Pat Trader

The Longhunters

I work as a prehistoric archaeologist for a private consulting firm in Cincinnati, Ohio. My interests are focused on the prehistory of the Ohio River Valley and the greater Midwestern and Southeastern United States. I hold a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia with an emphasis in archaeology.


I’ve always had a strong interest in the past and history, which is likely what led me down the path I’ve taken to become an archaeologist. As a child, I had little interest in organized sports, but I had an avid interest in the outdoors and in the lives of early explorers and woodsmen. My interest in the outdoors increased while I was in the Boy Scouts of America, where I had an opportunity to camp, canoe, hike, and backpack.


While working on an archaeology project in Henderson, Kentucky with the University of Kentucky in 2003, I had a chance encounter with a group of men who were recreating the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the bicentennial celebration of that event (2003-2006). Growing up in western Missouri, I was fascinated with the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. As I got older, my fascination with Lewis and Clark bordered on becoming an obsession. Just ask my wife.

Kentucky archaeology, Woodland Indians, primitive technology, Native American, American Indian, native technology

I describe how a flintlock rifle works at LAW 2010.

At LAW, I display and describe a wide range of tools used by Kentucky's longhunters.

The men I met were with an organization called the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri (DESC for short). DESC’s mission is to bring the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the citizens of the United States through reenactment and living history of the event. I quickly signed up and was fortunate to take part in re-telling that story in Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. It was during my time on the river with DESC that I first started doing historical presentations and demonstrations. As part of DESC, I have given presentations to thousands of school children and the public.


After this experience, I became interested in the lives of Longhunters or professional hide hunters, and I have developed a persona to reenact. I did my first demon-stration at Living Archaeology Weekend in 2010 and returned in 2012. I really enjoy speaking to young people and bringing history alive for them.