East Montana Grass Ranch in Cohagen, Montana sprawls across 25,480 Acres of premier grassland. Cattle stay fat and calves weigh 550-600 lbs. at weaning time on an average year. Trees are scarce—only a few scattered cottonwoods—but the geology is so diverse and the landscape so varied that it provides plenty of scenic beauty and protective cover from summer sun and winter storms. High buttes and grassy valleys create the ultimate western setting. At a glance it would seem that many of Charley Russell’s paintings may have been back-grounded on this ranch. And since we mention that historic cowboy artist; we need to point out that the Charles M. Russell Game Range is approx. 52 miles North of the Montana Grass Ranch. Abundant deer, antelope, coyotes, and bob- cats abound on the ranch. Add record-book sized elk, and cougar to the native wildlife mix as you get to the just-mentioned “CMR”.
Water is plentiful from varied sources: spring-fed pits, intermittent creeks, wells, and reservoirs. The second-generation owners have distributed the water further by installation of many miles of pipelines to hydrants and huge tanks. Further description of the water im- provements will be itemized below (under “Improvements”).
LOCATION: East Montana Grass Ranch is Remote—No neighbors, roads, or highways are visi- ble from any location on this ranch. But with today’s transportation; Montana Grass Ranch is just a few hours and a few hundred miles (350-to-450mi) from the biggest part of the cattle feeding market in the United States (Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado)! So your calves bring top price right on the ranch, with relatively small discount for transportation costs. Also, ranch buildings and shipping corrals are just 3 1/2 miles from Mt. Hwy 59. Jordan, Mt.-Garfield County Seat– is just 33 miles on North of the Hwy 59 junction; and Miles City, Mt. is 48 miles South. The ranch location for personal transportation and from livestock markets is central and accessible—the feeling is remote! Distance from the ranch to premier big game hunting is very short—approx. 52 miles, as mentioned above, to the Charles M. Russell Game Range. The CMR completely surrounds Fort Peck Lake— a 40 mi. X 140 mi. diverse fishery and boating mecca.
IMPROVEMENTS: Many of them recent—are too numerous to mention but we will attempt to give a good summary with the fol- lowing itemized lists provided by the owners:
|Prior to 2014|
|Fence 2-12 sections to 4 -6 sections (2007)||$14,000|
|Convert windmill in section 6||$3,000|
|Install pipeline project (2011-2012)||$50,000||(was cost shared by county)|
|New corrals (2011)||$20,000|
|Put in culvert (house section)||$1,500|
|Extend pipeline to new bull trap (2012)||$2,100|
|Added new water tank in bull trap (2012)||$800|
|Drilled new well in Section 22 (2013)||$9,074|
|Put solar panels on new well, sect. 22 (2013)||$2,500|
|Convert windmill to solar section 4 (2014)||Included below|
|Convert windmill to solar section 28 (2015)||Included below|
|Convert windmill to solar section 17||$3,000|
|Ran pipeline (and tire tank) in 2 1/2 section (2013)||$6,000|
|Solar panel section 30||$6,082|
|Convert windmill (solar pump & panels)||$4,664|
|New calving shed||$32,000|
|Panels for branding corral, new barn, etc.||$9,385|
|Cement for cake bin||$2,000|
|Hay Feeders (4)||$2,300|
|Solar pumps, panels, etc. for 2 new & 1 old wells||$18,501|
|Tire tanks, fencing material||$3,635|
|New fencing for separate pasture/house section||$6,172|
|Run pipelines from exising well/tanks||$11,000||(Estimated)|
21,991 Ac. Deeded
640 Ac. State of Mont. Lease
2,849 Ac. BLM Lease 25,480 Ac. Total
Extensive water rights are filed for livestock and domestic use on numerous wells; several reservoirs; and creeks and drainage. Water pipelines distribute the water from wells to every pasture. Wells vary from 150’ depths to 600’. Some of them are newly drilled, solar wells, and most of the older wells have been converted from windmills to solar power. Output volumes are good and some newer wells ‘came in’ close to 100gpm.
The average annual precipitation for the area is 12”-14” according to the Climate Atlas of Montana.
PLANTS & CROPS:
East Montana Grass Ranch is rich in clean, abundant stands of; Western Wheatgrass, Green Needle- grass, Threadleaf Sedge, and Blue Gramma make up the majority of plants found on the ranch. I saw no knapweed or leafy spurge on this property. Invader plants such as cheatgrass, cactus, and sage- brush are present in lesser amount than on most large ranches.