August 5, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

August 5, 1806


Colter and Collins not having arrived induced me to remain this morning for them.    the hunters killed four deer this morning near our encampment. I remained untill noon when I again reimbarked and set out concluding that as Colter and Collins had not arrived by that time that they had passed us after dark the night of the 3rd inst. as Sergt Ordway informed me he should have done last evening had not the centinel hailed him.    we continued our rout untill late in the evening when I came too and encamped on the South side about 10 miles below little dry river. [1]    on our way we killed a fat cow and took as much of the flesh as was necessary for us.    The Feildses killed 2 large bear this evening one of them measured nine feet from the extremity of the nose to that of his tail, this is the largest bear except one that I have seen.    we saw several bear today as we passed but did not kill any of them.    we also saw on our way immence herds of buffaloe & Elk, many deer Antelopes, wolves, geese Eagles &c. but few ducks or prarie hens. [2]    the geese cannot fly at present; I saw a solitary Pillacon [3] the other day in the same situation.    this happens from their sheding or casting the fathers of the wings at this season.


The Musquetors was So troublesom to the men last night that they Slept but very little.    indeed they were excessive troublesom to me.    my Musquetor Bear has a number of Small holes worn through they pass in. I Set out at an early hour intending to proceed to Some other Situation. I had not proceded on far before I Saw a ram of the big horn Animal near the top of a Lard. Bluff    I assended the hill with a view to kill the ram.    the Misquetors was So noumerous that I could not keep them off my gun long enough to take Sight and by thair means missed.    at 10 a. m. the wind rose with a gentle breeze from the N. W. which in Some measure thinned the Misquetors. I landed on a Sand bar from the South Point intending to form a Camp at this place and Continue untill Capt Lewis Should arive.    and killed two Buck Elks and a Deer the best of their flesh & fat I had Saved.    had all the dryed meat & fat put out to Sun and continued at this place untill late in the evening finding that there were no buffalow or fresh Sign I deturmined to proceed on accordingly Set out at 4 P. M and proceeded on but a fiew miles eeir I saw a Bear of the white Species walking on a Sand bear. I with one man went on the Sand bear and killed the Bear which proved to be a feemale very large and fat. much the fattest animale we have killed on the rout as this bear has got into the river before we killed her I had her toed across to the South Side under a high Bluff where formed a Camp, [4] had the bear Skined and fleaced.    our Situation was exposed to a light breeze of wind which continued all the forepart of the night from the S W. and blew away the misquetors.


Tuesday 5th August 1806.    a fair morning.    we delayed here for Colter and Collins    the 2 Fields Sent on a head to hunt.    we waited untill 12 oClock and as we are not certain but what Colter and Collins is a head So we Set out and procd. on    Saw large gangs of buffaloe    we killed a fat cow and took the best of the meat and procd. on untill evening and Camped on a high Sand beach    a little after dark came up a hard Thunder Shower of wind and rain and nearly filled our canoes, So that we had to unload them.    the Sand flew So that we could Scarsely See & cut our faces by the force of the wind.—


Tuesday 5th.    Last night was cloudy and thunder was heard at a distance. About midnight the small canoe [5] we left yesterday came floating down with the current, and would have passed us if our centinel had not hailed it; the hunters in it killed a bear and two deer. This morning was also cloudy, and we halted here till noon in expectation that the other canoe [6] would come down; but there was then no appearance of it; and we began to suspect it had passed in the night. The forenoon had become clear and pleasant, and at noon we got under way. As we went on we killed a very fat buffaloe and some deer; and two hunters [7] who went on a-head in the morning, killed two very large brown bears. At sunset we encamped and at dark a violent gust of rain and wind came on with thunder and lightening, which lasted about an hour; after which we had a fine clear night.

1. Prairie Elk Creek in McCone County, Montana; see May 6, 1805. The camp was in McCone County, some four miles southwest of the present town of Wolf Point. Atlas map 36; MRC maps 63, 64. (back)
2. Perhaps the greater prairie-chicken, Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus [AOU, 305]. Burroughs, 211; Holmgren, 29. (back)
3. American white pelican, Pelecanus erythrorhynchos [AOU, 125]. Burroughs, 179; Holmgren, 32. (back)
4. This camp had to be above Little Muddy River (Lewis and Clark's White Earth River), which reaches the Missouri at Williston, Williams County, North Dakota, since Clark passed the stream the next day. It was probably in McKenzie County. Atlas maps 35, 47, 56; MRC map 59. (back)
5. Carrying Ordway and Willard, as Ordway describes. (back)
6. With Collins and Colter. (back)