‘Yellowstone’ Season 5: Bunkhouse Boys Speak Out About ‘Wolfgate’

by Jon D. B.
(Photo credit: Paramount Network Press)

The stars of Yellowstone Season 5 dive deep into the consequences of those dead Yellowstone National Park wolves. But first, be warned of spoilers ahead!

“It’s a high crime to kill a wolf, unless you have a tag or a permit,” Ian Bohen begins. “The population is heavily regulated,” he adds, which is an understatement, even.

And Bohen’s Yellowstone character, Ryan, did exactly that this season. Audiences have been following along as the consequences unfurl after both Ryan and Colby (Denim Richards) shot gray wolves as they preyed on Dutton cattle in the night, only to discover each was outfitted with a Yellowstone National Park GPS collar.

This is only half the drama, too. For ranchers living in wolf country, “They’re also a nuisance,” Bohen continues. “They kill livestock, and they do all sorts of bad things. But the laws are very strict.”

Gray wolves were brought to the brink of extinction in North America for this very reason. Immigrant settlers hunted, poisoned, and trapped the species for centuries without regulation. Now, it is only legal to kill a wolf under very strict circumstances (or a specific hunting season in only three states), hence the amount of trouble Governor John Dutton is in throughout Yellowstone Season 5.

“If it’s done on the governor’s land, it’s him throwing it in the face of the law,” Bohen offers. “It’s a betrayal of his office. It’s horrific if he allowed that to happen. Which is what his enemies are going to try and make it look like.”

In ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5, Wolves Take Center Stage Once Again, But for an Entirely Different Reason

“It turns into ‘Wolfgate’ really quick,” Jefferson White adds, whose Jimmy Hurdstrom we’ve yet to see in Season 5 as of the first several episodes. “You can just see the headlines. Especially with all the newfound scrutiny on all of John Dutton’s actions. It used to be so much easier to sweep things under the rug.”

As White continues, “The issue becomes this microcosm for this question of conservation and environmentalism, and who are the real stewards of this land, right? This takes that and brings it into direct conflict.”

“Everyone is trying to conserve their own values, and their idea of what this land should be,” he adds. Which is exactly what Yellowstone Season 5 is about – alongside the consequences of those values, that is.

For more on how ‘Wolfgate’ unfolds in the show, and the real-life history behind it all, be sure to head over to our ‘Yellowstone’ Season 5: Why Those Dead Wolves are So Important Moving Forward next.