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Gun Writer J. Guthrie Dies at 37

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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.

For more from some of his closest fiends and colleagues, be sure to check out these tributes from Petersen’s Hunting and Guns & Ammo.

Photo courtesy of Michael Sugrue

 

Comments (14)

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 3 days ago

Aww man. My condolences to the family. Too young.

I was just watching him last night on TV too.

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from jjas wrote 1 year 3 days ago

test

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from jjas wrote 1 year 3 days ago

While I don't watch that many hunting shows, I did catch J. Guthrie on Guns and Ammo and the AR show he did with Metcalf sometimes. His TV work was fun and informative and I enjoyed the back and forth with Metcalf.

In the May 2013 issue of Guns and Ammo, Guthrie wrote about his quest for a S&W model 58. The last line of the article is as follows...."I might not die happy, but I am going to die with a Model 58."

I'm glad he found his gun.....

My condolences go to J. Guthrie's family, friends, co-workers and fans.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 3 days ago

My condolence go to Guthrie's family and friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 3 days ago

That's really sad. 37 is too young, I feel sorry for his family. Anywhere I can send money to help them out? I just sent Uncle Sam way more than he needs, it would be nice to send some to someone who really deserves it. He was just a kid himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 1 year 3 days ago

Dr. Ralph - There has been a memorial set up for his family:

Donations can now be made online for James Guthrie's family, or checks may be sent to The Peoples Bank - P.O. BOX 4250; Eatonton, GA 31024 (706) 485-8542 - Please Include James Guthrie Memorial Fund on the envelope and the check. https://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-james-j-guthr... PLEASE SHARE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 1 year 3 days ago

My condolences to his family!

My day almost came 10 years and 1 day ago and that near death experience is one of the main reasons I now live where I do. Live life now and don't look back!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 1 year 2 days ago

When I came to Putnam County as Cooperative Extension Agent in 1998 one of the first people I met was a young recent college graduate by the name of James Guthrie. He worked for the local paper and came by to set up an appointment for an introductory interview. He wanted to do it at 10 the next morning so he could get it in that weeks paper. 10 AM rolled around and no James. About 5 minutes to noon a pickup pulled into the parking lot and out steps James in camo clothing with a legal pad and camera. He explained that he had been deer hunting that morning and had rattled up a big boy that had played cat and mouse with him in a thicket. James said he figured I would understand. I did and that sealed our friendship. "J" and I kept in touch through his various postings via email and phone calls. When he was home he would drop by the office and we would have lunch at the local chicken joint and talk hunting, guns and shooting. He even assisted me in doing several extension wildlife programs while he was at the Quality Deer Management Association. He was a good person and a great story teller. I shall be at the celebration of his life tomorrow afternoon wearing my most faded pair of camo overalls in his honor. I shall miss his writings and our conversations and I look forward to seeing him again on the other side.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 1 day ago

My son also died unexpectedly at night. Terrible thing to find in the morning. My heart goes out to his family having to go through that awful experience. I am curious about Guthrie's cause of death for obvious reasons (I'm not some macabre creep).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 1 year 1 day ago

I just returned from J. Guthrie’s celebration of life. James had touched many people in his 37 years and it was apparent. The church parking lot was full, the drive way and the road sides were lined with cars, trucks (including two semi’s) and a bass boat. Inside the church I couldn’t tell if it was a funeral or the SHOT Show. Industry reps, writers, editors, camo gurus, NRA staff members and of course J’s family and friends were all there. Writer/editor and outdoor TV personality D ick Metcalf delivered a moving eulogy which ended with him giving that famous brown hat to James’ daughter. Family friends and coworkers also delivered memorable testimonies of his life. The sincerity of the celebration was touching and I can imagine James looking down and saying, “Dang y’all, it’s just me.” James never met a stranger and I can imagine the look on Jack O’Connor’s face when Guthrie walks up to him in heaven, takes off that ball cap, sticks out that hand and says, “James Guthrie, good to meet ‘cha!” Cactus Jack won't know what to do with him.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 9 hours ago

My deepest sympathies to Guthrie's family and friends. His inovative and interesting articles and TV appearances will be missed. RIP

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 5 hours ago

Bee, I think you could have delivered an eloquent eulogy, as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scudder wrote 47 weeks 3 days ago

To All,
I bought an AR-15 last year as was so pleased to find "Modern Rifle Adventures" on the cable. J.G. was a plethora of info. I have been a teacher for 20 years and can say with all honestly J.G. was a natural. I learned so much and could not wait to find out what he would cover week to week. I loved his patients with kids and kind heart. I was so shocked to find out he had left this earth so soon. God bless him and his family. I think a J. Guthrie foundation should be started for the preservation and promotion of wildlife. I pledge the first $100.00.
Sincerely,
Jeff Scudder
Hollywood, Fl

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scudder wrote 47 weeks 3 days ago

To all,
I bought an AR-15 last year because it was a rifle I thought I new well until I discovered J. Guthrie and "Modern Rifle Adventures." I have been a teacher for 20 years and can say with no doubt J.G. was a natural. I learned so much from him. I loved his patients with kids and amazing ability to make simple the hardest concepts to understand when shooting. I was such a shock to me to realize such a fine young man left this earth so soon. My heart goes out to his family and all who called J.G. their friend. I sure it was many.
I think it would be fitting to start the J. Guthrie wildlife fund in support of wildlife conservation. I pledge the first $100.00.
Sincerely,
Jeff Scudder
Hollywood, Fl.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Beekeeper wrote 1 year 2 days ago

When I came to Putnam County as Cooperative Extension Agent in 1998 one of the first people I met was a young recent college graduate by the name of James Guthrie. He worked for the local paper and came by to set up an appointment for an introductory interview. He wanted to do it at 10 the next morning so he could get it in that weeks paper. 10 AM rolled around and no James. About 5 minutes to noon a pickup pulled into the parking lot and out steps James in camo clothing with a legal pad and camera. He explained that he had been deer hunting that morning and had rattled up a big boy that had played cat and mouse with him in a thicket. James said he figured I would understand. I did and that sealed our friendship. "J" and I kept in touch through his various postings via email and phone calls. When he was home he would drop by the office and we would have lunch at the local chicken joint and talk hunting, guns and shooting. He even assisted me in doing several extension wildlife programs while he was at the Quality Deer Management Association. He was a good person and a great story teller. I shall be at the celebration of his life tomorrow afternoon wearing my most faded pair of camo overalls in his honor. I shall miss his writings and our conversations and I look forward to seeing him again on the other side.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 1 year 1 day ago

I just returned from J. Guthrie’s celebration of life. James had touched many people in his 37 years and it was apparent. The church parking lot was full, the drive way and the road sides were lined with cars, trucks (including two semi’s) and a bass boat. Inside the church I couldn’t tell if it was a funeral or the SHOT Show. Industry reps, writers, editors, camo gurus, NRA staff members and of course J’s family and friends were all there. Writer/editor and outdoor TV personality D ick Metcalf delivered a moving eulogy which ended with him giving that famous brown hat to James’ daughter. Family friends and coworkers also delivered memorable testimonies of his life. The sincerity of the celebration was touching and I can imagine James looking down and saying, “Dang y’all, it’s just me.” James never met a stranger and I can imagine the look on Jack O’Connor’s face when Guthrie walks up to him in heaven, takes off that ball cap, sticks out that hand and says, “James Guthrie, good to meet ‘cha!” Cactus Jack won't know what to do with him.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD Bob wrote 1 year 3 days ago

My condolences to his family!

My day almost came 10 years and 1 day ago and that near death experience is one of the main reasons I now live where I do. Live life now and don't look back!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Double D wrote 1 year 3 days ago

Dr. Ralph - There has been a memorial set up for his family:

Donations can now be made online for James Guthrie's family, or checks may be sent to The Peoples Bank - P.O. BOX 4250; Eatonton, GA 31024 (706) 485-8542 - Please Include James Guthrie Memorial Fund on the envelope and the check. https://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-james-j-guthr... PLEASE SHARE!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 1 year 3 days ago

Aww man. My condolences to the family. Too young.

I was just watching him last night on TV too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 1 year 3 days ago

test

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 1 year 3 days ago

While I don't watch that many hunting shows, I did catch J. Guthrie on Guns and Ammo and the AR show he did with Metcalf sometimes. His TV work was fun and informative and I enjoyed the back and forth with Metcalf.

In the May 2013 issue of Guns and Ammo, Guthrie wrote about his quest for a S&W model 58. The last line of the article is as follows...."I might not die happy, but I am going to die with a Model 58."

I'm glad he found his gun.....

My condolences go to J. Guthrie's family, friends, co-workers and fans.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 3 days ago

My condolence go to Guthrie's family and friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 1 year 3 days ago

That's really sad. 37 is too young, I feel sorry for his family. Anywhere I can send money to help them out? I just sent Uncle Sam way more than he needs, it would be nice to send some to someone who really deserves it. He was just a kid himself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 1 day ago

My son also died unexpectedly at night. Terrible thing to find in the morning. My heart goes out to his family having to go through that awful experience. I am curious about Guthrie's cause of death for obvious reasons (I'm not some macabre creep).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 9 hours ago

My deepest sympathies to Guthrie's family and friends. His inovative and interesting articles and TV appearances will be missed. RIP

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 5 hours ago

Bee, I think you could have delivered an eloquent eulogy, as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scudder wrote 47 weeks 3 days ago

To All,
I bought an AR-15 last year as was so pleased to find "Modern Rifle Adventures" on the cable. J.G. was a plethora of info. I have been a teacher for 20 years and can say with all honestly J.G. was a natural. I learned so much and could not wait to find out what he would cover week to week. I loved his patients with kids and kind heart. I was so shocked to find out he had left this earth so soon. God bless him and his family. I think a J. Guthrie foundation should be started for the preservation and promotion of wildlife. I pledge the first $100.00.
Sincerely,
Jeff Scudder
Hollywood, Fl

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scudder wrote 47 weeks 3 days ago

To all,
I bought an AR-15 last year because it was a rifle I thought I new well until I discovered J. Guthrie and "Modern Rifle Adventures." I have been a teacher for 20 years and can say with no doubt J.G. was a natural. I learned so much from him. I loved his patients with kids and amazing ability to make simple the hardest concepts to understand when shooting. I was such a shock to me to realize such a fine young man left this earth so soon. My heart goes out to his family and all who called J.G. their friend. I sure it was many.
I think it would be fitting to start the J. Guthrie wildlife fund in support of wildlife conservation. I pledge the first $100.00.
Sincerely,
Jeff Scudder
Hollywood, Fl.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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