Dakotas Ranch Owned by Florida Man Fails to Sell at Auction

October 20, 2015 06:26 AM

A bison ranch in the Dakotas that has been a source of frustration for other ranchers in the area failed to sell at auction over the weekend.

The auction Saturday of the 20,000-acre ranch in Mobridge owned by Florida real estate tycoon Maurice Wilder drew a total of about $17 million in bids from two buyers, but Wilder nixed the deals, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

"He's stuck on a higher number," said bison rancher David Meier of Flasher, North Dakota, who offered more than $12 million for about $15,000 acres.

Wilder had told the Capital Journal in Pierre last month that he wouldn't sell the ranch if it didn't bring what he wanted, though he didn't give a figure. Ranch land in South Dakota has been selling for as much as $1,000 per acre over the past year, fueled by recent high cattle prices, according to the newspaper.

The ranch straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Neighbors for years have complained about Wilder's bison getting out of fences, damaging hay stacks and pastures and creating road hazards. Wilder, who has owned the ranch for 21 years, told the Journal that he's tired of the complaints and the hassles of running a ranch on the Northern Plains, where winters can be harsh.

Meier told the Tribune that he was frustrated with the outcome of the auction.

"It's a lot of effort to go through and then nothing happens," he said.

Wilder sold another South Dakota ranch to media mogul Ted Turner about a decade ago, but Turner was not among the bidders Saturday.

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