Nestled between two great American landscape features -- the Rocky Mountain Front to the west and the North American prairie to the east -- is the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch (TMR, also known locally as the "Boone & Crockett Ranch"). The TMR is a winter wildlife viewer’s paradise. The closest town is Dupuyer, about 15 miles east of the TMR.
The 6,000-acre ranch is owned and managed by the non-profit Boone and Crockett Club, based in Missoula. To stimulate private sector leadership on wildlife research, education, and management, the Boone and Crockett Club purchased this working cattle ranch in prime wildlife habitat along Dupuyer Creek The Club allows public access to this gorgeous landscape.
The mission of the ranch, is research, teaching, and demonstration of integrated livestock/wildlife conservation that is integral to the economic viability of private and adjacent public lands. The Club is also interested in maintaining and enhancing the stewardship roles of rural families who make their living through shared uses and management of natural resources and thus helping to conserve the natural wealth of our nation.
The ranch property is enrolled in the Montana's Block Management Program to offer public hunting opportunities. It is important to note that Club members cannot hunt on the TRM Ranch.
At the TRM Ranch, the Club conducts habitat research and demonstrates innovative land management practices, as well as conservation education programs. These activities are linked to a program of graduate scholarships directed by the Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana.
The TMR shares its western border with public, national forest land, and is bordered on the other three sides by private lands with some interspersed state lands. Overall, it would be hard to tell ownership if not for the barbed wire fences. The land use is all grazing, and some limited hay. The ranch itself consists of rolling hills, shrub and timbered ridges, some steep slopes and flat, irrigated hay meadows. The views of the Rocky Mountain Front from the property are, in a word, stunning.
Wildlife species are varied and diverse. Seasons dictate the species though you will see mostly mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, and coyotes from December on, with late December though middle January being the best months to watch big game animals. All wildlife can and should be view from the vehicle this time of year. Winter is particularly hard on big game and less energy they use the better off their condition will be in the latter part of the winter.
Remember, antlered animals start "shedding" or casting their antlers in January. By the end of January most whitetails have lost their headgear, while the mule deer are just starting. So if you're visiting in late winter and you're not seeing any males it's likely because they have already lost their antlers.
Deer and elk species can bee seen throughout the year but during the summer months expect to see more birds, and if your "lucky" a grizzly bear or two, particularly in the spring.
On my last trip out there I saw several eagles, both golden and bald, two turkey vultures, magpies, and ravens or crows - sometimes, at a distance it's hard to tell the difference, but the tail configuration is the dead give away. . . crows have rounded tails while the raven tail is more square. While you will see a few scavenger birds, most have left for warmer more food rich places.
If you see a congregation of birds, especially if you see a large bird like an eagle or a vulture roosting near the ground or on the ground itself, you should stop and watch the area, it is likely that they are on a kill and if your lucky you may see a coyote, a wolf, or even a cougar. . .
Sun up through mid-morning in the winter, and very early to very late in the summer
January and June
Once you get to the main property you will see signs (with a picture of a set of binoculars) directing you where to go for the best viewing. That said, almost anyplace on the ranch has wildlife. The best thing to do is stay in your vehicle and pay attention. The animals are used to cars. But if you get out and start walking around they will flee.
Going North on US-89, take the first left as you enter the town of Dupuyer (Dupuyer Creek Road). Continue for eight miles until you reach a fork in the road. Take a left and travel less than a mile until you see the TRM Ranch/RWCC sign with an arrow turn left and follow the road to the "T".
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