Leupold & Stevensis first and foremost a family company, having been passed down through five generations and counting. But what family is complete without a furry friend? Towards that end, Leupold partner and dedicated backcountry hunter Randy Newberg is welcoming Marcus the Llama to help him provide a unique look at public land hunting opportunities. This fall, Marcus will serve as Newberg’s lead pack animal on public land hunts throughout the western portion of the United States.
Although Americans usually plump for horses or mules as pack animals, llamas have some very impressive advantages...especially in the rugged portions of America's western wilderness. You see, llamas carry the majority of their body weight on their front legs, and their feet have leather pads and a split toe—traits that make them excellent in the rough terrain often found in the backcountry.
Provided by Beau and Kristin Baty of Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas, Marcus comes from a herd of Ccara Pack llamas. Ccaras are representative of the traditional llama breed, and make for excellent pack animals, thanks to their athleticism, strength and trainability.
“I had the opportunity to borrow llamas from Beau earlier this year,” said Newberg. “I was impressed with how much weight they could carry, and how low-maintenance they are—horses are great pack animals, but the smaller body of a llama means they eat and drink much less in comparison. They’re an easier companion to care for, and you lose none of the benefits of a larger-bodied pack animal.”
Marcus is all set to join Randy on several public land hunting trips—and fans will be able to follow their journey on Leupold’s various digital platforms. “I love sharing my public land hunting experiences with the world,” said Newberg. “There are so many great resources out there for hunters and anglers to enjoy—I’m hoping to help further that message with a little help from Marcus and hopefully introduce a few new folks to the joys of our public lands.”