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Old 01-04-2010, 04:40 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,296 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello all,
I'm a veterinarian currently in the ARMY and my family and I are looking to buy a home and practice in MT. There is one available in Big Timber. Does anybody have any input about the area? Or would another area be better?
Thank you for your support!
Doc G
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:22 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,874,190 times
Reputation: 3428
Thank you for your service!
Hang in there, someone will help you out, I am in the other side of the state.
Happy New Year!
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,750,566 times
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DocG'sBees,

Thank you for your service to our country

A lot of my family lives in Big Timber, so I am somewhat familier with it.

If you go there, you will need to be very familier with a Large Animal practice as this is ranching country with lots of horses, cows and especially sheep.

With wolves in the area you will get to patch up the survivors a lot.

Big Timber is a pretty nice little town. Lots of good hard working people there. It isn't a rich place, but there are several of the rich and shameless who bought there after the movie "The Horse Whisperer" was filmed there.

Tom Brokaw has a large place south of town.
Whoopie Goldberg, Michael Keatonand several others have bought land there, but most don't have livestock or stay there very often. In fact, with the exception of Brokaw, I am not sure they still own land there, nobody sees them anyway.

The veterinarian who worked there for years, Bill, sold his practice and moved on. He was really loved and respected by pretty much everyone. The guys who bought him out raised their prices exponentially, were not real courtious, and didn't make a great impression. (Yes, my family raises horses so we have used them).

Just about everybody around there has dogs, most are larger farm dog breeds with a heavy preference to Blue and Red Healers and Austrailian Shepherds. You will find Boarder Collies and Standard Rough Collies as well. Not much for the other small animal practice, but there are several small dogs around, Pugs, Peke's, that sort of thing.

It is a large area with some tough roads and bad weather especially the wind, but they are good people, in a beautiful country and with lower property taxes than you find further west.

If you do take the practice, be aware that you will be really busy during the lambing/calving season. It is pretty tough for one vet, and the closest vets are in Livingston, Columbus and Harlowton. All about 30-40 miles away.

Good Luck
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,538 posts, read 12,552,335 times
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Talk to Bob Sager or Bruce Sorensen -- they are the pres. and sec'y of the state vet association, and both are mostly livestock vets, and really good people. Either will be straight with you about your prospects. If you can't find their contact info let me know and I'll dig it up. I knew them well when I lived in MT (in fact Bruce was fresh out of school and interned under Bob, back then). Bruce is in Belgrade and Bob is in Wilsall, last I looked.

I would guess that your practical experience in the Army would be very useful as a livestock vet, and that you'd be highly welcome, especially if you're willing to learn from your clients and keep your prices down -- we appreciate a vet who recognizes that we livestock folks have more experience at some aspects of the craft than you can get in a clinical setting, and is willing to learn from us, and who recognises that we're not made of money.

The skyrocketing vet charges in the pet end of the industry (over 10 times what they were just a decade ago) are not realistic for livestock -- when the price to patch up that cow exceeds the cow's value, there's no point in doing it.

Anyway, just guessing from the tone of your message, you'd fit in fine in MT. Offer your services at low rates to get people to try you, give them good value, and if you're halfway decent as a vet you can quickly build up a regular and loyal clientele. I've watched several young vets do exactly that in MT, going from fresh out of school to durn busy in just a few years.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:00 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,296 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you very much guys, my service is my honor. Thank you for the tips and info on the area. I'm still waitin' to hear back from the broker with some details. Sounds like a wonderful place to be though. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Billings, Montana
20 posts, read 60,058 times
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DocG'sBee's,
In advance....Welcome to Montana! Big Timber is in a beautiful area! Your vet practice should do well if you follow the suggestions of my co-horts. Not sure where you are moving from but if you love outdoor recreation (hunt, fish, hike, snowmobile) you'll probably love it there but if your family is not used to small town living, it could be difficult to get used to, as the nearest Walmart would be in Laurel (65 mi east) or Pamida in Livingston (about the same mileage west). Big Timber DOES, however, have a one-movie movie theater. Good luck to you!
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,538 posts, read 12,552,335 times
Reputation: 2952
Hope things work out. Just curious, which vet school did you go to, and when did you graduate?
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:31 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,296 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you very much for your information. We love the outdoors. No WalMart means less spending!
I graduated in 2005 from Kansas State.
Thanks again.
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,538 posts, read 12,552,335 times
Reputation: 2952
Cool. Far as I've heard, Kansas State has a good program.

Guess the only thing left to say is... Welcome to Big Timber!
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