In 1904, Ben Lilly, a young hunter from Louisiana met Ned Hollister on the U.S. Biological Survey. Based on his reputation as the best hunter in Mississippi and Louisiana, the Survey contracted Lilly to obtain skins and skeletons for its collection. Thus began 30 years of hunting both for the government and for local ranchers. Lilly spent many years collecting specimens for Hollister, including both large animals and numerous species of birds. While he is primarily known as a hunter, few were able to match his field experience and knowledge of many species in their natural habitat. His observations of Wildlife of the Southwest were often quoted in the scientific journals of the day.