Turner Bison Exchange

Red Rock Ranch

Ranch Review: Red Rock Ranch

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Location - Dillon, Montana

Year Acquired - 1996

Size - 18,160 acres

Cows Exposed - 120

Cow to Bull Ratio - 2:1

Maximum Bull Age - 4 years

Management Overview

The Red Rock Ranch is an 18,160-acre ranch located south of Dillon, Montana.  Primary ranch operations are conservation-based bison production and fisheries management.  The ranch is a mixture of riparian habitat, irrigated hay meadows and native rangeland pastures.  The high altitude (>5,000') induces a naturally fit reproductive animal. 

Breeding Herd

The bison herd at Red Rock Ranch are direct descendants of Yellowstone National Park bison.  Turner Enterprises obtained these bison following a 5-year collaborative study on brucellosis with the National Park Service and State of Montana.  At the end of the study, a portion of the offspring of the study animals were released at the Red Rock Ranch in 2014.  These bison show no introgression with cattle.

The bison are kept in one herd and managed through 37 pastures on a rotational basis, including both irrigated river bottom and native range. 

Calves / Yearlings

Bison works occur in early winter, after which all animals are 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 maintain as much genetic variation as possible.  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 course, rough forage.  These Yellowstone sourced bison are hardy, physically sound robust animals that do very well in extremely harsh conditions.

All ranch hands are trained in low stress livestock handling techniques which are utilized each time animals are moved or handled.  

Health

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