Important opportunity for GYE archaeology fans

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 09:47:08 01/28/18

Here is the announcement from the Gallatin History Museum. I will add some relevant remarks down below it.

"Gallatin History Museum Monthly Speaker Series-Tory Taylor

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
6:00 PM 7:30 PM

On the Trail of the Mountain Shoshone Sheep Eaters: A High Altitude Archaeological and Anthropological Odyssey

Tory Taylor is an avid outdoorsman who has spent his entire adult life exploring and experiencing the natural and human history of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. His interest in Sheep Eater archaeology led him on a personal odyssey. As a wilderness horse outfitter, he generously shared his knowledge with those he guided through this last intact temperate zone ecosystem. Taylor now enjoys hunting, wilderness trips with his wife Meredith and solo trips through the mountains with his loyal horses.

Tory Taylor's book "On the Trail..." is about the Mountain Shoshone, the people who lived in Wyoming s Wind River and Absaroka ranges prior to European contact. It makes use of ethnographic data, observations by early 19th century explorers and mountain men, archaeological data and Taylor s own experience in locating archaeological sites and experimenting with the technology and diet of these Native Americans. As someone who knows the archaeology well, I found no errors in the book, and even learned a few things from it. But it is also more: it is a kind, calm, and caring book, written by a kind, calm and caring hand. The reader learns about the Shoshone, but also about respect for land, for knowledge, and for other people. The language is utterly accessible to all, and the text is knowledgeable. It is neither encyclopedic nor analytical and it does not intend to be. Instead it is an understanding of the region s history by someone who knows the Greater Yellowstone area personally, as a hunting guide and outfitter and who has assisted in its archaeological investigation. Knowing the Mountain Shoshone through Taylor s eyes produces a better book for the lay reader than a trained archaeological expert such as myself could write. I enjoyed it and I think many others will as well. The audience includes anyone interested in the natural history, archaeology and human history of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. R.L. Kelly"

I met Tory Taylor and his wife, Meredith, at an annual meeting of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition back in 1996 or 1997. Tory was an invited speaker, who had been partnering with the controversial, but beloved by many, Thorofare backcountry ranger, Bob "Action" Jackson, in his effort to combat the efforts of outfitters who were salt-baiting along the southern border of Yellowstone National Park, in an unethical, and, in some cases, illegal, effort to lure trophy bulls out of the park, so their wealthy clients could hunt them. IMHO, Bob Jackson and Tory Taylor are real life contemporary heroes, who took on a powerful opponent who had strength in numbers and superior financial resources, which often translates to a sizeable advantage in any legislation or litigation (never mind lobbying power). One of the things that really got under the skin of the salt-baiters was the fact that Tory was one of their own. He was an outfitter, who guided hunters. He just had strong ethics/morals, and refused to participate in their ganglike game. I'm not going to go off into the mechanics and environmental damage produced by rampant salt-baiting in this space, but I have vivid memories of Tory showing photos of the large 3 and 4 foot deep pits that had resulted from repeated salt block placement along the southern boundary. I know that both Bob and Tory were the recipients of death threats, but it did not deter them.

Tory and Meredith operate a small ranching/outfitting operation over near Dubois, WY.

I know I am not going to miss this event, even though I do not expect Tory to speak about salt-baiting. I have a lot of respect for his backcountry expertise and personal history; and I am a Mountain Shoshone junkie, so I am going to be in attendance.

I provided a link to's page that advertises Tory's book, in case anyone is interested in procuring a copy.

FYI, the March 7 event will be in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies, even though the Gallatin History Museum does not have it posted yet. (I checked with museum staff.)


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