Our outstanding staff is made up of a talented group of local guides, chefs, maintenance and janitorial staff, and many other individuals who contribute to our Lodge and help make Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort the wonderful place that it is today. When you stay with us, you’ll enjoy top-notch service from all of our skilled providers. Whether you’re taking story-worthy shots at wild roosters after one of our guides helps your group find a field that’s chock full of birds or you’re enjoying a succulent prime rib after a long day of hunting, our team is constantly active behind the scenes to ensure you have the best experience possible. We can’t wait to welcome you to your home away from home at our beautiful Brule County location!
If you’ve stayed at our Lodge before, you’ve certainly met our talented founder. Margaret “Toni” Korzan is the brains behind Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort, and she has dedicated herself to creating a pheasant hunting mecca on the plains of rural South Dakota. As a local to the area (Toni grew up on a homestead just down the road from the Lodge’s current location), she has been immersed in pheasant hunting culture from a young age and understands the ins and outs of hunting on the Great Plains.
Toni comes from a long line of farmers who made their living through crops and livestock in the great state of South Dakota. Her father, Floyd Korzan, raised cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens – as well as corn and other crops – in Brule County. The seventh of Floyd’s nine children, Toni was free to pursue her own interests while her older brothers helped with farm work and her older sisters helped with housework. She raised rabbits and ornamental chickens, constantly designing new and innovative structures in which to house them.
Floyd was 53 when Toni was born and was troubled with bad knees, so Toni became his constant companion and helper. She built wooden stools for every barn and shed so that her father could always sit. She fetched tools for him when he tinkered on vehicles and consequently, she knew all of her fractions long before kindergarten.
The Korzan children attended a one-room schoolhouse just a mile from home, where all of the elementary grades were taught by one teacher. Toni loved school and enjoyed listening to the lessons given to the older students, especially math. Her father held the opinion that boys didn’t need much education, because they can do manual labor to provide for their families, but girls did need solid schooling to manage their homes and finances. With this perspective in mind, Toni had always planned to attend college.
When Toni was in high school, she asked her physics teacher to recommend a good engineering school. He told her that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) would be an excellent choice. Although it was far from South Dakota, Toni decided to apply. Not realizing that MIT is quite selective, she applied to only that school – and fortunately, she was accepted.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering at MIT, Toni worked as an energy and management consultant at Deloitte & Touche. She eventually completed her MBA in night school while working for that firm. After a rewarding career at Deloitte, Toni took time off to pursue her family goals. She married and had five children – three girls and two boys. Her oldest is now 25 and her youngest recently turned 15.
Meanwhile, Floyd Korzan passed away and his youngest son, Charlie, continued farming on most of the family’s land. Toni retained some of the original homestead, left to her by her father. While raising her family in Massachusetts, Toni came back home to South Dakota with her children every year in October for opening weekend of pheasant season. Because so many family members returned at this time, the annual Korzan family reunion was also held in Kimball during that weekend.
Building on a long history of hunting in the family, the Korzans began guiding hunters in the late 1990s. After being peripherally involved in this endeavor, Toni saw the need for a more full-service experience. Drawing from her own travel experiences in Italy, Aruba, Canada, London, and numerous U.S. destinations, Toni began dreaming of creating a destination that would allow visitors to enjoy hunting in Kimball even more by offering the robust amenities of a resort. Thus, Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort was born.
Toni designed the Lodge to provide guests with a comfortable, relaxed environment that combines outdoor recreation and peaceful vacationing. Our Lodge continues to be a work in progress, as Toni keeps expanding the amenities and offerings that visitors have the chance to enjoy. What started as a coveted pheasant hunting destination has now become an even bigger venture, as Toni has added waterfowl and varmint hunting as well as walleye fishing to the menu. Following her family’s footsteps in a long tradition of pheasant hunting and guiding, Toni is proud to welcome numerous groups, guests, and events to make memories at Dakota Prairie Lodge & Resort each and every year.