Lame Johnny Ranch
733.68 Acres
Buffalo Gap, SD

Property Description

Hunting paradise with lodge, ranching HQ, and 172 acres of irrigated cropland!

The Lame Johnny Ranch is a local recreational gem! Transected by Lame Johnny Creek, the Cheyenne River, and replete with live water springs, this property is a wildlife mecca! A diverse enclave of wildlife habitat, pivot irrigated cropland, rugged grassland with a comfortable lodge, the Lame Johnny Ranch is well suited for both livestock and recreational pursuits. Don’t miss this opportunity- they just don’t come any more inviting!


The Lame Johnny Ranch is located in the beautiful Southern Black Hills at 26925 148th Ave., Buffalo Gap, SD. Nearby towns include Buffalo Gap- 12 miles, Hot Springs- 25 miles, Custer- 48 miles, and Edgemont- 50 miles.

Directions from Buffalo Gap: Travel 6 miles east on County Highway 656, then one mile north, 4.5 miles east, and 0.5 mile south on 148th Avenue to the property (26925 148th Ave., Buffalo Gap, SD 57722).  


The nearby small town of Buffalo Gap, population 139, is the closest community. Home to the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, the area’s surprising diversity of plants and animals is one of the most extensive, productive ecosystems in the United States. 

The community of Hot Springs, population 3,500, has been called “the Southern Gateway to the Black Hills” because of its native charm, temperate year-round weather, outdoor recreation, and easy access to local attractions. In addition to the hospitality industry, Hot Springs is home to the county seat, many local businesses, a K12 public school and private elementary school. Two universities are located within one hour’s drive.

Regional flight service is available within a 45-minute drive at Rapid City, SD. Rapid City is the second largest city in South Dakota and offers all types of shopping, fine and casual dining, medical facilities and industry.

Today the Black Hills offers an inviting mix of recreational and cultural experiences and the area continues to be a destination of choice for tourists and retirees alike. As populations increase in the region, this property will be more conveniently-located than ever.

Hunting, fishing, boating, camping, golfing, and outdoor recreational opportunities abound in the Southern Black Hills area. Within a short drive, you can explore Custer State Park, one of the nation’s premier state parks. Known for its bison herds and wildlife, it has even been named as one of the World’s Top Ten Wildlife Destinations. Also nearby are the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa, Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, Angostura Recreation Area, J.H. Keith Cascade Falls Picnic Area, Moccasin Springs and more!

The greater Black Hills region is a treasure-trove of not only natural beauty, but tourism as well, averaging 4 million visitors annually.

Ranked #1 by Forbes as the best state for business costs in 2019 (https://sdgoed.com/build-your-business/), South Dakota is a business-friendly environment that encourages a secure economy, room to innovate and a reliable workforce.

If you’re looking for a spacious lifestyle with wide open spaces, plenty of room to breathe and the beautiful Black Hills landscape, this area is the perfect blend of serene privacy with amenities within reach.

History of Lame Johnny Creek

Cornelius Donahue was born in Philadelphia around 1850, attended Girard College and after the Civil War, found himself working on ranches in Texas where he learned the art of thievery from the cowboys who would steal back the ranch horses frequently stolen by Indians. As the law started closing in on Donahue, the allure of gold discovered in the Black Hills diverted his attention. He changed his name to John Hurley and upon arriving in Deadwood, tried his hand at panning for gold. With little or no luck, he took a job as a bookkeeper with the Homestake Mining Co. That ended abruptly when a Texas man recognized him as a horse thief nicknamed Lame Johnny. Again a fugitive, Johnny returned to his old ways. Lame Johnny and his gang held up the stage known as “Moniter” which was owned by his former employer, Homestake Mining Co. The take on this particular stage included $3500 in cash, $500 in diamonds and 700 pounds of gold dust, nuggets and bullion.

His limp gave him away and in October 1878 Johnny was arrested and taken to Chadron, NE where he was shackled and handcuffed to a stage headed to Deadwood for trial. Johnny’s trip was cut short when a band of vigilantes jumped the stage about 8 miles north east of Buffalo Gap and demanded he give up the whereabouts of the gold. He refused and still in his shackles, they shot him and hung him from an elm tree by a creek bed known today as Lame Johnny Creek.  


With heavily-timbered draws and abundant live water sources on the property, there is a bolstered population of both upland game birds, such as pheasants, grouse, and wild turkey, along with droves of Canadian Geese and a variety of duck species found on the Ranch during different seasons throughout the year. The terrain of the ranch lends itself for easy hunting trips with limited walking and many good blocking vantage points.  

The Whitetail deer populations are second to none in western South Dakota. With a very select few deer taken and strategic food plots placed throughout the property, there has been an influx of Whitetail.  Mule Deer are commonplace on the western grassland area along Lame Johnny Creek, and even an occasional Pronghorn will be observed on the Ranch. The extensive efforts made towards improving wildlife habitat and the stewardship shown in harvesting deer have yielded Boon and Crockett trophies taken from the Ranch.  



Upper Level:

  • Open concept floor plan with living room, kitchen and dining area
  • Master bedroom with walk-in closet and en-suite
  • Office
  • Two additional bedrooms with one full bathroom
  • Additional commercial kitchen
  • Laundry Room with nearby linen closet 
  • Scoping room with electric fireplace, sliding glass door to small deck overlooking the reservoir 

Lower Level:

  • (2) 2-bedrooms suites with independent thermostats, sink, shared toilet and shower 
  • Master bedroom with en-suite 
  • Great room- wet bar, freestanding gas stove (propane), entertainment center and pool table.  
  • East Entry Room– “gun room” with counters and gun racks 
  • West Entry Room– Cleaning Room with sink and cupboards 


  • Deck along West, North and East of house 
  • Game cleaning patio with hydrant 
  • Fire Pit 
  • Awning over patio 
  • Gazebo 
  • Private Well, reverse osmosis and water softener 
  • Draw = trees are “Hinge cut” 
  • Angostura Irrigation District – center pivot 
  • Shelter belts on West end 
  • New seeding Alfalfa 
  • Gravel Pit 
  • 2 lookout towers 

Building Specifications

  • Lodge  
      • MH W/RE-1994 CHAMPION CLARION 28X70  
      • Built in1994, 28’X66’ (1848sq.ft. main floor, 1848sq.ft. Basement) 
  • Detached Garage  
      • Built in 2016, 24×28 ft. (672sq.ft.) with overhead doors on North and East sides, walkthrough door on east side, cement floors and work bench 
  • Second House/Storage Shed  
      • Built in 1972, 34’X32’(1088sq.ft.) with a 14’X32’ (448sq.ft.) attached garage – former residence, presently used for storage
  • Pole Barn/Machine Shed 
      • Built in 1980, 46’X30’ (1800sq.ft.) with open face garage and gravel floor 
          • 14’X30’ (420sq.ft.) with 220hp overhead door and concrete floor and work benches 

The Lame Johnny Ranch, named for the creek which transects the property, has been operated primarily as a private recreational ranch with a hay production and livestock wintering component combining intrinsic value and ROI. The ranch consists of 733.68 acres, of which 172.08 ac. are irrigable and receive a combined 469 ac.ft. of irrigation water from the Angostura Irrigation District. The balance of the ranch consists of dryland tillable and native grassland, and has been managed for optimum wildlife habitat while utilizing the hay production, grass and crop residue for winter grazing. The property is currently under Lease to an area rancher and the property sells subject to the Lease expiring in 2024. Call for Lease details, NDA required. 


The ranch is endowed with an abundance of natural water and is transected by Lame Johnny Creek, the Cheyenne River, and several live water springs. The reservoirs on the property remain supplied year around by fresh live water providing exceptional habitat for waterfowl, game birds, big and small game and livestock. 

Irrigation water is delivered to the property via canal stemming from the Angostura Irrigation District which also transects the property. 

Domestic water is provided by a private well serviced by an electric submersible pump. 


Lame Johnny Ranch
Angostura Irrigation District

Unit Number Acres Acre Feet Allotted
68B 53.49 142
69 118.59 327
Total 172.08 469
  • Includes an 8-tower Reinke center pivot with a 60HP pump irrigating 89+/- acres.
  • 2021 Irrigation Assessment Amount $6,633.35.
  • Electric service is provided by Black Hills Electric Coop in Custer.
  • Fiberoptic communication is available to the property, provided by GoldenWest Telephone Cooperative.

The 2021 taxes for the Lame Johnny Ranch are $6,767.20.


The Lame Johnny Ranch is being offered for private treaty sale at $3,500,000 USD in cooperation with Hayden Outdoors.

JD Hewitt

Managing Broker

Piedmont, SD

(605) 347-1100

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The information provided by Hewitt Land Company has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed or warranted by Hewitt Land Company or the sellers of these properties. It is the responsibility of the prospective buyer to independently confirm the accuracy and completeness of this information. Prospective buyers and advisors are encouraged to do their own due diligence in regard to tax, financial and legal matters, and to determine the suitability of a specific property to the buyer's needs. This offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, price change, correction or withdrawal from the market without notice. All references are approximate. Any projections, opinions, assumptions, or estimates used are for example only and do not represent the current or future performance of the property. Sellers reserve the right to accept or reject any and all offers without liability to any buyer or cooperating broker. Fences may or may not be located along property borders.