A ranch with this kind of beauty and wildlife is not only hard to find in western Nebraska but rarely come on the market. This ranch has been in the same family for almost 30 years. Situated in the Wildcat Hills southwest of Scottsbluff, the ranch has all of the attributes of a trophy hunting property and wildlife refuge. With public hunting access on three sides, wildlife find sanctuary on this ranch. The ranch also features a very nice set of improvements and working facilities for cattle and horses.
The Kiowa Creek Wildlife Sanctuary is 2,600 deeded acres that are surrounded on three sides by public access ground. Cedar Canyon Ranch to the east is owned by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and is managed by them. The adjacent land to the south, west and northwest are owned and managed by Platte River Basin Environments, part of whose funding came from the Nature Conservancy. Those lands are open to the public for hunting, horseback riding, hiking etc. but are closed to ALL motorized vehicles.
The ranch provides a very diverse opportunity for wildlife viewing, hunting, cattle ranching, horseback riding and other recreation. A great set of improvements compliments this unique property.
The ranch features three drainages that flow together to create the start of Kiowa Creek, which flows through the property and provides additional water for wildlife and livestock. The property has a rich blend of lush pastures, dark timbered hillsides, rock outcroppings, and hidden draws.
The ranch features a great set of improvements located off a well-maintained county road. The main house was recently renovated in 2009. The house is all brick with a metal roof. There is beautiful wood work throughout the home including solid oak trim and Brazilian Cherry tongue and groove floors. The kitchen features state of the art appliances, custom cabinets and granite counter tops.
There is a 16’x80’ modular home for employees that was built in 2005 with three bedrooms and two baths. The home has a permanent foundation, covered porch, propane forced air furnace and all utilities.
The main barn was built in 1900 but received a new metal roof, paint and wiring in 2014. There is metal lined grain bin, tack room, insulated and heated “warm-room”, calf hot box, 5 box stalls, maternity pen with auto head catch and the upstairs features a good old-fashioned hay mow with a drop hole in the center.
The 32’x80’ Quonset is something to see. Built for grain storage in 1946, it has 6’ high poured concrete stem walls. Laminated arches that are planked to 12’ and anchors in the concrete floor. Designed to store up to 100,000 bushel of grain, there is a new overhead door and wiring. Currently it is used as a shop and tractor storage.
Additional outbuildings include; a 100’x40’ Chief Industry’s metal framed shop with two 16’ overhead doors and a full concrete floor, a 26’x40’ steel framed shop with new metal cladding in 2014, a 32’x80’ open front cow shed with hay mow & metal clad roof, and last but not least, Hubert’s Chicken Coop which was built in 2016.
Conveniently located about 10 miles from Scottsbluff/Gering, Nebraska, the ranch is approximately 90 minutes from Cheyenne and 3 hours from Denver.
The City of Scottsbluff, Nebraska is located in the Great Plains region of the United States and has a population of just over 15,000 residents. Scottsbluff is the largest city in the Nebraska Panhandle and the 13th largest city in Nebraska. There is a total population base of just under 24,000 residents. Scottsbluff is the retail hub of western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming offering abundant lodging, dining and shopping experiences. Scottsbluff has an excellent regional hospital and commercial air service is available.
The sister City of Gering was just named one of the top 20 best small towns to visit in 2018 by Smithsonian Magazine:
“For pioneers making their way along the rugged Oregon Trail 175 years ago, the steep hills of Western Nebraska’s Scotts Bluff National Monument served as a landmark of hope along their journey. The same rang true for Native Americans and immigrants along the California and Mormon trails. Gering lies just east of the monument, and offers its own reasons for making the trip to this hub of the Old West.
Although Gering wasn’t founded until the late 19th century, it still honors the region’s historic past with Oregon Trail Days. Discover the history of the Nebraska prairie at Gering’s Legacy of the Plains Museum, which highlights the lives of pioneer settlers through agricultural artifacts and even a working farmstead that harvests a featured crop each year. Nearby Fort Mitchell Pass offers a glimpse into America’s Western Expansion. This army outpost, one of hundreds the U.S. Army built to protect settlers, and later used to monitor traffic along the Oregon Trail, was abandoned after the war.
Natural monuments abound in the Gering area. The iconic pillar of Chimney Rock, 20 miles southeast of Gering, appeared in the diary entrees of thousands of pioneers, representing a new phase of their journeys. There’s also the narrow Robidoux Pass, a gap that travelers used to traverse the Wildcat Hills and get their first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. Wagon ruts and pioneer graves serve as reminders of the arduous journey, as does the reconstructed Robidoux Trading Post, in the spot where a Frenchman with the surname Robidoux built the original post that sold goods and blacksmithing services to travelers, (which is on the way to the ranch).
Explore the 1,100 piney acres of Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and Nature Center, spread across a rocky escarpment within a region of rising canyons and forested buttes. The area is home to big horn sheep, wild turkeys, and one of Nebraska’s only permanent cougar populations. You’ll find more hiking and mountain biking trails in the remote Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area, a place of tree-topped ridges and rolling prairies.”
The annual precipitation is approximately 18 inches. Snowfall average is 42 inches. On average, there are 224 sunny days per year in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The July high is around 90 degrees. The January low is 14.
Whether you are a hunter or just a watcher of wildlife, this ranch will fit the bill. In addition to mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn and wild turkey, over the last twenty years big horn sheep and elk have repopulated the area! Varying topography, mixed vegetation, significant cover, plentiful food and water have all helped to create a wildlife sanctuary of sorts. In addition, all of the above lends itself to great scenic vistas for horseback riding, hiking, birding, snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
The current owner of the ranch does not hunt and has not allowed hunting on the property for many years. In addition to the 2,600 deeded acres on the ranch, you can hunt the surrounding wildlife management area. In reality, this means that wildlife are sometimes pushed by hunters on the wildlife management area and find sanctuary on the ranch. Hunting is permitted on the wildlife management area on foot or horseback only. These wildlife management areas provide a significant amount of public hunting access adjacent to the ranch; the Carter Canyon Ranch to the south is 10,533 acres, the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area to the east is 2,220 acres, and the Montz Ranch to the west is 814 acres.
It is no longer a secret that BIG elk reside in Nebraska! Excellent food sources and diverse topography make for very happy elk. Nebraska however manages its elk hunting licenses very carefully. This property lies within the North Platte River Elk Management Unit and meets the requirements for a resident or non-resident landowner to qualify for a tag.
In 2001, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep were reintroduced to the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area. The sheep have done extremely well and now multiple herds roam the wildcat hills including this ranch. In 2015, this area had its first successful sheep hunt with a trophy class ram. The state currently offers two sheep hunts annually through a charity auction and license lottery.
Mule deer are plentiful in this part of the state and the genetics are strong. Archery tags are available over the counter and rifle/muzzleloader tags can be purchased through a draw. The ranch is in the Upper Platte Deer Management Unit.
The area has been a popular destination for horseback riding enthusiasts for many years and the neighboring public lands continue to attract a lot of trail riders. The working facilities and pastures on the ranch are well suited for horses.
There is an abundance of outdoor activities available in the area including fishing, waterfowl hunting, biking, golfing, as well as great parks and recreation in the towns of Scottsbluff and Gering.
The ranch has a great set of working facilities and outbuildings to support an owner operator cattle operation or a continued leased grazing program similar to the current owner. Historically the ranch has been utilized as a cow/calf set up but a yearling operation would work as well. The ranch provides great cover and winter protection. The working facilities are all in very good condition and well maintained. The ranch is well fenced and cross-fenced for efficient rotational grazing as well as a separate bull pasture with excellent wind breaks. There is also a 60,000 lb. Fairbanks scale with a concrete deck which is certified by the State of Nebraska Department of Agriculture. There are 10 stock tanks on the ranch.
An overused phrase indeed but this ranch is truly “well-watered.” The ranch has multiple bottomless stock tanks, underground piping, and live water to provide an excellent source of water for livestock and wildlife.
The Seller owns 100% of the minerals and will be offering to transfer half of the minerals with the sale.
The grazing has been leased for 2018 only. In the event of a sale, the new owner will be entitled to the remainder of lease payments and be able to manage the grazing completely in 2019.
This property is completely unencumbered and a prime candidate for a conservation easement. The current owner has been contacted multiple times by various entities interested in the property for an easement or to purchase. As noted above, it is currently bordered on three sides by property that has been conserved and placed into a wildlife management area.