Turner Bison Exchange

Red Rock Ranch

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Ranch Review - Red Rock Ranch

Location:  Dillon, Montana

Size:  18,160 acres

Cows Exposed:  120

Cow: Bull Ratio:  2:1

Maximum bull age:  4 yrs.

Management Overview

The Red Rock Ranch is an 18,160-acre (4,878 deeded/11,022 State/2,260 BLM) ranch located 25 miles south of Dillon, Montana along Interstate 15.  Primary ranch operations are bison production (breeding stock – Yellowstone Bison), grazing management of approximately 600 animal units and fisheries management.  Other operations include sport fishing and big game hunting.  The ranch is a mixture of riparian habitat, irrigated hay meadows and native rangeland pastures. 

Breeding Herd: The bison herd at Red Rock Ranch are direct descendants of Yellowstone National Park bison, both males and females.   Turner obtained these bison through a joint agreement of a 5-year study on brucellosis with the State of Montana.   At the end of the study, the bison were taken to the Red Rock Ranch in 2014.

The bison are kept in one herd and managed through pastures on a rotational basis, utilizing 37 pastures, both irrigated river bottom and native range.  They are worked in the early winter and then turned back to pasture, grazing year-round.  Calves are not weaned, yearlings and two-year olds are not separated from the herd.  All bison are kept together with a high compliment of young bulls to assure keeping the genetics broad.  We feed a minimal amount of hay or cake in the winter, and use it as a tool to encourage grazing in areas that have coarse, rough forage.  The Yellowstone bison are hardy, robust animals that do very well in extremely harsh conditions. 

Notes: Two Yellowstone bulls were offered at the International Bison Conference in Big Sky, Montana in 2017.  One bull went for $42,500.00 as part of the IBC auction and the second bull was given away as part of the conference raffle.  Both bulls were semen tested in late October 2017 and were picked up by their respective owners. 

The Red Rock herd is naïve for mycoplasma.  They have been annually vaccinated but have never had an outbreak.