lying along an estimated 3.4 miles of the Yellowstone River just minutes from Forsyth and an easy drive from Billings. The Yellowstone River Hunting Ranch makes for a magnificent hunting retreat which will cover its own costs while allowing the game populations to flourish. For the recreational investor, this property allows the new owner to come in and do as much or as little as they desire in improvements so that at the end of the day you end up with exactly what you were looking for. 

Learn about the locale


The Yellowstone River Hunting Ranch is located approximately 5 miles by road east of Forsyth, Montana. The last 1.2 miles is by way of a private road from the paved highway to the ranch boundary. The retreat lies along the south bank of the Yellowstone River. The driving distance to Billings on I-94 is just over 100 miles, while Miles City is approximately 45 miles to the east. Commuter air service from Billings is available in Miles City which offers a full menu of social, cultural, medical and other personal services. The nearest major airport is Billings, Montana’s largest city. Forsyth is the county seat and also offers a full complement of basic services including banks, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. There is a good paved 4,800 foot long by 75 foot wide airstrip at an altitude of 2,720 feet above sea level that will accommodate most twin engine aircraft. This strip is located within 3 miles of the retreat.


The Yellowstone River Valley is well known for its high quality, productive irrigated farms. Off the river, it is a region of large grass ranches. Recreationally it is known for good mule deer and antelope hunting as well as excellent upland bird, and waterfowl hunting. This particular stretch of the river has been set aside as a protected area for waterfowl as shooting is not permitted over the water. This keeps boats off of the river and keeps the ducks and geese in the area, and it actually enhances one’s opportunities to hunt in the fields that line the river corridor.

Other than the visitors to the area during hunting season, this is very much an agricultural community made up of ranchers, farmers, cowboys, farm workers, and the residents of the small towns that provide services to the farming and ranching community. The property is well located to access both Miles City and Billings.

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 842±
State Leased Acres: 325±
Total Leased Acres: 325±
Total Acres: 1,167±


There are no improvements on the property.

Water Rights

Irrigation water for the ranch’s hayfields originates from the Yellowstone River and provides ditch irrigation for 189 acres.

Mineral Rights

No reservations by seller.


The annual property taxes are estimated to be $2,377.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

Habitat for Hungarian partridge and sharptail grouse is plentiful and the river bottom offers extensive feed and cover for pheasants. Additionally, this is a well-recognized area for waterfowl and it is important to provide appropriate feed sources for them in the fields both on the bottom and up on the benches. Both whitetail and mule deer can be found in their respective habitats along the river bottom and in the pine breaks. The current populations of whitetail deer are particularly impressive. This is truly a wildlife paradise only limited by the degree of proper habitat and predator management.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Yellowstone River Hunting Ranch consists of a combination of dryland cropland (some of which is under the Conservation Reserve Program) and irrigated cropland connected by river bottom and foothill grazing land. Since the property needs to be managed to optimize its wildlife, upland bird and waterfowl habitat, the best method of operation is to lease out the cropland to a local farmer. Crops should be chosen with wildlife in mind. One should consider limiting grazing to improve upland bird habitat. Some food plots should be planted as well. The CRP lands require minimal management and are a good source of cash income. 

Leases and Permits

Annual cost in 2017 was $4,131.62. Lease is good through 2027

Agricultural lease: Pays $13,465 per year and is an annual lease.

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