The entire Deer & Deer Hunting staff today mourns the loss of a colleague and friend, James Guthrie, 37. He was an acclaimed outdoor writer and cohost of Modern Rifle Adventures TV show on The Sportsman Channel.
Details of his death are still not known, but we do know he left us way too soon last night, reportedly in his sleep.
Known by friends and family alike as “Guthrie”, J. grew up hunting and fishing in the great state of Georgia. Previously having worked for the NRA and the Quality Deer Management Association, he has been an outdoor writer for more than a decade, and a freelance editor and writer over the past few years. Guthrie’s hunting adventures have taken him to more than 20 states, Africa, and South America. He has been hunting with and writing about AR Platform rifles for more than a decade.
Guthrie had contributed many excellent articles to D&DH over the years, including pieces on deer behavior, biology and hunting tactics.
After getting his start in the industry with the QDMA’s Quality Whitetails magazine, Guthrie maintained his love of growing mature deer on the properties he hunted.
“There are quite a few hunters who don’t believe you can age bucks in the field,” he once wrote for D&DH. “That view is most commonly held by hunters who haven’t had the chance to see older buck age classes. However, it certainly is possible and is practiced by thousands of deer hunters and managers. Because antler and body size varies so much throughout the whitetail’s range, site-specific aging criteria are required.
“My brother, John Guthrie, was in a unique position to follow the progression from novice to knowledgeable. As an intern, and then wildlife biologist, he first learned, then taught these skills to hunting club members on Millhaven Plantation and Belfast Plantation, which sit across the Savannah River from each other in Georgia and South Carolina, respectively. Guthrie, now the game manager at Belfast, walks new members through the program before each season.
“Most guys join Belfast for a chance to harvest above-average bucks, but are nervous about making mistakes,” Guthrie said. “Many of them haven’t had the chance to see bucks that are at or above our minimum–110 Boone and Crockett points, or bucks 4.5-years -old or older.
“With a lot of practice, making the quick decision to shoot or not becomes much easier. That critical determination can be made in a few seconds through a quality binocular. Selectively harvesting bucks can add a deep sense of satisfaction to the hunting experience when the hunter knows a buck is mature and has expressed its potential. The other, more tangible reward looks pretty good on the wall.”