Ranch Caretaker Couple needed in the Black Hills of South Dakota

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Gary W Friendshuh

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Buffalo Gap, SD
Job Type
Full Time
$3,000 a month + benefits
Date Posted
September 6, 2023
Housing Offered
0-2 yrs

Wanted – a married couple with good references, capable of doing ranch work, carpenter work, maintaining machinery, house cleaning, maybe some cooking and have experience with most of what is listed under duties below.

We will only consider non-smokers, and couples that have experience in most of the duties listed below. Common sense, good attitude, self-motivation, able to work independently, good attention to detail & reliability required. Most important is that you both have the gift of gratitude and a love of life.

You will be provided with a 1,280 sq foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath mobile home, or a much larger older home both in or near an apple orchard, with a large garden area and root cellar, and 60 acres to run two horses on. All in the middle of a 9,000 acre ranch in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. The northern border of our ranch is less than 2 miles south of Wind Cave National Park. (A great place to raise kids but you will only be allowed one dog on the ranch)

Compared to most ranch jobs – less hours, and a monthly salary based upon your experience, possibly even a 5-acre parcel of land after so many years of working for us.

The ranch is over 7 miles long and we do most everything with our 3 or 4 sided by sides outfits. Very little horse back work is done on this ranch.

To get a better understanding of what we are looking for, look me up on Amazon under books. Type in “Gary W Friendshuh” and look at the table of Contents of “A Path Less Taken”. If you want to know even more read the chapter “A year on the ranch”. (I make no money on the sale of these books. Any small profit is given 100% to children’s charities.)

Some of your duties will include the following:


  • Willing to clean our home 4 hours a week
  • Maybe willing to cook three meals a week (If so, husbands hours shortened)
  • Maybe willing to grocery shop (I have charge account at store)

Husband and/or wife:

  • Taking care of two horses horses
  • Checking, building and maintaining fences
  • Checking and possibly doctoring cattle
  • During the 60-day calving season, checking and tagging calves
  • Feeding cows
  • Helping with branding, preconditioning, pregtesting, and shipping
  • Maintaining machinery
  • Building sheds and other carpentry work
  • Operating a backhoe or willing to learn how.
  • Possibly butchering a steer once a year or so
  • Caretaker type jobs like taking out garbage, painting, mowing lawn etc

If you have experience in most of the above, I will pay $3,000 a month.

Benefits include – occasional use of the following – a cabin on the mountain, a 20 foot stock trailer, a 30 foot flatbed trailer, a 16 foot dump trailer, a ¾ ton diesel truck, two tractors, a wood chipper and a side by side Polaris Ranger. If you are a proven organic gardener, there is a large garden area and root cellar and I will consider building you a green house in exchange for produce.

Additional benefits after the first year – one head of beef a year, two weeks paid vacation. After working here for two years, I will put in writing that after 8 more years of working for us I will give you free and clear title to five acres on the south shore of Angostura Reservoir, which in the mean time you can use. Google South Shore Ranch — where the 5 acres are.

  • 7 months a year will be 8-hour days, five days a week, -one day a week will be a one-hour day.
  • 3 months in the winter your days will be anywhere from one to four hours a day.
  • 2 months during calving season will be 7 days a week as needed.
  • Note we may be gone for an extended period of time during the winter, in which case cleaning will be cut way down.

The biggest problem with all of this is there has to be a trial period to see if you are happy here and if we are happy with you. That is very, very difficult when you come from a long ways away.


TO APPLY or check things out further:

Send me an email telling me about yourself, your qualifications, where you are living right now, what you are doing for income at the present time, your present salary, how long you have been working at your present job, and your phone number. Tell me if you have animals in your home now and whatever else you feel I should know including your age and why you are looking at this time, and why you are applying here. (I understand if you are applying in several places but I would like to know if this would be your first choice and why). Include some references and their contact information. Ask me questions by email but do not call me until after you have sent me all the above requested information by email and received a reply from me asking you to call.

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