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Describing this painting the artist wrote, “I liked this painting when I started it. When I was doing it. And when I finished it. So much so, I decided to keep it. But finally an offer was made for it which I couldn’t turn down. It seems to enjoy a wide popularity. The rifle is a Sharps buffalo type, probably in fifty calibre. Intended to excel at long range, it was provided with a very heavy barrel–fine for accuracy, but difficult to hold steady for any length of time. And for sharpshooting you needed a bipod of some kind to steady the barrel. Most of the hide hunters carried little collapsible, portable rests. Indians wouldn’t have had that accessory, but could gain the effect by gripping a couple of arrows to support the rifle. Expert riflemen even today will take a rest on a tree trunk or a fence post or whatever is handy. I know about these things because I went through Marine boot camp where everybody graduates as a rifleman first and foremost. I personally tried the arrow trick, and it worked. Beyond the intriguing moment, I sought a strong, simple composition, and for me it worked as well as the arrows.”

The Artist
Private Collection, Tucson, AZ, 1983
[Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ, 1988]
Private Collection, CA, 1988
Gerald Davis, Trustee, 2016

Don Dedera, Howard Terpning: The Storyteller (Trumbull, CT: The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., 1989), pages 104-105, illustrated
Elmer Kelton, The Art of Howard Terpning (Trumbull, CT: The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., 1992), page 100, illustrated
Harley Brown, Tribute to the Plains People (Seymour, CT: The Greenwich Workshop, Inc., 2012), page 160, illustrated

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