When Jeanette Reim was a young girl growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, her grandfather took her out to shoot a service revolver.
That sparked a love and respect for firearms and, since then, Reim has traveled the world to hunt.
She’s been to all corners, documenting her hunting experiences, earning national recognition and appearances in national publications.
In fact, Cabela’s paid Reim to use their hunting equipment. If she liked an item, it was great promotion.
She has authored a book title, Life Behind the Crosshairs.
Oh, she’s also a taxidermist.
And if all that isn’t remarkable enough, it’s her most recent accomplishment that may quite literally make history.
Because Jeanette Reim is a digger, a bone hunter, a fossil finder.
“Life-long passion is what I would call it. I really got into it, I started finding bison, and then I started finding things much older and that’s why we’re here today,” she said.
It was early December when Jeanette was out exploring, and she noticed a broken object on the ground.
“Just something told me to pick it up, and when I picked it up I was shocked,” she recalled.
She knew what it was — and yet she didn’t: A horn that resembled a pronghorn, but certainly not a pronghorn from today.
Possibly a tetrameryx.
“Yes, that is the predecessor to the pronghorn and they’re about 15,000 years old,” Reim said. “They have never found one in North Dakota.”
But wait — it wasn’t that either.
“I got online and started scouring,” she said. “I looked at all my books and I said, well it’s not a tetrameryx, but that’s the closest thing I could find.”
Reim knew whatever it was, it needed to be looked at.
After making some phone calls, she eventually reached out to the North Dakota Geological Survey.
When she met with the folks there, she discovered word had gotten out about her tetrameryx that isn’t a tetrameryx.
It could take years of studying, carbon dating, sharing information with paleontologists from about the world — whatever it is that needs to be done to identify and define what Reim has found: Maybe, just maybe, a new species.
This means it could take years for you to eventually see it on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center.
This also means there are some details about the find that can’t be revealed yet — like where, exactly, the item was found.
“I can confirm that it was McLean County,” Reim said with a laugh.
But that’s about it. It’s being kept a secret because it could be an unprecedented find, which means there’s a lot at stake.
Whatever this animal is, it may be a species unknown to man.
And, in the paleontology world, credit is a big thing.
As for Jeanette, it’s just another one of her great adventures in life.
“This is right up there, I love finding stuff, but to find something that’s never been found before — I might have to write another book,” Reim said with a smile.
She has donated the horn to the North Dakota Geological Survey and she’ll be the co-author of the paper that bills this find as “a new species.”
And if indeed, the find is verified as a new species, Jeanette Reim will get to name it.