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About the Beartooth Ranch and its Owners

Kent and Pam Williams started the Beartooth Ranch LLC in 2005 when they purchased the ranch from Mel Gibson, who owned it for 17 years.  Vern Sanders, the owner that sold to Mel Gibson, still resides on the ranch along the Stillwater River. 

Kent Started Montana Silversmiths in 1973 and after having a successful run for 20 years, he retired and sold the business at age 50.  Kent, with the help of Butch Behrent, owned and continued to run the 2,500-acre Wagon Wheel Ranch, which adjoined the Beartooth Ranch.  Kent mentioned to Mel Gibson that if the Beartooth ranch was ever put up for sale, he would like to have an opportunity to purchase the ranch.  In January of 2005, Kent and Pam flew down to California and purchased the ranch on a handshake with Mel.   http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/gibson-sells-ranch-to-neighbors-couple-wants-to-preserve-rural/article_88965dc3-0325-5c8c-accd-67670b0ca212.html

 The ranch included 3000 head of Registered Black Angus cattle, with the National Grand Champion Bull, numerous houses, outbuildings and lots of equipment.  The headquarters area was set up for calving, breeding and yearly auctions. The primary reason for purchasing Beartooth Ranch was to keep it from being subdivided.  http://billingsgazette.com/business/beartooth-ranch-going-natural-adds-horse-boarding-riding-facility/article_f1bf4f13-c393-5f8d-aa00-27e6f884dac6.html

After running the ranch with cattle for a couple years, the Williams’ decided exit the cattle business and had the largest Black Angus Sale in history.  The dispersal sale lasted two days and the cattle and semen went throughout the world.    Since the dispersal sale, the ranch has leased the grasslands and fall meadows to local cattle breeders from May until November.    

 

Kent and Pam are both animal lovers, and Pam especially loves horses and riding.  They wanted to do more with the land, so they felt a perfect blend would be boarding horses with riding privileges to share with others the beautiful 15,000 acres with views of 5 different mountain ranges.   Beartooth Boarding and Riding was started in the Spring of 2008.  The cattle paddocks were all turned into horse-safe pastures, a lounge and tack room were created, an outdoor arena, the sale barn into an indoor arena and many other changes took place over the following year, with improvements happening each year.   A year later we added Riding Memberships, where the members don’t have to board with us to ride on the grasslands, many lanes and trails. The boarding aspect of the Ranch has grown considerably since its start with the most recent expansion in the fall of 2016 adding 16 new paddocks. Other improvements for 2016 around the ranch include a new third hay shed built this summer to house more of the Ranch’s homegrown alfalfa grass mix horse hay. The Ranch manages 800 irrigated acres of quality hay ground that is grown to feed boarded horses as well as sell. 

 

Kent and Pam have also put a large portion of the land in a Conservation Easement, and they have done restoration logging for fire prevention, and reseeding to return those areas to the grazing land that existed in the early 1900’s.  Many roads were graded for fire breaks as well as firetruck access to remote areas of the ranch. These roads also serve the Members with great scenic trails to ride. Kent and Pam believe that you must leave the land better than when you found it, so weed control is also a primary activity at the ranch.

 

Kent and Pam own 3 horses; two Tennessee Walkers and one Arabian/Saddlebred.  You will find Pam out on the trail frequently riding with other Beartooth Ranch Members.  Kent is often on the motor grader improving roads and making new trails for riding.

 

Butch Behrent and his wife Kim came to manage the Beartooth Ranch naturally, since he was already helping run the Wagon Wheel Ranch.  Butch did a great job over the years perfecting the ranch and facilities to make it a world class riding facility.  Butch retired from management in late 2016, but will continue to add his experience and knowledge.

 

In November 2015, Matt and Anna Lambert, with young daughter Carly started transitioning into the Management position at the Beartooth Ranch and now Manage the ranch.  They have done a wonderful job transitioning with Butch and they are ready, willing and able to carry on the Beartooth Ranch Tradition.

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