April 16, 2013
Gun Writer J. Guthrie Dies at 37
By Dave Hurteau
I got the phone call on Friday and spent the weekend not really believing it. But Monday’s usual slap hit like a club, and there’s no getting around the brutally sad truth that Guthrie, as everyone called him, is gone—died in his sleep Friday morning, leaving his wife and two young children.
Known best for his work with Petersen’s Hunting, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, and a variety of other titles, as well as Guns & Ammo TV, Guthrie had just begun doing stuff for F&S, including the March feature story “The 1,000-Yard Shot,” which he and I worked on together. I was hoping he’d do much more for us down the road, because he was very, very good, and because I liked him, and I think you—F&S’s readers—would have liked him, too.
When I first called Guthrie a couple years back to see if he wanted to write for F&S, we had a long, rambling, conversation that began a little awkwardly—a Yankee and Southern Boy trying to find a comfort zone. But Guthrie just plowed right through it. He seemed to have a plan: He just kept yapping and yapping like he was my best friend until I started to believe it myself. It worked. I was impressed and hung up thinking, He’s smart, he’s funny, he really knows his s**t...and he might be a little bit nuts. All excellent qualities in a gun writer.
Guthrie was already a major player and a pro’s pro, but he wanted to be more. He wanted to be a Gun Writer in the old style. He wanted to be remembered with the greats. I believe he had a shot, despite how changed the field is today. It’s a terrible loss for all of us that his run was cut so short.
But most of all, today, our hearts go out to Guthrie’s family.
Photo courtesy of Michael Sugrue