Big Willow Ranch

History

Big Willow Ranch is a 27,000 acre working cattle ranch located 45 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho in Payette and Gem counties. The land was originally homesteaded in 1881 and evidence of several of these homesteads still remains including a lone tree marking the site of the old schoolhouse. We began to "assemble" the ranch in 1969 with the purchase of 2,600 acres. Numerous land acquisitions, property improvements and entry into new business areas have grown this family owned and operated ranch to what it is today.

The ranch is home to 750 beef cows of largely Angus bloodlines. In 1976, a 1,200 acre-foot reservoir was licensed and constructed significantly increasing that amount of water available for farming the ranch's 800 acres of farm ground. This reservoir and other water sources also feed several large and small ponds on the property providing water and cover for native wildlife populations.

After several years of operating Big Willow Hunts, which offered bird hunting access to a limited number of members in exchange for a trespass fee, in early 2004 plans for a first-class hunting lodge and preserve were developed. Construction of Butte Lodge began in September 2004 and was completed in March 2005. Numerous bird habitat projects, designed to increase and improve already excellent cover and food resources, have been undertaken. These ongoing projects include several new ponds and food plots, as well as changes to crop planting and harvesting patterns.