Core Stories

Public Lands Llama: A Day On Public Land in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest

A Full-Day Adventure

To kick off hunting season, the Public Lands Llama joined forces with a second pack llama, Doc Holliday, for an adventurous day trip into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Marshall Anderson, a guide for Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas, and his little brother Grayson loaded up the llamas with hunting gear, fishing supplies, and enough food and water for a full day on the trail. With deer and bear tags in hand, the two set off to do some scouting, hunting, fly-fishing, and enjoying the day on public lands.

"Public lands are meant to be celebrated, they’re meant to be used - so get out there and use them - even if all you have is just one free day."

Marshall Andersen, Backcountry Guide

Throughout the numerous miles trekked, Marshall and Grayson saw an abundance of wildlife, including mule deer, fish, and a dead moose. They spotted some mountain goats on a ridge and pulled out their Gold Ring spotting scope to watch them navigate the rocky terrain and cliff edges. The guys even managed to harvest a pine chicken with their bow for dinner later that night.

“Remember to be a good steward of the land, respect others, respect wildlife, respect trails, and do your part by joining a local conservation group or by picking up a piece of trash. Our public lands are in our hands and we’ve got to protect them,” says Marshall, emphasizing the importance of celebrating our public lands by using them and by protecting them for future generations.

This Is Your Land

In 1891, the Caribou and Targhee National Forests, which were originally separate forest lands, were combined to form one designated National Forest area. The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is an ecological corridor for wildlife conservation. The forest serves as a link between the limited habitat of the northern and southern Rocky Mountains to restore native wildlife species to the surrounding areas.

The Big Hole Mountain Range is part of the greater Caribou-Targhee National Forest and is bordered on the southeast side by the Snake River. The range is steep and challenging but rich with wildlife and vegetation - making it ideal for bowhunting and fly fishing.

Nearly all the Caribou-Targhee National Forest lies within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, one of the last intact northern temperate ecosystems on Earth that encompasses over 18 million acres of wilderness and spans across three states. Because it is located inside a large region of such intensely managed forest lands, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest is home to hundreds of species of plants, fish, wildlife, and threatened and endangered species.

Public Land Facts

  • Love to fish? The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is a world-class fishing destination for cutthroat trout.
  • There are over 1,600 miles of trails that allow access to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and a few of those trails connect to the Grand Teton National Park.
  • Hunting the Caribou-Targhee National Forest is permitted in season and with the proper license and tags. To learn more about hunting opportunities, visit the USDA Forest Service site.
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