We are fully entrenched in buffalo country. Ton sized creatures with unrealistic short swinging tails that wallow in dust holes with all four feet in the air. Unhappy buffalo bellow at one another with a huffy stance sharing a perception that they are rearing for a fight.
Knowing that annually humans are gored by these oversized creatures with flattish faces. Recognizing that a determined buffalo can reach speeds of 35 mph. We set a few ground rules for our practice, respect and safety in the grasslands they call home. We suggest all hikers in buffalo country adhere and acknowledge the following buffalo rules.
1. Never say, “Hello there big boy.” She doesn’t like it and he thinks you are making fun of his penis size.
2. If close, run to a tree and keep that tree between you and the fuzzy guy even if that means you are running in circles around the tree.
3. Crawl into fetal position, cover head, keep pack to back and be eternally grateful if you are not stomped by all four feet (they aren’t going to eat you … just stomp you).
4. Respect the distance – buffalo always have the right away. Their directional choice is superior and priority to your preference. Stop and wait before committing.
5. Give em space. They don’t want their heads scratched, noses rubbed or bellies tickled. They want you to go away. Not fast. Not slow. Just deliberate and at a distance.
6. When all else fails it is survival of the fittest. No red capes. No clanging bells. Just foot steps and distance.