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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Presettlement Wildlife and Habitat of Montana:
An Overview

Annotation Of Expeditions And Individuals Recording Natural History Notes

Yellowstone Expedition, 1863:

The Yellowstone expedition of 1863 was led by James Stuart for the purpose of scouting a wagon road down the Yellowstone River to the mouth of the Bighorn River (Figure 19). A secondary objective was to explore the Yellowstone and Bighorn Rivers for gold. During the first half of the expedition, Stuart recorded a considerable amount of general natural history information relating to wildlife and vegetation of the region. In contrast to Osborne Russell's observations, bison were not encountered until about the Billings area and only one grizzly bear was seen. Shortly after reaching the mouth of the Bighorn River, the expedition came under continuous attack from Indians and the remainder of the expedition was a desperate flight south into Wyoming.

Brown, M.H.  1969.  The plainsmen of the Yellowstone: A history of the 
     Yellowstone Basin.  Bison Books, Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Stuart, J.  1902.  The Yellowstone expedition of 1863.  Contributions to 
     the Historical Society Montana. vol 1, 2nd ed. Independent Publishing 
     Company, Helena, MT. 162-179.

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