Fall 2016 Members' Update
It’s been an almost ideal summer at Viking Valley. We had rain when we needed it but not the
excessive amounts that plagued some parts of the country…some not so far from our protected
corner. We feel so fortunate! We had a few days of very hot weather, but enough cooler
weather to make us comfortable.
We had a very busy summer at the lodge, as we’re gaining recognition from our members as the
business, family, and recreational place to go in the lakes area. With assistance from our good
members at Shoremaster, we arranged a stay for the Australian Barefoot Water Ski team on their
way to Wisconsin for the championship tournament. What a privilege, and what a blast! We
also hosted many business meetings and family groups, the Teens for Christ Legacy Fishing
group with member Pete Scharber, plus several other youth activities with more scheduled again
for this coming fall.
Sporting clays – league and public shooting - were popular activities, with nearly perfect weather
all summer. Bug spray and sunscreen were in demand all summer, but the critters are finally
backing off. League shooting will end August 31st, and league winners will be posted soon
thereafter. Thanks again for your support, league shooters, and we hope you had lots of fun and
will do it again next summer.
There were lots of small (and one large) construction projects to occupy us for our “spare time”
this summer, but somehow they all got done. Storage for targets and maintenance on the range
kept our crew busy, and they also completed an enlarged holding area for birds.
All those small improvements make us more efficient and better able to respond to last-minute
customer changes and requests. It’s hard to believe, I know, but our Minnesota weather and road
conditions can change one’s plans pretty quickly!
Viking Valley staff sneaked in a little “play time” for traveling, fishing, family get-togethers and
other happenings. Les still maintains his involvement with UMM, various conservation and
sustainable farming groups, local sporting organization and legislative activities. Ben acquired
an excellent chocolate lab puppy, Gracie, from member Mick McMillin, who breeds and trains
an exceptional line of great hunters. You may have been in the field with Mick as a guide; if so,
you’ve had a chance to see his exceptional dogs in action.
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN
Pheasant season starts in September at Viking Valley! The last few days had a tinge of cool fall
weather, which makes everyone anxious to get out in the fields for early pheasant action. It’s
going to be busy times at the club, and many of our members have already scheduled hunts and
reserved time at the lodge. Fall weekend stayovers are very popular, so think well ahead to
reserve your time.
Our “field staff” (Annie, Molly, Abby) is way anxious to hunt with you. Ben’s dogs,
Avery..now a seasoned veteran hunting for her second season.. and Gracie,.now 6 months old
and in training..are more than ready to join you in the field. We also have several other dogs
(and their personal guides) who have kindly offered to assist us as you need them. If you have
your own “field staff”, they are always welcome to hunt with you at Viking Valley and we hope
you will bring them along for the fun.
It’s a familiar theme at Viking Valley…Hunting is the favorite activity, and the cover in the
fields is exceptional this year. Les has made a few changes in the food plots and other cover
crops to make them more environmentally sustainable and more self-sustaining. Your feedback
and ideas are always welcome. There’s also duck hunting during the regular waterfowl season,
and blinds on the club’s lakes and ponds is available for our members by reservation. We can
also arrange predator hunting for you, and we have very limited deer hunting available during the
Shooting sporting clays, the second favorite activity, will stay open as long as the weather and
snow cover allows. During the hot days still to come in the fall, we prefer to schedule your hunt
as early as possible in the morning while it’s cool and damp and the dog noses work the best.
Later on, as the weather stays cooler, you may want to shoot some clays as a warm-up for your
pheasant hunt. Ben is developing a “fall course” for the clay range, and we’ve been upgrading
our wireless controllers and solar panels to keep trap issues on the range to a minimum.
And don’t forget Fishing, which is almost a year-round activity. There’s always a pause
between fall walleyes and “good ice” and between spring thaw and early crappies. Viking
Valley has access to 3 lakes from the property, and will have 3 fish houses poised on the best
fishing spots Ben can find.
This area has so much to offer visitors during every season, and we’re looking forward to seeing
you during this beautiful time of the year. Remember to schedule your time as far ahead as
possible to get your best choice of dates. Talk to Carole at 218-747-2121, and she’ll be happy to
make arrangements for your visit. See you soon!