Mussigbrod Lake Ranch
Mussigbrod Lake Ranch is a productive and efficient cattle operation and recreational mecca of 1280 +/- contiguous deeded acres. The ranch has been in the same family operation since 1962. Located in the upper North end of the productive and striking landscape of Montana’s Big Hole Valley, the ranch has the superior characteristics of grass production this valley is known for, with capacity to carry approximately 450+/- pairs from May through November feeding supplemental hay in May and late October. The ranch is located in an area with enticing recreational including big game hunting and fishing. The ranch is bordered by National Forest. Mussigbrod Lake with its sandy beach and Arctic grayling and brook trout is approximately 3 miles away. The ranch is situated just south of the Anaconda/Pintler Wilderness area. A wilderness adventure in Montana’s backcountry is outside your back door and you can still and be home by dark.
Mussigbrod Lake Ranch is located in the Big Hole Valley of Beaverhead County approximately 15 miles NW of Wisdom, Montana. The ranch is situated just south of the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness area, within 3 miles to Mussigbrod Lake.
The Big Hole Valley is separated from Idaho by the soaring Beaverhead Mountains, part of the great Continental Divide to the West. The valley floor is approximately 6000 feet and the peaks on the Divide rise to over 11,000 feet.
Wisdom is a rural ranching community named for the Wisdom (now the Big Hole) River that flows through the town. The Big Hole Valley is often called the “Valley of the 10,000 Haystacks”, known for it’s grass and hay production.
The ranch is currently a cow/calf summer operation, that is running between 450-500 cow/calf pairs from May 1 to Nov 1. The cattle are generally fed hay during the month of May and beginning in October after the calves have been weaned. An additional 150 pairs are currently being summered on the forest permit. Currently, approximately 300 ton of hay is harvested from about 150 acres. There is an additional 450 acres of ground that has been previously hayed.
The owners represent that there is adequate water to irrigate 850-900 acres. There is a water right from Mussigbrod Creek that generally lasts until June 1 and there is stored water from a Mussigbrod Lake that is allotted by a Forest Service special use permit that is used until about August 1 when the hay is cut. The gentle slope of the terrain creates a particularly unique and efficient flood irrigation system allowing the water to be captured in waste ditches and re-used.
The ranch consists of 1280+/- contiguous deeded acres. 850-900 flood irrigated acres, and the balance range ground. They currently hay about 150 acres and pasture the remainder. In the past as much as 600 acres has been in hay production.
The ranch facilities include two modest log homes, one built in 1948 with minimal occupancy for the past several years and the other built 1954, that is still used.
In addition, there is an historic log barn with hay loft built in 1948, a cinder block calving barn built in 1965, a Quonset shop built in 1948, and a pole shed used for equipment storage. The ranch has a good set of pole corrals at the headquarters and a set of corrals on the forest permit.
Leases and Permits
The ranch holds a 200 head forest service permit which due to recent drought conditions has been limited to 150 pairs. This permit is approximately 35 miles from the ranch headquarters. This permit runs is shared with another local ranch.
Big Hole Valley ranch properties are not often offered for public sale. Mussigbrod Lake Ranch is a contiguous 1280+/- acre property, combining a productive cattle operation with recreation in an area of enviable Montana scenery. The Big Hole Valley is a noted cattle and hay producing valley along with a variety of wildlife populations and big game hunting. The ranch is a very efficient cattle operation, with 850-900 irrigated. The operation is an excellent summer pasture or the ranch could be hayed more extensively. The ranch has been in the same family operation since 1962, located in the upper North end of the productive and striking landscape of Montana’s Big Hole Valley. The ranch has the enviable characteristics of being a ranch with significant production from it’s pasture and hay ground and also offering recreational opportunities. The Big Hole Valley is known for it’s productivity. This ranch has a carrying capacity of approximately 450+/- pairs from May through November, feeding supplemental hay in May and late October.
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