6 Things To Consider When Buying a Ranch in Wyoming

Wyoming has many attributes that make it unique as a state and as a place to own land.  Hunting, fishing and open spaces are abundant.  Financial opportunities come in the form of low taxes, cheap grass, and even secondary education. There are many benefits to owning land in Wyoming, depending on what you might be looking for in land ownership.  Below are 6 things to consider about Wyoming when looking for a ranch investment.

1.  Landowner Tags For Big Game Hunting:  Wyoming has some of the best elk, deer and antelope hunting anywhere in the US.  The problem with getting a chance to hunt these trophies is they are often found in areas that are very hard to draw a tag.  In Wyoming, if you own 160+ contiguous acres in the draw area, you are allowed 2 tags per family per said species per year (also including wild turkey).   There are some requirements that the land provide food, cover and water for any species that landowner tags are applied for.  There must be demonstration that 2000 days of use has been utilized by the species in a 12 month period.  The complete information on landowner hunting regulations can be found in section 9 on the following link to chapter 44 of the Wyoming hunting regulations. 


6.  Weather Patterns:  It is important to note the climate in Wyoming.  Because the Rocky Mountains cut right through the middle of the state, much of the land is at a high elevation ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level and even higher in some places!  It might come as a surprise to some people that corn and other crops will not grow in much of Wyoming’s short growing season, even with abundant water.  Alfalfa is a marginally successful crop with only one or two cuttings in some cases.  This will explain much lower cropland value, even under pivots with great water.  Cattle breed is another important consideration for high elevations.  High altitude sickness or ‘Brisket’ disease forces producers to carefully consider the breed of cattle they run, especially for long term genetic input through bulls and replacement heifers.  Winters can also be harsh in Wyoming.  A lot of snow equates to higher winter feeding costs than some surrounding areas.  This can be offset, however, by cheaper summer grazing relative to Wyoming’s neighboring states. 

Wyoming is very unique and diverse in landscape.  If you enjoy hunting, fishing, and wide open spaces, then Wyoming is a great place to look for land.  Lower living cost, education costs and opportunity for cheaper grazing will add to the appeal!