Real Rancher Blasts Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone For A Good Reason


“Yellowstone” has absolutely exploded in popularity over the course of its five seasons. The hit neo-western from creator Taylor Sheridan has catapulted to success despite the mixed reviews of its 1st season and has gone on to become a television staple with multiple prequels and spin-offs currently in the works.

However, not everyone is crazy about the show’s popularity. Mark Greeno, a real-life Montana rancher at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, thinks that “Yellowstone” is way off base in terms of the way of life it’s depicting. “The show has given our ranchers a bad name,” he told The Washington Post. He was particularly incensed by the notion of “the train station,” a place where ranchers go to dump the bodies of ranch hands that have been killed and other inconvenient bodies.

Originally described as “The Godfather” set on a Montana ranch, the series doesn’t lack regular violence, bloodshed, corrupt officials, and even murder. Still, while some ranchers might take issue with the way that their livelihood is being presented on “Yellowstone,” the show has had some positive effects as well.

Yellowstone has increased tourism to Montana by a lot

Other locals have noted that “Yellowstone” skips out on the hard winters of Montana, which are rarely depicted at all in the hit series. “They’re not showing the hard days when it’s below zero and the calves are frozen,” local Hillary Folkvord said. She wasn’t completely critical of the series, though. “I think the show has been good for us. It shows how beautiful Montana is,” she said. “And we hope to preserve that as stewards. That’s really important to us.”

On the other hand, since the show premiered back in 2018, tourists have begun flocking to the state of Montana, and not just to see the national park from which the Paramount series takes its name. “It’s absolutely a welcome surprise,” said the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch’s co-owner Sally Kelsey. “Every week or so, someone tells us: We decided to look into dude ranches because of the show ‘Yellowstone.'”


The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and its Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research also noted the growth that “Yellowstone” has had on the state in a joint study they undertook about how the show affects tourism. Their findings revealed that the 4th season of the series “ultimately supported 527 additional jobs in the state, $25.3 million in annual personal income, and $10.4 million in state tax and non-tax revenues.”

Tourists want to dress like the characters from the show

It turns out that some “Yellowstone” fans visiting Montana also want to do a bit of role-playing as some of the show’s popular characters. “Some people want us to shape hats like Rip’s,” said Western Outdoors manager Kim Parker, referring to the show’s gruff enforcer. “The lady folks want Beth Dutton’s look. … They always want to know what hat she’s wearing.”

Montana residents also noted that their friends from other parts of the country were invested in the series and tended to ask or comment about it. “My friends from back East watch it religiously,” Hillary Folkvord said. “And they tell me: It looks so magical and majestic — it’s just wide open spaces. I think that’s what people are craving right now. Montana gives you that.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic having finally wound down, it certainly makes sense that those cooped up in their homes over the past few years would want to go somewhere that’s full of spaces to explore and clean country air to breathe. Whether the series’ effects on the region will hold up when “Yellowstone” likely wraps up with the second part of its 5th season, however, will remain to be seen.


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