After witnessing the Spanish-American War firsthand, Remington could no longer glamorize combat as he once had from his father's stories about the Civil
War. Much of his youthful exuberance vanished, replaced by a sense of the reality of loss of the Old West. Part of this reality was depicting the condition
of the Indigenous Americans, who from the depletion of the buffalo herds faced starvation or life on reservations. The night air is brittle, the sky
speckled with frozen stars, the snow-covered landscape as barren as the moon that washes it in pale light. There is nothing left to sustain the will to
resist, or even to go on. Embracing the Old West with renewed passion, he, who had been a master of action, a storyteller in line and paint, became a
student of mood, and some of his paintings were infused with a brooding intensity. Contemporaries recognized a change of direction in The Luckless Hunter with its air of despair.