A rare opportunity to own a recreational and agricultural legacy operated by a single family for five generations, the 35,981± total-acre large-production ranch has come to the market for the first time in over 100 years.
Swan Land Company Announces The Listing of Montana’s Historic Camas Creek Cattle and Sheep Company
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 14, 2023
Swan Land Company of Bozeman, Montana announces the listing of Camas Creek Cattle and Sheep Company, a 35,981± total acre historical ranch operation that has not been offered to the market in over 100 years. For sale for $58,750,000 the property is located in a stunning central Montana valley between the Little and Big Belt Mountain ranges at the headwaters of the famed Smith River, within a 15-minute drive of White Sulphur Springs, and under two hours from Bozeman, Helena, and Livingston. The Doggett family, which traces its Montana roots to the 1860s, has run the ranch, which was established in 1917, for five generations.
Situated in a classic central Montana setting, featuring an open valley rimmed with distant mountain peaks, the live water of Camas Creek flows through the heart of the ranch for over 7.5 miles, creating a tree-filled riparian corridor of 1,200 acres of native grass rich with wildlife. The ranch also includes a number of smaller creeks and two reservoirs, Doggett and Ayers, 30 and 20 acres in size, respectively. It was this setting that was memorialized in Montana author Ivan Doig’s famed 1978 book “This House of Sky” which captures his childhood on the ranch, where his father ran sheep.
The Doggett Family, who traces their Montana roots back to the 1860s, currently owns and operates Camas Creek Cattle and Sheep Company as an active cattle operation, running approximately 1,800 head of cattle. Moses Doggett, who was born in Kentucky in 1829, and his wife Susan Rose, came to Virginia City, MT on August 30, 1863, where they had their son, Jefferson Davis Doggett–the first white male child to be born in what is now the state of Montana. The Doggetts made a living mining and producing food for miners in the area. After several years of running packs of mules supplying goods to miners, Jefferson assembled various parcels of land on both sides of the Big Belt Mountain ranges and by the early 1900s had a sizable number of sheep. Jefferson’s son Howard saw the ranch through the Great Depression, formally organizing Camas Creek Cattle and Sheep Company in 1948 which was then run jointly by his twin sons, Jeff and Bill Doggett who switched from running primarily sheep to cattle in the 1960s. The management of the ranch was eventually turned over to Jeff’s son, Jock and his wife Jamie, who currently run the ranch.
“A ranch of this size, scope, and condition is rarely offered on today’s market,” said Mike Swan, owner and managing broker at Swan Land Company. “The Doggett family has been an incredible steward of this land for multiple generations. At every turn, this property showcases their hard work, grit, commitment, and love for the place. We are honored to represent the Doggett Family in this process and to list this pristine part of Montana’s legacy ranching history. The Doggetts have been a pillar of the Montana ranching community and the community of White Sulphur Springs for decades.”
The ranch is divided into three distinct units.
(1) The Headquarters Unit (8,777± total acres, 8,617± deed acres), Camas Creek, an excellent small stream fishery, flows through the central hub of the ranch for over 7.5 miles. A conservation easement is held by Montana Land Reliance on 4,272± acres along the Camas Creek riparian corridor; this stretch of land represents about 50% of the Headquarters Unit. The intent of the seller is to prevent commercial development and maintain the pristine nature of this ecosystem.
(2) The Democrat Unit (4,189± acres): containing steep hillsides, timbered ridges, and a lush valley floor which is productive for summer grazing, this unit has significant opportunities to hunt elk, grouse, and mule deer and is surrounded by US National Forest on three sides.
(3) The Clear Range Unit (23,015± total; 16,352± deeded): located in the foothills between the Big and Little Belt Mountains, with Beaver Creek–a nice small stream fishery–running from west to east before joining the Smith River about half a mile east of the Clear Range Unit. This extremely private setting with no public access and only two large historic ranches as neighbors provides productive summer pasture and big game hunting.
The ranch has 3 residences and several outbuildings, barns, and other buildings used for ranching operations, including the following:
(1) White House: Built in 1917 as the original ranch house; situated alongside Camas Creek with a canopy of mature cottonwood trees providing a classic farmhouse setting, the modernized home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
(2) Mom’s House: Located on a bluff overlooking Camas Creek, this became the Doggett family home after its completion in 1958. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch-style home has a three-car garage and open concept floor plan. Mature landscaping and an expansive lawn overlooking Elk and Camas Creek give this site great potential.
(3) Yellow House: Erected in 1896, this renovated home is the primary residence of the current owners who have extensively remodeled the home to include large windows, an open floor plan, and a new kitchen. There is a detached barn structure with full concrete flooring that has been primarily used for parties and large gatherings. This is the house recalled as the Camas House in the book “This House of Sky” by Ivan Doig, who grew up in its four walls.
(4) Additional buildings: Old Granary, Scale House, Grain Bin, Metal Shop/Storage, Main Ranch Shop, Old Shop, Ranch Office and Bunk House, Calving Barns–please inquire for a full description of these buildings.
The ranch sells up to 25 big-game hunts per year to archery and rifle hunters. Cow elk, mule deer, white-tail deer, upland game birds, and waterfowl hunting are also abundant on the ranch. For more detailed information regarding the cattle operation and hunting operations, which are currently leased to Avalanche Basin Outfitters based in White Sulphur Springs, please contact Swan Land Company.
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ABOUT SWAN LAND COMPANY:
Swan Land Company is a boutique real estate company specializing in ranches, farms, and recreational properties in the Rocky Mountain West. With agents serving Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska, Swan Land Company has built a solid reputation as masters of the mechanics of real estate, with the ability to simplify complex, multilayered transactions for their clients. This boutique approach to real estate focuses on forging long-term client relationships and the quality of their listings over quantity. Founded by Mike Swan, Swan Land associates are chosen for their integrity and deep personal and professional backgrounds in the ranching, agriculture, and recreational needs of the communities they serve, allowing them to deliver unparalleled peace of mind from the kitchen table to the closing table.
This approach has allowed Swan Land Company to list, market, and sell some of the Rocky Mountain West’s most iconic and significant properties, including the historically significant cattle empire Climbing Arrow Ranch. This 79,483-acre property was featured in the 1992 movie “A River Runs Through It” and, at the time of Swan’s listing, marketing, and sale, was the most expensive real estate transaction in the history of the state of Montana at $136.25 million. Swan Land Company has also listed and sold the historic Broken O Ranch near Augusta, Montana, an expansive 124,000-acre property that was a previous record holder at $132 million. Several other notable transactions include the listing and sale of the LF Ranch near Augusta, Montana, for $52 million; the listing and sale of the $40 million Lazy J Ranch in Bridger Canyon near Bozeman; and the listing and sale of Jane Fonda’s Forked Lightning Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico, for $19 million.