Hutchens served on the Delta Board of Directors from 1999-2009 and as its Chairman in 2003-2004.
He was raised in Sumter, South Carolina, where he grew up hunting, tagging along with his brothers in the Santee-Cooper River swamps. Those adventures instilled in him a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
He completed medical school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was sent by the U.S. Air Force to practice at its base in Minot, North Dakota. After 4 years, he and his wife Katie moved to Bismarck, where he practiced medicine as an Ob/Gyn for more than 33 years. He retired in April of 2020.
As an already addicted waterfowler, Hutchens said, “When the Air Force sent me to North Dakota, I thought I had arrived in heaven.”
His professional success allowed Hutchens and his family to begin acquiring land near Dawson, North Dakota, that eventually grew to the 5,000 contiguous acres they own and hunt on today. It’s where he, his wife and daughter love to hunt and practice conservation he learned through his long and committed connection with Delta.
Hutchens said, “After my first love, Katie, the second love of my life has been Delta Waterfowl Foundation.”
In 1994, Hutchens participated in a donor tour of the Delta Station and Minnedosa pothole projects. He says that he immediately fell in love with the passion and brilliance of the staff and over the years came to understand and appreciated what he calls the “holy trinity” of Hen Houses, Predator Management and policy work.
Today he continues to serve on the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Board, to which he was appointed by the state’s governor. Since OHF’s inception, it has delivered millions of dollars to conservation in the state, including several Delta programs.
His recitation of his “perfect day” is, “I am awakened at 8 a.m. by a phone call to hear that John Devney’s program, the incredibly popular NRCS program known as the Prairie Pothole Water Quality and Wildlife Program, aka ‘Working Wetlands’, has been increased five-fold by the Feds! Then I drive out to our ranch to spend four hours in my UTV checking our traps and Hen Houses. At 4 p.m., I get a call from Frank Rohwer inviting me to another one of his legendary shrimp fandangos at his home outside of Bismarck. My evening is then spent enjoying the fabulous food, and best of all talking with the old Delta staff that I grew up with. What a team, and what a day!”