We are two wildlife biologists who wear several different hats, which I’ll describe in a very cursory manner. Our main work is as the two biologists that make up our Wildlife Consultants, which means that we are hired by anyone who wants to have us find out something about the wildlife or wildlife habitat that they are interested in.
Our other “hat” is as the biologist hosts of wildlife vacations – a place where we provide a private vacation experience in the wilderness of the Big Belt Mountains to help connect and teach guests about wildlife and bison.
And yet another of our “hats” is as the owners of a bison reserve – a Montana ranch where a herd of bison reside.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We are into wildlife and the environment in a major way, so that is what most of our conversations (and our lives) are centered around. If you are interested in either of these, then please come and join us.
What types of jobs can you expect? Well, this is a ranch. You can expect just about anything!
We have an organic garden that is used to feed the ranch and you will almost assuredly spend some time every day working in it. Other jobs may include collecting eggs from our chickens, cleaning out nestboxes or the chicken coop, feed and water, whatever. There may also be fence repair, work on water pipes or tanks, or we will put up fences to protect wildlife habitat (we don’t handle the bison, nor will you EVER approach them on foot or by yourselves). As wildlife biologists, we are constantly working to improve the ranch for wildlife. As such, we have several habitat manipulation projects going on including weeding, putting up fence enclosures to protect aspen and other habitat, stream and pond work to improve the aquatic and riparian areas, checking on, cleaning and repairing bird nestboxes, etc. If you don’t like animals, don’t come here. If you are very allergic to animals, same thing. We have a dog, cats, poultry, bison – even deer feeding in the front yard (they aren’t pets although they think so).
Cooking and kitchen duty are all something you can expect to do. We grind our own wheat, make our own bread, yogurt, etc, and we often cook using a solar oven in the summer – all kinds of “homesteading” type activities. Our ranch runs off of solar power but is tied to the grid. There’s no work associated with it, but for those of you interested in making your own electricity, this will be a firsthand experience for you. The ranch also relies on wood heat during the winter months, so you may find yourself helping to drag, load or stack wood for either the ranch headquarters (or even for your own campfire in the tipi). You will NOT be using a chainsaw or any other major equipment while you are here. You may also be asked to help in housework or light cleaning- especially on days when it's raining (or even snowing!)
One thing about this place - you will not be doing the same thing day after day. The work is varied and most of it is really quite fun. I mean, there's a reason that we live up here!
You are welcome to bring a tent, but it’s not necessary. We have 2 bedrooms available downstairs with a kitchen and bath, so most likely you will be staying there. We do not accept more than 4 volunteers at a time, so you won’t be sharing your space with many others.
We are a remote ranch and only go into town once a week or so. If you need city life, or ready access to stores and city type entertainment, then this is NOT the place for you. We are all about wilderness, wildlife, animals and ranch life, so those are the things that would need to appeal to you in order to work up here. Like all ranches, we do work hard and expect those who join us to work for the hours they have agreed to cheerfully and without us needing to nag. We are proud to say that so far, all of the volunteers who have stayed with us have loved the experience. We do have application forms for anyone interested in volunteering here, and we will send those upon request.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
We expect our guests to work for up to 5 hours/day, 5 days per week