Skip to content
Swan Land Properties
Productive and Blocked-Up Grass Ranch
Custer & Rosebud Counties


  • Miles City, Montana

  • 8,200 Total

  • $3,900,000

Leidholt Ranch is a low-overhead cattle operation in the famed eastern Montana grasslands with functional working improvements and a pivot-irrigated hay base along the nearby Tongue River.  The Ranch is home to several species of big game and offers solid hunting opportunities for deer, antelope and elk, with trophy bull elk regularly harvested in the region.  Leidholt Ranch is located about 40 miles south of Miles City in the famed and historic eastern Montana cattle country created by the Tongue River drainage.  The Ranch encompasses 7,720± deeded pasture and mixed upland acres, a BLM grazing lease on a land-locked 160±-acre parcel and a private lease on 320± adjoining acres making a very well-blocked and contiguous 8,200± total acre Ranch. In addition, the Ranch offers a 160± acre parcel a few miles away along the Tongue River that includes a 110± acre center pivot with excellent water rights out of the Tongue River.
The Ranch is currently transitioning through an estate ownership and both the farming and grazing have been leased out for the past several years.  The owners and leasehold management have worked diligently for many years to improve the stock-water network and pastures to create an efficient and low-overhead ranch operation with modest, yet functional improvements.  The improvements are well matched and comfortable for seasonal use as a hunting cabin or base camp for a calving operation, but will likely need improvement for year-round living.  The working corrals are primarily steel-pipe construction and handle the demands of the commercial cattle operation effectively.  There is a metal calving barn and an efficient network of sorting pens and corrals. This set of working improvements will comfortably handle the Ranch cattle herd when required.  A well-designed pasture network is used on a rotational basis to provide flexibility to utilize and optimize the primary ranch resource – grass.  The productive irrigated field is planted in alfalfa hay and grass and has historically generated about 4 tons per acre on two cuttings.
The diligent effort put forth by the owners and management has created an efficient and well-run cow-calf cattle operation that runs an estimated 250± AUs on the solid hard-grass pastures year round, with supplemental winter feed.
While the Ranch is currently grazed seasonally by a lessee and the pivot-irrigated hay base is leased to another lessee, the new owner will have the opportunity to use the entire Ranch and create the necessary feed base for a year-round operation that includes winter feeding and calving.
While Leidholt Ranch will always be a low-overhead commercial cattle operation at its core, the hunting and recreation attributes are not to be overlooked.  With frontage on about 1/2 mile of the Tongue River meandering through the lower portion of the Ranch, the fishing for a wide variety of species is very good and combines with big-game hunting for deer, antelope and turkey that will interest outdoor enthusiasts.
Well-balanced ranch operations that are well blocked up are becoming difficult to find and are a premium in today’s market.  Leidholt Ranch will check all the boxes for buyers looking for a very productive and blocked-up agricultural operation that is supplemented by great recreation attributes, solid working facilities, and modest, but functional and livable improvements.

Leidholt Ranch is accessible year-round on well-maintained county roads coming from both the north and south.  Miles City is located about 40 miles north of the Ranch using Moon Creek Road, which is primarily gravel, and 47 miles via Tongue River Road, which is primarily paved. Ashland is located about 40 miles south using the Tongue River Road. While the Ranch itself feels remote with few visible neighbors, the proximity to services with convenient and consistent road access adds to the functionality of the operation.

Miles City, the county seat of Custer County, is a regional hub of commerce and medical services with a population of just over 8,000, but a trade area servicing over double that population.  Miles City provides all of the basic services and is home to many restaurants, bars, breweries, churches, museums, and a progressive business community. The historic and classic Main Street accurately portrays the balanced and healthy Montana lifestyle that Miles City has to offer.  An excellent school system, the Pre-K through 12th-grade public schools offer quality public education with experienced teachers and good parent involvement.  The high school is categorized as a Class A school and provides a great learning environment and competitive interscholastic athletic programs that are always very competitive in a variety of boys’ and girls’ sports.The Ranch is within two hours of the largest commercial airport in Montana.  Billings Logan International Airport is home to Allegiant, Alaska, Delta, Cape Air, and United Airlines and offers year-round direct flights to Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, with seasonal direct flights to Chicago and Los Angeles.  For private aircraft, fuel service is available at the Miles City Airport – Frank Wiley Field – located two miles north of Miles City.  The 1,640-acre airport, which sits at an elevation of 2,630 feet, has two 5,600+ foot asphalt runways that are in good condition.  The airport is suitable for a wide range of private aircraft and includes fuel service. Additional information is available on their website

Approximate driving distances from Leidholt Ranch to other Montana cities are:
Miles City, MT – via Moon Creek Road
Miles City, MT – via Tongue River Road
Ashland, MT
Sheridan, WY
Billings, MT

40 miles
47 miles
40 miles
140 miles
160 miles



The Ranch encompasses 7,720± deeded pasture and mixed upland acres, a BLM grazing lease on a landlocked 160±-acre parcel, and a private lease on 320± adjoining acres making a very well-blocked 8,200±, total acre Ranch.  The Ranch acreage includes a 160± acre parcel a few miles away along the Tongue River that has a 110-acre center pivot with excellent water rights out of the Tongue River.

The total 7,720 ± deeded acreage of Leidholt Ranch is generally classified as follows:
 Acres under Center Pivot Irrigation
Acres Tongue River Pasture
Acres of Native Range and Pasture

Leidholt Ranch has been leased for the past several years but is estimated by the Sellers to carry about 250± Animal Units on an annual basis.  Typically, ranchers in this area feed between one to two tons of hay per cow from late December to mid-May – contingent on the severity of the winter and operational timing, with weaning and shipping typically done in October or November.

Historically, during the winter months pairs are moved into pastures surrounding the improvements and supplied with supplemental feed.  They are then moved into early spring pasture and then to summer pasture in the higher portion of the Ranch and the leased ground until late fall when they are brought down.

Improving stock water has been a focus of the current owners and they have created a reliable and diverse round stock-water network that fills with a combination of surface, spring, and stock wells.  This stock-water network allows multiple pastures to be used on a year-round basis and provides operational flexibility.

Irrigation water for the Ranch is provided by the Tongue River, and the Ranch has 100 shares in the Tongue River Water User Association.  Tongue River water is pumped directly from the river using a floating pump station.  Leidholt Ranch has well-established water rights dating back to 1866.

The elevation gain on the upper portion of Leidholt Ranch is approximately 300 feet with the highest points about 3,200 feet above sea level on the northern and southern portions of the Ranch, and the lowest point about 2,900 in the valley that runs in between.  The elevation of the 160-acre parcel that is not contiguous along the Tongue River is about 2,700 feet.
The average annual precipitation is about 13 inches, with the majority coming in the spring months as rain.  Typical annual total snowfall is about 29 inches.  Average maximum temperatures in July and August range from 85° to 90° Fahrenheit with temperatures dropping into the low 60s at night.  In December, January and February average daytime temperatures are between 30° and 35° Fahrenheit with minimum temperatures between 9° and 17° Fahrenheit.  This is an area that receives a good amount of sunshine throughout the year with typical winters offering a lot of open country for grazing.

The Sellers hereby make known that there may be variations between the deeded property lines and the location of the existing fence boundary lines on Leidholt Ranch.  The Sellers make no warranties with regard to the location of the fence lines in relationship to the deeded property lines, nor do the Sellers make any warranties or representations with regard to specific acreage within the fenced property lines.
The Sellers are selling Leidholt Ranch in its “as is-where is” condition which includes the location of the fences as they now exist.  Boundaries shown on any accompanying maps are approximate.  The maps are not to scale and are for visual aid only.  The accuracy of the maps and information portrayed thereon is not guaranteed nor warranted.

The Ranch is not overly improved and allows a new owner to invest capital into the land itself and not into excessive improvements.  The buildings are all in functional and operational condition, but modest in scope and have some deferred maintenance.  The fencing and stock water network have been part of an ongoing and active maintenance and improvement program and appear to be in good condition.  There are two locations on the Ranch that have working improvements and an old homestead in the southwest corner of the Ranch that is not operational and is a throwback to years gone by.


The Ranch Compound is located in a very private and beautiful setting along the red bluffs that frame the north portion of the Ranch.  The compound includes the ranch home, historic horse barn, metal pole barn with calving jugs and head-catch, and a set of steel-pipe corrals.

Ranch House

The one-bedroom, one-bathroom house has a full kitchen, dining area, living room with a wood fireplace, and two small sleeping lofts.  There is a deck that wraps around the house to the south and an unfinished lower level that has been utilized for storage.  It is modest in scope with some deferred maintenance but has been suitable for its use as a hunting cabin or base for night calving. It would likely need to be updated to be utilized as a full-time residence.

Steel Pipe Corrals

The Ranch compound includes a well-built set of pipe corrals with several pens and alleys for sorting cows, year-round stock water, and a loading chute.

Historic Horse Barn

The horse barn is located on the west side of the corrals below the house and has been on the Ranch for many decades.  It has a wood floor, feed bunks, a tack room, and a hay loft.  Although historic in nature and not used for animals currently, it remains in working condition and is a constant reminder of the work and passion for the Ranch from previous generations.

Metal Pole Barn

There is an open 24′ x 60′ pole-barn style metal building that has a few calving jugs and a manual head catch.


Located at the entrance of the Ranch off Moon Creek Road, this metal building has a footprint of approximately 60′ x 120′.  The center section of the calving barn is an open 36′ x 120′ area with roll-up door access on both ends, which has worked well for a variety of uses including equipment storage.  There is a 12′ shed roof along the full length of both sides of the barn with two fully enclosed 12′ x 24′ rooms with concrete floors on either side and calving jugs along the remainder of both walls.  One of the interior rooms is heated and has been utilized as a warming/vet/break room and includes plumbing with hot water, compressor, and refrigerator.  The other interior room has a roll-up door and has been used primarily as garage storage.  There is a set of steel-pipe working corrals with a head catch and loading ramp along the east side of the barn.

According to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Leidholt Ranch owns a total of 22 water rights.  For additional information regarding the Leiholt Ranch water rights, please download the offering brochure or contact the Swan Land Company Bozeman Office at 406.522.7342.

The Ranch has 100 shares in the Tongue River Water Users Association, which historically has been very reliable with the Tongue River Reservoir upstream regulating flow.  These water rights are used on the 110-acre pivot located along the river.

The Sellers will convey with the Ranch 100% of whatever mineral, oil, gas, geo-thermal, hydro-carbon and gravel rights they actually own, subject to reservations by previous owners and conservation easement restrictions.  The Sellers make no representation as to the quantity or quality of any mineral or other sub-surface rights appurtenant to the Ranch.

Electricity is provided through Tongue River Electric Cooperative based in Ashland.  Electrical payments for the improvements historically have run approximately $1,260 on an annual basis.  Electrical costs for the wells, which are paid for by the grazing lessee, run approximately $1,639 annually.  Telephone service is provided via Range Telephone Cooperative based in Forsyth.  Tongue River Water User Association dues for 2018 were $600 for the year.  Propane can be refilled with several providers in Miles City or Ashland.  Internet is available via satellite, and cell phone coverage in the area is limited, but Verizon service is available from several locations on the Ranch.

The real estate taxes in Rosebud and Custer Counties for 2018 were approximately $4,402.44.

The Ranch topography with grassy meadows that transition into ridge lines with scattered timber create excellent habitat for big-game hunting with either a rifle or archery equipment.  There are multiple herds of antelope, mule deer and white-tailed deer on the Ranch, and elk sightings have become more frequent in recent years.  The elk genetics in this part of the state are well known to trophy hunters as many bulls over 400″ have been harvested in the region.  The Ranch is also home to several groups of turkeys and a couple of prairie dog colonies, which both create an excellent hunting quarry and expand the season for hunters and shooters beyond the traditional fall months.

The Tongue River borders the lower portion of the Ranch for about half a mile and offers immediate access to the river with good fishing for a wide variety of warm-water species including smallmouth bass, carp, catfish, bluegill, and the occasional walleye and trout.  The river also creates an excellent riparian habitat for white-tail deer, upland birds, and waterfowl that frequent the lower portion of the Ranch.

In addition to the hunting and fishing available on the Ranch, the surrounding Tongue River Drainage offers an abundance of recreational opportunities including trophy elk hunting and fishing on the Tongue River Reservoir.  The Reservoir is a highly regarded regional fishery for a variety of species including bass, walleye, pike, sauger, and trout.  While the majority of the Tongue River is considered a warm-water fishery, there is a cold-water stretch below the dam that extends for about 10 miles and is home to native brown trout and stocked rainbow trout.

There are several annual events that take place in Miles City including the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.  Miles City is known as the rodeo capital of the world, and on the 3rd weekend in May over 10,000 cowboys and onlookers gather to attend the three-day event.  Also popular are the Ryno-Palooza Music Festival & BBQ Cook-Off in June, the 4th of July Independence Day Celebration, the Eastern Montana Fair in August, the Bluegrass Festival in September, and the Christmas Stroll.  There are several parks including Riverside Park where the Weekly Farmers Market is held mid-May through October, and the Natural Oasis Swimming Pool which is open June through August.  Hiking, biking, and recreating are also popular at the Strawberry Recreation Area, The Yellowstone Jewel, Spotted Eagle, and Pirogue Island.  Miles City Town & Country Club offers a 72 par, 6,590-yard nine-hole golf course which was designed by Herb Hash.  To explore the history of the area there are two museums.  Range Rider’s Museum includes exhibits that range from dinosaurs, Native Americans, pioneers of the area, and soldiers including General Custer and General Miles.  For more information regarding recreation in the area take a look at the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce website.

Sitting at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Tongue Rivers is Miles City – an area rich in history.  Years before the town was founded, the area was frequented by Indian tribes, fur traders, and explorers.  In 1806, Captain William Clark camped on the Tongue River, near current Miles City.  But it was not until 1876, with the devastating ending of Battle of Little Bighorn, that the influx of soldiers arrived at the nearby Fort Keogh, and necessitated the opening of saloons, dance halls, boarding houses, and stores.  In 1881, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived, which provided direct shipping to the east.  Ranchers herded their cattle from as far away as Texas to take advantage of the wide-open grazing lands to fatten their stock before utilizing the railroad for transportation to eastern packing plants.  In 1887, Miles City, named after General Nelson A. Miles, became incorporated.  The rapid expansion of Miles City continued until the 1930s when the newly forming town of Billings began to overshadow Miles City and its population growth began to taper off.  Although the Miles City Roundup began in 1914, it was not until 1951 that the event became the Bucking Horse Sale.  Historically a cattle sale, it was this year that 35 bucking horses were delivered along with the purchased steers.  Hence the beginning of the now world-famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.

Blocked-up and well-watered cattle operations in the historic Tongue River hard grass country of Eastern Montana are sought after, and when the productivity is combined with hunting, fishing, and recreation, it creates a compelling offering.  Leidholt Ranch owners have worked diligently for many years to improve the irrigation, pasture fencing, and stock-water network to optimize the efficiency of the Ranch.  This effort has resulted in a nicely balanced low-overhead grass ranch without excessive improvements that don’t return capital.

Those who have tracked ranch values in Eastern Montana for the past several years will find the Ranch’s offering price to be very competitive in today’s market.  The Ranch is a must-see for producers looking for good hard grass, stock water, and recreation in one of Eastern Montana’s classic ranching regions.


Leidholt Ranch, as previously described herein, is offered at US $3,900,000.00 Cash or Terms acceptable solely at the discretion of the Sellers.  As of June 2019, 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 American Title Company in Miles City and Forsyth;
  2. Earnest money deposits will be placed in escrow with First American Title Company in Miles City and Forsyth;
  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 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 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 Sellers actually own will be conveyed to the Buyer at Closing;
  6. Buyers’ Brokers are welcome and invited to contact listing broker Tim Anderson in our Bozeman Office for information regarding Cooperation Policies.
The Sellers reserve 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 Sellers or Swan Land Company.  Prospective Buyers should verify all information to their sole and complete satisfaction.
A 48-hour notice is requested to make proper arrangements for an inspection of Leidholt Ranch.
Swan Land Company has been authorized by the Seller to act as their Exclusive Real Estate Broker on the sale of Leidholt Ranch.  Since 2002, we have focused on the brokerage of significant ranches, farms and recreational properties throughout the Rocky Mountain West.
This Offering is based on information believed to be correct; however, it is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale and change or withdrawal without notice.  Information contained herein has been provided by the Sellers or obtained from other sources deemed reliable.  The Agent does not, however, guarantee accuracy and recommends that any Prospective Buyer conduct an independent investigation.
Please submit your email to receive access to media downloads.
Ctrl+Click to select multiple
Ctrl+Click to select multiple
Follow Up with Me:
Timothy Anderson
With over two decades of experience in real estate and a background in science and technology, I’ve been honored to serve and represent some of Montana’s finest farm, ranch, and recreational properties. Before my time with Swan, I co-founded Montana Real Estate Co. with my wife, where we guided the successful sales effort for Moonlight ...
Meet the Broker
Swan Land Broker, Tim Anderson

Suggested Properties
Crazy P Ranch
  • Buffalo, WY
  • Johnson County

  • 1,749 Total
  • $18,500,000

Acreage | Ag Improvements | Big Game | Custom Home | Equestrian Center | Fishing | Horse Property | House with Acreage

Bar MZ Ranch
  • Norris, MT
  • Madison County

  • 1,800 Deeded
  • $12,250,000

Big Game | Cattle Ranch | Garden | Grazing Land | Historic | House with Acreage | Hunting | Lease Potential | Live Water | Mountain View | Recreational | Venue

New Listing
Crazy Woman Water
  • Buffalo, WY
  • Johnson County

  • 76 Deeded
  • $12,000,000

Facilities | Investment | Live Water | ROI | Water Rights

McGuire Spring Creek Ranch
  • White Sulphur Springs, MT
  • Meagher County

  • 3,843 Deeded
  • $9,950,000

Acreage | Cattle Ranch | Conservation Potential | Fishing | Grazing Land | Hunting | Live Water | Ranch