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.


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, 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 regular season.

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!

Viking Valley Hunt Club  •   36209 Co Hwy 126  •  Ashby, MN 56309

Phone: 218-747-2537

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