The Sierra Mesa Ranch Story
As you are meandering the backroads of Texas and wander south of the charming town of Hico, you will stumble upon a unique place! As you pull up to a main entrance gate you will naturally see vast topography changes and vistas that ordain the surrounding landscape. You gain the undivided attention of various African exotics and some monstrous Whitetail bucks.
Welcome, you've just arrived at the Sierra Mesa Ranch.
In 2015, Sierra Mesa’s owners, Rob and Susan Carringer, were diligently searching for a ranch that already generated income. After spending the day at the Dallas Safari Club Convention, they came across a ranch real estate booth and took interest in a ranch listing that would soon become their home away from home.
Sierra Mesa Ranch is comprised of approximately 600 acres of beautiful ranch land, with exceptional views in every direction. Deer breeding genetics and trophy buck hunts are their specialty and they have a remarkable reputation on both accounts.
Over 325 white tail deer saunter the ranch, along with minor herds of Oryx and Black Buck Antelope. The bucks on the ranch range in scores from 235” – 350”. The striking stature of these deer instinctively demand your attention. You simply cannot help but be in awe of their antler formation and the superior genetics they both inherited and continue to reproduce.
Land stewardship is a prime focal point for the ranch and it’s endeavors are taken very seriously.
“I think owning land creates a land steward. As an owner, nothing is done for quick gain, everything has to be done long-term,” Mr. Carringer explains.
He goes on to justify this point by revealing that if you’re wanting a pristine wheat field, improved habitat for turkey or whitetail, brush management, etc. all these subjects must be noted and planned in advance to attain their success.
Mr. Carringer brings up a prime example of this and how he analyzes such long-term situations himself. “If I decide to AI (artificially inseminate) a doe this November (2021), the fawn will be born in May of 2022. It will then take 3 years for that buck fawn to hit its stride. So, it would be 2025 before I know if the decision I made this year was a good decision.”
Ranch ownership is comprised of many challenging decisions. It also quickly bestows on its owner significant responsibilities. “Some of the most important responsibilities I have are to keep my clients safe and make sure they have a good time. I try to balance it,” says Carringer.
When firearms are involved, caution needs to be taken, especially when it’s on your property. Hunters are there to have fun and create lifelong memories, but Mr. Carringer agrees that attention must be paid. If alcoholic beverages are being passed around, there might have to be a conversation about eliminating that from the equation. The landowner will bear the liability of any accident especially if it occurs out of negligence of the property owner.
Although the responsibilities are vast and difficulties do arise, ranch owners also get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
“The best part of owning the ranch, is having new hunters out and playing a part in their first ever hunt. It’s just really a cool moment.”
Mr. Carringer carves out one weekend every year to accommodate someone who has never hunted before in their life. He reminisced on how one year he had a young man in his twenties reach out to him inquiring about a management buck hunt. The soon-to-be hunter was from San Francisco, California. His experience brought tremendous emotion, adrenaline rushes, nervousness and a new respect and love for the sport of hunting.
“After he shot the buck, he had so much adrenaline coursing through him, he tried to pick up the binoculars to look at it. He was shaking so bad that he dropped them. He sat there and said, ‘I can’t see it’,” Mr. Carringer reminisces. “That part is the best part, it never gets old.”
“They are just really cool moments to be a part of and it’s the most meaningful thing we can do; to give these experiences to people,” says Carringer.
Moments like these make the entire ranch ownership experience worth it for Mr. Carringer and his wife.
Being able to accommodate hunters of every experience level and any age, making sure the experience is not only satisfactory but filled with tons of fun and camaraderie for everyone involved.
Sierra Mesa Ranch isn’t only popular in Hico, Texas. Mr. Carringer also generates extremely popular posts on his Instagram page (@sierramesaranch). He has amassed an astonishing following of over 80,000 individuals! His unique photography includes that of fawns, bucks, turkey, hunters, and various other elements of the ranch. His posts are shared on many notable social media pages. The ranch’s popularity and following are continually on the rise and capture the attention of various leaders in the outdoor industry.
As part of life, we all leave behind something. Arguably the most important is our legacy, how we will be remembered and what we did to contribute to the people around us while we were alive.
“I’d say I want the ranch’s legacy to be two different things: One, is the hunting experiences. I have a hunter who’s an older gentleman that taught his daughter to hunt out here and is now getting ready to have his grandson hunt here too. The ranch is his place to go, and I like that our experiences are woven into these families’ histories. That part is very cool for me,” Carringer says.
“The other part of the legacy is that we sell bucks and bred does to ranches all around Texas. And we’re helping them transform their ranch into what they’ve always wanted it to be. We’ve impacted ranches from the Piney Woods, to Ranger, to Del Rio.”
Sierra Mesa Ranch demonstrates the uniqueness and inspirations of the Texas landscape, the Texas Whitetail, and the holy preservation of the hunting tradition in the Lone Star State. When you’re looking to add the next trophy buck to your office wall or want to establish some superior genetics on your ranch, give Rob Carringer a call. Seeing the ranch itself is enough to make your trip worthwhile but meeting Rob and getting to embark on a hunting experience at the Sierra Mesa Ranch will be an unforgettable and invaluable experience.
-Sheldon Wellborn, Ranch Connection
(June 25, 2021)