Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer Jim Dutcher began producing documentary films in the 1960s. His early adventures with a camera were spent underwater, part of a Florida coast childhood. In 1985, Water, Birth, the Planet Earth, Jim’s first television film, initiated a career spent with animals that range from tiny hatching sea turtles to one of the top-ranking predators, 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 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.
Jim's intense personal involvement with the details of his subjects' lives and his eye for the beauty of the natural world have placed his work in a category all its own. Jim and his wife Jamie have won three Emmys, for Cinematography, Outstanding Programming and Sound Recording for their three films about The Sawtooth Pack: ABC World of Discovery’s Wolf: Return of a Legend, and the Discovery Channel specials Wolves at Our Door, and Living with Wolves.
Jim also received the prestigious Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1991 for his documentary Cougar: Ghost of the Rockies. In 1995, the Governor of Idaho appointed Jim as an ex officio member of the Idaho Wolf Management Committee, where he served until 2001.
Jamie Dutcher, Jim's wife and co-producer, was formerly an employee in the animal hospital of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., bringing to the film projects her knowledge of animal husbandry and medical care. Combined with her gentle instinct, these skills enabled Jamie to quickly gain access to the sensitive and secret inner lives of wolves. Her photographs complement the Dutchers, three books on The Sawtooth Pack.
Together, the Dutchers founded the nonprofit organization Living with Wolves in 2006, seeking to reestablish the wolf in its rightful place as a part of the ecosystem. After devoting their lives to bringing the story of The Sawtooth Pack, and all wolves, to the world, they know that education is the key to understanding. Jim and Jamie travel extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, presenting programs to audiences at museums, zoos, libraries, clubs, and schools, and distributing books and DVDs. Many thousands of adults, and even more important, children have heard them speak and have seen their extraordinary images of wolves, gaining indelible knowledge.
With their unparalleled experience observing the lives of wolves, the Dutchers also meet with legislators, governors and other decision makers holding power in government and media to discuss the future of wolves. Living with Wolves publishes an e-newsletter and constantly updates this web site as a means of transmitting current and factually accurate information about wolves to people around the world. .
The Dutchers live in Ketchum, Idaho, in a log home at the edge of a wild pond, with ducks, flying squirrels, elk, deer, owls, coyotes and a mischievous black bear for neighbors.