Premier Elk Hunting

Pompeys Pillar, Montana

  • $10,750,000
  • Approximately 13,415 Total Acres
  • Montana's Famed 590 Hunting District

Encompassing approximately 13,415 total acres, Wagon Box Spring Ranch provides private-archery hunting in one of Montana’s trophy bull elk regions.  The main Ranch is comprised of 9,095± contiguous acres of which 8,455± are deeded with 640 acres of State of Montana lease land.   Situated about thirty minutes north of the main Ranch, the summer grazing unit encompasses 3,680 Bureau of Land Management lease acres and 640 of State of Montana lease land.

The Ranch is comprised of rolling hillsides and timbered draws with healthy stands of ponderosa pine, also referred to as “bull pine” by the locals.  Strategically planted alfalfa fields serpentine along several large plateaus which are framed by the thick pine draws.  Numerous developed springs line the bottoms of these draws, attracting and holding elk in the plethora of wallows that are strewn throughout the Ranch.

Located within a comfortable 30-minute drive northeast of Billings, the Ranch is positioned in Montana’s famed 590 Hunting District.  Managed for wildlife enhancement, the Ranch holds trophy bull elk scoring consistently at and above 345 with confirmed bulls harvested in excess of 380.   Surrounded by large land holdings, the Ranch provides privacy without seclusion.   The 510 acres of dryland alfalfa and improved pasture are typically harvested in late June/early July and produce about one ton of hay per acre.  Typically, mid-summer rains generate good regrowth on these fields. 

Wagon Box Spring Ranch is truly an “end of the road” ranch.  A gated access for the Ranch keeps sightseers and the general public from gaining access into this wildlife haven.  Priced at under $1,280 per deeded acre, Wagon Box Ranch is competitively priced within the Central Montana ranch market.
Much of the Ranch is conserved by a conservation easement with the Montana Land Reliance; details are available upon request.



Wagon Box Springs Ranch is located off Interstate 94 about two miles east of Pompeys Pillar, Montana and about thirty miles northeast of Billings.  The small ranching community of Worden, Montana about 13 miles east of the Ranch, offers a gas station, grocery store as well as a few casual bars and restaurants.  Also in Worden is the Huntley Project School District, home of the Red Devils, serving students living in the surrounding communities of Ballantine, Huntley, and Pompeys Pillar. 

Billings, the largest city in the state, has all of the amenities of “Big City Montana!”  With multiple venues for experiencing live entertainment, the South Park is an excellent way to enjoy the performing arts.  With its charming gazebo, it hosts one of Billings’ largest musical events of the year, The Magic City Blues. The two-day music festival has been going on for over a decade.  Another hotspot is The Historic Babcock Theater. Seating 750, it is one of the original theater houses in Montana and holds live music and theater productions.  The Alberta Bair Theater, which opened in 1931, is the largest fully-equipped theater in the region. With 1,400 seats it showcases a large variety of entertainment.  Also in Billings, ZooMontana, Montana’s only zoo and botanical park, is a 70-acre wildlife park focused on species native to Montana, the Rockies, and other cold temperature habitats at or above the 45th parallel.  It currently supports 100 animals and represents 58 species.

Forty minutes from the Ranch, convenient commercial-air service is provided at Billings Logan International Airport with good connections offered by Allegiant Air, Alaska Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.  Currently, direct flights are available to Denver-CO, Las Vegas-NV, Minneapolis-MN, Phoenix-AZ, Los Angeles-CA and Seattle-WA.  Cape Air offers flights to multiple destinations around Montana.  For up-to-date flight schedules and airport information, please refer to the airport website: www.flybillings.com.   Also located at Billings Logan International Airport is Edwards Jet Center offering a full range of FBO (fixed-based operator) services including fuel, aircraft parking, hangar and maintenance.  Please visit http://www.edwardsjetcenter.com/ for additional services and information.

Approximate distances to other cities and attractions are as follows:

Billings Logan International Airport, MT
Red Lodge Mountain, MT
Sheridan, WY
Cooke City, WY
Bozeman, MT  
Denver, CO   
33 miles
97 miles
139 miles
153 miles
172 miles
543 miles


The elevation of the Ranch ranges from 2,950 at the northwest entrance up to 3,790 feet above sea level at the southeast corner. The parcel located along Interstate 94 sits at an average elevation of about 2,880 feet above sea level.  The BLM leased ground which is located north of the deeded land sits at an average elevation of approximately 3,200 feet above sea level.

The average annual precipitation is approximately 14.17 inches of rainfall and an average annual snowfall of 55 inches.  Naturally these numbers will vary annually. The surrounding mountains, diverse terrain and elevation allow the weather to change rapidly.  The average high temperatures in June, July and August range from 81° to 89° Fahrenheit. In December, January and February, average high temperatures are between 37° and 41°.

Summer average minimum temperatures range from 49° to 54°. Winter average minimum temperatures are typically between 7° and 13°. There is plenty of sunshine with an average of 201 sunny days throughout the year. The average growing season is about 141 days beginning in early May and running through the end of September.


Historically, the Ranch has been lightly utilized grazing about 150 cow/calf pairs on a year-round basis and approximately 300 yearlings over the summer months to manage the grass resource.  For nearly 30 years, the focus of the ranching operation has been to enhance and improve the existing elk habitat.  Wagon Box Spring Ranch has been managed and operated to raise and hold large bull elk.

The 510 acres of dryland alfalfa and improved pasture are typically harvested in late June/early July and produce about one ton of hay per acre.  Typically, mid-summer rains generate good regrowth on these fields.  The fresh new growth on the alfalfa is left untouched through the fall season – a delicacy for the abundant elk herds that migrate to the Ranch before being utilized by the cattle for winter grazing.

Located about 8 miles north of the main Ranch, the Hibbard Creek Grazing Allotment is comprised of about 3,680 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease ground with a section of State of Montana lease land.  This grazing unit is authorized to graze 483 AUMs (Animal Unit Months) from about mid April through early November.


The real estate taxes for 2015 were approximately $8,500.


The Seller will convey with the Ranch 100% of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geo-thermal, hydro-carbon and gravel rights which they actually own, subject to reservations by previous owners. The Seller makes no representation as to the quantity or quality of any mineral or other subsurface rights appurtenant to the Ranch.


Electricity is provided by Yellowstone Valley Power.  Phone service is available via Nemont and internet service is provided by Wild Blue.  Good cell coverage is available on most areas of the Ranch with Verizon Wireless.


Approximately 7,229 acres of the 8,455 total deeded acres within Wagon Box Spring Ranch are encumbered with a Conservation Easement with the Montana Land Reliance.  Please contact our Bozeman Office for the particulars of the conservation easement.


All of the improvements on the Ranch, including interior and perimeter fencing, are fairly well maintained. They appear to be functional and reflect no large future deferred maintenance expenses.


The main residence on the Ranch is ideal as a family home or as a hunting lodge.  Originally built in 1992, the 4,600± square foot log home was remodeled in 2004. With two master suites, two additional bedrooms and five bathrooms, the home comfortably sleeps 12.  The country-style kitchen offers plenty of storage and counter space, and includes an island with a prep sink.  The floor-to-ceiling river-rock fireplace in the great room is a focal point.  With vaulted ceilings, the great room also has a wet bar and opens to a dining area.  Accessed via glass French doors, the master suite located off of the great room, is very private.  It also has a private entrance from the back patio.  The suite offers a full bathroom with a tiled shower, a large walk-in closet and access to the office.  The second master suite located off of the kitchen offers a master bath and walk-in closet. 

The “Bunk House” is the guest and entertainment wing of the house.  A 40’x20’ recreation room has a sitting area, a pool table and a bar – ideal for entertaining.  The gas stove and vaulted ceiling create a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The two bedrooms both have built-in bunk beds, and the upstairs loft area is ideal for kids. 


The log-framed home with shake-shingle siding and a standing-seam steel roof was originally built in 1912.  The comfortable 1,850 square-foot home has had substantial renovations done over the years.  The master bedroom, heated with electric base-board, has a full bathroom with a shower and a walk-in closet.  The two additional bedrooms share a bathroom.  Heated with a wood stove and propane-force air, the large living room leads to the kitchen and breakfast nook.  The home has a mudroom and laundry room as well as a pantry and utility room in the basement.




The main barn and shop is approximately 80' x 22'.  The barn has four stalls, a tack room, a feed storage area with plank flooring as well as a vet room.  The west end of the building which is utilized as a shop has concrete flooring.

The 80' x 50' insulated shop has a concrete floor and steel-seam roof.  The building is heated with propane overhead heat and utilizes three-phase power.  The shop contains a 12' x 12' storage room that doubles as a workout room, an 8' x 12' ammunition re-loading room as well as a 24' x 40' wood-working room with a 12' x 10' roll-up door.  The building is easily accessible through the exterior 14' x 14' roll-up door.

The 24' x 36' storage shed is open to the front and has a concrete floor.  This building does not have power.


The Ranch utilizes a good set of working corrals located off the east end of the barn complete with squeeze chute and 5,000 lb. beam scale.  The riding arena is approximately 200' long, built from steel pipe construction; the viewing stand provides an elevated seating area for guests to take in the evening team roping activities.  This very nicely constructed arena was built in 2015.


The hanger, a 1,200± sf metal structure with large sliding doors, concrete floors and electricity, has been used for housing small private aircraft.  The grass strip which extends to the south out of the hanger is about 2,000 feet in length.


Located between county road and security gate entrance is a 4 acre parcel that includes a two-story, 1,925± sf caretaker’s house with detached 12' x 24' garage has two bedrooms and one full bath.  Constructed in 1924, the house would be an ideal house for seasonal employees or “gate keeper” for the Ranch.


Ten stock wells and thirteen developed springs with stock tanks spread throughout the Ranch provide abundant water for wildlife and livestock alike.  Perennial Sand Creek flows through the heart of the Ranch for about four miles – providing a consistent water source.

All water rights appurtenant to the Ranch will convey.  There are no irrigation water rights, but there are numerous stock rights and a water right associated with the domestic well.  A complete list of water rights is available upon request from our Bozeman Office.

All water rights in Montana are subject to eventual re-adjudication by the Montana Water Court and, as a result of that process, may be changed as to validity, amount, priority date, place of use and other such changes as the Court determines.  The Seller has made all of the filings currently required and will transfer the water rights as they currently stand with no warranty of future viability.


The Ranch offers a unique hunting experience for the avid archery hunter.  On the majority of western ranch properties with premier elk hunting, the predominant hunting experience is attempting to harvest a quality bull out of a large herd.  On Wagon Box Spring Ranch, the elk divide into five or six micro-herds spread across approximately six distinct regions within the Ranch.  These smaller herds typically hold a large herd bull along with three to four younger bulls and a herd of between ten and twenty cows.  The diversity of the Ranch terrain provides opportunities to hunt several of these different herds within the Ranch without disturbing the other groups.  These separate hunting regions within the Ranch allow several groups of hunters to hunt at the same time in very separate areas of the Ranch and without significant disruption.

Large private holdings border the Ranch on all sides providing a buffer around the Ranch perimeter making it difficult to access by the public and thus greatly reducing public hunting pressure.  Rifle bull elk tags for this district are very limited but resident archery elk tags are typically not completely filled.  The hunting pressure on the Ranch has been carefully managed, only allowing one to two quality bulls to be harvested annually providing time for many younger bulls to grow and mature.  This careful management practice over close to three decades has grown a consistent number of trophy caliber bulls.  Mule deer hunting on the Ranch is also very good.


There is something for everyone who likes to be active in the Billings’ metropolitan area with an abundance of opportunities at ones finger tips.

Just south of Billings, the picturesque Rimrocks are geological sandstone formations that outcrop in sections and offer numerous hiking and biking trails with scenic outlooks. At the top of the Rims, Zimmerman Park has dozens of hiking trails, rock climbing options and picnicking benches.  Swords Park has a series of asphalt walking and biking paths that meander across the Rims and offer spectacular valley views. Just east of Billings, the Four Dances area occupies a plateau with trails and benches and the locally famous Sacrifice Cliff. 

The lower Yellowstone River, which is very big downstream from Billings flows towards the North Dakota border and is a living gem. The cliffs along the river teamed with the bordering cottonwood trees transition into the sweeping views of the prairie. When the flow tapers off in late summer the Lower Yellowstone receives light fishing pressure and restricted wade fishing is permitted. With numerous fishing-access spots for anglers, this section of the river rarely is overcome by boaters.  Float trips on this portion can be with minimal obstacles and offer a good chance to enjoy a sizable portion of the river in solitude.

With nine golf courses, both private and public, golfers of varying abilities will discover a wide range of opportunities in Billings and the surrounding area. Yellowstone Country Club, located under the Rimrocks, offers a grand view of the snow-capped Beartooth Mountains while boasting full clubhouse facilities, tennis court and pool. The Briarwood Golf course, recognized by Golf Digest as the #1 course in Montana is a mature, 18-hole championship golf course that offers scenic views of the city on rolling hills, creek bottoms and open rangelands.

Pristine skiing is located at Red Lodge Mountain. With its small-town demeanor, the ski area showboats its “no wait” lift lines. The mountain contains 6 lifts, 65 trails and 60 acres of gladed tree skiing. The average snowfall is 250” with an average temperature at 31 degree F.  Red Lodge Mountain stays active year round with plenty of activity on the 18-hole golf course in the summer months.


Located about two miles from the Ranch, Pompeys Pillar National Monument is a sandstone outcropping which overlooks the Yellowstone River.  With a base of about one acre and standing 150 feet tall, the prominent pillar features an abundance of Native American petroglyphs, initials of early pioneers, as well as the signature of the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Captain William Clark. Clark’s inscription is the only remaining physical evidence found along the route that was followed by the expedition.  Clark named the formation Pomp’s Tower, after the son of Sacagawea, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau whose nickname was Pompey. 

Clark Days, which coincide with the anniversary of Clark’s visit to the area, are held each year at Pompeys Pillar on either the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August.  The event includes presentations, demonstrations, interpretive programs and nature walks.  In addition, this is the one night of the year that camping is allowed at the National Monument.


Unique to Wagon Box Spring Ranch are elk, which many locals refer to as “a generational herd”, that thrive on this undisturbed landscape.  The consistent management practices that have been in place for nearly thirty years have aided in drawing and holding generations of the same Bull Mountain elk herd to the Ranch. 

It is a rare offering that provides over 8,455 contiguous deeded acres behind a private gated entry.  Wagon Box Spring Ranch will render to its next owner privacy and safety without seclusion from Montana’s thriving business center -- Billings.  The low overhead and lack of overdone improvements make the Ranch straightforward to own and operate – simplifying the ownership experience.


Wagon Box Spring Ranch, as previously described herein, is offered at US $10,750,000.00 Cash or Terms acceptable solely at the discretion of the Seller.  The conditions of sale are as follows:

  1. All offers to purchase or letters of intent must be in writing and accompanied by a wire transfer of 5.0% of the purchase price to the escrow account at First Montana Title in Billings, Montana;
  2. Earnest money deposits will be placed in escrow with First Montana Title;
  3. All Prospective Buyers must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Seller absolute financial capability to purchase the Ranch prior to scheduling an inspection of the Ranch;
  4. The Seller will provide and pay for a standard owner’s title insurance policy.  Any endorsements requested by the Buyer or any lender will be at Buyer’s expense.  Title to the real property will be conveyed by a deed;
  5. All of the water right claims controlled by the Ranch will be transferred to the Buyer at Closing, and all of the mineral rights which the Seller actually owns will be conveyed to the Buyer at Closing;
  6. Buyers’ Brokers are welcomed and invited to contact Mike Swan in our Bozeman Office for information regarding Cooperation Policies.

The Seller reserves the right to effect a tax-deferred exchange for other real property in accordance with provisions in Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Buyer will not be required to incur any additional expenses nor to step into the chain of title on any property which the Seller may acquire.

This entire Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by the Sellers.  Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, crop yields, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been obtained from sources deemed reliable; however, accuracy is not warranted or guaranteed by the Seller or Swan Land Company.  Prospective Buyers should verify all information to their sole and complete satisfaction.

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