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The 609 deeded-acre Fort Owen Ranch features a mile of the renowned Bitterroot River frontage and borders the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge. Located next to the town of Stevensville and thirty minutes from Missoula, the Ranch is an ideal candidate for a conservation-minded buyer. The layout of the Ranch also provides for strategic and tasteful development. The Sapphire Mountains to the east and the Bitterroot Mountains to the west create a dramatic landscape in this scenic valley. The improvements on the Ranch are well kept and allow one to run a tight-knit rotational-grazing cattle operation and put up excess hay to sell. The current homes offer the possibility to live comfortably while building a custom home or family compound.
The Ranch owns some of the oldest water rights in the State dating back to 1852. The water-application system is extremely functional with the majority of the Ranch under flood irrigation. Historically, the Ranch puts up 600 to 700 tons of hay mostly consisting of timothy, orchard and brome as well as some small plots of alfalfa. The irrigation could easily be converted to a pivot system to utilize the abundant water rights, increase yields and lessen the requirements of the flood-irrigation system. Due to the excellent soils and yields plus the rotational-grazing system, the Ranch is capable of running 250 cow-calf pairs in most years with excess hay to sell. A new owner could run fewer cattle and sell more hay for income. There are also several irrigated and sub-irrigated pastures to accommodate cattle during the haying season. The ditches throughout the Ranch are in excellent condition providing healthy pastures and increasing hay production.
Bordering the Ranch is the 2,800-acre Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Originally set aside for the protection of the abundant bird species that migrate to the rich habitat, this wildlife management area is also home to abundant big and small game which often migrate onto the Ranch. From whitetail deer, mule deer and occasional elk, upland birds, waterfowl and raptors, Fort Owen Ranch is a wildlife haven. Several trophy-book size whitetail bucks have been harvested on the Ranch.
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