Online at www.wildernessridgetrailllamas.com
My great-grandfather, a federal trapper and guide, started our family’s deep heritage of backcountry hunting and fishing. I have continued the tradition, guiding all through college and making it a part of my career.
My love for and appreciation of llamas all began my freshman year of college. Hunting season was coming, the family pack horses and mules were 400 miles from my college dorm room, and I didn’t have a red cent to my name. My grandpa suggested looking into pack llamas. This is when I purchased a book by Doyle Markham called Llamas are the Ultimate. I read it from cover to cover in one night and made a phone call to Doyle the next day. Armed with an eager desire and some information, I sold my rifle and bought a bow and two llamas. Since I was at college and had nowhere to keep them, I rented a small pasture for fifteen dollars a month. After my first pack trip, I realized these amazing pack warriors had it ALL, and that they could really get some work done. I felt I was a hard charger and was so impressed that llamas could truly go the distance—even beyond my capabilities.
After college, two llamas turned into four and four into eighty. Today, my wife and extended family are heavily invested in the llama ranch. My brother-in-law and business partner, Josh, and I have twenty-nine breeding females, twenty-four full-time packers, nine packers-in-training, ten crias, and eight breeding studs from all over North America with diverse blood lines. Our goal is to birth seventeen to twenty-two crias each year in hopes of helping the working llama breed survive.
We also are teaching four teams of llamas to cart in order to promote the intelligence, stamina and power of Ccara llamas to the public in parades, private events and winter sleigh rides at our local elk refuge. Currently, we work for two outfitters in Wyoming, taking guests into The Wind River, Wyoming, and Gros Ventre mountain ranges for backcountry llama experiences. We also rent trained pack llamas to hunters and families in MT, ID, WY, NV, and UT. In 2015, we will begin working two of our new outfitter permits located along the Continental Divide.
Without Wes Holmquist, Al Ellis, Bev Henry, Bob Schimpf, Nancy Hester and Doyle Markham, my passion for preserving the Ccara working llama would not exist. Al and Wes have been great mentors to me and have helped me create the ideal lifestyle for my family. Without them and all their hard work, none of this would be possible. I owe them a great debt of gratitude.