Our hunting philosophy at the Seco Valley Ranch is we want to offer the experience of harvesting one's own wholesome food, knowing from where it comes, appreciating the ultimate sacrifice made by that animal, and facilitating hunters connection with the natural world away from urban distractions. We treat all animals with dignity and honor their offering by harvesting for consumption the entire carcass.
The hunt is not about killing. Not that we don't acknowledge the thrill experienced at the taking; it is a natural animal instinct to feel charged by the encounter and there is nothing wrong with feeling that emotion. However, the goal of our hunting program is to improve the quality of the deer herd over a number of years. We stress this in the description of our hunting program as well as rules in our lease; that we want a group of hunters dedicated to a long term commitment that involves educated and rational selection of game for harvest. We are not about slaughtering as many animals as a hunter can possibly shoot during their visit to the ranch. The purpose of our lease is to remove cull deer and leave exceptional genetics for breeding. This involves the hunter being educated in aging deer on he hoof. Hog hunting is a fringe benefit, and never our intended objective.
We do not consider feral hogs as much of a menace as absentee ranch owners because we harvest them for a pork business. Our hunters are welcome to shoot hogs while deer hunting, so long as the entire carcass is processed for consumption (not just the back-strap). Exceptions of course are large boars. No hog hunting is permissible from stands in the House Pasture and hunters may not lure animals from that pasture for the purpose of shooting. Hogs in the House Pasture are gentle from contact with people at the ranch headquarters and it is from that herd our pork product is harvested. At no time is it ever permissible to shoot an animal with ear tags, regardless of species; wild, feral or exotic. Some of our neighbors have pen-raised deer of superior genetics. If one of their tagged deer were to find its way off its owner's property and onto our ranch, we certainly would not allow one of our hunters to shoot that animal and would welcome it breeding with our native deer.
All hunters must abide by deer hunting rules, which allow hunting up to only 30 minutes after sundown. An example would be when the sun sets at 7:23 there will be enough twilight until 7:47 to positively identify a target. A shot fired at 8:05 on that same evening would be in violation of our lease agreement. Hunting of any species after dark, including hogs is prohibited on the Seco Valley Ranch. There will be no spotlighting of game without absolute consent of the owners. This rule is imposed for the safety of the livestock on the property. Be advised, the days in November rapidly become shorter. Sunset at the first of the month is at 6:45 pm and the end of the month 5:37 p.m. The days begin to grow longer by mid-January and gain a full hour of daylight by the end of that month.
Another rule in our hunting agreement we insist be abided by is that no hunter under the age of 18 be allowed in a blind by themselves. We are concerned about liability issues and primarily we want the responsible parent present because a minor cannot be expected to exercise the same judgment or possess the same composure as an adult. Please read in entirety the lease you signed. We hope our hunters share our values and respect for all life.