Castle Rock Ranch

Castle Rock Ranch |  $11,799,000  | Stacey, MT

8,896+/- acres in total, comprising 7,136+/- deeded acres, 1,120 acres of Montana State lease land, and a private lease of 640 acres. Of the deeded acres, 96 acres are irrigated with a pivot, while 400 acres consist of dryland alfalfa and grass hay. In 2023, an additional 700 acres were planted with hay barley, including the 96-acre pivot. Furthermore, 100 acres were fallowed in the same year. The 96-acre pivot, planted with hay barley in 2022, yielded an impressive 4 tons per acre. Water is supplied by Little Pumpkin Creek. The 20-year-old Reinke pivot receives water from a 25-horsepower electric pump. Remarkably, the pivot field has also produced 25 tons per acre of corn silage. The 300+/- acres of dryland alfalfa hay, aged 4 to 8 years, consistently produces 2 to 2 ½ tons per acre with 2 cuttings. The 100 acres of dryland tame grass hay typically yields 1 to 1 ½ tons per acre. The remaining 700 acres of dryland crop ground are typically planted with hay barley and produce 1 ½ – 2 ½ tons per acre. The pivot and crop ground alone yielded an impressive 2,000 round bales of hay barley, weighing between 1,600 to 1,900 pounds, in 2023. Presently, the owner manages 400 mother cows, although historically, the ranch has accommodated 450 cows. Calving begins at the end of March, and calves are retained until May, with an average steer weight of 940 pounds at shipping. Notably, the current owner has never been forced to sell cattle due to drought in the 25 years of ownership. The ranch boasts a 1,500-head feedlot constructed entirely of steel, complete with its own scale. Additionally, an 80 x 160 fabric and metal building, already underway with all necessary materials, can be found at the feedlot. Water availability is truly exceptional, with 22 wells, mostly shallow, producing between 10 to 15 gallons per minute. These wells are powered by windmills, electricity, and solar pumps. Furthermore, a 3-mile pipeline in the south supplies 3 tanks and is shared by the neighboring property as a kind gesture. Little Pumpkin Creek, a year-round creek meandering through the ranch, provides numerous “ponds” for cattle watering. The ranch has numerous ash draws with a lot of them having flowing springs. With 8 pastures plus the hay and crop grounds, the ranch operates on a 3-year rotation schedule, incorporating different turnout dates for each pasture annually. Lastly, a large Scoria pit near the Castle Rock formation readily supplies all necessary gravel for the ranch.

We affectionately refer to this ranch as the “Serengeti Plains of Montana” because of the abundant wildlife that can be found here. Despite visiting in the scorching heat of mid-August, we were pleasantly surprised to encounter multiple herds of antelope, ranging from 9 to 30 head. Let’s start with the elk situation. There are 2 basic herds of elk, one on the south end and the other on the north with some elk staying in the country just west of the headquarters. The south of the ranch, referred to the interactive map in the brochure, borders US Forest Service, state of Montana ground and a large ranch. There is no public access to any of this ground save the neighbor on the large ranch, he does outfit the large ranch and last year the outfitters “ The Crush “Lee and Tiffany had a client that killed a 390 inch bull elk in the state section that had been staying on the castle rock ranch, my understanding is that they were able to call the bull over. Then we have the north herd. On the west boundary we have a huge chunk of  US forest service and another large ranch owned by one individual that hunts it himself. The north boundary is with the Coffee Ranch, and it runs clear to the Tongue River many miles to their headquarters, and they do outfit their ranch but very rarely if ever do they hunt their southern ranch which is our north border. So, as you can see extremely limited access on the north end of the ranch. Both the north end and south end have many pine trees and roll hills to mountainous terrain with many, many ash draws for the elk and mule deer to hide in most of these draws have a water source. The elk that come in from the west, come in from a vast amount of forest service property. There we set in the middle with 1,200 acres of barley hay, alfalfa hay and tremendous amounts of grass, with ash draws for cover along with a ridge of pine trees west of the headquarters. Starvation Creek has many small meadow spots of about 5 acres to 10 acres that could be planted food plots for even more attraction to the wildlife.

Mule deer are in the same area as the elk. On our tour of the ranch, in the south section [25] of the ranch and the owner showed us a basin that he called buck basin, this is where the big bucks hang out and from the ridge above a hunter can spot deer and plan a sneak attack on them. The ranch is presently outfitted, and the outfitter pays $15,000 for up to four deer a year, he doesn’t hunt elk here as he has a lease closer to his headquarters. He hunted elk here before he acquired the other lease.

White tail deer, antelope, turkeys, pheasants, sharp tail grouse and huns are all available in the middle of the ranch, which is crop ground, plains with huge ash draws that have springs in them giving these animals food, shelter, and water.  The owner’s wife killed a Boone and Crockett white tail buck in 2022.

Speaking of water, the huge reservoir by the headquarters which is used to pump out of  the pivot and has a fishable number of blue gills and bass.  This is where you will also find ducks, geese, and snapping turtles.

Besides the elk, deer, antelope, birds, and fish, get this, the ranch has a huntable population of mountain lions and bears.  Just las year [2022] the owner’s wife killed a mountain lion, and the owner has killed a lion himself in years prior with the use of hound dogs.  Both are live mounted and in their living room.  Just last summer [2022] the owner had to chase a black bear out of one of the pastures.  The new owner could hunt coyotes, bobcats, and a few prairie dogs.


The headquarters
Main house built in 1980 and has been remodeled very comfortable feel, kind of like hunting lodge.
4 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1- ¾ bath, 1- ½ bath
Full finished basement with a pool table [ that stays]
Central air conditioning
•Wood stove in living room
Very modern kitchen it is 1 ¼ miles off the county road very private.

Built in 1908 of squire logs that still show the ax marks when they made the logs and has been remodeled
3 bedroom, 1 ¾ bathroom

Mobile home
2 bedroom, 1 full bathroom
Peaked roof and remodeled
Set up for hunters as the owner outfitted the ranch himself a few years ago

40 x 60 metal building with power, partial cement floor
32 x 40 metal building with power full concrete floor and a walk in cooler.
Cattle scale new in 2015
Some old grain bins
An outdoor arena
Steel corrals
Old horse barn used for calving

Lazy J
The hired hands house is a few miles north of the headquarters built in 2015
1 bedroom with a ¾ bathroom

45×80 metal building used as a shop has blown insulation, has a used oil burning stove for heat
Single phase power
Bathroom is plumbed in but not finished yet

50×100 Quonset metal building dirt floor with power.

Woods homestead
The original homestead buildings are pretty much trashed but there is power and phone along with a working windmill and another well that could be hooked up to power. Heck of a place for a spike cabin on the north end of the ranch.

This ranch is a very rare find, especially in eastern Montana with lots of water, grass, wildlife and no public access. You must see to truly believe.
MLS 341957
Call   Dru Burk,  (406) 934-2424,   406-772-5425    or     Bill   406-594-7844

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