Our blog will help keep you informed about news and information related to the farm, ranch and rural real estate markets. If you share our desire for wide open spaces and investment in the land, we hope you will subscribe, read and discuss the stories we find and develop here. More than just an investment, ranch, farm and rural real estate evokes a type of lifestyle that was born over a century ago and still provides a certain romance and passion for those who embrace the pioneering spirit from those days gone by.

Fall is in the Air: Life on a Rocky Mountain Ranch

By: B Elfland

As I step outside my Montana home in the early morning, the wonder of early autumn in the Northern Rockies fills my senses. The air is crisp, the light is soft, young mallards strengthen their wings in flight and Canadian geese clamor in the grain fields along the river. All the animals are in their prime. Even the old barn cat has gained a pound or two and the saddle horses have grown a hint of their winter coat.

This is my favorite time of year in the Rocky Mountain West and it is the most rewarding time to be a landowner. The last cuttings of alfalfa are stacked, grain crops harvested and fall gathering begins in preparation for selling this year’s crop of calves. The results of expert land planning and good stewardship are reflected in the hay in the barn, grain in the bins and heavy fall weaning weights. Sound land management also benefits the wildlife and it is satisfying to see elk on the range and Ring-necked pheasants in the creek bottoms.

After farming and ranching in central Montana, B settled in the Bozeman area and guided fly fishermen on southwest Montana’s renowned waters for seven years.

After farming and ranching in central Montana, B settled in the Bozeman area and guided fly fishermen on southwest Montana’s renowned waters for seven years.

For the ranch owner who is also a sportsman, fall brings an almost overwhelming list of possibilities. You may elect to follow your favorite pointing dogs as they traverse the uplands in search of Hungarian partridge and Sharp-tail grouse. If you are an archer, nothing rivals the thrill of calling in a bull elk. Duck blinds beckon to the water fowl and if you have not gotten your fill of fly fishing, fall spawning Brown Trout have begun to brighten with color.

Instead, why not pack a lunch and spend the day on horseback, gathering cows from their summer range. Or climb in a combine and cut your own straight path across the rolling fields of grain.

B treasures the time spent with his family on their small ranch and home along the Madison River, where they raise hay and offer horse boarding and training.

B treasures the time spent with his family on their small ranch and home along the Madison River, where they raise hay and offer horse boarding and training.

Whatever your passion, this is the time of year when many of our favorite memories will be made. Friends and family will want to share in the fun. Children and Grandchildren will connect with the land, find grand adventure and grow in ways they never imagined. These moments will be remembered and passed on.

Land stewardship and family are the makings of a legacy. These are the most rewarding aspects of land ownership and now is the time to savor it all. So make the most of this time, share it with family and relish your successes. The memories will carry on.

B's lifelong recreational interests and professional background in ranching and the resort industries naturally led to a real estate focus in ranch and recreational properties.

B’s lifelong recreational interests and professional background in ranching and the resort industries naturally led to a real estate focus in ranch and recreational properties.

Hall and Hall Auctions Sells 1,328± acres Farmland near Kansas City, MO for $2.65 Million

We are pleased to announce that Hickory Cattle Company, 1,328± acres of farmland offered in six tracts and combinations ranging from 40± to 444± acres, was sold to one buyer for $2.65 million on Wednesday, September 10th. For more information, contact Scott Shuman of Hall and Hall Auctions at 800-829-8747 or visit http://hallhall.com/ranches-for-sale/properties/hickory-cattle-company.

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“We had 27 registered bidders at the auction,” said Shuman. “It was a good day and we are pleased that one buyer purchased all six tracts together.”

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The acreage includes 975± acres in intensive grazing paddocks and 50± acres planted to corn. Other improvements include shops, barns, working corrals, equipment sheds, a 3,400 foot FAA approved runway, and a 1,000 square foot cabin style home with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.

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The land has five wells used for the automatic stock tank watering system, three irrigation wells rated at 350 gpm used to supplement grazing and several ponds that can be used for livestock watering and wildlife proliferation.

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The next Hall and Hall auction offers a rare opportunity to purchase 200 acres of lakefront property on Big Saint Germain Lake and Lake Content in St. Germain, Wisconsin. The secluded property offered in 23 lots and combinations shares a channel with Big Saint Germain Lake, which affords all the activities of a large lake including extensive water sports and trophy fishing. The majority of the lots are vacant and buildable, but several include charming cottages and other improvements. The auction is slated for Thursday, September 18th at 1 PM CST at the St. Germain Community Center. For more information,visit http://hallhall.com/ranches-for-sale/properties/eaglewatch.

Public Land Grazing Fee is a Bargain

By: Randy Shelton

The Bureau of Land Management manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres.  Ranchers throughout the West graze their livestock on these public lands for a fee. On lands administered by the USFS, the cost is $1.35 is per head. On BLM lands, the $1.35 grazing fee is charged for an “animal unit month (AUM),” defined as one month’s worth of grass for a cow and her calf, or five sheep or goats. In comparison, the State of Montana’s minimum lease rate is $9.94 per AUM, while private leases have skyrocketed in Montana to as much as $40.00 per AUM.

According to the BLM, the grazing fee is determined each year based on ranchers’ costs, beef prices, and the rates for comparable grazing fees on private lands. Included in those calculations is an assumption that your standard cow weighs in the neighborhood of 1,050 pounds. A cow that size is estimated to eat about 26 pounds of foliage a day, which works out to 780 pounds.

But cattle have actually increased substantially in size since that estimated standard cow was designated back in the 1980s. The average US bovine in 2013 weighed 1,333 pounds at slaughter, according to the federal government. That’s part of the reason private landowners, state governments, and even other federal agencies usually charge significantly more for grazing privileges on lands they manage.

Hall and Hall’s Third Creek Ranch in Montana offers 1,888 acres of deeded land along with 9,788 acres of BLM lease, for $1,900,000. For more information, contact Randy Shelton at rshelton@hallandhall.com.


Auction of Historic Northwoods Wisconsin Property

(Story appeared on WJFW TV)

Bidders will soon get the chance to own a piece of historic property in the Northwoods. Integrys, the parent company of Wisconsin Public Service, will sell its lakefront property in St. Germain.

“This property is so special and unique,” said Hall and Hall Auctions Auction Head Scott Shuman.

That property is the former corporate retreat of Wisconsin Public Service on Big St. Germain Lake and Lake Content in St. Germain. WPS bought the property in the 1950s. Employees and their families could stay at the Awassa Lodge which was built in the 1890s, for a fee until 2012. But as the company grew, fewer people were able to use the property.

“When we looked at it and understood the portion of the employees that were using, utilizing the property, and the cost associated with it, it was a decision made by our board of directors that now was the appropriate time to divest of [the property],” said Integrys Real Estate Services Manager Patti Van Den Elzen.

Earlier this week, Integrys sold more than 230 acres of off-water property to the Town of St. Germain. Later this month, 207 acres with 10,000 feet of lake frontage will go up for auction. It has been divided into 23 lots.

“The reason that we’re going with auction is we feel that we can not only sell it particularly as one property if we have that particular bidder. But it also gives an opportunity for many other people depending on what type of lots they want to purchase or to own, they can really achieve that by either bidding on one or a combination of two or three or potentially the whole property itself,” Van Den Elzen explained.

WPS did try to sell five, 10-acre lots back in 2008. They had bidders but decided not to sell.

“We did have bidders but at that point, based on what the economy was doing at that point, a decision was made that we didn’t feel it was the appropriate time to sell. It was in September, excuse me, October of 2008, and that’s when the stock market was falling,” said Van Den Elzen.

The lodge has never been up for sale and never open to the public. But now it is. Hall and Hall Auctions, the company that’s handling the auction, has hosted information days on the property.

“Our last meetings we had somewhere around 60 people attend,” Shuman said. “We’ve actually during about a six week process, we’ve allowed people to come in and look at the property.”

They hope that interest will bring many bids on September 18th. The auction will start at 1 p.m. at the St. Germain Community Center. Hall and Hall Auctions will host an information day Saturday, September 6th at the property.

It runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The property is located at 8372 Awassa Lane in St. Germain. You can find more information at the link below.


Haying with the Buffalo on Colorado Ranches

By: Tyson Thompson

I recently had the privilege of haying two well-known North Park Ranches, Owl Creek Ranch and Eagle’s Wing Ranch, both of which are near one of Hall and Hall’s current listings, the Huston Ranch. The north park of Colorado is a high plains area that is east over Rabbit Ears Pass from Steamboat Springs, CO and is historically one of Colorado’s most well-known ranching areas. I am originally from western Colorado, which is far more rural than the Front Range I live on now, so when my friend Paul said he could use our help haying, we jumped at the opportunity to get away from Fort Collins for four days. I say “we” because I convinced my wife to come along and that four days working in Walden would be fun (bless her heart, she married a salesman).

Our first day consisted mainly of loading a semi with small bales, moving equipment between ranches, and stacking hay in the barn, but the rest of our trip would be spent in a tractor, baling. Day two was relatively un-eventful but successful. We got started at a decent time and after fixing a few issues with the tractor, we were baling and we finished the day with a couple semi-loads of North Park grass hay ready for the feed stores.


As our third day was wrapping up we heard from the ranch manager that some fences had been knocked down by the bison – yes, bison. Eagle’s Wing Ranch does not raise beef as the great majority of North Park ranches do. They have a heard of over 400 bison on the ranch. We didn’t think much of it and continued about our business, after all you make hay when the sun shines and rain was in the forecast. Just as we finished stacking the load of small bales on the truck, we realized the bison had gotten on the hay fields and were heading our way, at a pretty good pace. I have not had any experience with bison so I was obviously very cautious as bison are known for their surprising athletic ability, brute strength and at times, for their aggression. We got the load of small bales out of the field and committed to helping the owner get all his round bales out of the field. The bison seem to think the big round bales are good scratching posts, which is a bit ironic as they seemed to enjoy destroying their winter feed source. We went about our work among the buffalo, gathering bales and giving them their space. They seemed to reciprocate the favor which allowed us to finish up just about a half hour before the sun dropped behind the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.


On our final morning we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the local favorite, Moose Creek Cafe. The table next to us was occupied by a group of local old timers gossiping about the neighbors and the best place to get your hearing aid tuned up. Meanwhile, overhead, over a dozen hot air balloons floated by in participation of the annual hot air balloon festival that takes place in Walden, but the old-timers seemed to be more concerned about the pressing matters of the neighbors, hearing aids and calf prices. I took a moment as I drank my coffee and thought about the interesting variety of people and activities we encountered over our stay. The North Park of Colorado has to be the only place where it is possible to bale hay, work with buffalo, eat breakfast with cowboys, enjoy world-class hunting and fishing and catch a hot air balloon show all in a 24-hour period. What a great weekend.


Hope everyone’s haying season was successful and is wrapping up nicely.

Tarryall Creek Colorado Fly Fishing Properties For Sale

By: Brian Smith

Expectations were high given the angler reports on the fishing club website, but we had no idea how much fun it would be. Cody Lujan and Brian Smith spent a half day wearing their arms out on two listings on Tarryall Creek southwest of Denver. A thriving population of wild brown trout that readily take the fly provided plenty of action. Ranging in size from about 6 inches to several in the 12 to 14 inch range, the trout were hitting both dries and droppers.


Thousands of willows transplanted along the creek on Notch in 2009 have matured nicely, providing protection, shade and roots to stabilize the banks of the creeks during runoff. Fish were stacked up in pools, below shelves and undercut banks. Stealthy approaches to a new pool were regularly rewarded with a hookup on the first cast. Both Tarryall Meadows Ranch and Tarryall Notch Ranch have just had a price reductions and are compelling offerings for live water oriented buyers under $1.5 million.

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Tarryall Creek Ranch is located 45 minutes from Breckenridge Ski Resort and 90 minutes southwest of Denver. The 830± acre property features 1.3± miles of meandering Tarryall Creek set against a backdrop of the snow capped peaks of the Continental Divide. The stream is home to a vibrant, self-sustaining population of wild brown trout along with the occasional rainbow and brook trout. The owners completed extensive riparian plantings and stream enhancements over the past few years, significantly improving habitat, shelter and the fishery. There is a stunning homesite location at a notch in the valley, overlooking the ranch with the mountains of multiple ranges visible in the distance. In addition to being ecologically important and protected, the ranch is adjacent to BLM lands as well as several large ranches and is easily accessible from paved Highway 285. Asking Price $1,650,000 Now Offered at $1,500,000.

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Tarryall Creek Ranch is located just 45 minutes from Breckenridge Ski Resort, this 240± acre Colorado mountain ranch features almost two miles of trout fishing on Tarryall Creek in a stunning setting at the base of several 13,000 foot peaks of the Continental Divide. Abundant water flows through the ranch from the snow-capped peaks to the west, feeding numerous ponds and stream channels in the broad riparian area and supporting healthy populations of self-sustaining brown trout. The aspen groves, grass meadows, evergreens and native shortgrass prairie provide excellent habitat for wildlife including elk, antelope and a variety of raptors. A choice homesite is nestled between an aspen grove and the creek yet offers excellent views of the surrounding mountains. The ranch is located along the Boreas Pass Road, providing easy access to the Pike and Arapaho National Forests and the historic town of Como. The county seat of Fairplay is less than 15 minutes away, the year-round resort amenities of Breckenridge are within 45 minutes and Denver is about 75 minutes from the ranch.  Asking Price $1,200,000 Now Offered at $995,000