This articles is about the nature filmmaker. For the college basketball coach, see Jim Dutcher (basketball coach).
Jim Dutcher has written several books and made nature films about wolves. Jim and Jamie Dutcher are creators of Wolves at Our Door.
In 1990, Jim was given captive pups and was allowed a permit to set up a 25 Acre Wolf observation camp in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, where he stayed, later joined by his wife Jamie Dutcher, until 1996; raising and documenting the captive pack of wolves and their socializing behavior. The wolves, which became known as the "Sawtooth Pack", then became property of the Wolf Education and Research Center (a non-profit organization he founded) in conjunction with the Native American Nez Perce and moved to northern Idaho.
Jim made several films about the Sawtooth pack and wrote many books. The Sawtooth Pack became famous worldwide and very popular with the public. The original pack started out with two wolves, Makuyi and Akai, who were both saved by the Dutchers. Later, the pack grew to include Kamots (the Alpha), Lakota (the omega), Matsi (the Beta), Motomo, Amani, Chemukh, Wyakin, Wahots, Motoki, Piyip, and Ayet. Piyip, the last remaining original member of the Sawtooth Pack, died on Friday, July 5th 2013 at the age of 17.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer Jim Dutcher began producing documentary films in the 1960s. His early experiences with a camera were spent underwater on the Florida coast. In 1985, "Water, Birth, the Planet Earth", his first television film, initiated a career spent with animals that range from tiny hatchling sea turtles to one of the top ranking predators on the continent - the wolf. Jim's extraordinary camera work and the trust he gains from his subjects have led audiences into places never before filmed: inside beaver lodges, down burrows to peek at newborn wolf pups, and into the secret life of a mother mountain lion as she cares for her newborn kittens. His work includes the National Geographic special, "A Rocky Mountain Beaver Pond" and ABC World of Discovery's two highest rated films, "Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies" and "Wolf: Return of a Legend", winner of an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Television Documentary."
Together, Jim and his wife Jamie Dutcher won three Primetime Emmy Awards for their wildlife documentary, "Wolves at Our Door," and have been interviewed extensively on numerous television and radio programs and in print articles, in both the United States and Europe. Their most recent film and book, "Living with Wolves," continues the story of the Sawtooth Pack that became part of their lives.
In 2006 the Dutchers founded the non-profit organization "Living with Wolves." Dedicated to educational outreach, they travel around the country to bring about a better understanding of the true nature of wolves and how important they are to a healthy eco-system.