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Winemaker's Island Preserve

Mcgrew, NE 69361

Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska

2,031.77 Acres
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Land Description

Click here to see a video of Winemaker's Island Preserve The creation of a Waterfowl Wonderland... The vast Great Plains of Nebraska have played host to migratory bird populations since pre-historic times. Waterfowl start their annual journey south from the Prairie Potholes of Canada on the Central Flyway, one of the largest and most populated Flyways in the world. The flyway narrows like an hour glass over the Plains, and at the heart of this hour glass is Winemaker's Island Preserve. Before the intervention of man and the installation of dams further upriver,  the North Platte flowed a mile wide in many places on it's course through the valley, creating marshes, ponds and islands as it went - natural habitats for wildlife of all kinds. The 800 acre island found on the property has long been a sacred roost for thousands of ducks and geese during migration. Sam Sebastiani, a second generation winemaker and owner of one of the oldest and most respected wineries in Sonoma County California, was enthralled with the sheer numbers of waterfowl to be found in this particular stretch of the North Platte River. An avid outdoorsman, Sam had already built a waterfowl preserve at his Viansa Winery in Sonoma Valley. That 90 acre wetland restoration project designed and created by Ducks Unlimited was a resounding success. Sebastiani's were subsequently awarded Private Conversationist of the Year by the EPA. In 1992 Sam purchased the 800 acre island on the North Platte River, and began aquiring the surrounding properties, creating the 2,000+ acre ranch as it is today, and started his intensive restoration process. Sam enlisted help from esteemed conversationists from Ducks Unlimited, and the Nebraska NRCS and advice from the Army Corp of Engineers. The property was carefully surveyed, and the lower zones that were once watercourses and marshlands were identified. Sam and his crew dug out many of these areas, recreating marshes, ponds, and connecting waterways similar to what it had been in the days gone by. With the nearby food sources, Winemaker's Island is a veritable magnet for ducks and geese. Hunting and Habitat Enhancement...Winemaker's Island appears from the sky as a land of lakes and waterways. Power was brought to several ponds and sloughs to provide enough heat to create inviting, steaming open water in the dead of winter. There are now 18 ponds connected by undulating streams of warm water. Corn and alfalfa fields are perfectly placed as food sources. Hundreds of thousands of invasive Russian Olive rees have been removed, opening up once again room for native grasses and pasture. Only the best trees were left in pockets, strategically placed along established game trails to provide cover. There are now over 18 ponds, numerous waterways, wetlands, and over six miles of river frontage. Ethical hunting and habitat management have been paramount. Only family and friends hunted the property from 1992 - 2009, and even that was infrequent. In 2010 the ranch was opened to carefully controlled commercial hunting. Hunting parties are moved from zone to zone over the six mile stretch of river, maintaining light hunting pressure on the game. These practices, along with the years of conservation efforts, have created a hunting property that is unparralled for the sheer numbers of waterfowl species, upland game birds, turkey and deer present on the property. Ducks Unlimited tours Winemaker's Island Preserve regularly with scientist and conservationists viewing the site as a model for habitat enrichment and cultivated hunting. About the area...The property is located in western Nebraska in Scotts Bluff county, in a highly productive area in terms of cattle and agriculture. The Scotts Bluff area is known for it's incredible vistas and rock formations. Chimney Rock and neighboring Jailhouse Rock provide an iconic backdrop for this sanctuary. While this paradise is strategically located far enough from the county roads to avoid disturbing the wildlife, it is only 20 minutes from a commerical airport, hospital, and other modern amenities in the city of Scottsbluff. The property is a working ranch and productive farm, raising cattle, corn, sugar beets and alfalfa. Excellent tenents for the farming and cattle grazing are in place and would like to stay on with a new Owner. The property typically carries 250 cow/calf pairs over the summer. The Property Manager has been in place for years, and has been an integral part of balancing the agricultural production capabilities of the farm and ranch operations with optimal habitat and wildlife management. He has overseen much of the development of the property, and has a clear vision of what should be done on an ongoing basis. His willingness to stay on with a new Owner is an asset. A Note from the Broker...I have personally been in farm, ranch, and recreational land sales for over 40 years. I am an avid outdoorsman who has intensively hunted Nebraska my whole life. I have traveled the entire North American continent pursuing all manner of birds and game, and I have never seen anything like this place. Not only is this possibly the most extraordinary waterfowl sanctuary in America, it is the finest all around hunting property I have ever seen. This property offers a World Class Waterfowl Hunting Experience, and is possibly the best turkey, deer, and upland game property in the United States. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for an outdoorsman to carry on the work that created this wildlife utopia, and to enjoy the astounding bounty this paradise has to offer. Take the time to truly appreciate what has been accomplished here. If you would like to tour this incredible preserve, I would be happy to accomodate you. Mike LashleyBroker, Owner. Acres:332.00 Pivot Irrigated Acres (per Farm Service Agency)156.90 Flood Irrigated Acres (per Farm Service Agency)1,484.87 Range, Accretion, River Bottom Acres57.00 Home Site Acres2,031.77 Total Taxable Acres (estimated) Taxes: Estimated Real Estate Taxes - ImprovementsMain Lodge with large Great Room, seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, 4 car over-sized garage, shop, and indoor/outdoor kennels, and large metal outbuilding for tractors and farm implements. The Warner House, with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, two car garage, and shed. The Red Roof house with 2 bedrooms, a loft 2 bathrooms, garage and several outbuildings. The Property Manager's House, all brick, 3 bedrooms, two baths, garage and several outbuildings. The Pirate House with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, and hunting gear shed. 4 Mobile waterfowl hunting blinds, 3 permanent blinds, heating systems for ponds and sloughs. Please call Lashley Land at for a 36 page brochure to be mailed to you at no charge. Click here to see a video of Winemaker's Island Preserve

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