BIGHORN MOUNTAIN RANCH
The Bighorn Mountain Ranch is an excellent piece of high country heaven with excellent views, wildlife and privacy. This 6,713 +/- acre mountain ranch consists of excellent cabins and lodges, rolling grass-covered hills and meadows that are cut by deep tree-covered canyons and game filled bluffs. The vast ranch is completely surrounded by BLM and National Forest lands of Bighorn Mountain Range, which typically gives public access into sensitive areas of ranches. However, this is not the case on this offering. In fact, the deeded land protects and controls most access to all of approximately 30,000 acres. With control of so many acres, this ranch definitely lives BIG!
Started by the Flitner family in 1906 on a homestead known as Cow Camp, the Bighorn Mountain Ranch has grown over the last 100 years, adding surrounding acreage and encompassing over 20 square miles. Decades full of cattle drives, wildlife management efforts, new construction, recreational memories and hundreds of untold stories lie within the boundaries of this ranch. Now, for the first time, this legacy property is on the market.
This ranch location, just 80 miles from Sheridan and 80 miles from Cody, gives the property access to the outside world. Locally, the town of Greybull offers all services and a good 7,000 foot runway at the local airport. For the air enthusiast and possibly the pilot, the current owner has installed two heated helicopter pads for year around access at the ranch, which is just a short 10-minute flight via helicopter from Greybull. Shell, Wyoming is just below the ranch, and it offers some services and basic provisions as well. Known for the abundance of fossil shells located in the area, nearby exposed formations such as the Cloverly Formation and the Morrison Formation have yielded numerous fossils of dinosaurs and other animals.
LAND AND CATTLE
The terrain is what makes Bighorn Mountain Ranch so special. Rolling hillsides covered with excellent grass for both stock and wildlife make the bedding areas in the canyons and the trees even better. The owners are some of the best land stewards, and their efforts and management of this land has established grazing capacity for livestock and elk to an all time high. It is estimated that around 3,500 elk travel this region, and between 1,500 and 2,000 elk use the ranch and its adjoining public land frequently. The current owners graze cattle in the summer months on the neighboring public land leases. Bighorn Mountain Ranch is offered with BLM leases and a current cattle lease in place with a local rancher. The land and wildlife management from the current owners include, but are not limited to the following: light intensity grazing, moving cattle out of elk areas prior to season, development of a world class water system with pipes and tanks, and the building and upkeep of excellent improvements.
WATER AND FISHING
White Creek runs through the ranch, offering excellent small trout fishing with beautiful Brook Trout. Shell Creek on the northern border of the ranch is accessed at the ranch entry and offers trophy trout fishing on public land. This area of Wyoming is home to some of the best brown and rainbow trout fishing anywhere. The property’s water system that Mr. David Flitner developed and engineered on the ranch is unlike any I have seen. Starting from an adjudicated spring, with over 20 miles of buried pipe and numerous ponds, the ranch’s water system has a great amount of infrastructure and allows for delivery of water to pastures and areas on the ranch as needed. It also provides for several tanks and good wildlife water and has greatly increased the overall capacity on the property for both wildlife and cattle. You will have to see it to believe it, it is truly an excellent and critical resource.
HUNTING AND WILDLIFE
Among other species, elk hunting is incredible on this variable terrain property. The current owners lease the hunting to a professional outfitter and the emphasis on this hunting is for management and quality. They pay a great amount of respect to how it is hunted to ensure the animals “feel safe”. Our team witnessed this while on the ranch the past couple of visits. We were able to see and enjoy one bachelor group of bulls in full velvet of approximately 50 bulls. The hunting method and the terrain suits many hunting abilities as they set up and wait for the animals to come out in the morning and evening from the dense bedding cover of the tree filled canyons. The ranch is located in Wyoming Game Hunting Unit 41 and tags for all species can be applied for during specific seasons.
The ranch is also home to good Mule Deer, Sage Grouse, Blue Grouse and some Huns. The lower country in the Shell Valley is also home to many different species of wildlife giving diversity seldom seen anywhere. Pheasants, Chukar, Huns, Turkey, White-tailed deer and antelope to name just a few…
CABINS AND IMPROVEMENTS
The Lodge at Bald Ridge is described as “that perfect spot” by landowner Mrs. Paula Flitner. The very well constructed log home overlooks a nice pond and over 100 miles of endless views and the deep canyon carrying White Creek. The improvements at Bald Ridge consist of a 5-bedroom, 4-bath log home with commercial kitchen, dining room, relaxing living area, wrap-around deck, large wood burning fireplace and beautiful setting. Next door to the lodge is a the cookhouse cabin which has an excellent commercial kitchen and a beautiful deck with views, plus sleeping quarters for two. There is also an outdoor cooking area with a great firepit and grills. The property also has three cabins that sleep 4-6 with full baths and good privacy and views. The lodge at Bald Ridge and these other improvements are affectionately called the “Upper Hideout”.
The Snowshoe Lodge and Cabins is another complete set of great improvements on the ranch with a main lodge and three smaller cabins. The main lodge is a three-bedroom structure with three baths and offers all the amenities of home. A very well appointed home with a custom kitchen and excellent appliances and great room with dining area lead out onto a view of the forest and a beautiful valley. The three-story log structure includes wet bar in the basement and excellent bedrooms and baths. Adjoining the lodge on the lower level is a walk-in sauna for guests to enjoy year around. The three other small log cabins sleep 2-4 and are very well equipped with baths and small kitchen areas. The Snowshoe Lodge and cabin area also has an excellent garage for auto and ATV storage, along with a walk-in cooler for big game care after harvesting an animal. This set of facilities is “just right” in the wild of Wyoming. Power and luxury with peace and solitude!
And last but not least for improvements is the “Cow Camp” cabin, a quintessential Wyoming homestead that is dripping with the history of this great family. David Flitner tells stories of his grandfather and father and hired hands utilizing this early 1900’s restored cabin. David shared some of his first memories of childhood from Cow Camp, leaving me jealous and ripe with envy. Situated on a south-facing slope, the cabin includes a piped-in spring fed water source, a fenced corral and pens used for horses and cattle. The cabin has power ran to it and has been restored for all weather use. (They are even building a new outhouse!) It is just something you have to see to believe!
Writing about this property is difficult because of the depth and history involved in this family and this area. We are looking for someone who is passionate about the land and the wildlife that wants to begin this ranches next “generation” of stewards. I am proud to represent such a fine ranch and a fine family and hope that the next owners will love it for another 100 years. Give me a call for a private showing of this excellent opportunity.
There is also an additional 440 acres available within 2.5 miles Southwest of the ranch called Grisham Ranch. Contact Dax Hayden for more information.