This varied habitat on the ranch provides a home to white-tailed and mule deer, coyote, fox, raccoon, bobcat, weasel, striped skunk, cottontail rabbit, porcupine, rattlesnake, and numerous
other reptiles, insects and rodents. Elk, bighorn sheep and mountain lion migrate through the property. Birds include Merriam's turkey, sharp-tail grouse, mourning dove, pheasant, pygmy
nuthatch, great horned owl, red-tail hawk, king fisher, blue heron, and up to 126 other species of birds, from passerines to raptors.
The RuJoDen ranch is dominated by loamy, shallow, thin upland or very shallow, with some sandy and subirrigated ecological sites. The timbered ridges are dominated by ponderosa pine and
scattered Rocky Mountain juniper with an understory of chokecherry, skunkbush sumac, little and big bluestem, sideoats grama, and green needlegrass. The more diverse grassland sites abound with western snowberry, soapweed, prairie wildrose, fringed sagewort, purple prairie clover, black Sampson, dotted gayfeather, shell-leaf penstemon, numerous scurfpeas, prairie coneflower, scarlet globe mallow, little bluestem, big bluestem, prairie sandreed, sideoats grama, green needle grass, needle and thread grass, prairie junegrass, western wheatgrass, blue grama, and buffalograss.
The climate of Dawes County is semiarid, the average annual precipitation in Chadron is 15 inches. Relative humidity is low so the air feels warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The White River watershed drains the northern part of the county. The breaks to the White River valley from the south make a rough, steep terrain dissected by deep drainage ways. The area is known as the Pine Ridge. The rest of the county is gently rolling to hilly.
The soils of Dawes County formed under grass in a wide variety of parent materials including shale, siltstone, sandstone, loess, eolian sand, gravel, colluvium, and alluvium.