Petersen's Hunting Remembers Writer J. Guthrie

Petersen's Hunting Remembers Writer J. Guthrie

Life is strange, you never know when your last words to someone will be. Take yesterday for example. Much of the afternoon I was on the phone with J. Guthrie going over his current assignment. He wowed me with a new late excuse, one I had not heard from him before. This one involved, "A dern big ole oak tree that had blownd down across his power lines and cut off his Internet."

It was good to see he was being creative. I had already heard the "computer crashing" and "getting rained out of the range" excuses before. Laughing and satisfied I would have an article shortly we changed from business into two buddies talking about a hunt we had planned together.

The last sentence he said to me was, "Roger that. I'll have that article to you shortly and looking forward to hunting with you this fall..."

Then I received a call this morning at 7:01, from Chis Agnes, Publisher of Guns and Ammo, "I have horrible news. Guthrie died in his sleep last night."


My first reaction was to hope beyond hope that it was misinformation. That someone got the message wrong, very wrong. That it was a bad joke. It wasn't. Then I realized, I had spoken to one of my best friends in this business for the last time.


In today's age news spreads quickly. Message boards light up, texts stream in, and the phone rang nonstop. For awhile I just shut off everything and thought about Guth. He would have understood that. A product of our environment and times, he was forced into being constantly connected, but would have preferred sitting in some southern squirrel haunt with a flintlock in hand. He was an old-time, proud southener thrust into the wrong century.

He truly was one of the best — as a hunter, rifleman, writer, television personality, woodsman and just a Hell of a guy.  There was a certain something ingrained in him that so many people strive too hard to achieve and never really pull off. He just had that intangible "it" without ever trying. It wasn't created or an affectation, it was just who he was and he could no more change it than he could change his drawl.

I guess the best way to describe him was; he was comfortable in his own skin. But it was more than that, he made everyone else feel more comfortable in theirs just by association.  He had that rare knack of making complete strangers feel like they were life long friends.  Interesting enough, most people he met turned out to be so.  He had a trait about him that when you left him you wished you were a better, funnier, more engaging version of yourself.

I could go on and on about his skill as a rifleman, his exploits as a hunter, the numerous things he did for us on a professional level, but that really doesn't do the man justice. That was just one aspect of him.


The fact, and it is a fact, that he was one of the best writer this business has seen in long, long time did not go unnoticed by editors, readers and his fans.  Writers, like lots of creative types are a catty bunch. A compliment isn't something freely given or thrown around. Guthrie was the exception.  If you asked any outdoor writer who they respected, admired and really thought was talented, Guth's name more often than not was brought up.

The cut of someone's character, in my opinion, is what is said about you when you are not around. Of all the hunting camps I have been in over the years, it is a very rare one where Guth's name and a damn funny story didn't come up. That's the kind of guy he was, and the kind we all want to be.  One that people talk about, admire, look up to, respect and who generally make the world a funnier, more enjoyable place to inhabit.

I have plenty of my own Guth stories, but for the timebeing, I think I will keep them that way. All I know right now is, I'm gonna miss that skinny, bent-cap-wearin', all-teeth-grinnin', flashlight-packin', swing-dancing sumbitch.


And I'll bet he would be amused knowing he died owing me an article.

[gravityform id="9" name="PH Tribute to Writer James Guthrie " ajax="true"]

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

Venison Cheeseburger Bites Recipe

If you're tired of the same old jalapeno and cream cheese poppers, here's a completely different take on the popular party appetizer. Easy to make, and incredibly delicious, these mini cheeseburgers, wrapped in bacon, make the perfect one-bite-fits-all snack for your next tailgate party or hunting camp.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Learn how to grill the perfect medium-rare venison steak with these tips and tricks. Recipes

Venison Grilling Tips

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn how to grill the perfect medium-rare venison steak with these tips and tricks.

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips. Recipes

Why Freezer Burn Matters

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Learn what freezer burn is, how it occurs, and how to slow it down with these tips.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams. Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

See More Trending Articles

More News

Will coronavirus really have an impact on upcoming hunting seasons? News

How Will Coronavirus Affect Outdoorsmen?

Lynn Burkhead - March 10, 2020

Will coronavirus really have an impact on upcoming hunting seasons?

How COVID-19 is affecting hunters here, and around the world. News

Coronavirus and Its Role On Traveling Hunters

Joe Arterburn - March 23, 2020

How COVID-19 is affecting hunters here, and around the world.

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment. News

Great American Outdoors Act Closes in On Full Passage

Lynn Burkhead - June 11, 2020

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment.

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else. News

The Impact of Social Media on Hunting

Andrew McKean

Social media: Where hunters must #keepITPublic and Stay #sickforit — or else.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now