We have added two new items that excite me. One is the "photo tours" and the other is the "blog." With the photo tours I will try to give an overview of a particular story of the Corps of Discovery's work in the area, then use photos to let the reader see and fill in the details; as the old adage goes "one picture is worth a thousand words."
The blog will be used to keep everyone updated on our events and activities. I will also be including short items of interest in the form of my comments or things I have heard etc., etc. Who knows what else may somehow appear in this space? Here is an example.
Why Shooting Grizzlies?
This area was home to many grizzlies who found an abundance of food from the massive herds of buffalo, elk and deer that congregated to cross the Missouri River on the natural ford just above the falls on their migrations. When the Expedition came into the area they had already had many experiences with the "white bear" and knew how difficult they were to kill. They also knew well its ferocity and ill temper. They knew that constant vigilance would be required of them against this prairie brute.
Self defense can be used to explain some of the grizzly kills the Expedition made, but not all. The journals record several instances of hunting parties being organized to go find grizzlies. That is not self defense. The Captains issuing the order that the men must not go out alone in grizzly country is self defense.
Most of the journal entries that report grizzly kills also mention the bears were rendered to get the oil from them, which was considerable. By the time the Expedition reached the Great Falls they were boiling much of their food in oil they had rendered from the fat of the animals they shot. This included buffalo, elk, deer and bears. But the grizzly was the most desireable because it produced the most oil per animal.
We can only conclude that the Expedition's hunters were purposely shooting grizzlies to get the oil to be used in cooking their food.