MEET THE NAMANNY FAMILY
Shane and Jennifer are second generation owners of Horseshoe K Ranch and the fourth generation on the ranch. HKR is a family affair with everyone involved. Their oldest son Ty helps guiding and cleaning birds when he is on break from college. He is attending SDSU pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Bennett is a junior at KHS. He enjoys basketball, baseball, and in an avid hunter and dog trainer. He also helps guide with his dog Bentley that is used daily at HKR. Harley, an 8th grader, keeps busy with volleyball and basketball. If we can catch her at home, she is often recruited to help in the kitchen.
Full time guide and co-owner of the Horseshoe K Ranch hunting operation, Shane Namanny came to the ranch in 1997. By 1998 Shane Namanny had married Jennifer (Grohs), the daughter of the original hunting operation owners, Dihl Grohs and Joanne Grohs. Once his day in the field is complete, you might see Shane grilling steaks, working on a bus, or telling story. Shane built nearly all of the lodges on the ranch, including the popular main lodge in 1999. Hunters often ask the guides if Shane has a great big map of the ranch so he knows where to send hunting parties. Yes, he does have that map: he keeps it in his head. Shane and Jennifer are super blessed to have taken over the family hunting business that Jennifer’s parents started many years ago.
If you have been hunting at the Horseshoe K Ranch for a number of years, chances are you have met Craig Wenzel on one of your hunts. Craig has been guiding at the ranch since 1996, and says he enjoys it more all the time. “We were hunting with pickup trucks and eating in the garage when I first came to the Horseshoe K Ranch,” he said. “Watching the ranch and the hunting evolve into today’s experience has been a source of enjoyment. I’ve been proud to have played whatever small part in making the Horseshoe K Ranch hunting operation what it is today.” Craig always likes to interact with the hunters and has made many friends at the ranch. Sharing his knowledge of a lifetime of pheasant hunting with the hunters on the ranch ranks high on Craig’s list. "There is nothing quite like watching a young hunter bag his first bird and the expression on his face when one of the dogs brings it in!”
Matt Wenzel has been guiding at the HKR since 2003. Matt has enjoyed many highlights over the years. “Getting the chance to guide alongside three of South Dakota’s finest guides and one of them being my father is a big highlight!” Matt said. “When you drive up to a lodge to pick up your group and to meet for the first time, little do you know you will be making friends with the group and looking forward to seeing them in the coming years.” ”Guiding to me is about showing each group of hunters the Horseshoe K Ranch experience, a slice of heaven in the Dakota’s." Getting to the end of a food plot and having a big flush of birds and watching and listening to the hunters talk about how they LOVE coming to the HKR is rewarding," he said, "at that point you know you have done your job!" “The chance to see a father, grandfather witness their son or grandchild get there very first South Dakota ringneck pheasant is something you just have to witness (priceless). "I love watching my dogs work and listening to the hunters talk about them and asking to take pictures with the dogs and the guides. I could go on and on about the Ranch, but some things are better when you experience them."
When Brian arrived at the Horseshoe K Ranch in 2017, he brought with him a youthful exuberance that makes him a favorite among hunting groups from across the country. Brian is always ready to go that extra mile to accommodate hunters, whether he is pulling tail feathers, delivering a safety speech or helping find a lost item in the field. He has also turned into a really good hunting guide. In the hunting off-season, Brian delivers a pretty good curve ball as a pitcher for his amateur baseball team. He also plays a key role in year-round predator control on the ranch.
Hailing from Miller, S.D., Mike Namanny is Shane's great uncle and began guiding at the Horseshoe K Ranch in 2014. Mike enjoys interacting with the hunters, exchanging tales of former hunts, travels and his career as an over-road truck driver. He does volunteer work for veterans, his church, fire department and more in his hometown. Once his hunting groups hit the Horseshoe K Ranch food plots, Mike ensures them a safe, successful hunt that will create memories for years to come.