A small party of hunters approaches a herd of buffalo grazing on a distant plain. Their position is favorable—they are out of view and doubtless downwind from the buffalo and so will have the necessary advantage of surprise when they begin the chase. Russell tells of the excitement and anticipation of a moment like this in one of his stories as he describes the signal of the scout with his robe, which causes the American Indians to prepare for the chase. When they are ready, the scout on the butte swings his robe a couple of times around his head and drops it as the American Indians begin their run. At the top of the ridge they spot the large buffalo herd and the chase is on. Sighting the Herd is the only one of Russell’s buffalo paintings in which he shows the hunters funneling up the slope, leading the viewer’s eyes to the figure on the summit and to the buffalo herd grazing far below him.
Sighting the Herd (Buffalo Hunt)
Artist: Charles M. Russell Year Completed: 1896 Medium: Oil on paper mounted on Masonite Dimensions: 18.5 x 24.125 inches