There are so many types of Montana hunting land for sale. It can break down by the animals you are trying to hunt, the types of acreage and the different areas of the State. Montana is a very large State that has great diversity in topography and gives the hunter incredibly diverse choices in hunting and prices per acre. Montana hunting land for sale deserves a breakdown for those interested in choices of game and land prices.
Let’s start with upland bird hunting. Montana has an ample population of Pheasants. We aren’t mentioned in the same breath with the Dakotas but we aren’t far behind. Mix in the opportunities for Grouse and Huns and an upland bird hunter in Montana can do quite well with better scenery than the Dakotas. Pheasants can be found in the central part of the state and the eastern part of the state. While concentrated more around crops in the Dakotas, pheasants in Montana can be found readily in CRP land and public land.
Grouse and grouse hunting can be found all over the state. Montana has two types of grouse on hunting land. You have Mountain grouse which can be found up in forest lands and can be found on the ground but also will get up in the evergreens. These birds are not use to being hunted and can offer an easy and tasty meal. The other grouse that is available to hunt in Montana is the Sage Grouse. Sage grouse are going to be found in hunting land that is hilly and wide open. This is the more traditional upland bird hunting that I am use to. Grouse will stay on the ground more readily before flying. The beauty is all the public land besides the Montana hunting land for sale. Your options of asking farmers for access to hunt their land is also higher in Montana. Always be courteous when asking and if they let you hunt their land always go back with a thanks and preferably a gift in hand
Waterfowl hunting is also very good. Montana hunting lands for sale for duck hunting can encompass two flyways and are vastly underrated due to being overshadowed by large game hunting in Montana. The Central and Pacific flyway are both located in Montana and with vast water resources and ample food from crops, the waterfowl have great reasons to fly through Montana. Montana Duck and Geese hunting can provide ample populations and lower hunting pressure than many more well known waterfowl states. Montana duck and goose hunting can be done on a river, lake or my favorite the slough. As stated above you probably have a greater chance of finding access to hunting lands in Montana than you do in other states. Montana is a very strong state for hunting Canadian geese.
Montana is one of the top ten states for Antelope hunting with ample opportunities for trophy buck antelope. The eastern part of the state is your best bet but central Montana also gives ample opportunities for trophy antelope hunting. This is also the animal that public land is in abundance to choose from and is #5 on the B&C and P&Y record books for the most entries. Out of the big game, antelope probably gives you the best opportunity to find inexpensive Montana hunting lands to purchase or lease. If you want to read more about antelope hunting on Montana lands and some interesting facts about antelopes go here to Montana Ranches Wildlife Meet the Pronghorn.
Whitetails are overlooked in Montana and offer great hunting opportunities in the Riparian lands of creek and river beds. In Montana, whitetails are very concentrated in numbers around crops and water. You might not find the numbers of huge antlers from other states but there are good bucks and the whitetails are bigger than southern whitetails. You will also find whitetail hunting pressure low in Montana for the most part. Most Montana farmers view whitetails as a nuisance. Contacting several Montana ranchers offering day fees can give you a great Montana hunting opportunity. If they aren’t interested ask and see if they know someone who might be interested in the area or other part of the state. Most hunting land owners have extensive knowledge of other owners and areas of the state. Remember there are only 1 million people for the whole state and so you find Montana hunting land owners that may network about farming or ranching with other parts of the state.
Montana mule deer are considered incredibly good and are well known and geographically diverse. You will find them all over the state of Montana. They can be mixed in with elk in the mountains or in the sagebrush with antelopes or by themselves. Montana mule deer can have 30” spreads and there are numerous entries in the record books. You also have diverse hunting land opportunities in Montana. You can be hunting big coulees in Central or Eastern Montana with very few trees glassing through miles of sagebrush land or you can be hunting timber up high in the more forested lands of Montana. They live in both places and grow big in both places. If you are looking to purchase Montana hunting land for sale specifically for Mule Deer you might look at Eastern Montana for better land prices. If you go in the forested hunting lands you are also going to have elk and the price per acre will be substantially higher.
Montana elk are what most hunters think of when they think of Montana hunting land for sale. Montana has the second most elk after Colorado and a more diverse and wild population. The introduction of wolves has decreased the population but there are still incredible opportunities for elk hunting on public and private land in Montana. This is what most hunters are searching for when they put in the search term Montana hunting lands for sale. Elk hunting is more strenuous than most hunters realize but if you find the right Montana hunting land for sale it can be a great investment that brings many memories! If you don’t want strenuous then consider the rolling hills of the Missouri Breaks. In fact the Missouri Breaks Retreat is a great low cost way for a group of hunters to experience world class elk hunting in the Missouri Breaks. If you would like to read more about Montana elk you might want to read this article Montana Ranches Wildlife-Elk Facts.
Other Big Game
There are other species that can be hunted in Montana. Moose can be hunted but the draw keeps getting tougher and tougher. Mountain Lions, Black Bears, Bighorn Sheep, Wolves all offer tag opportunities and then there are a few opportunities at Buffalo(mostly private land) and you can always hunt the Wily Coyote. If you would like to read more about the Moose situation in Montana read Montana Ranches Wildlife-Moose Tracks
Types of Properties
Beyond the species of animals you can hunt lies the types and prices of acreage that you can purchase when looking for Montana hunting land for sale. There are large ranches, of course, that hold multiple species that are mentioned above. Some ranches you can have hunting for elk, mule deer, whitetail in the river bottoms and waterfowl and upland bird hunting. Most of these type properties covet the elk and possibly will enjoy pheasant hunting but rarely enjoy the multitude of hunting the property holds. These properties will go for a premium and they should considering that there are few places on earth that possess the variety, numbers and trophy ability that some of these Montana hunting land for sale properties possess.
Then there are the Montana properties that possess three or four of these hunting opportunities but may be out of the way and at much lower costs. If they are not located on trout fishing rivers or streams they can be much more reasonable in price and still offer world class hunting opportunities. These offer attractive entry points and possess potential for great hunting and allows you to build great memories. These Montana hunting lands can also sometimes offer the best opportunity for appreciation.
The other type of Montana hunting land for sale that intrigues me is the smaller acreage that is surrounded by large private ranches or public land. If you can buy 10-200 acres that is bordered by larger hunting opportunities it gives you bigger hunting possibilities than the acreage that you own. There are clients that have bought small acreages with the ability to hunt 1000s of acres. The Missouri Breaks Retreat is a perfect example. It is 20 acres but gives you 1000s of acres of access to Missouri Breaks famous elk, mule deer, whitetail, pheasant and waterfowl hunting all for a listed price of $95,000. Only in Montana is that possible.
There are jewels of Montana hunting land for sale. You just need the right person looking for you with the understanding of what you are looking for. The property boils down to the budget. You can have a property that you can catch a 20” rainbow in the middle of the day and go out and harvest a world record elk in the afternoon. Or you can pitch in with two or three other buddies and make memories for 10 years with the possibility of achieving ample returns. Montana is a special place that is becoming harder to find every day.
If you are trying to find your special Montana hunting land for sale please feel free to contact me. I would love to go on the journey with you in finding the right property to fit your dream and budget. I own a ranch in Texas still. It has been one of the best investments I’ve made and the family memories have been priceless. Start your dream in Montana!
If you want some more insight into wildlife in Montana you might want to look at this guide on the Montana Elk Rut. If you are getting serious about purchasing a Montana Ranch here is a Montana Ranch Buying Guide on things you need to consider. Find this information useful? Sign up for notification on new posts or properties.
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.