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All photo credits: Beau J. Baty the Wilderness Ridge follow Llamas

History of llamas

Llamas are indigenous to the Andes mountains of south Americaand live at 9,000 to 14,000 ft. Of elevation. These animals are herbal packers v 4,500 – 6,000 year of endure under their belts in south America. Llamas are considered browsers and eat 5 to 10% the a equine or mule eats in a day. When it comes under to it, they have the right to eat virtually anything. As you room packing through them in the mountains you will view them eat bark, pine tree needles, sage brush and also even pine cones.

Why use llamas on your hunt?

One reason why we usage llamas is their ability to lug amazing weights off the trail for miles on end. This allows us come camp in spots wherein most people cannot camp and also it permits us to stay at elevations wherein the activity is rather than having to hike up and also down each day to and from camp. Llamas allow you come be exceptionally mobile when in the backcountry this has actually proved to it is in a vast advantage.

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Llamas are truly amazing for a hunter in the backcountry. ~ above the much more extreme finish I have hiked 15 come 17 miles per day for 9 days in a row through our llamas,at that price they brought payloads from 70 come 85 pounds every llama and gained at many 1,000+ feet of key in one mile. Over all us climbed 3,500 feet and also took multiple 1 to 2 minute breaks and also a having lunch break for 45 minutes. Us conditioned the llamas before this expedition for 3 weeks and also took it sluggish at the start, but like humans, they acquired their lungs and legs under them and also pushed on. Needless to say they are very hearty animals.

Frequently inquiry questions:

What sort of equipment is needed to load with llamas?

Each llama needs a saddle, blanket, halter, 2 panniers, command rope and a stake out lead. Also, girlfriend will need a brush for brushing them out, a scale for measure up the panniers (panniers space the bags the go on each side the the llama that host the gear).

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How lot do castle eat?

Our biggest llamas deserve to eat 6.5 pounds per day in ~ max. Once in the mountains they forage on the surroundings and also there is no need to load in feed because that them. Girlfriend only require to fill in feeding if you room using llamas in fall problems or have low forage easily accessible at your chosen camp site. We fill in 2 to 3 pounds that alfalfa or mazuri llama pellets per day per llama top top trips where we will certainly have bad quality forage.

How regularly do they drink?

We have had llamas go 3 to 4 days there is no drinking in the backcountry. This is no recommended yet sometimes they select not come drink. They need very small water compared to steeds or mules. When in the backcountry we give them water every day, but often lock will just drink tiny quantities.

What sort of care do they need in the ago country?

Once at camp the llamas gain staked come the ground with a 20 feet lead rope and can remain there as long as they have forage. We constantly make certain to pack enough water for us and also the llamas because that the first few days. Climate we look for out water resources for the rest of the time. For example, it is great practice to examine on lock in the morning before hiking out and check on them in ~ night as soon as the hunting day is over. Ns don’t worry around them as much as the steeds we have had actually when leaving camp because that the day. Llamas have the right to be really easy keepers. If one gets loosened they typically stay alongside camp with the various other llamas. They room herd animals and like to it is in together.

How much do they weigh?

Our packers weigh from 350 come 430 pounds.

How much can they carry?

Llamas can carry 28% or therefore of their body weight for a quick distance (2 to 3 miles) despite this is no recommended. They are much more effective and efficient pack 18 come 20% of your body weight. Because that a llama weighing 400 pounds, its reliable weight would certainly be 80 pounds.

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How far or quick can lock go?

Llamas can go much more than 15 miles per day pack 20% of your body weight in turbulent terrain. Llamas will certainly hike appropriate behind you and also never clip your heels if trained correctly. Good pack llamas have a long stride and also can enhance the speed of most people. The maximum speed for them without breaking their walking stride is generally 2.5 come 3 mph. Humans have a natural walking rate of 1.5 to 2.5 mph.

Do they have actually a difficulty with the odor of dead video game such as bear, elk, wolf, and deer?

We have actually packed elk, deer, moose, bighorn, coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions on many llamas and never had one llama spook or be uneasy.

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How many does it take to fill out a deer?

One llama will fill out whole quartered out deer head and all.For big mule deer and also long treks it would be recommend to use 2 lamas come do pack it out.

How countless to pack out one elk?

Two llamas have the right to pack the end a quartered elk including back straps, tenderloins, neck, brisket, rib meat and the head. For very huge elk 3 llamas are best, especially if you room going an ext than 8 mile in steep country.

Do llamas perform well in hot dry conditions and also cold winter conditions?

Llamas control temperature particularly well. They can have difficulties in the extreme heat and extreme cold. Ns have had them in -25 degrees and also deep eye on a Montana mule deer hunt and also 106 levels on a desert antelope hunt. Both times we took the crucial precautions come mitigate any kind of problems or injuries the llamas could face and also had no problems to speak of.

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Do llamas spit?

Yes, lock do however only in ~ each various other or once in danger. I have actually never been spit ~ above from any kind of of ours packers, however have to be spit on through a security mama llama protecting that is baby.

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Do you have to put pair of shoes on llamas choose horses?

Llamas execute not stay shoes prefer a horse; they have a separation toe like bighorn lamb or mountain goats and have a soft pad much like a dog or camel. This gives them ultimate balance, stability and also traction in steep, rocky, cliffy, loosened or tough terrain.

How carry out they execute in grizzly and also wolf country?

Llamas are very alert and also attentive and know as soon as something is wrong. If they check out or sense a wolf or grizzly they do a according to alarm sound with their voice that alerts you and also warns turn off predators for the most part. We have actually never had any type of backcountry attacks, yet have had grizzlies in camp. The alarm contact from the llamas saved the day.An old outfitter cheat we likewise like to use is to lug a radio and extra batteries and leave that on once we leaving camp. This has actually helped over the years as well.

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Can you ride llamas?

Adults can not ride llamas. If your youngsters want to ride them and weigh less than 90 pounds then yes, they can ride them. We make saddles for kids and it makes the backcountry much more accessible for families.

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How lot does it cost to care for a llama each year?

We pasture ours llamas six months of the year and feed hay forage six months of the year. V minerals and also vitamins plus six months of hay it expenses us $150 to $200 every llama every year.

How lot do they cost?

Good trained packers space usually in ~ least 4 years old or much more and have actually over 500-1,000 irradiate duty to tool duty mile of load experience in the backcountry. Prices variety from $1,500 come $4,000.As you deserve to see llamas space not equines or mules or goats. They room not much better or worse than any type of pack stock out there. Llamas have a an extremely unique ar in the pack industry, especially for the major backcountry hiker, hunter or angler in search of an edge on the competition. Llamas assist you stay greater longer, eat better, hunt harder and save her body, enabling you come hunt for years to come.

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There is only one catch to llamas: you cannot just pack with whatever llama you discover in the classifieds if you’re searching for a long term high quality packer. Ns have found some good packers this method but typically it walk not work-related out. The best pack llamas have actually been bred for 6,000 years by the Inca civilization. Girlfriend will recognize a good pack llama by its conformation, stride and at the finish of the day experimentation it ~ above the trail. We favor to fill with an extremely athletic, strong, high llamas that have actually sound confirmation and look prefer they can pack. Frequently they are brief wool and also are referred to as standard llamas, short wool llamas, or Ccara llamas. They deserve to be very tall in ~ the shoulders, but typically are roughly 46” at the top of the shoulder. As soon as you have found a strong, graceful, intelligent, and also extremely powerful llama you have actually hit the mark. There room very few left llamas favor this in phibìc America however they perform exist. Mine wife and I have functioned hard to have the largest breeding operation in north America the Ccara pack llamas. Friend can find out much more information at Wilderness Ridge trail Llamas.