Situated 20 minutes from Livingston and 45 minutes from Bozeman, Montana, in the scenic Shields Valley, the Shields River Ranch offers 894 +/- acres of prime production and recreational property in a serene setting. Excellent water rights and both pivot and flood irrigation facilitate good hay and grain crops, attracting a variety of wildlife to the property including partridge, pheasant, ducks, geese, deer and antelope. Fronting approximately 2 miles of the meandering Shields River, this Montana ranch for sale offers unpressured fishing opportunities for healthy populations of brown and rainbow trout. Improvements are minimal and modest creating an open canvas for a new owner, and numerous choice building sites are scattered over the ranch. As well, the Shields River Ranch is platted into eight separate parcels suggesting the possibility of conservation easement options. In addition, Yellowstone National Park and its famous fisheries are located only 45 miles from the ranch via the north entrance of the Park at Gardiner. The surrounding area is one of the most sporting-oriented locations in Montana, renowned for a number of legendary fisheries and world-class hunting options for both birds and big game.
Acreage: The Shields River Ranch consists of approximately 894 contiguous deeded acres, and is platted into eight separate parcels, suggesting the possibility of conservation easement options. Four of the parcels directly border the river. The property is also bordered on three sides by county road, and the Shields River Road runs north and south through the western quarter of the ranch. The Shields River flows along the western edge and Fiddle Creek runs through the property, as does the Lower Shields Valley Ditch. The topography is rolling and slopes from north to south. The river is lined with cottonwoods, as is much of Fiddle Creek, and the views of the Mountains — the Crazies to the east, the Absarokas to the south and the Bridgers to the northwest — are dramatic.
Agriculture: The agricultural component of the ranch is currently being leased to a neighbor who grows alfalfa, both spring and winter wheat, and does some limited aftermath grazing. Both pivot and flood irrigation are utilized on the cultivated ground east of the Shields River Road. In two cuttings off the pivot, irrigated hay will yield approximately 3 to 3.5 tons, and 2012 yields on the grain ran from 40 to 70 bushels per acre. The flood-irrigated ground has historically yielded 2.5 to 3 tons per acre on one cutting. The west side of the road comprises 60 acres of hay in two fields that are flood irrigated but not fertilized. These are older stands of hay that need reseeding, but historically have produced 3 tons per acre on one cutting. In 2012 approximately 127 acres were flood-irrigated grass/alfalfa, 247 acres were pivot-irrigated alfalfa, and 126 acres were seeded to grain under pivot-irrigation.
Live Water: The ranch fronts on approximately 2 miles of meandering water with an interesting mix of shallow riffles, undercut banks, deep pools and runs, offering a variety of fishing water. Brown trout are most common, but rainbow and mountain whitefish are also available. Fish up to 18′ are typical, and several dozen trout in a morning’s outing would be possible on the river portion bordering the ranch.
Hunting: Excellent hunting opportunities are found in southwestern Montana. The mountains and plains comprising the region harbor all the recognized big game species, including elk, whitetail and mule deer, antelope, black and grizzly bear, mountain lion, moose, Bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats. Waterfowl and upland wingshooting is also superb in this area with the possibility of decoying ducks and geese in the morning, and then hunting for Hungarian partridge, pheasant and grouse in the afternoon.
Summary: The Shields River Ranch represents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a recreational property of the highest caliber, in one of the most revered areas of southwest Montana. This is one of the largest stretches of Shields River frontage that has come on the market in several years, and this particular piece is unique. With a wonderful location, a substantial agricultural component, spectacular setting and views, conservation easement possibilities, prime frontage on a quality trout stream, and varied hunting amenities, this ranch offers something for everyone.
Get To Know Montana Montana Ranches for Sale
Trust Live Water Properties to list ranches for sale in Montana that suit every sporting passion. Ranch real estate in the beautiful state of Montana can be purchased near Big Sky, Bozeman, Livingston, Big Timber and Whitefish. Picturesque fly fishing properties can be found on rivers like the Big Hole, Beaverhead, Yellowstone, Smith, Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin and many other prolific, native trout fisheries, while the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem provides the backdrop to Montana horse and cattle ranches. The variety of ranch properties for sale in Montana fulfill every outdoor-loving whim.