February 4, 1805

4th February, Monday 1805.

This morning fair tho could the thermometer stood at 18° below Naught, wind from N. W. Capt Clark set out with a hunting party consisting of sixteen of our command and two frenchmen who together with two others, have established a small hut and resided this winter within the vicinity of Fort Mandane under our protection. visited by many of the natives today. our stock of meat which we had procured in the Months of November & December is now nearly exhausted; a supply of this articles is at this moment peculiarly interesting as well for our immediate consumption, as that we may have time before the approach of the warm season to prepare the meat for our voyage in the spring of the year. Capt. Clark therefore deturmined to continue his rout down the river even as far as the River bullet unless he should find a plenty of game nearer— The men transported their baggage on a couple of small wooden Slays drawn by themselves, and took with them 3 pack horses which we had agreed should be returned with a load of meat to fort mandane as soon as they could procure it. no buffaloe have made their appearance in our neighbourhood for some weeks; and I am informed that our Indian neighbours-suffer extreemly at this moment for the article of flesh. Shields killed two deer this evening, both very lean— one a large buck, he had shed his horns.