Alfred Jacob Miller (January 2, 1810 – June 26, 1874) was an American painter and sketcher best known for his paintings depicting the northwestern United States. His 1837 painting titled “Approaching Buffalo” depicts a Native American buffalo hunt.
“The hunters form for themselves a peculiar kind of a cap; it has two ears with a flap reaching to the shoulders. This is worn with a double object in view, one of which is to deceive the Buffalo in approaching – under such guise, the hunter is mistaken by the animal for a wolf, and is suffered to approach quite near. The mass of hair covering the forehead of the Buffalo obscures his sight and aids the trapper in his deception. In the sketch, a couple of Bulls are lying down near the swell of a rolling prairie. A trapper (in company with an Indian) is stealthily creeping along the rise – as the arrows of the latter make no noise, he is privileged to shoot first, the Trapper reserving his fire until the animals regain their feet, when he instantly ‘draws a bead,’ using his ramrod to steady his rifle. This mode of hunting is used only under certain circumstances; running being the favorite method, from its affording more excitement.”
A.J. Miller, extracted from The West of Alfred Jacob Miller (1837)