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The Most Dangerous Part Of Filming Yellowstone

While the complex family drama might be the hook that keeps viewers coming back for Paramount Network's sleeper hit Yellowstone week-to-week, it's the stunning backdrops of rural Montana that set it apart from the TV pack. The show goes to great lengths to capture the feeling of being in the wild, and while some scenes are shot on soundstages, many are filmed on location in Montana's Bitterroot Valley in order to capture those one-of-a-kind vistas. In a way, Montana is as much a part of Yellowstone as any member of the Dutton family.

Of course, shooting out in the wild is quite different than filming on a set in Los Angeles. Throughout their two seasons, the cast and crew of Yellowstone have learned that authentically capturing life in the rural American West comes with its own set of dangers. That's especially true when it comes to the series' many animal encounters. Thanks to cast interview and local media reports, we have some thrilling stories of exactly the kind of real-life danger the cast and crew of Yellowstone face during the filming of their hit show.

A bull broke equipment on the set of Yellowstone

In an interview with The New York Post, actor Luke Grimes, who plays Kayce Dutton, described a moment in which an animal actor caused a bit of drama on set. In this case, the actor in question was a large bull that got a little too worked up during a scene that called for the human actors to be in the middle of its corral.

In the scene in question, various characters were playing a game called "cowboy poker" in which, instead of betting on hands of cards, players sit at a table in a pen with a rampaging bull, with the last one remaining in their seat the victor. Because of the show's commitment to authenticity, it was a real bull running around the actors, and if you think it was a contained situation, it's important to know that the bull ended up charging at and breaking one of the cameras.

Grimes did specify that he wasn't in the corral when things got too heated, saying, "I'm not one of the actors on the show who say, 'I do all my own stunts.'"

In a behind-the-scenes featurette, though, other actors who were on hand revealed that a stuntwoman did take a knock from the charging bull. They reported that, the next day, when she was asked whether she was okay, she responded, "You know, I looked in the cowgirl handbook to see if I could cry. The answer was, 'No.'"

Yellowstone's Kelly Reilly had a literal run-in with some wolves

In an interview with Parade, Kelly Reilly, who plays Beth Dutton, described her own harrowing animal experience. During an episode in which Beth goes on an unorthodox date late at night, she sees a pack of feeding wolves not far from where her date's truck is parked. To prove how wild she is, Beth charges at the animals, screaming and yelling. Of course, the wolves were real, and while Reilly stressed that they were tame and that there were expert animal handlers on set, she also clarified, "[Y]ou have a woman running up and screaming at them while they're feeding. No one could 100 percent guarantee that they weren't going to come at me."

Reilly was naturally apprehensive about performing the scene. Unlike the actors filming the rampaging bull scene, she didn't have a stunt double to take any potential hits for her. "There was a little bit of a moment just before action where I was like, 'I can't believe I'm about to do this,'" she said.

In the end, everything went fine, and Reilly even said the wolves were excellent scene partners. "I did it four or five times," she told Parade. "By the second time, I was fine, and they just ignored me."

You might see bears on the set of Yellowstone

Charging bulls and wild wolves are a lot for the actors and film crew to contend with, but they pale in comparison to one of the most vicious predators of the American west: Bears. Of course, the crew of Yellowstone had their own experiences with the giant beasts. Thankfully, though, no one went the way of Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.

During filming of the show, local media in Montana reported that a bear had stumbled onto set and had to be removed by animal handlers (via Montana Pioneer). As it turned out, however, the bear was yet another animal actor. The show's publicist set the record straight after reports of the wild animal encounter spread, saying, "It wasn't a 'loose' bear. It was part of a scene that was carefully handled by our animal wranglers."

The scene in question is possibly one in which John Dutton (Kevin Costner) confronts a bus of tourists who have stopped to photograph one of the animals. Whether it was a loose bear or part of the shoot, we have to imagine that there are still a lot of nerves on set when your scene partner is a 500-pound killing machine. It sounds like it's all in a day's work, however, for the team behind Yellowstone.