The Double H is a classic Wyoming working mountain ranch that lies along the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains running 300 plus cows along with replacement heifers and bulls. This is a historic range livestock operation that chooses to purchase rather than raise hay. It runs on over 13,000 acres of which 4,706± is deeded. The headquarters are tucked into an intimate valley with meadows lying along Crooked Creek from which it has an early 1885 water right. The ranch has a natural transition from lower 4,800 feet pastoral country through a series of scenic canyons that give way to the open grasslands that lie between and at the head of these valleys as they open up while gaining elevation to 7,000 feet. The uppermost pastures rise toward the top of the mountains. The comfortable improvements include an 1890s dovetailed log ranch home and log bunkhouse along with the recently refurbished historic barn, a new garage/shop combination and new horse shed that are well-kept showing real pride of ownership. Wildlife is prolific and prospers in this broken country with lots of wildlife habitat and protection. Elk and deer hunting is exceptional along the Bighorns.
Just the Facts
- Location: 20 paved miles south of Ten Sleep.
- Acreage: 13,000± acres of which 4,706± is deeded. (balance BLM and state)
- Improvements: Comfortable and well-kept buildings including a historic ranch home, bunkhouse for guests, barn, garage/shop, corrals and calving facilities.
- Operation: 300 plus cows, replacement heifers, bulls and horses.
- Wildlife: Excellent hunting opportunities for mule deer and elk. Qualifies for landowner tags.
- Water: Crooked Creek runs down through the middle of the ranch with a water right for 70 acres of meadows. A 16-mile pipeline system provides stock water.
- Summary: Nicely improved, easy operating mountain ranch in beautiful diverse terrain.
The buildings and meadows are tucked into the intimate Crooked Creek valley’s lower reaches and the ranch includes a series of nice spring pastures along the mountains in this lower more rolling country. Then the bulk of the ranch rises up through a pair of fairly dramatic canyons that gradually open up into expansive mountain grazing land that runs toward the top of the Bighorn Mountains. The terrain is marked by dramatic red geological formations, sagebrush, juniper, various pine species and vast areas of grassland. The views are expansive as this is big country that feeds the soul.
The Double H is a comfortable, easily operated cattle ranch that lies in beautiful mountain country on the west slopes of the Bighorn Mountains. It has sustained only three long term ranch families since its water rights were filed in May of 1885.
The ranch is located approximately 20 paved miles south of Ten Sleep which places it about a 50-minute drive from Worland. The nearest commercial air service is in either Cody or Casper about a 2-hour drive from the ranch. Ten Sleep is a charming mountain town with exceptional schools at the base of the Big Horn Mountains that offers basic services including bars, restaurants, shops and motels. Veterinary services, too. The annual Fourth of July rodeo is a well-attended Big Horn Basin tradition. Worland offers a full cross-section of services for the local agricultural community as do the more distant and larger communities of Cody, Billings and Casper.
The Double H Ranch is neighbored by both large and smaller traditional family ranching operations that lie along the western side of the Bighorns. Many take advantage of the excellent big game hunting and there are some surprisingly prolific spring-fed trout streams that flow out of these mountains which have given rise to guest ranches and, more recently, new families and landowners. The Nature Conservancy has recognized the unique quality of this area by putting together a Nature Preserve just east of Ten Sleep. By and large, this remains a traditional ranching community where people “neighbor” with each other and support those in need. Ranches generally do well here because the lower country is good for wintering livestock and the upper country grows good summer grasses. These ranches also benefit from the immense Big Horn Basin reaching to the west and home to some of Wyoming’s most productive farms.
The valleys on the ranch tend to be narrow and canyonlike in their lower reaches with fairly dramatic red rock formations and they open up as they gain altitude. The upper areas and the uplands that lie between these valleys tend to be relatively rolling grasslands that are ideally suited for livestock grazing. These lands are well utilized by livestock because of the water pipeline system which places tanks throughout the ranch.
The average annual precipitation in Ten Sleep is 13.1 inches with November through March being the dry months and precipitation peaking in April, May and June. The lower parts of the ranch would be considered a mild winter area with winter feeding of hay normally beginning in early January and running to the end of April. The average annual low temperature in Ten Sleep is 35.1 degrees and the average annual high is 61.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The area is known for lots of clear sunny days.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
The ranch has an 1885 Wyoming Territorial water appropriation and an 1895 water right for 70 acres of meadows which are currently being grazed. The balance of the acreage would be classified as mountain grazing land.
The ranch is not encumbered by any conservation easements.
The ranch lies in a contiguous block where practical access to some of the deeded acreage is across BLM and state lands.
The ranch compound consists of a charming 1890s log home with two bedrooms, one full and one half bath, office and study. The original log bunkhouse has been restored for family and friends. A new garage and shop are adjacent as well as a new horse facility with tack room and tie-stalls. The refurbished historic barn and calving facilities, with an excellent set of working corrals, are nearby. The ranch headquarters retains a small footprint. The improvements show pride of ownership and the owner has spent over $250,000 on fully upgrading them over the last five years.
Besides the springs near the buildings, there are three primary water rights. There are the previously mentioned 1885 Wyoming Territorial water right and subsequent 1895 water right to irrigate 70 acres filed by Frank Helmer. The more recent is a water right for a stock water pipeline system that is shared with the BLM. This pipeline runs for an estimated 16 miles and provides stock tank water sources throughout the ranch’s grazing land. The other main source of water is Crooked Creek which flows through the ranch from sources near the top of the Big Horns to a mile before its confluence with the Nowood River.
Sellers will transfer all the mineral rights that they own.
Annual real estate taxes are estimated at $4,772 per annum based upon past year’s taxes.
The main big game species on the ranch are mule deer and elk. Habitat for these species is outstanding. Hunting for both species is excellent and this is an area well known for high-quality deer and elk hunting. Because of the diverse terrain and milder weather patterns the ranch attracts a wide spectrum of wildlife from black bear and mountain lion to smaller bird and animal species. The ranch qualifies for landowner elk and deer tags.
Bruce and Georgia Weeter have owned and operated the Double H for over 25 years, mostly on their own. They are highly knowledgeable cattle people and have developed a black Angus cow herd that is appropriate for the ranch. They will go into the 2019 season with 313 mother cows, 50 replacement heifers and 18 Angus bulls. They normally carry ten head of horses as well. They have opted to graze their meadows, so they traditionally purchase about 650+ tons of hay from a nearby ranch operation to carry them through the winter. Their replacement heifers are sent out to be developed and artificially inseminated in a Big Horn Basin feedlot. Calving season is early to mid-March and April. Pairs are run on spring range and the cows are then moved up through the ranch as the seasons progress ending up in the highest pastures before being moved back down to ship calves in October. The cows are then processed and released back up to winter pastures until the feeding season begins in January. It is an efficient, easy operating ranch.
A well regarded local ranch family has expressed an interest in conversations about leasing the ranch. This would be a possible solution for a new owner who was interested in the ranch as an investment or legacy. A Wyoming ranch lifestyle, along with abundant recreational opportunities for family and friends awaits those with a sense of adventure.
Payment of purchase price shall be due in cash on the closing date. Seller requires that closing shall occur at least 60 days after the completion of due diligence to allow time for seller to select an exchange property. Buyer shall agree to accommodate said exchange as long as it does not create additional expense or liability to the buyer.
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