Ute Mountain Ranch is a 3,920± acre cattle and hunting ranch located 45 minutes north of Taos, New Mexico. This multi-generational property on the market for the first in almost 70 years. Once a large potato farm dating back to the 1950’s, the ranch has since developed into a successful holistic management cattle operation complimented with tremendous hunting opportunities. Access to the ranch is directly off NM State Highway 522, which runs north from Taos to the Colorado border, approx 6.5 miles from the ranch entrance. Strong feed, outstanding water, robust improvements, incredible hunting and a desirable location are the hallmarks of Ute Mountain Ranch.
Five of the six sections have been crossed fenced into quarter section pastures (160± acres each) for easy cattle rotation and crop preservation. Five large water drinkers are positioned at the cross-section of each pasture, helping to create efficient rotation with minimal work. The owner currently historically runs up 180-200 pairs, dependent on conditions, rotating them every three days to the next pasture.
Water and Water Rights
Livestock watering is provided by two highly productive wells, utilizing underground pipelines to large tire drinkers in five of the six pastures. Residential improvements are also watered from these wells. The sixth pasture utilizes an irrigation well with 60-acres of extremely valuable water rights, which is currently used to flood irrigate a portion of the pasture. Historically, this well was used for a center pivot sprinkler, with the center pivot and pump still in place and ready to be put back into operation if an owner desires. Hearty and drought resistant Crested Wheat Grass compliments alfalfa and native grama grasses in this pasture and has produced 600 pounds of weight gain per season.
The current owner has been managing an extensive program of sage mitigation in an effort to create more abundant and stronger grasses. Several of the pastures have been cleared of sage brush and work is ongoing to complete the remainder. Once a pasture is cleared, it is then planted in Crested Wheat Grass. A visit to the ranch will show potential buyers the significance of these range improvements. Holistic Management practices have been in place for decades, with frequent pasture rotation, helping to preserve the quality and productivity of the range.
The ranch is located in GMU 53 and received 41 elk permits for the 2022-2023 hunting season. The tags included 16 mature bull, 8 either sex archery and 17 cow permits. The owner has designated the permits as unit-wide, allowing him to maximize revenue through permit sales. Elk can and have been harvested on the ranch property but majority of the permits have been utilized for public land hunting throughout the unit. Photos of elk showcased in this listing are a combination of animals harvested on the ranch as well as in public lands within the unit. The residential improvements on the ranch serve as fantastic housing for hunters.
There are three homes on the property. The main residence, a 3 bedroom at approximately 1,300 sq. ft., has been nicely remodeled with beautiful wood-grain laminate floors, updated bathroom and master bedroom addition, new windows and pellet stove for comfortable winter heat. The second home is approximately 1,000 sq. ft. with two bedroom, one bath with a mud room as well as an eat in kitchen. Perfect as a guest house, extended family or a bunk house for elk hunters. The second guest house is also a two bedroom, one bath at approximately 1,0000 sq. ft. and shares the same floor plan and the first guest house. A 30′ x 20′ shop has concrete floors and is utilized for both storage and equipment repair.
The working pens are located at the “Worker’s Camp” which features additional housing and storage in the form of a 12-room bunk house. When the ranch was a working potato farm, the large block-construction building was used to house farm workers and to store supplies. There is also a room in the camp building known as “Rosie’s Cantina”, which has served as an on property private saloon for owners and guests. This building has not been utilized in some years but is in sound condition and can be brought back into service. Electricity and water are connected.
Two potato bunkers are unique improvements on the ranch. One bunker is likely beyond repair but the second is still in good condition and provides opportunity for use. The current owner has entertained the idea of renovating the bunker and adjacent “Worker’s Camp” into a wedding and event venue, which could be a very charming and revenue-generating option.