Montana Cattle Drives- FAQs
Cattle Drives in Montana- Frequently Asked Questions
I fly in a day early or leave a day late for my cattle drive holiday, where should I stay in Billings?
When making reservations with either hotel you will receive a ranch discount when you mention that you will be spending the week at Dryhead Ranch. Both feature an airport shuttle service to pick you up or drop you off at the airport.
2511 1st Avenue North, Billings, MT 59101
Dude Rancher Lodge ★★★☆☆
415 North 29th Street, Billings, MT 59101
Where will you pick me up for my cattle drive holiday?
We begin to pick up our guests on Sunday at 4:00pm at Billings Logan International Airport. After picking up there, we proceed to the Dude Rancher Lodge, and the Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn. We prefer to receive flight information at least two weeks in advance of your arrival so that we can best plan our pickup schedule for that week.
Where will we meet if we are driving?
We prefer to meet you in Lovell, Wyoming at the ConocoPhillips gas station at the east end of town at 6:00pm on Sunday. Most often it saves a considerable amount of time if we meet in Lovell instead of Billings.
What should I bring?
In addition to what can be found on the website here, we email you a list of suggested items to bring with your reservation sheet.
What payment methods are accepted?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, cash, and personal checks.
Where will I stay at the ranch?
We have two options for your cattle drive holiday accommodations which can be viewed here on our site. We offer a bunkhouse with private bedrooms and shared restroom facilities, in addition to two cabins each with its own private bathroom. Both options are neat, clean, and comfortable.
Will my cell phone work at the ranch?
There is no service in the ranch headquarters. However, at times while we are out on our cattle drives in Montana there will be times when you will have service. While at the headquarters you will have access to wireless internet, in addition to a satellite phone; of the two, the internet proves the most reliable.
How long is the drive from Billings to the ranch?
It is approximately two and a half hours from Billings to the ranch. The drive from Billings to Lovell is an hour and a half, and from Lovell to the ranch is another hour. In Lovell we sometimes stop to pick up any items we may need for the ranch or to fuel up.
How many people work at the ranch?
We are a family owned and operated working guest ranch. We have a normal staff of eight people who live at the ranch throughout the season. We have two full-time cowboys and two seasonal working cowboys or cowgirls. The other family members help out when needed. On occassion we have neighboring cowboys who come to ride colts, or fill in at peak work times. Iris is not at the ranch during the week, as our office is in Lovell.
How many cows are on the ranch?
Each year it is different, but we run in the neighborhood of 1,000 head of cattle.
How many horses are on the ranch?
Each year it is different also. We have cavvy horses, mares with foals, studs, yearlings, 2 year-olds we begin training, and then the riding horses the cowboys have personally or take in to ride for other people. We normally have around 150 horses on the ranch during the season.
How many horses will we ride during our stay?
Normally two or three horses per week. We usually don’t ride the same horse every day. It is easier on the horses if they are given days off from being ridden.
Will we camp on our cattle drive?
No. We don’t have a big enough staff to set up and maintain a campsite. We focus more on the necessary duties that go into maintaining this 32,000 acre ranch and the livestock that inhabit it.
How long will we ride?
Each day is different, and it depends on the work that we need to accomplish. We have at least two days a week that are all-day rides of about 5-6 hours. The other three days are days we come back to the ranch for lunch, but we ride three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. Before and after our rides we take care of chores and other ranch-related activities that need to be done.
How many dogs do you have?
Each cowboy has several working dogs that live with him at the ranch. Because of the work they do all the dogs do not go each day. The cowboy alternates them according to the circle that will be made that day and the work that they are planning on doing.
Can we bring our own horses?
No. The ranch is at an altitude of 4800-5600ft with a rocky, mountainous terrain. Most horses cannot travel and work in those conditions without an adjustment period. We also cannot risk the health problems that an outside horse could bring to our herd of horses who are not normally exposed to outside diseases.
Can we bring our own saddles?
Yes. You are more than welcome to bring your own western saddle if you should choose. You can bring it on the plane with you, though we’d recommend shipping it ahead of time. Just let us know if you plan to bring a saddle and we can plan accordingly.