I stand by my belief that one of Kevin Costner’s greatest roles is John Dutton from Paramount’s ‘Yellowstone’ series. John is one part Walt Longmire, one part Walker the Texas Ranger, and one part Big Jake, all rolled into a rugged, tough display of cowboy perfection.
And, I think it’s a crying shame that the Dutton’s magnificent ranch resides on the other side of Yellowstone in Montana. Not that I have anything against Montana. It’s a beautiful state full of natural wonders.
Why did Yellowstone Ranch end up in Montana? Alas, lack of film incentives reportedly led to the series being filmed in our northern neighbor – and thus, Yellowstone Ranch became part of Montana’s domain.
But, if I had to pick a place where John Dutton and the Yellowstone Ranch truly belong, I don’t think it would be Montana. It would be right here in the Cowboy State. Here’s why:
#1 – Most of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming…
If you’re naming your ranch ‘Yellowstone,’ it should be in the state with most of the national park residing in it. Montana has just 3% of Yellowstone National Park in its boundaries. The rest is in the Equality State.
#2 – There are a Lot Fewer People in Wyoming – and John Isn’t a Fan of People.
John Dutton, like many Wyomingites, is not a “people person.” He’d much rather be out in nature, avoiding people (I feel that, John.) He’s not above leaving his phone on the kitchen counter or escaping to areas with no cell service…which is, like, half of Wyoming.
“Yeah, well, I have this new rule. I only carry my phone in places with no service, otherwise, that son of a ***** stays on the kitchen counter.”
#3 – Wyomingites Share John’s Feelings on Tourists.
John isn’t a fan of tourists. In Season 1, he comes across tourists trespassing on his land. John’s not afraid to tell ’em to hightail it out of there…after, of course, saving the tourists from a bad day with a bear. Wyomingites also have some strong feelings against tourists disrespecting land out here.
#4 – John Honors the Code of the West.
John Dutton is a man of honor, true grit, and courage. He lives by the Code of the West – in fact, he practically embodies it.
“I fight for what’s right. I don’t really care who supports it.” (‘Yellowstone’: Season 5 Ep. 1)
#6 – John Isn’t a Fan of Big Cities – of Which Wyoming Has None.
John pretty much makes his disdain for cities clear in this line from ‘Yellowstone’ Season 1: “All right, drive your polluted soul back to the city where it belongs.”
Good news, John! Wyoming doesn’t have big cities. Our capital city of Cheyenne only has 65,000 or so folks living there. Comparatively, Billings, MT, has a population of 115,689, and Missoula has a population of 73,000.
#7 – John Believes in Earning His Way.
Wyoming is a land of hard work and diligence. Those are qualities John lives by. He believes in earning what he has. In the wise words of the Dutton patriarch, “Yeah, but you can’t sell this. You gotta earn it; you gotta live it, and that’s what they’ll never understand.” (‘Yellowstone’: Season 3 Ep. 4)
#8 – He’s Tough as Nails.
Honestly, John Dutton is one tough cookie. He’s survived countless ordeals – which I won’t disclose too much because SPOILERS ARE NOT OKAY. But long story short, he’s gone through a lot of physical and emotional turmoil in his life and is still kicking. So he’d do just fine in the rugged wilderness of Wyoming.
#9 – He’d Look Great in Pokes Gear.
Enough said. Plus, the Yellowstone Ranch colors would match perfectly.
#10 – He’s Confident, Bold, and Willing to Stick It to Powerful People.
Wyoming isn’t above digging our heels in and sticking it to Washington D.C. with a lawsuit when the need arises. That’s definitely something John would approve of.