Roping a Buffalo: Featured Question with Forrest

buffaloMr. Fenn,

In searching near Yellowstone, and witnessing the strength of Buffalo, how the hell didn’t you, your brother, and Donny get yourself killed doing things like roping a Buffalo? What are some other stupid things you have done? ~ Jeff


I would hope my life has not been spent looking for a trail of safe passage Jeff, and things are mostly stupid only if they don’t work. We didn’t see the buffalo incident as being dangerous from his point of view, but we could have been maimed pretty good in the car wreck.

The buffalo has few natural enemies and are not known to attack anything that is not in its close proximity. Maybe the angels look fondly on those who seek playful adventures. The worse part of that episode was walking seven miles barefooted.

I have made some rules for myself as a result of doing some pretty stupid things. Number 26 was, “If you don’t know where to search, any trail will take you there.”  By nature, I am not the type who wears a belt and suspenders both. Hope that answers your question.f

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13 Responses

  1. dal says:

    This is an interesting answer because I think not being meek has been a theme throughout both Forrest’s and Skippy’s lives. But there is a difference between foolhardy and edge bumping…I think planning/analysis might be one of the major differences…another might be knowledge aforethought..

    • Brad Hartliep says:

      There is absolutely no difference, but by semantics and outcome ..

      If Orville and Wilbur had died or been seriously Injured at Kill Devil Hill, the papers and the people would have labeled them as “foolhardy” bicycle tinkerers and amateur flight dreamers, right up there with all the other “foolhardy” pre-WW1 Aviator Kooks whose inventions failed miserably –

      Same holds true for Lindberg and Earhart:

      Charles is remembered as one of the world’s greatest aviators — but if he had failed in his attempt to cross the ocean, he would, today, be but a rank, amateur also-ran in the history books — a foolhardy pilot with an asterisk ..

      And at one time, Amelia was considered a not very good foolhardy pilot who got in way over her head – a rich socialite with lots of money and lots of attention — but not the best female pilot — and definitely not the best person to attempt a world record – a “foolhardy” attempt that she should never have tried; yet, had she been successful in crossing the ocean, she would have been celebrated as one of the world’s greatest aviators ..

      Yet Lindberg and Earhart both attempted basically the exact same thing: crossing the uncrossable — a foolhardy attempt by any stretch of the imagination — until it is successful. And then it becomes: “pushing the edges”. The only reason Amelia Earhart is remembered at all, today, is because of the tremendous Publicity following her failure – and the fact that she was never found. Publicity loves mystery. Yet, Pancho Barnes was three times the Pilot Amelia ever was ..

      And the same holds true for Jimmy Doolittle or Chuck Yeager or Bob Hoover or anyone who’s ever attempted a “first” — foolhardy when they fail, edge-pushers when they succeed ..

      And same holds true for Steven Fossey – he was a brilliant “Edge Bumper” pushing the limits of aviation — until he failed. And now he’s just a foolhardy balloonist who made a stupid flight that cost him his life ..


  2. Jenny Kile says:

    Good points about the difference in being foolhardy and edge bumping, Dal.

    Forrest’s answer does follow many of his stories of testing the limits and how this certainly can’t be done while sitting on the sidelines, couch, or staying with the crowd…..

  3. Old Shadows says:

    I admire your nature Mr. Fenn. Some would say it’s your sense of freedom, but I think freedom is too loose, freedom’s a child of serendipity. I think you’re a child of duty heeding the call of curiosity. A demanding child, and we’re richer for it. Were that there were more.

  4. Michael D says:

    Most people today have grown up somewhat sheltered from the things the older generations did to survive, and also what they did for recreation. Kids today are even more sheltered from these things. I believe television, video games, and cell phones, along with the fact that parents were not exposed to these things are the major factors contributing to this ignorance. What I did for fun when I was a child is done on the computer screen in a video game today. Times have definitely changed, and not all for the better, I might add. I am not suggesting anything as bold as roping a buffalo, especially since that would definitely get you arrested today. But a little “trail surfing” couldn’t hurt. If you don’t care where you are going, then any trail works!

  5. Dick says:

    I believe I am somewhat sheltered from the last presence of culture and current culture. I have lived my life “by the whim of a tale” many many times, most of my life in fact. I lived in the forest for over 10 years without any human comforts, and my grandparents and great grand parents pre-date Forrest Fenn by a couple decades to over 4 decades before him. I think you are all making origami puppets from silver notes and not seeing the reality of the clues, Forrest said nothing is coded, everything is right there, in order, it’s akin to a map, and DON’T mess with the poem. If you can think like an independent freethinker then you’ll find it. No surfing, no coding, no messing, no hidden intentions, the man is obviously way ahead of all of you. He’s given all the clues without any hidden meanings as he himself has said. I’m so dismayed by box thinkers…Forrest is outside the box. So am I. Doesn’t mean I’m looking, but so far what I read about all of you is alarming to say the least.

  6. Dick says:

    Sometimes the best thing is to take it literally. Exactly. Not try to fit a location, but rather find it with a map. I’m a guy that never asks for directions …because there’s always a map and I Never lose my way. I’m never caught “searching” because there’s always directions. Poem.

    • Dick says:

      Also I have been developing video games for the last 30 years,,,, so far no one has concluded any straight clues I have given,,,, and no one has ever found my easter eggs. Literally no one. I am not at liberty to say what games. Just that as a designer and programmer, people tend to over exert themselves for something more simple than a tissue to blow their nose. LMAO

  7. dick says:

    5×9^4 by 460 degrees south times the square root of your momma is not leading to Jack Shit. The poem is exact, not coded, and exactly meaningful as Forrest has said… Let’s see something beyond retarded.

  8. Dick says:

    And I might add that in 2013 Jenny did a wonderful job giving you all a great service by transliterating many many “beginnings”

  9. randawg says:

    I think Fenn is saying he takes risks in life as well as with his pants 🙂
    I also think it’s weird that only 5 people responded to this post and one of them only talked about video games(??)


    • pdenver says:

      randawg, I think the first part of your statement may be true. I believe he lives life large and looks for the edge before falling. I believe the gentleman is inquisitive, in a positive way.

      • pdenver says:

        I keep wondering if inquisitive is the correct word I wanted to use. Perhaps if I said, the gentleman is one who wants to explore the “Who? What? Where? Why? and How?” of things. Hope this explains more of what I’m trying to say.

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