Encompassing both the Indian Creek and Bully Creek drainages of northern Malheur County, Oregon, the Indian Creek Ranch stretches 25+/- miles east-to-west and 24+/- miles north-to-south. The climate is high desert dry-summer continental with cool nights and sunny days. December provides an average daily temperature of 19 °F and the July daily average is 90 °F with an average precipitation of 10.21 inches annually, snow averages 26.2 inches annually. Harper, Oregon is approximately 12 miles south from the ranch headquarters and offers schools K – 12. Ontario is approximately 55 miles south east from ranch headquarters, offering major medical, equipment, auto, shopping and advanced educational opportunities. Boise is approximately 110 miles and provides commercial air service.
ACREAGE AND DESCRIPTION
The property consists of 22,200+/- deeded acres interspersed within 103,000+/- acres BLM and State leased land giving a grand total of approximately 125,200+/- acres encompassing the Indian Creek and Bully Creek drainage of Malheur County, Oregon. Indian Creek runs the west to east through the central portion of the Ranch while Bully Creek traverses the northern portion of the ranch also with a west to east flow. The extreme southern deeded portion of the ranch hosts about one and one-half miles of the Malheur River and over three miles of Pole Creek. Deeded lands are scattered along the drainages providing control of water resources and road access to the major drainages. Numerous streams, springs, seeps, reservoirs, tanks, stock wells and pipeline also provide stock water throughout both deeded and government pastures. Carrying capacity may increase or decrease based on precipitation, management and mature cow size. The BLM Grazing Allotment permit historically has 16,513 AUM’s available from April to October. The ranch is in a rest/restoration period with a reduced stocking rate as a result of a large range fire two years ago. There are standard road and utility easements throughout the property.
The ranch has 2,400+/- acres of irrigation water rights from multiple sources, including creeks, springs and 1,565 acre-feet of storage in multiple reservoirs. The water rights also include approximately 700 acres of ground water irrigation pumped from three wells. The groundwater rights supply four center pivots and two 1/4 mile wheel lines.
Detailed information on water rights and various irrigation equipment is available upon request.
The ranch history is quite vivid with early day miners and homesteaders dotting the landscape. In addition to wagon trains and stagecoaches crossing the area along, the ranch has notoriety with early day ranchers including Charley Becker, the founder of Indian Creek Ranch. As quoted in a history book titled “Westfall Country” by Earl R. Smith, Exposition Press, 1963:
“Charley Becker was the only other cattleman who made cattle his business. When one says ‘business,’ that’s just what he made it, and it was a profitable one. His ranch was on Indian Creek but his but his stock ranged over many square miles of adjacent territory.”
The Indian Creek Ranch is known for both great hunting and fishing. The ranch qualifies for eight (8) LOP hunting tags for deer, elk and antelope in the Beulah Hunting Unit #65. Trophy quality Mule Deer Buck hunting is found on this ranch. Game birds include chukar, pheasant, quail, duck and geese. Zotto Reservoir provides trout fishing while upper Bully Creek reportedly offers Brook Trout. The Hana and Becker reservoirs offer bass fishing.
Conservation opportunities should not be understated. The importance of the upland bird habitat conservation is extremely valuable and the ability of the ranch to provide protection of several species is of strong interest to conservation minded parties.
Improvements include a two-story 3,444 square foot home with four bedrooms, two and one-half baths situated on a hill overlooking the ranch headquarters. Additional ranch improvements include four ranch homes, large industrial shop situated in the heart of the farming unit, two smaller shops, two back grounding feed lots, covered scales, shipping and processing facilities, calving barn, two horse barns, hay shed, hanger, dirt air strip, sorting pens in the high country with semi access for weaning calves, summer cow camp, other miscellaneous outbuildings.
The Indian Creek Ranch offers a large resource with the capability of a large scale cattle operation combined with recreational attributes including deer, elk and antelope hunting together with tremendous potential in upland game bird hunting involving pheasant, chukar, quail and waterfowl. The conservation potential of the deeded land is very attractive and will only increase as time goes along. The water resources on the ranch are very impressive in terms of both irrigation water as well as upland livestock water including springs, creeks and lakes. Thru time, the Indian Creek Ranch has maintained its stature as a productive and profitable cattle operation.
Co-Listed with Robb Van Pelt, Mason & Morse Ranch Company.