Everything for the outdoorsman
New facility for Velva Wildlife Club
VELVA – Impressive. But even that accolade doesn’t quite seem adequate to describe the new facility of the Velva Wildlife Club.
Spanning 52 acres of land along the Souris River, the facility offers something for everyone engaged in the outdoors. There’s a new and impressive education center that can seat 200 or more, a trap range, rifle and pistol range and, for the archers, both indoor and outdoor shooting challenges that includes a 23-target 3D range winding through wooded bottomland.
Although some finishing touches still need to be completed, the club held a grand opening Tuesday evening to show off what is one of the most complete facilities for sportsmen in the region.
“We got the property in 2017. It hadn’t been touched since the 2011 flood,” said Travis Leier, club president. “The first year was just clean-up. We started working on construction in 2018. A lot of hours and a lot of hard work has gone into it.”
The location of the facility is on the north side of U.S. Highway 52 just west of Velva. The property had previously been the site of the Mouse River Farmer’s Union camp.
“We had to tear it down and start new,” said Leier. “It was one of those things that just kept working out for us. The community support is just phenomenal. When we started we didn’t have anything to offer but people helped out with memberships just to get us going.”
A grant administered by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department provided the club with funding necessary to proceed on the ambitious project. A provision of the grant, said Leier, was the desire for a “one stop shop” to provide a little bit of everything for aspiring and veteran outdoorsmen.
The new Education Center is expected to be a focal point for the facility. It is there the Velva Wildlife Club intends to host a variety of educational classes, youth events and other gatherings of sportsmen as the need arises.
“Our options are endless as long as it is geared toward outdoor education and conservation,” explained Leier.
Clay target shooting has been booming at the high school level. More and more schools and shooters have been enrolling in North Dakota every year, triggering a huge increase in interest among youth shooters.
The rapid influx of new shooters has maxed out many of the existing shooting facilities in the state, meaning new trap ranges such as the three houses installed at the Velva Wildlife Club should see plenty of activity. With archery and rifle ranges located on the same grounds the club is well situated to meet a growing demand, both by youth and adult sportsmen, in the area.