Size isn't necessarily everything. My littlest guy has heart like no other, he is always ready and never balks. But yeah, not all llamas are pack llamas.
Forgot to add that I was listening to the last podcast today while stacking some rounds and got excited to hear you say that you were finally taking the time to try some llamas out. Cant wait for the episode to come out!
From what Beau said, some llamas are not worth taking as a gift. He has spent years sorting and building a line of pack llamas that are bigger and more stout than most of what you see. Not all llamas are bred, built, or trained for mountain packing. His stories of experimentation make me skeptical about renting, buying, or accepting as free, any llama that is not proven in the mountains.
You say the two you took hunting packed out an elk no problem. Was that in one trip? In an emergency could a person be loaded on a llama?
For those of you that think you want to buy llamas, work out a way to try before you buy, preferably on a serious excursion, not around the pasture, and keep in mind that nobody sells their best stock for less than premium pricing, and for most renting will work out better in the long run, (although having your own is very gratifying, like that solo point by a bird dog you trained yourself).
Does Beau actually sell pack llamas or just rent?
Youd destroy the animal trying to pack out a grown man. 60-70 is a normal load. some can do 110 for shorter distance. most likely thsy would freak out if you tried to put a man on them. some can be saddle trained for kids. but its asking alot of them, imo.
I've always thought of Llamas as not being as social as a horse/mule/burro can be, but I may be wrong. I suppose that's on a case by case basis? I've been around them and they were hard to read, and seemed, well a bit aloof?