Montana folks I need some info

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kenneth in NC, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Hey there Montana folks. Tell me what part your in and how the water is.
    My wife got an email that said that Montana was of the states that tried to "control" the water use and had regulations for even the rural people with wells. Is this truth or fiction?

    I've been to Billings but have not got top see any other parts of MT. What is the differences in the State? I'd like to know more about the Pollution, air quality, schooling, water quality.

    What type of flying insects and creepy crawlies do you have in summer? winter?

    Best part of state to live in for homesteading?

    Thanks for your help.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  2. coventry49

    coventry49 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    South Central Montana, foothills of the Beartooth
    I live in Montana, and yes, there are water rights issues. But you will find that water rights are a very BIG THING throughout the arid western states. It is not the state that controls the water, just as it does not control the deed to your land. Normally, when you purchase a piece of land, you must make sure you have enough "shares" of irrigation water for your needs. In most cases, well water is not affected by water rights, BUT I have heard there exceptions to this. You would need to check with local legal eagles. I own a whopping 5 acres and have 4 shares of irrigation water. (Last year I rented a 400 acre ranch that had only one puny share: just enough to water the back yard).
    I pay the local irrigation company for those shares, as well as yearly maintenance fees. In return, I get my share of water from the irrigation canal, and a fancy certificate showing that I own those shares.In a dry year, someone whose "deed" to their water rights is older than mine, will have first access to that water.
    I do not pay the irr. company for my well water.

    According to Montana Fish and Wildlife, the only poisonous snake in Montana is the prairie rattler. I find them mostly in thick growth along irrigation ditches, but they are known to like open rocky areas just as well. Many folks mistake the bolder, but non-poisonous bull snake for the rattler, and kill them, believing they've done a service to the local community.

    Aside from the possibility of eagles and hawks getting my chickens, the worst flying predator I have is the mosquito! I live in an agricultural valley, between a river and a year-round creek, with irrigation ditches all over the place. I am inundated with mosquitoes.

    Pollution and air quality depend on just where you live. Generally, Montana is cleaner than most states, mainly because the low population per square mile. But there are old mining towns, and I will not publically name names, that are on the superfund toxic cleanup list. And the air directly downwind of oil refineries can be pretty nasty, too. But there a whole lot of pristine places left in Montana.

    The most desirable land (gorgeous views, decent access, timber, rainfall, grasslands, good water, close to a place where you can actually earn a living) is all but priced out of the market of anyone who regularly reads this forum, my self very much included. But if there are things that you can compromise on, there are still bargains and diamonds in the rough to be had every day.

    I live within striking distance of Billings, down between the Beartooths and the Pryor Mountains, and I am just in love with this valley. Are the views drop-dead gorgeous? No. Do I have all thr privacy I want? A BIG no! And the only trees on my property are the little bitty ones I planted this spring. But it is great agricultural land, has good fishing right out back, a 15 minute drive to the hills, and it takes only a half hour to commute to work. I didn't get all I wanted, but I sured got what I need. LOL.

    PM me if you'd like more info.
     

  3. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

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    coventryr49, very informative post. I own property in Western Montana but did not know all that.
    One thing to add, the chances of drilling a dry well are much greater east of the divide. Western Montana is wetter, more mountainous, has more tree cover, more National Forests and is more expensive. Most people there have never seen a Prairie Rattler in their lives. Montana is wonderful.
     
  4. Carey Russ

    Carey Russ Active Member

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    Location:
    Montana
    Hey I live rural Montana and recently bought my current property which had flood irrigation water rights- I bought 80 acres for about 2000 an acre with creek access- the 160 next to me is for sale for 1000 an acre with a seasonal ditch but no water rights--
    Water is a big issue here-But not as much as in the SW were I also have lived--Seems any really choice land in Montana is overpriced or very far from any town. I your willing to comprimise like I did and deal with some rocky terrain, you can get yourself a nice piece. I'm backed up to the Elkhorn Mountains National Forest And BLM Lots of deer wild life bugs are abundant and I do have rattle snakes and you know a rattler when you see one, contrary to the other responder cause they rattle. You have to really look around-I found my piece for sale by owner in a local Thifty Nickel--
    When I told most Real Estate Agents what I was looking for and the Money I had they looked at me like I was crazy! But I found it- so you can too. The population is growing in Montana very quickly mostly around Missoula and Bozeman-- It depends on what you are looking for where you look in Montana Western Montana I found the only affordable land was very wooded or brushy not good for horses which I have-but good hunting land none the less. I'm in Cental Montana, Its lots of ag valleys and mountains here and I love it- but anything around Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley is way over priced in my opinion--Things are still affordable in Broadwater county and north of HElena and Greatfalls- but it gets to be rolling plains up there not as many valleys- but very beautiful with the Rockies on the Western Horizon- Hope this helps!
     
  5. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    What we'd like is 5-10 acres., sweet water well, grid power to start, 3 bed/2bath home. If the soil is not great we could build raised beds and put them in a makeshift green house. We would like to grow beans, tomato, onions, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupe and potatoes.

    Does that help narrow down the area?


    Thanks for taking time to answer questions.



    Kenneth in NC
     
  6. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of Roundup MT. Is all the water around there Hard w/sulfur smell? Is this caused by nature or something manmade?


    Kenneth in NC
     
  7. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Yep, pretty sure all the water around here is that way. It's natural as far as I know. If you're interested I can send you the link to our photo albums so you can see what the area looks like.
    Take care~
    Steph
     
  8. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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  9. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Some of that land around Roundup can't sustain a well. Quite a few have cisterns, though mostly closer down towards Billings. It's hit or miss. I know of 20foot wells(no sulphur) and springs that run all year round just 30-40 miles west of Roundup.

    Most of the coyotes I've seen were hanging on fences after being shot. I've shot a rattler myself around there. I'm surprised the antelope weren't mentioned. There's many running in herds. Not a lot of snow but the icepack on paved roads can get bad in spots. It can get very cold and windy in the winter. Some days won't be above 0 degrees in full sun but it never lasts long.

    Fires can cover large areas around there. Roundup area got hit kind of hard years ago by them.

    This is a publication you find in restaurants and such up there - http://www.montanalandmagazine.com/

    The Billings Gazette is online. The Stillwater county news(Columbus, Red Lodge) is online too. The Billings Thrify Nickel is http://www.billingsthriftynickel.com/
     
  10. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Can't believe I forgot the antelope! DOH! They're my favorite critters around here! :)
    All the wells in our area are approx. 300 ft and I haven't talked with anyone nearby that's had problems with them going dry even through the drought years. The city's water supply is TERRIBLE! Comes from a flooded mine 12-20 ft below ground and is full of iron from all the old equiptment left down in it and lots of nasty stuff that leaches into the ground. I feel much better getting my water from deep under ground even if it is stinky. :)
    Grassland fires are a danger from lightning strikes and there was a really hot fire 18 miles out of town in the Bull Mtns. about 25 years ago. The trees are finally starting to grow there again.
     
  11. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Do you guys hunt antelope? How amny are you allowed per season?



    Kenneth