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About Us

About

The Ranch

The Ranch is a venue for spiritual awakening, growth, and healing. Hundreds of men and women struggling with PTSD, both young and old, have found refuge and help at The Ranch. The Ranch sits on 540 acres of South Dakota prairie, about 20 miles southeast of Pierre, SD, right in the heart of pheasant hunting country.

In fact, our location is situated in an area known as the best in the world for pheasant hunting. Our ministry uses pheasant hunting as a keystone for helping veterans and for our fundraising. During the pheasant season, we host pheasant hunts for veterans, including those who are wheelchair-bound or have suffered other severe physical and mental injury.

The Ranch’s location melds raw prairie with rough-hewn yet comfortable accommodations. Our meeting places and bunk house feature interior design that takes hunting and the West as inspiration. Guests will find art and sculptures made using these motifs, along with real saddles, spread throughout all areas. The Ranch offers nine private bedrooms that can accommodate up to 22 guests. A converted two-story grain bin provides an additional bunking area. Other areas include a great hall for meetings as well as a kitchen. A 25-ft tall steel observation tower features a large hot tub raised above the ground.

But pheasant hunting isn’t all that can be enjoyed at The Ranch. Other activities and projects can be done at our facility. The Ranch offers visitors access to well-equipped carpentry and metal shop, plus a motor pool of ATVs, utility vehicles and excavation/construction equipment. Plus, there is a quiet, secluded area among large boulders and trees set aside for prayer, mediation, and group worship services that reinforce the spiritual mission of The Ranch.

Marksmanship is another activity that challenges visitors and creates community. Guests can also enjoy a 300-yard sniper range that can accommodate 50-caliber weapons, a 100-yard high-power rifle range, a 50-foot pistol range, and a skeet range offering eight positions with opposing electric clay pigeon throwers. These ranges are especially popular with veterans who are well-trained marksmen and gun owners but who may not have access to a safe, controlled area for shooting. Our facilities are used by firearm and archery safety courses conducted by the South Dakota Department of Conservation and hunter safety instructors.

Guests have their choice of multiple shotguns and long rifles, maintained in our safe. Our gun room also features a gun cleaning bench. A wide range of ammunition is provided for both firearms owned by The Ranch and for guns that guests bring with them.

The summer of 2016 will see completion of a challenging cross-country race track for ATVs and large GoKarts that can reach over 40 mph. With it, a mechanical and storage facility complete with a large observation deck will be in operation. Further developments include stables and full tack for horseback riding, staying true the heritage of our territory and providing guests with additional experiences.

Our schedule of events and activities keep us and our guests involved year-round with both indoor and outdoor programs. Groups, large and small, can enjoy all of The Ranch’s offerings, plus meals, for an overnight stay, for a weekend, or over an entire week.

About

Ken

Picture in your mind the farms and ranches near Pierre, South Dakota – a landscape similar to what’s shown in the movie “Dances With Wolves” (the film was shot right in this area). This land produces feed corn, wheat, soybeans, and seed grains. It also produces people of the land who’ve inherited a profound sense of tenacity and pride in a job well done at the end of a day filled with hard work. One of those is Ken Korkow.

Ken found college “boring,” and like many of his buddies back home, enlisted in the military. Ken, specifically, entered the Marine Corps. After basic training, Corporal Ken Korkow was transferred directly into combat in Vietnam as a mortar section leader in Company B, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, at the notorious Khe Sanh Combat Base. This base suffered relentless daily attack by the North Vietnamese Army for 77 days. During this time, Ken received citations for The Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. On March 30, 1968, Ken’s men came under intense attack. He single-handedly destroyed the hostile mortar placement, and made repeated trips under fire to carry his wounded men to an aid station. Ken was seriously wounded in this attack, and contributed to the defeat of the numerically superior enemy, while saving the lives of many of his brothers in arms.

After his medical discharge, Ken earned undergraduate and MBA degrees and became a successful land broker. During this time, Ken threw himself into work, becoming a work addict as a way to deal with war-torn memories. But it wasn’t keeping away the nightmares, anguish, and “survivor’s guilt.” He was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before there was a name for it.

But before Ken succumbed completely, he vowed to do something about – and help others suffering. Ken abandoned his lucrative business and returned to his spiritual roots, becoming the regional director of a Christian business organization helping other workaholics to find new hope. During this time, as he overcame his own PTSD, he developed a successful, spiritual approach that is helping thousands of other service members and veterans find peace in their lives.

As time passed on, Ken inherited his portion of his family’s acreage. While he still grows crops on the land, he’s repurposed a large portion into the home operations of The Ranch ministry. The Ranch serves as a retreat center that helps restore minds, marriages, and lives of veterans affected by PTSD. Additionally, The Ranch serves hundreds of men, women, and youth in and around the Pierre, SD community through safety courses in firearms and archery.

Ken has developed The Ranch into a relaxing place for PTSD-troubled minds by building fun and adventurous attractions such as an ATV course, horseback riding, fishing, and of course pheasant hunting. Guests also enjoy several safe and monitored marksman activities. The Ranch offers comfortable (and if guests choose, not so comfortable) sleeping accommodations, dining, and fellowship areas. While at The Ranch visitors have access to spiritual counseling, and they can contact any one of a dozen counselors across North America at any time. The Pierre community and thousands of our nation’s servicemen and veterans have been positively influence by The Ranch and by Ken’s care and concern.

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