Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Over a 30 year period, DeSmet entered Montana on at least seven occasions. During his visits, he traveled along the Milk, Missouri, Yellowstone, Jefferson, Clark Fork, Bitterroot, and Flathead Rivers as well as making a couple of excursions cross-country between some of these drainages (Figure 8). Although DeSmet's main concern was with the Indians, he made numerous observations of wildlife and their habitat. Many of DeSmet's comments on wildlife were based on reports from Indians and as such have added historic value. DeSmet apparently had some botanical training and his reports frequently give scientific names of plants. DeSmet's travels are well documented by his letters and journals.
Chittenden, H.M., and A.T. Richards, eds. 1905. The life, letters, and travels of Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet, S.J., 1801-1873. Francis P. Harper. New York. DeSmet, P.J. 1843. Letters and Sketches: With a narrative of a year's residence among the Indian tribes of the Rocky Mountains. M. Fithian, Philadelphia, PA. DeSmet, P.J. 1847. Oregon missions and travels over the Rocky Mountain in 1845-46. Edward Dunigan, New York. DeSmet, P.J. 1863. Western missions and missionaries: A series of letters. Kirker and Dunigan, New York. Magaret, H. 1940. Father DeSmet, pioneer priest of the Rockies. Farrar and Rinehart, New York. Thompson, L.S. 1985. Montana's Explorers: The pioneer naturalists. The Montana Magazine, Helena. Thwaites, R.G., ed. 1966b. DeSmet's Oregon missions and travels over the Rocky Mountains 1845-1846. in Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Vol 23. AMS Press, Inc., New York.