Willow Creek Ranch
If you want to escape to the soaring Mountains of Montanas Big Sky, enjoy world-class accommodations and have access to wildlife as abundant as the Serengetti, book your next hunt with the historic Willow Creek Ranch.
With over 19,419 Acres and located 30 minutes from Bozeman International Airport, the ranch is definitely off the beaten path accessed only by a county road that dead ends at the Gallatin National Forest. Willow Creek Ranches' massive block of private land adjoins the US National forest, offering the finest big game hunting the Big Sky state has to offer. Approximately 800 elk winter on the ranch with MT FWP counts as high as 1200.
First settled in 1885 Willow Creek Ranch was a cluster of smaller ranches and remained a cattle ranch until 2007 when it was purchased by the Arms Cattle Company. In the years since, WCR has undergone a myriad of changes. In 2008, a wildlife management program began on the ranch focusing on increasing the cover, feed, and improving water sources. 4 fish ponds and bird preserve were developed.
In 2009 over 20 miles of old sheep fence was removed and replaced by wildlife friendly fence. 4 stocked fish ponds and over 5 miles of fishable streams loaded with Yellowstone cutthroat and Brown Trout were also created. The Ranch has 5 live streams flowing west to east and spread throughout the ranch providing refreshing cool-off's during warm afternoon hunts.
In 2012 the ranch turned over 1000 acres of grass land, producing winter wheat for both production and wildlife feed. 200+ irrigated acres of hay ground and 200+ acres of non-irrigated hay ground and over 40 developed springs are responsible for the healthy and well-fed animals attracted to the WCR. Over 100 acres of food plots are maintained to nourish the huge population of upland game birds, elk and deer.
In 2015 a 300 acre bird preserve was stocked with Pheasant, and chucker’s. There is also a population of native Hungarian partridge, sharp-tail grouse and Mountain grouse. For grassland improvement and wildfire safety, 2/3 of the forage is left for wildlife forage and habitat.
The small town of Livingston (population 7,000) is only 14 miles away from the lodge and capable of providing any “extras” you may need.
In the spring about 300 cows give birth, then spend the summer in the high country, allowing the ranch forage to regenerate. Mid- August 300-400 elk move onto the ranch to start feeding on the lush fields and begin the breeding rituals known as “Rut”, or “Mayhem”... which are truly something to behold!
Near the first of November the rut ends, snow starts accumulating in the high country, and hunting pressure from the surrounding land increases. As they prepare for the coming Montana winter, the herd grows to about 800.
The upscale Lodge and Cabins were built in 2015.
Spring of 2016 will see the construction of a multi-complex skeet, rifle, pistol and archery range. If you'd prefer to just kick back and enjoy the scenery, 4 stocked fishing ponds await you.