Dubois author and wilderness outfitter Tory Taylor has released a new book called On The Trail Of The Mountain Shoshone Sheep Eaters: A High Altitude Archaeological Odyssey. The book is a gripping read about Taylor’s personal role in the discoveries of how this prehistoric tribe thrived in Wyoming’s highest elevations, and on how Taylor experimented with a Mountain Shoshone lifestyle. He builds and uses their tools and even eats their paleo diet.
In his many backcountry trips, Tory Taylor found numerous artifacts, including soapstone bowls, wikiup lodges, grinding stones and more. And he knew scientists needed to know about these objects. So he contacted local anthropologists and it wasn’t long before they were using his guiding services and his keen eye for artifacts to help document what they learned, including the importance of bighorn sheep to the Mountain Shoshone.
Taylor says the animal was once as common as elk are now and the tribe used their meat and hides for all their needs: for food, shelter, clothing and tools.
Taylor was also present for the discovery of High Rise Village, over 60 lodge pads on a mountainside above timberline. It changed the way scientists thought about human habitation at high elevation. It wasn’t just a few hunters who made the trip to the high country--the entire tribe spent long periods of time there. That revelation sparked Taylor’s imagination, inspiring him to learn more about them by living their ancient lifestyle.
Tory Taylor’s bow that he built from bighorn sheep horns is now on display at the Dubois National Bighorn Sheep Center.