Located in full view of the towering Absaroka Range between Cody and Meeteetse, just off paved Wyoming Highway 120 on a private paved entrance road, the centerpiece of this 10,000-plus acre blocked-up ranch is six-plus miles of Meeteetse Creek and its lush riparian corridor lined with over 570 acres of irrigated meadows. The adjacent hills, bench lands and tributary valleys include an additional 470± acres under pivot sprinkler as well as excellent upland grazing for livestock. Totaling 10,596± acres, of which 7,722± are deeded, this productive, well-balanced ranch will support 500 animal units. The improvements, which include two very comfortable and attractive ranch homes, feature the ultimate in well-planned and executed livestock and farming facilities. The water resources are exceptional. From the irrigation storage reservoirs, to live creeks and springs, to gravity pipeline systems, to early priority irrigation flow rights, we have seen nothing to equal this ranch. Waterfowl, upland birds, deer, elk and antelope are all available in huntable populations due to the diverse terrain and water availability. The ranch is a magnet for wildlife and supports both a live water fishery and a trophy-quality lake fishery.
Just the Facts
- Six miles to Meeteetse and thirty miles to Cody; paved road access
- 10,596± acres (7,722± deeded, 2,594± state, 280± BLM)
- Over 1,000 acres of gravity-fed sprinklers, pivots and gated pipe
- 500 animal unit estimated capacity
- Totally blocked with big views of the Absaroka Range
- Two quality homes plus state-of-the-art agricultural facilities
- Trophy-quality stillwater fishery plus six miles of live trout stream
- Very good elk, deer and antelope populations
- Excellent Huns, chukar, waterfowl hunting
- Extensive and valuable water rights and water resources
- SUMMARY – This ranch pretty much has it all in a terrific location
The ranch is accessed off Highway 120 on a private paved road that passes through the ranch along a high bench. The headquarters complex is located in a very private setting below this road in the middle of over five miles of the Meeteetse Creek Valley. There are 570± acres of meadows plus an extensive riparian corridor that make up this valley. To the south lie scenic foothills with scattered timber that offer good grazing and shelter for both wildlife and livestock. The lands to the north of Meeteetse Creek tend to be more open grasslands and include Corral Reservoir that stores over 1,000 acre-feet of water for irrigation – and fish – as well as over 470 acres irrigated by four primarily gravity-flow pivot sprinklers. This area is dominated by Long Hollow Draw, which passes through the ranch for close to six miles. Dominating the skyline to the west are the Absaroka Mountains. JA Land & Cattle includes a variety of terrain and habitats that make it a scenically appealing ranch as well as a magnet for a broad diversity of wildlife.
JA Land & Cattle represents a predominantly deeded, blocked-up, well-balanced and highly productive 500-head mountain ranch with exceptional hunting near Cody and Meeteetse, which are two of Wyoming’s most sought-after communities. This 10,000-plus acre appropriately improved ranch occupies a dramatic setting just below the Absaroka Mountains.
Situated six miles from Meeteetse and thirty miles from Cody, the JA Land & Cattle occupies a nearly perfect location in Wyoming. It lies in an area of serious ranches, but one can access both a comfortable small town with a real sense of civic pride and history and one of Wyoming’s most sought-after small cities within less than 30 minutes. Commercial air service is available in Cody with daily commuter service to both Denver and Salt Lake City, as well as an excellent fixed base operation. Social and cultural amenities and complete shopping, restaurants, and other services are also all available in Cody.
Immediate neighbors, besides large tracts of public land, are primarily large ranches which, like the JA, utilize these lands for livestock grazing.
The nearby community of Meeteetse is well known for its western ambiance with its wooden boardwalks, watering troughs and hitching rails. It offers basic services, including lodging and dining. It is a town that has always shown an unusual amount of pride and character. The Pitchfork Ranch, one of Wyoming’s first cattle empires established in 1879 by Otto Franc, was headquartered there and it still operates on a somewhat smaller scale just upriver from town. The JA was actually once a part of the Pitchfork Ranch but was sold off in the later years.
Cody needs no introduction as it is a business hub for northern Wyoming and serves as the eastern entrance to Yellowstone Park. Its hospitality offerings, including the summer daily night rodeo, are well known. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is world renowned as it includes four major museums which feature firearms, western art, natural history and the legacy of Buffalo Bill. For over a century, it has attracted a national and international group of permanent and seasonal residents that have supported the community and made it an unusually sophisticated and culturally diverse place to live and visit. Private jets arrive from all over the world and both Montana and Wyoming residents come in large numbers to enjoy the annual fundraising events at the Buffalo Bill Center. The celebration culminates in a black tie dinner and dance, which finds princes and billionaires mixing with local ranchers and cowboys for what is considered by many to be the party of the year.
This is an area rich in western history and it is considered to be one of Wyoming’s most desirable places in which to live and work.
Meeteetse has fairly typical weather patterns for a town along the Rocky Mountain Front. High temperatures in the hottest month of the summer average below 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and average low temperatures in the winter will run around 10 degrees. However, these are the extremes. Average temperatures in the hottest months run around 68 degrees, and they average around 20 degrees in the coldest months. Precipitation averages around fourteen inches, with peaks in May and June when they might receive over two inches and most months receiving less than an inch on average. Wind speeds average seven to nine miles per hour, with April generally being the windiest month. Snowfall will average eight to nine inches in December and January, tapering off after that with the possibility of a March or April bump. The area is subject to chinook winds, so it is rare to have heavy accumulations of snow except right after a storm.
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
- 9,556± acres native range, riparian and building sites
- 470± acres pivot sprinkler irrigated
- 570± acres irrigated by wheel line and gated pipe
- 10,596± acres total
- 2,594± acres state lease
- 280± acres BLM lease
- 7,722± acres deeded
- 10,596± acres total
As noted earlier, the JA has all the required agricultural improvements. They are clean, well maintained and show pride of ownership. The main headquarters includes a 1,770± square foot home built in the 1930s but recently fully remodeled. The compound also includes an insulated, heated shop building, a large barn with a complete ranch office and calving facilities, a full set of well-designed working corrals, and other miscellaneous outbuildings. Newly added, the ranch has a large roping and horse arena and a round pen for training.
There is a second 2,300± square foot home located near Corral Reservoir. This home was also extensively remodeled and is in good condition. Both homes are high-quality ranch homes. The JA is not burdened with an overbuilt owner’s residence.
Water is what the JA Land & Cattle is all about. First of all, the ranch has territorial water rights for 350± acres out of Meeteetse Creek. These rights go back in priority to before Wyoming became a state and are considered to be among the highest quality rights a ranch can have. The ranch has an additional 573± acre-feet of water stored above the ranch in Foster Reservoir. Additional stored water in Corral Reservoir amounts to 1,026± acre-feet. There are approximately 1,700 acres that are adjudicated for irrigation. However, the ranch currently irrigates approximately 1,040 acres. Much of the land is irrigated with sprinklers, with the balance irrigated by gated pipe. This means that water is being efficiently utilized so that the ranch can get maximum benefit from its water.
Besides six miles of Meeteetse Creek and Spring Creek which flow through the ranch naturally, there are four gravity-flow stock water pipelines that have been developed. Two are from wells, and two from creek and pond systems that assure all pastures are well watered and that livestock are able to comfortably utilize all parts of the ranch. Additionally, a newly added reservoir to the south on Spring Creek provides an additional quality livestock water source.
Sellers will convey 100 percent of the mineral rights that they own. At this point, they do not know what mineral rights, if any, they might own.
Based upon past years, the real estate taxes are estimated to run around $11,700 per year.
The JA Land & Cattle, because of its diversity of terrain and outstanding water resources, offers a broad cross-section of wildlife and fishing opportunities.
Corral Reservoir, which stores over 1,000 acre-feet of irrigation water for the ranch, offers opportunities for limited water-based recreation and fishing as well as waterfowl hunting in season. This lake, like many of the lakes in the area, has supported a trophy-quality trout fishery in the past.
The ranch is home to good populations of both mule and whitetail deer as well as elk and antelope. The ranch currently receives two landowner tags per year for each of these species. There are also huntable populations of Hungarian partridge and chukar.
Meeteetse Creek, which passes through the ranch for over six miles, is a well-regarded small stream fishery for Yellowstone cutthroat trout and other trout species. We believe a serious angler could make considerable improvements to this stream, as the current and past owners have been more focused on the ranch’s extensive agricultural production.
Other recreation beyond the simple enjoyment of these wildlife assets would include horseback riding, hiking, bird watching and utilizing other motorized forms of transport to access the ranch’s 10,000± acres.
It is difficult to imagine a ranch that is better located to enjoy the vast array of recreational opportunities for which the Cody area has been justifiably famous since the days of Buffalo Bill over 100 years ago. Big game hunting, fishing the nearby Wood, Greybull, and Shoshone rivers, pack trips into the spectacular country that lies south of Yellowstone Park, and all of the tourist-based amenities of Cody itself.
Each operator is going to approach a ranch like this differently. With over 1,000 acres of quality irrigated cropland, one has the choice of concentrating on crops or concentrating on grazing livestock, or some combination thereof. The current operators have successfully run a cow/calf operation with a base herd of 350 mother cows, plus 500 yearling stockers with gains of three pounds a day. Currently, the sellers are cutting about 700 acres of first cutting hay and grazing the remaining acreage and the second growth. This first cutting harvest is putting up 1,000+ tons of mostly grass and some grass/alfalfa hay at a rate of one to one-and-a-half ton per acre. They’ve opted to graze the second growth, saving fuel and wear and tear of equipment, as there are no additional hay needs requiring the harvest of the second cutting. An operator could successfully harvest the second growth, adjust the operation some, and have hay to sell as a cash crop.
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