The diverse ecosystem of alpine mountains, valleys and grassy creek bottoms offer prime habitat for a variety of Rocky Mountain wildlife including an abundance of elk, mule and whitetail deer, antelope, moose, bear, mountain lion and an occasional wolf moving through the area. A large percentage of Montana’s moose population reside in the Big Hole Valley, and many call the Ranch home throughout the winter taking advantage of the abundant water and willows.
As The Montana Handbook aptly describes:
“Dillon is an authentic old trade town that has managed to endure the recent economic malaise of the agricultural West without facing extinction or resorting to survival as a self-parody for tourists. Filled with historic architecture but kept young by the presence of students at Western Montana College, blessed with fine restaurants, and faithful to the old bars that – then as now – have consoled cowboys, sheepherders, and miners, Dillon is one Montana’s most bewitching small cities.”
For big-city amenities such as Costco, a higher quality hospital or trauma center, or greater shopping and entertainment venues, Missoula, Helena, and Bozeman are all within a three-hour drive.
Located five miles northeast of Dillon is the Dillon Airport (DLN), which covers 202 acres at an elevation of 5,241 feet, and has two asphalt runways. 17/35 is 6,500 by 75 feet and 4/22 is 3,599 by 60 feet. The closest commercial airport, Bert Mooney Airport (BTM) located just south of Butte, is about one hour and 45 minutes from the Ranch. Commercial carriers include Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines. This airport also provides a full-service FBO at Butte Aviation for private aircraft.
Beaverhead County School District operates six rural kindergarten-to-eighth-grade schools, one of which is located right in Jackson. This high-quality elementary educational system continues at Beaverhead County High School in Dillon – a Class “A” school with an enrollment of just under 300 students – which offers a wide variety of academic, athletic, and extracurricular activities.
Approximate distances to other area cities and towns from the headquarters of JY Bagby Ranch are as follows:
Idaho Falls, ID
|Acres of Native Pasture
Acres of Forest/Recreation
Acres of Irrigated/Sub Pasture
Early spring work includes budgeting, equipment maintenance, ditch cleaning, gathering fencing materials, and pre-planning for the summer and arrival of the cattle once the snow clears from the winter months.
Currently, the Ranch winters approximately 500 head of mother cows off the Ranch until around mid-May, when pairs arrive back at the Ranch. In a typical year, the grass comes into the Big Hole Valley in mid-June. Therefore, with the cattle arriving in mid-May, cattle are fed hay until the range is ready and the grass is established. This practice maintains healthy forage production and sustains the resource later into the fall.
Historically bulls have been put in with the cows on June 1st with the target of a March 10th calving date the following spring. The herd is split into two groups that are rotated throughout the Ranch pastures. Typically, cattle spend no more than 10 days in a pasture before they are moved to fresh grass – again, with the goal of maintaining healthy forage production throughout the growing season and “banking” grass for the fall months.
The United States Forest Service Grazing Permit allows for 300 pairs to graze from July 20th to October 15th. Currently, the Ranch brings the cattle off the Permit on October 1st – in turn, by doing this, the USFS has allowed the Ranch to run an additional number of cattle on the Permit due to it being utilized for a shorter grazing period.
Currently, in addition to the 500 pairs the owner runs on the Ranch and the USFS Grazing Permit, they take on approximately 500 lease cattle as well. It is estimated that between the USFS Permit and the deeded acreage, the Ranch can summer 1,000 pairs.
The Permit is private – the Ranch does not share this grazing Allotment with any other Permittees. The Permit was recently renewed with the USFS for an additional ten years.
In a discussion with the Ranch Manager, if a new owner were to consider running yearling cattle versus a cow-calf model, he estimates that the Ranch could comfortably carry about 1,700 head. However, it is the Ranch Manager’s opinion that the Grazing Permit is more suitable to run pairs versus yearlings and run the yearling cattle on the deeded acreage. The Ranch is currently grazed conservatively – increased carrying capacity may be achieved with additional pasture fencing.
Since 2019, the Ranch has constructed five and a half miles of new jack-leg and worm fencing. Also, consistent with Big Hole Valley tradition, a “worm” fence was constructed lining the Ranch entrance as well as along a portion of the Ranch’s southern border with the USFS. Virtually all interior fence lines are jack-rail construction. Fencing both the perimeter and interior of the Ranch has been a priority for the owner and Ranch management.
The timber on the Ranch has been extensively managed – dead fall removed, older timber harvested and any disturbed ground cleaned and re-seeded with mountain brome, slender wheat grass, western wheat grass, orchard grass, Nevada blue grass, and an annual rye grass. These management efforts have generated a healthy forest and additional grazing acres.
About 1,600 acres of the Ranch have been identified through soil surveys as “high production soil”. Of that, around 800 to 950 acres are fertilized per year as set by production goals with 188 lbs/acre of a Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Sulphur-Pot-Ash mix purchased from Lakeland.
United States Forest Service Grazing
Permit No. 20104 Monument C&H Allotment
Equipment Storage Facility
Newly constructed with continuous steel-pipe construction throughout, the corral facility will comfortably process 700 to 1,000 head of cattle. With easy access off of the graveled county road, there is plenty of room for cattle trucks to easily swing into the facility to load and unload. Sorting cattle is easily accomplished with a number of smaller holding pens located off of the main alley that runs the length of the facility. Three large holding pens are served by well-fed waterers allowing for space to hold cattle for extended periods of time. The Silencer Chute is covered, lit with LED lights and is fed by a well-designed Bud Box and alley system. A set of 10′ x 20′ 20,000 lbs capacity Rice Lake scales is also integrated into the corral system.
According to the DNRC, JY Bagby Ranch has 33 water rights including 11 irrigation water rights, 17 stock rights and 3 domestic water rights
Irrigation water is typically turned on to the ditches in early May, depending on the timing of the snow melt. Miner Creek water rights irrigate the north/northwest end of the Ranch and is a good consistent flow of irrigation water. Englejard Creek water is utilized to irrigate the central core and the western end of the Ranch. Hamby Creek water is diverted to irrigate the southern end of the Ranch. Though Hamby Creek does not flow through the Ranch, the Ranch controls two higher-priority diversion points out of the creek – the upper and lower diversions. Hamby Creek water can be diverted into Englejard Creek to supplement irrigation in the core of the Ranch or it can be utilized exclusively to irrigate the meadows on the southern end of the Ranch.
The Seller will convey with the Ranch 100% of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geo-thermal, hydro-carbon and gravel rights it actually owns, 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.
OFFERING PRICE and CONDITIONS OF SALE
- All offers to purchase must be in writing and accompanied by an earnest money deposit check in the amount of 3.00% of the Purchaser’s offering price;
- Each offer must also be accompanied with the name and telephone number of the Purchaser’s private banker to assist the Sellers and their agents in ascertaining the Purchaser’s financial ability to consummate a purchase;
- All Purchasers must demonstrate to the Seller’s satisfaction unquestioned financial capability to purchase the Ranch prior to scheduling an inspection;
- Earnest money deposits will be placed in escrow with First American Title Company of Dillon, Montana;
- The Sellers 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 via a deed;
- All of the Ranch’s water rights will be transferred to the Purchaser and all of the mineral rights which the Sellers actually own will be conveyed to the Purchaser at Closing.
- Buyers’ Brokers are welcome and cordially invited to contact Listing Broker Mike Swan, for information regarding Cooperation Policies and Commission Splits.
This entire Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change, or withdrawal without notice and approval of purchase by the Seller. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, crop yields, potential profits, etc., is intended only as general guidelines and has 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.