$50 Million For Hunting Land?

By Erin Kelley

With public access dwindling, it seems as though you need to own your own chunk of land to enjoy the outdoors. But what would you pay to hunt or fish on your own turf--$50 million?

This spring, Mason and Morse Ranch Company listed the Ochoco Ranch in central Oregon for just $48,500,000. “The ranch is our top listing and the top in the ranch market right now,” said John Stratman, real estate broker and third generation rancher. Part of what is driving the price at $11,500 per acre is the vegetation: Property with pine trees can run anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000.

But the pines aren’t the highlight of the 42,428-acre sportsman’s dream. Large numbers of Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, antelope, grouse, quail, and turkey call the property home, and trophy trout waters, Wolf Creek and Horse Heaven Creek, run through the estate.

The land has the potential for many uses from private ranch and recreational use to commercial development. The government could even add it to the national forest reserves. “Oregon doesn’t like to see their good forest and agriculture land converted to residential use, so they have some say on what the land is used for,” said Stratman.

Despite the steep price tag, Stratman said that there have been several inquiries about the ranch. “There are a fair number--not a lot of us--that have a lot of money and are looking to find a place for private recreation or a place to invest in,” said Stratman. “This land is a good investment.”

Stratman said the size of the ranch is not uncommon. In August 2005, a ranch in Nevada that was over 58,550 acres sold for $8,900,000. Mason and Morse Ranch Company have sold several multi-million dollar ranches in Nevada, Colorado, and Montana. “For a frame of reference, there are several $50 to $75 million ranches for sale in the West and Canada,” said Stratman.

The ranch has been on the market for about 90 days. “Ideally we would like to see it sell in the first year rather than year three,” said Stratman. “It’s all about reaching the right buyer.”

Ochoco isn't the only multi-million dollar ranch for sale by Mason and Morse. Here is a list of 10 of their other most expensive properties (to see pictures and more ranches visit: www.ranchland.com)

1. Fortune Ranch in Gardner, Colo. $19,500,000
2. Exclusive Residence at Diamond Star Ranch in Eagle, Colo. $10,500,000
3. Walker's 91 Ranch in Centennial, Wyo. $7,500,000
4. Jewel of the San Juan Mountains Ranch in Lake City, Colo. $7,000,000
5. Cache Ranch in Carbondale, Colo. $6,250,000
6. Star Valley Ranch in Afton, Wyo. $5,550,000
7. Hot Springs Guest Ranch in Gunnison, Colo. $4,900,000
8. Cedar Bench Ranch in Montrose, Colo. $4,400,000
9. Whistling Acres Guest Ranch in Paonia, Colo. $4,250,000
10. Grand Lake Log Home in Grand Lake, Colo. $4,000,000