Hunting land for sale in Montana can vary from the part of the state to animals you want to hunt. It can also vary by size of acreage. Whether you are wanting to hunt only on your private property or you are willing to buy property that borders public land to give you access to more land, depends on funds available and how much time you can commit. Montana is a large State that gives wide choices in topography and gives hunters varied choices in species to hunt and prices per acre to pay. Hunting land for sale in Montana is a term that needs further discussion about species to hunt and types of properties available.
Types of Hunting Land for Sale in Montana
Starting with upland bird hunting. Montana hunting ranches for sale are underrated when it comes to Pheasant hunting. We have ample populations of Pheasants to hunt without the significant hunting pressures of North and South Dakota. An added bonus of Grouse and Huns and a Montana upland bird hunter can fill the freezer while looking at beautiful mountains in the background. Pheasants can be found in both the central and the eastern part of the state. The other great thing about Montana pheasant hunting is the access and availability of public land to hunt. Prices for pheasant hunting land can vary greatly. If it is near crops that are irrigated the price per acre will be higher. Many times you can buy CRP land that gives good opportunities that might have crops close by but costs could be much lower.
Antelope hunting is also very good to great in Montana. In driving across the state like I do looking at hunting land for sale in Montana I get to see thousands of antelope. Montana hunting ranches have multiple entries in both B&C and P&Y record books for pronghorn antelopes. Public lands give Montana Antelope hunters good choices and Montana hunting ranches for antelope hunting are priced reasonably in the Eastern part of the state. Pronghorns are common all over the state in lower pastures that are used for cattle ranching.
Whitetails do not get the respect in Montana they deserve and many times farmers view them as nuisance animals that feed on their forage or crops. Whitetails occupy Riparian lands around rivers and streams. They will spend their entire lives in willow thickets and other cover along these streams. There isn’t the extensive effort in growing big antlers on Montana hunting ranches like many other states but you will still find whitetails in the 140-160 class and you will find they field dress at much heavier weights than whitetails in the South. Because many Montana farmers view whitetails as an annoyance more than a money making opportunity hunters find the hunting pressure lower. Properties that hold whitetails are normally going to be more pricey. Not because of the whitetails but normally because you find them in areas with creeks and rivers that have water rights that are very valuable. There is an opportunity here for an additional revenue source that many are not considering. Many hunting ranches in many states are charging $3000+ to shoot nice whitetail bucks. With better management, antlers could be competitive with other states and substantially boost Montana farms and hunting ranches bottom lines!
Many people don’t know just how good Montana waterfowl hunting can be. Montana has two flyways in the state. Both the Central and Pacific flyways come through the state offering many species of ducks and a big population of Canadian Geese. Hunting lands for sale in Montana have good food sources with farmers fields and plenty of water with rivers, creeks, lakes and sloughs. While hunting land for sale in Montana that has waterfowl hunting can be pricey due to river frontage you can also find property that is flood prone and marshy that may hold great numbers of waterfowl and may have little agricultural use driving down the cost per acre. If you have a world class waterfowl property that gives you opportunities at multiple species and both duck and geese it is the principle of improve it and they will come! Which means improve the habitat, give them ample food and watch the change happen.
You can find Montana mule deer anywhere in the state. Mule deer hunting has suffered in other states like Colorado but Montana mule deer hunting is still incredibly good. You will find multiple entries every year in the record books from Montana ranches. They are geographically diverse and can be found in the mountains, rolling hills or in the sagebrush. 30” spreads are not uncommon and due to the unpopulated nature of Montana, Mule deer should continue to thrive unlike many more populated states. Many people covet the challenge of mule deer hunting and I can’t disagree it is challenging and very rewarding and you get to see some beautiful Montana hunting ranches. I always recommend hunting mule deer during the rut. It is the one time a year the big mule deer bucks let their guard down. Be prepared for long walks and lots of glassing.
Elk are what most Montana hunters talk about when considering hunting land for sale in Montana. There are over 20,000 elk harvested in the State of Montana every year. Some of the biggest elk taken every year are in Montana. Even with the introduction of wolves in Montana that have impacted the population there are still incredible opportunities for elk hunting in Montana. Be it public or private lands elk are abundant all over the state. Elk are what most hunters are searching for when they put in the search term Montana hunting lands for sale. Even in areas that you think would not hold elk there are still pockets. This is what people searching for hunting land for sale in Montana and elk hunting can sometimes find an area holding elk that might still be reasonably priced. If you find the right situation, hunting land in Montana can give a great financial return that brings great memories!
Montana also holds populations of Moose, Mountain Lions, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bears, Buffalos and Wolves that offer small tag opportunities. Many of these opportunities will be on private land and will have small chances for out of state hunters. Not impossible but it is kind of like buying a lottery ticket. Mountain lions , black bears and wolves offer over the counter tag opportunities that you can have in your pocket while hunting other species. That being said just seeing these species of animals is something most people can’t say they have ever seen. As you can see, Montana hunting land offers you a multitude of choices and options.
Types of Hunting Properties for Sale in Montana
There are also many types of properties and prices you can buy when looking at hunting land for sale in Montana. Not every property is a large hunting ranch. They are the most attractive because they can hold multiple species for an owner to hunt. Some Montana ranches you can hunt elk and mule deer in the mountains and whitetail in the river bottoms in the same day. Then go find hunting opportunities for waterfowl and pheasant. These Montana properties are the most expensive and when you consider how few hunting places there are like them in the world you can understand why they hold and increase in value.
Don’t feel your out of luck though if you are looking for hunting land for sale in Montana and can’t afford a multi million dollar ranch. There are Montana hunting ranch properties that possess some of these hunting opportunities but might not possess all of the species. They may possibly be in out of the way places with less access to airports and might not have water features that others have. They might have ponds or livestock tanks versus being located on a trout fishing river. Maybe they are in the eastern part of the state that is more warm water fishing that don’t offer trout fishing. All of these factors can bring the price down to a much more reasonable price. The hunting land might not offer a couple of the species or you might be on a river that isn’t a name trout stream but that can also hold great potential for value if you enhance the fishery or hunting land. Many hunters just don’t realize the versatility and options of hunting that Montana offers.
Let’s say you can’t even afford to buy a ranch. There are other types of hunting land for sale in Montana that allow smaller acreage to act like bigger properties. If you can buy small acreage that is bordered by public land or a private ranch it can act like a bigger piece of property from a hunting opportunity standpoint. Some savvy clients will purchase very small parcels with the ability to hunt 1000s of acres. The perfect example is our Missouri Breaks Retreat property. The Missouri Breaks Retreat is 20 acres and is listed at $95,000. It has access to 1000s of acres of world famous Missouri Breaks elk hunting. Then you can hunt mule deer, whitetail, pheasant and waterfowl. The other interesting thing about this property is the Musselshell River frontage and it’s close proximity to Fort Peck Reservoir fishing. This is just one example of the kind of property I’m talking about. Only in Montana is that possible to have world class hunting on small acreage at reasonable prices. This is one of the wonderful things about Montana having so much public access to public property. It allows someone to pool resources and have very economical world class hunting.
There are diamonds in the rough of hunting land for sale in Montana. You don’t see these on the normal big ranch real estate website. You need someone that knows your budget and what you are looking for. Your budget dictates the property that you are looking for. Do you want to catch a 20” brown trout then go out and take a monster mule deer? Or are you looking for a hunting camp that a few friends can hunt public land and make great memories for 10 years. Montana is the last best place and trying to find anything like it is getting more difficult every day. This is why you need someone that knows your requirements and is watching hunting properties and knows Montana.
If you are looking for your special hunting land for sale in Montana or a Montana hunting ranch for sale, please feel free to contact me. We travel all through Montana looking at hunting land for clients so we can help if you are looking for just pheasant hunting land or if you are wanting to hunt monster mule deer or any other big game hunting. Whether you are looking for a large hunting ranch or are trying to find a smaller parcel that you can hunt adjacent public land, we can help you find the right spot. We can find you a place that can create memories and potentially make a handsome return!
If you found this article useful I would like to suggest two more articles you might be interested in. Ranches for sale in Montana and Buying Montana Ranch, 13 Things to Ponder are both good articles for someone considering purchasing a ranch in Montana. Also, for those looking for an actual ranch that offers hunting you might check out Montana Hunting Ranches for Sale-The Dream. If you like any of these articles, I would encourage you to sign up for notification when a new blog post comes out or for updates on new properties or check us out on our Facebook page!
Buzz Tatom is a Partner at Venture West Ranches. He moved to Montana 5 years ago and still owns the 5T ranch in Texas. He has a BBA from Texas Tech and an MBA from SMU. He built his Printing/Marketing firm 10 fold over 24 years before selling in 2011 and is involved in a number of business ventures. He enjoys teaching part time at MSU in business and mentoring students.