Once his force had reached Battleford, Colonel William Otter prepared to mount an attack on Poundmaker's Cree. His goal was to prevent Poundmaker from joining the Métis contingent at Batoche. Colonel Otter assembled a force of 350 men, including 75 North-West Mounted Police, two artillery pieces, and a Gatling gun. Otter's troops managed to surprise Poundmaker's force of Cree and Stoney warriors and took up a strong position on Cut Knife Hill.
Once Poundmaker recovered from the initial surprise of the Canadian attack, he ordered his warriors to move around both flanks of Otter's force using the woods as a protective screen. Soon, the Cree and Stoney warriors were threatening to completely encircle the Canadian troops, and Colonel Otter ordered a withdrawal. Poundmaker did not pursue the retreating Canadians, and Otter managed to evacuate his men from the battlefield with minimal casualties.