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Old 05-25-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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Smile Celebrate the life of John "Tuthdoc" Lee

After all the grief and heartache felt by the brotherhood this last week, I thought it would be better to celebrate his life. So please use this thread for the stories, memories, and laughter and praise for a man who seemed to touch every member of the TBH family and anyone else he met along the way.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:08 AM   #2
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good idea.

I have no stories, just loved looking at his TC pics. I also loved when he passed along the "ebay deals". He is going to be missed for sure!!!
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:41 AM   #3
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I have not been a praying man for a number of years, but yesterday at church I said a prayer for Tuthdoc and his family. It won't be the same when someone asks about foodplots and Tuthdoc doesn't chime in with a link to his pictures and advice.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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I did not know TD but have read some of his post, he seemed to be a great guy. I just want to tell all of the TBH group how proud I am of you all, and how great it is to be a part of the group. Whenever someone is in need of anything including prayer everyone steps up. God bless Toothdoc and his family and God bless all of the TBH members.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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I only got a chance to meet him once. We got to chat a short bit, and I wish it could have been longer. He always told it like it was and I admired him for that. He will be missed for sure.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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As many have said, John had so much knowledge and shared it so willingly with the rest of us, he was the Wikipedia of deer on the GS. His deer aging discussions were always so impressive to me that I often saved them on my computer to go back and reference. Here's a few threads saved to my server from before the crash.... circa 2002-3003.

Aging Deer by Tuthdoc1

Aging Deer by Tuthdoc2

In this one, dated November 2002, he talks about his daughter's fiance' (who we all know now as Mailman-Matt) and a buck he was gonna put on his hit list.

Aging Deer by Tuthdoc3

An amazing man.....
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:11 PM   #7
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Mods - please sticky this thread!
Thanks!

Met Tuthdoc at the first east side get together. The stories that day were just awesome. I felt as if I had hunted the Junco when he finished.

Last edited by Tmag; 05-25-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
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I for one am going to miss the Axis quest this year.

God speed Tuthdoc
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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Yesterday might have been the toughest day, after going through all the emotions and watching the end, I thought I had been through the "ringer" so to speak and things would start looking up.

We take Judy back to their home from Lufkin, and I walk through that front door and laying in the living room is his bow-case and his clothes, all de-scented, and ready for the trip to Leakey. Mark and John were scheduled to leave Friday morning at 4 for the first trip on a quest for Axis. I lost it all over again. It hit me that we will never make that drive to San Angelo again with John, and that I'll never spend another night around that campfire with my Paw-In-Law...

First Meeting:

John was not there for the infamous mailbox incident. In fact his youngest brother Mark nicknamed Mailman. The mailbox got crushed in December, and John was with his brothers hunting in South Texas. I actually met John in January of 1999. I was nervous as could be, my Aunt graduated HS with John and she told me he was the meanest man that ever walked the face of the earth and there was no way that he would like me. Super, can't wait!!! (As I would later find out it was a conspiracy between John and my Aunt, even before I knew him he was giving my grief!!!)

I walk in the door and stick at my right hand and say... "Hi Doctor Lee, my name is Matt Carnathan." John's response... "So your the one that whacked my mailbox? I want you to know that if you break my little girl's heart I have 2 brothers and a .45!!!"

I wanted to jump in the truck and call it a day...

He then cracked that famous John Lee grin and said, "I am just kidding, it takes some kind of juevos to walk back up here after to you take out a mailbox, you might be worth keeping around!!!" "Second thing, never call me Doctor, I am a working man just like everyone else..."

That was my Paw-In-Law, always joking, always smiling, and always humble. He never thought he was better than anyone else.

I always had a hard time with that, and he would always tell me,

"Matt, do you know you're right?"

"Yes sir, I do it the way you and your brothers taught me!!!"

"Well then what does it matter if that other person doesn't agree, we know we are right, and they think they are right, but we'll kill more ducks, deer, geese, or whatever we are chasing!!!"

That was another lesson he taught me, he never talked down to anyone, he would just agree to disagree and move on. I never saw him talk down or up to anyone. He treated everyone exactly the same, and he lived his life the way he wanted to, to the fullest!!!
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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Thanks Matt!
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing Matt. I wish I could've met your Paw-in-Law. Even though I never shook his hand or got to witness that smile in person, he meant a lot to me through his wisdom, humor and willingness to help anyone and everyone here on the green screen. He was certainly a "giver". I think we would all do well to strive to be more like John. Hang in there Matt. Continued prayers for you and the family.
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:54 PM   #12
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Thanks Matt! Tears for me again reading your post. I know every one of us would have lost it again also as we will in the days ahead as we remember the man that lived his life "loving his neighbor as himself." My our God comfort you guys in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #13
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Doc and I always kidded each other about Rage broadheads. He loved them. I despise them. It was always good clean fun. He knew where I stood and why and of course I knew where he stood and how could I possibly argue with his success?

The other thing I learned from Doc was his up/down method of scoring deer. Thanks Doc.

As a tribute to Doc, I will shoot the next few hogs I see with the Rage broadheads I have.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:26 PM   #14
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I always looked forward to getting to meet the man from reading his posts on here. That day finally came a few years ago at Bownanza. I spent several hours talking to John that day. The man could flat tell a story. I had the pleasure of getting to repeat that for a couple of more Bownanza's. I think it was year before last when Tink was set up there. When talking to John he and I had made a comment or two about the scene. A little later I got away from him and made it over to Tink's set up. I asked Tink to autograph one of his pictures and to make it out to John. I still remember John throwing his head back and laughing when I presented him with that autographed picture of Tink. He asked me at this past Bownanza if I had anymore autographed pictures for him and then busted out laughing.

Sure wish I would have gotten to hunt with him a time or two and had always hoped that would happen one day. I still think we will get that opportunity just not the way I had planned.

Matt, Mark and Bobby y'all were lucky to have a man like John to share the woods and water with.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:29 PM   #15
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We had several PM/Email exchanges over deer aging and other aspects of hunting. I valued his opinion over other people's. We met at the east side get togethers at Triple Edge Archery a couple times. What a great man.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:35 PM   #16
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The memory that sticks out so well, for me, is from The Lewis. John had hunted the Bird Cage that morning...it later became the Bear Cage that afternoon when I hunted and filmed the bear walk by.

The expression on his face when he realized where I filmed it, was simply priceless. May just be the one time I didn't see him with a smile. He couldn't get a smile out through that shocked look he had....and he was sure hoping bear didn't like to eat dentists. Lots of laughs came from that weekend. I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been on the same hunt with him.

Going to miss his sense of humor and the kidding about me and the "bare" .
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary View Post
The memory that sticks out so well, for me, is from The Lewis. John had hunted the Bird Cage that morning...it later became the Bear Cage that afternoon when I hunted and filmed the bear walk by.

The expression on his face when he realized where I filmed it, was simply priceless. May just be the one time I didn't see him with a smile. He couldn't get a smile out through that shocked look he had....and he was sure hoping bear didn't like to eat dentists. Lots of laughs came from that weekend. I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been on the same hunt with him.

Going to miss his sense of humor and the kidding about me and the "bare" .
We captured that moment on film, Mary.

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Joey~AP View Post
We captured that moment on film, Mary.

Attachment 97881
And what a moment it was.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
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Great story Matt.

His knowledge was always the thing I enjoyed much, well that and he loved mechanicals!

Always sad to see something so great, gone from this world. I'm sure he's watching over us as we speak!
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:36 PM   #20
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THE LEE BOYS!!..Before i go forward with this story, i think it needs to be clarified, and let it be known that John , Mark and Bobby were no slouches when it came to shooting or just plain hunting savvy.

Mark earlier mentioned how much they learned from John. Several years ago John, Mark, Bobby and I were hunting a small section of land outside of Crosby Texas. They had a young man as a guest (For the life of me i cannot remember his name). Heck, it might have been Matt???. At sunset and end of day hunt we all met at the usual spot. The young guest had shot at a deer and had the arrow to show us. When the young man started to explain the event and started to show the arrow, John started to walk toward it to get a closer look. Bobby was right next to him so he took the arrow, and after a quick look, and without any hesitation proceeded to explain to the young guest where the arrow had hit the deer(gut shot, with some lung perforated), and approx how far the deer might have traveled. After a good while of tracking in the dark we found the deer, approx the distance that Bobby had said it might have traveled, and shot thru the gut at a quartering angle perforating one lung. (This is not a made up story..I was there)

When we got back to the vehicles i mentioned to John about Bobby calling it right on the button. He simply just flashed his trademark grin, as if saying, YEP!..taught the boy well...HUH!

Yes sir........you did.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #21
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Never met him but always emjoyed his storys. He had a way of building you up and capturing the moment. He really put alot of thought and planning into his hunting. You could sense his passion for bowhunting as you read. Also I loved how he never jumped on a bandwagon..just said like he felt it.

God bless you Tuthdoc!! Hope your up there watching on the opener this year..I'm gonna stick one in your honer.
-WacM
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:55 PM   #22
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Below are some stories that John posted on TBH back in 2004, after reading them I printed them and have saved them to reread over and over....

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Old 05-25-2009, 05:36 PM   #23
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I, like many here, augued back and forth with John about the brand of ground blinds. There was no changing his mind(mind either as far as that goes). We both knew that....but we mouthed back abd forth, all in fun of course. I posted this in another thread. I was going to tell Doc, "Here is a blind just as good as a Double Bull".....Never got a chance to pull that on him. John, I'm going to miss you, Bud. Rest in Peace.

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #24
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Matt, sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you and your family.

Though I never met him I always enjoyed his post and the way he explained things, even a young'n could understand it. I will miss his jokes and the way he that he always treated you with kindness and respect.

God speed Mr. "Tuthdoc" Lee
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:12 PM   #25
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Just reading his posts, one could sense he was a wise, experienced, kind and thinking man.
Sincere condolences to the family.
I will miss his postings also.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:22 PM   #26
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #27
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That same hunt that Doc was up at the Lewis with us....his front wheel bearing went out on his truck.

Ill equiped with the proper tools....we all jumped in and got Doc back on the road. I think he thought we were nuts....or previous employees of Dale Earnhardt. Either way....John stayed right there with us until we got his trucks off the jack.

Gonna miss him!

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Old 05-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #28
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I did not know Doc Lee but I think that his legacy will be in how many lives he has touched and the genuine heartfelt response from all the TBH members many of which "knew " him only through the green screen. His legend will only continue to grow...

I have an idea..on sports teams they wear a black stripe or other patch when one of their teammates has fallen. What if we had a sticker or patch that could be placed on our bows this upcoming season to remind us of TuthDoc while we are out in the field or at the range and use the proceeds from the sale of those toward a memorial or donation in his name, so his name and legacy will live on
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bonbonjovi View Post
I did not know Doc Lee but I think that his legacy will be in how many lives he has touched and the genuine heartfelt response from all the TBH members many of which "knew " him only through the green screen. His legend will only continue to grow...

I have an idea..on sports teams they wear a black stripe or other patch when one of their teammates has fallen. What if we had a sticker or patch that could be placed on our bows this upcoming season to remind us of TuthDoc while we are out in the field or at the range and use the proceeds from the sale of those toward a memorial or donation in his name, so his name and legacy will live on
Thats a good idea. I know the running joke between me and him on the site and over pm was my rifle hunting and lack of interest in getting it done with a bow. Getting one this next season with my bow for Doc just took on a whole new meaning to me.

Joey that was a great trip. Glad someone has it on film.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:36 PM   #30
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I have an idea..on sports teams they wear a black stripe or other patch when one of their teammates has fallen. What if we had a sticker or patch that could be placed on our bows this upcoming season to remind us of TuthDoc while we are out in the field or at the range and use the proceeds from the sale of those toward a memorial or donation in his name, so his name and legacy will live on[/QUOTE]

My wife and I own a sign and vehicle graphics company at Texas Motor Speedway and would like a TBH MOD to get with me thru a PM. I would like to donate say 500 stickers that are round black quarter size with the initials TD. Please contact me at 817-491-8947 I will be in and out but talk to my wife Teresa to work out how to get them to you. It would be our Honor so pklease call or PM
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:53 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonbonjovi View Post
I have an idea..on sports teams they wear a black stripe or other patch when one of their teammates has fallen. What if we had a sticker or patch that could be placed on our bows this upcoming season to remind us of TuthDoc while we are out in the field or at the range and use the proceeds from the sale of those toward a memorial or donation in his name, so his name and legacy will live on
I was thinking along the same lines for those who will be attending his homegoing celebration. Wear your Bownanza name tag with a black stripe across it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:31 PM   #32
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Great jesture, Bon

Team Gordita, of which Doc was a member, is putting something together as well.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:35 PM   #33
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His stories about the San Angelo lease will always be etched in my mind. I live here and hunted this area for 26 years now and when John talked of the SA lease I was reminded of how small this world is....I was hunting only a few miles across the river from John. I always felt in a strange way we were hunting the same deer heard being so close to each other.......I'll miss his stories and insight on the success he had with the many tactics he approached hunting with! I've adopted some of his strategies and will continue these because they work.......all of John's ideas work real good! I regret never getting to meet John and our relationship over the internet didn't start too good......but John was an awesome person and we patched up our differences and moved on. We talked through PM's and E-mails often and he always had encouraging and thoughtful advise. It saddens me that Tuthdoc had so much trouble with poaching on his SA lease knowing all the effort he put into making that place what it is. Although I never got to meet John he will always influence something in my hunting.
Rest in Peace John!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:39 PM   #34
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Great Jesture, Rock.

Thank Ya'll very much.

Lotta Good Folks Here
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:41 PM   #35
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Thank you for starting this thread. I was contemplating starting just such a thread. We were shocked last Wednesday to hear that Tuthdoc had suffered a massive heart attack. Our concern turned to sadness and grief as we continued to receive updates and realized that, while we prayed and hoped for the best, John was fighting an uphill battle for his life...one that he ultimately lost yesterday afternoon. While we mourn with and for John's closest family and friends, we need to also reflect and celebrate John's life and how he obviously touched many of us in a positive way.

John was blessed with the gift of storytelling and the ability to put his thoughts in writing, and we are all fortunate that John recognized the importance of sharing his wit, wisdom and knowledge with others. I didn't know John very well - I only met him a handful of times at a couple of site gatherings and a couple of Bownanzas - but I do know from his posts here that he was passionate about bowhunting, and loved his family - "the blondes", Mark, Bobby, Matt and his grandchildren - dearly. He shared that passion and knowledge and wisdom not only with his brothers and his most recent protege, Matt, but with each of us here on TexasBowhunter.com.

My heart aches when I think of Matt, Mark and Bobby (and many of you whom were fortunate to be able to hunt with John) and their realization that they'll never share a camp, or receive an email or have a chance to talk to John again. But, they (and we) are fortunate that many of John's exploits and stories are documented here on this very site, and perhaps many more on various topics in other locations, and his legacy lives on through those writings. Many links are posted above, and I'm certain that several more of John's posts will be highlighted here and ultimately in the historical archives of the site, but I encourage those of you closest to John to print out some of those writings and photos and reference them periodically. He wrote them to you, and ultimately for you so that his wisdom might touch you beyond his earthly life. His brothers, children and grandchildren will grow in their appreciation that he took the time to put his thoughts on paper as the years pass and as they continue to grow.

Over the years, we've lost a lot of good men that were members of this site - Ed Kana, Mike Mireles, Alan Decroo, Troy Gatlin and others immediately come to mind - but I think I'm safe in saying that none were more active, and none touched more lives of people that he never met than John Lee, aka Tuthdoc. John held firm to his opinions and his philosophies, and when someone disagreed with him, he never attempted to belittle them for having a contrary opinion. As Matt indicated above, he didn't worry if somebody agreed or didn't agree, he held strong to what worked for him, trusting his own experience over anybody else's thoughts or theories.

John was instrumental in shaping TexasBowhunter.com. Even before he began posting here, I believe he was a moderator at Eders forums. I really enjoyed and admired his stories and posting style, and I so badly wanted to earn his respect and have him post his stories and pictures here. I don't recall if he posted it here or on another forum, but I remember once in the early days of the site that he posted that he liked this site, but wished it was easier to follow the posts and post pictures. I made it my personal mission to find a way to make sure it was as easy as possible for him to post. Even after he joined, I wanted so badly to meet this man, but it seemed like he never made it out to events that were purposely scheduled to make it easy for him to attend. I actually wondered, at one time, if he held something against me, personally, that caused him not to show up. I so longed for his respect! When I finally met him at a Happy Hour, I was ecstatic! I remember running across to a convenience store in Clear Lake to get him a Pepsi because the place we were having it didn't serve Pepsi!

Selfishly, I'm envious of those of you who were able to share a campfire and hunt with John. I wish I had made more of an effort to put together a hunt that included him. But I'm thankful that John shared his camps with each of us through his words and images. His memory will remain with us through little things that were uniquely Tuthdoc. Many have raised a glass of Pepsi in his honor as he battled for his life. I know I will forever link the Pepsi brand with John Lee. When I think of ground blinds or Rocket Broadheads (I believe his early choice of mechanicals was the Sidewinder), I will think of John. When I attempt to field judge a deer, using the Up/Down method (I think we should simply refer to that as the John Lee Method or the Tuthdoc Method) that so many of us use for quickly scoring a deer, I will forever think of John.

And Matt...you were a prize student for your "Paw-in-law", friend and mentor, and I always saw the mutual respect and love that was unique for fathers and sons, much less for an in-law relationship. I think you have the opportunity to carry the torch for continuing John's legacy here on TexasBowhunter.com, simply by continuing to be who you are and doing the things you learned from John. I, personally, will always link "Mailman" together with "Tuthdoc", and won't be able to read your posts without conjuring fond memories of him. I think the same holds true for Mark and Bobby.

We will miss you, John D. Lee, but we will never forget you.

Michael
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:48 PM   #36
Rsatt
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Great post, Michael.

Thank You.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:05 PM   #37
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While never able to meet the man in person, we did meet on the GS a bunch. I learned alot from him, as I think we all did. He will be missed dearly. God Speed. We would definately be in for the sticker idea if it plays out. That is a great idea.
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:11 PM   #38
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Only know him through this site. Never met him. Love his quote so I am putting it in my signature. RIP, my brother.

"I don't know if it's patience or a brain dysfunction. LOL It's just hard for me to end a hunt. I like being out there." TuthDoc. Axis Hunt 2008
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:41 PM   #39
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Never got the chance to meet Tuthdoc, but can honestly say I looked up to him and his endless deer hunting knowledge. He came across the green screen as a man whom was a great mentor to many; Always respectful to the creatures that god had given him the chance to watch and pursue in his many hunting trips. Godspeed Mr. Lee
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:42 PM   #40
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I still won't believe he's gone. I was bettin' he'd come out of even a massive heart attack. Here's just a few things I can remember John and me emailing and pm'ing about:

Diamond cuts in shoot-thru netting.

ArmyNavy Surplus netting.

Scoring deer quick.

Mechanical broadheads. I was NEVER gonna shoot 'em but after talking to him the big cut made me switch.

Bow poundages. 60s fine.

Stand setups and approaches.

Wind: I worried about it. He didn't.

Scent: I worried about it. He didn't. (Much)

UTVs.

Trail cameras. Trail cameras. Trail cameras.

Everything that went along with trail cameras.

Cows, coons and bullfrogs.

So much more I can't recall at the moment but was always sure I'd have a chance to pick his brain again. I will one day, too.

I can't imagine walking in and seeing his clothes laid out, Matt. We love you, brother.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:08 PM   #41
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Although I never met John I felt I knew him from reading and enjoying his posts. To those who knew him personally you were fortunate. May he rest in peace.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #42
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First Hunt

January of 2000, Jen and I had been dating about a year, and John and the brothers had lost the deer lease they were on, so they started duck hunting hard and heavy that year. Jen tells me, "It would be so neat if you and my dad could hunt together..." I was intimidated to ask him, but I worked up the courage and asked him if I could come on a duck hunt with him, he said sure Mailman.

I had never duck hunted in my life so John rigged me out with camo to "blend in" in the marsh, a facemask, and some gloves. I took my Dad's old .870 with us, and we were off. Now here is where the fun began, John didn't want to spend any money on a pair of waders for me not knowing if I would like duck hunting, and I was a poor college kid who could barely rub 2 nickels together, so we were going to borrow Bobby's waders for me because he had to work that morning.

Well unfortunately for me, John grabbed Clayton's waders (who was probably 13 at the time) instead of Bobby's, and Clayton could not have been more than about 5-5 or 5-6. I am 6-3, this was a BAD deal. The crotch in these things came up to my knees, and I couldn't even velcro the shoulder straps.

Another detail ol Tuthdoc left out was the fact we weren't actually going to hunt on Friday, we were going to wait until Saturday so everybody could get in on the action. We scouted on Friday, we walked and walked across that marsh. I kept up as best I could with those waders at my knees. It was a misreable day, and to top it off we found birds, and we didn't shoot them. For a 19 year old kid this made no sense, but I can still hear those words today...

"Matt we learned 2 lessons today, it is so much better to enjoy this with everyone, it would have been terrible to shoot out that hole and kill 2 limits today, but our shoot tomorrow may not have been as good, and everyone will be here tomorrow. Saturday we kill ducks. Find the birds one day, kill them the next day!!!" "Lesson #2, you cannot fit in a youth pair of waders!!! LOL"

He ALWAYS thought of others before himself, and I have kept that lesson he tought almost 10 years ago with me to this day. The outdoors is such a precious gift, and he was so right it is so better to share it with friends. He also taught me its not as easy as he made it look. He worked his tail off setting up stands, building pens, filling feeders, studying maps, etc. He did all the little things that made him the hunter he was. He made sure he involved me in everything, and that taught me so much on how you are really supposed to treat peope. Any question I asked, he always answered. No matter how trivial it was, he never made me feel dumb or stupid for asking he always took the time to explain it all to me.

That is what has made this ordeal so difficult for me, we did EVERYTHING together. Everywhere I look I see John. I am at his house right now typing this looking at the "Five / Deuce" Axis he killed last year. He was so proud of that deer. I keep waiting for the bedroom door to swing open and hear his normal greeting, "What's Up Chief???"

I am going to miss the phone calls so much. We didn't talk to each other for just 5 minutes, we had 30 and 45 minute phone calls. I'll never forget Jen saying to me once, "How's your best friend???" In a typical snotty wife voice!!! "He never wants to talk to his daughter, just his best buddy Matt!!!" And I told her remember that conversation back in January of 2000, "It would be so neat if you and my dad cold hunt together!!!" It was all your fault sweetie...

It never hit me until Thursday when all this started, John was my best friend in this world. I miss him so much and its only been about 24 hours. There is a big hole in my life right now, there is not enough time or space to tell you all the stories, and all the memories, all the lessons that man taught me, but I am going to do my best. It is my honor to pass his knowledge on to others...

I am working on the Eulogy that I am going to read Friday at his service, and I apologize for clogging up this thread, I know you guys and gals have plenty you want to share, but this process is really helping me to try and find things I can incorporate into my tribute to him...
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:38 PM   #43
Rsatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailman View Post
First Hunt


I am working on the Eulogy that I am going to read Friday at his service, and I apologize for clogging up this thread, I know you guys and gals have plenty you want to share, but this process is really helping me to try and find things I can incorporate into my tribute to him...
Matt, no apology needed. We are laughing and crying with you.

Thanks for the Stories.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:02 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailman View Post
First Hunt

January of 2000, Jen and I had been dating about a year, and John and the brothers had lost the deer lease they were on, so they started duck hunting hard and heavy that year. Jen tells me, "It would be so neat if you and my dad could hunt together..." I was intimidated to ask him, but I worked up the courage and asked him if I could come on a duck hunt with him, he said sure Mailman.

I had never duck hunted in my life so John rigged me out with camo to "blend in" in the marsh, a facemask, and some gloves. I took my Dad's old .870 with us, and we were off. Now here is where the fun began, John didn't want to spend any money on a pair of waders for me not knowing if I would like duck hunting, and I was a poor college kid who could barely rub 2 nickels together, so we were going to borrow Bobby's waders for me because he had to work that morning.

Well unfortunately for me, John grabbed Clayton's waders (who was probably 13 at the time) instead of Bobby's, and Clayton could not have been more than about 5-5 or 5-6. I am 6-3, this was a BAD deal. The crotch in these things came up to my knees, and I couldn't even velcro the shoulder straps.

Another detail ol Tuthdoc left out was the fact we weren't actually going to hunt on Friday, we were going to wait until Saturday so everybody could get in on the action. We scouted on Friday, we walked and walked across that marsh. I kept up as best I could with those waders at my knees. It was a misreable day, and to top it off we found birds, and we didn't shoot them. For a 19 year old kid this made no sense, but I can still hear those words today...

"Matt we learned 2 lessons today, it is so much better to enjoy this with everyone, it would have been terrible to shoot out that hole and kill 2 limits today, but our shoot tomorrow may not have been as good, and everyone will be here tomorrow. Saturday we kill ducks. Find the birds one day, kill them the next day!!!" "Lesson #2, you cannot fit in a youth pair of waders!!! LOL"

He ALWAYS thought of others before himself, and I have kept that lesson he tought almost 10 years ago with me to this day. The outdoors is such a precious gift, and he was so right it is so better to share it with friends. He also taught me its not as easy as he made it look. He worked his tail off setting up stands, building pens, filling feeders, studying maps, etc. He did all the little things that made him the hunter he was. He made sure he involved me in everything, and that taught me so much on how you are really supposed to treat peope. Any question I asked, he always answered. No matter how trivial it was, he never made me feel dumb or stupid for asking he always took the time to explain it all to me.

That is what has made this ordeal so difficult for me, we did EVERYTHING together. Everywhere I look I see John. I am at his house right now typing this looking at the "Five / Deuce" Axis he killed last year. He was so proud of that deer. I keep waiting for the bedroom door to swing open and hear his normal greeting, "What's Up Chief???"

I am going to miss the phone calls so much. We didn't talk to each other for just 5 minutes, we had 30 and 45 minute phone calls. I'll never forget Jen saying to me once, "How's your best friend???" In a typical snotty wife voice!!! "He never wants to talk to his daughter, just his best buddy Matt!!!" And I told her remember that conversation back in January of 2000, "It would be so neat if you and my dad cold hunt together!!!" It was all your fault sweetie...

It never hit me until Thursday when all this started, John was my best friend in this world. I miss him so much and its only been about 24 hours. There is a big hole in my life right now, there is not enough time or space to tell you all the stories, and all the memories, all the lessons that man taught me, but I am going to do my best. It is my honor to pass his knowledge on to others...

I am working on the Eulogy that I am going to read Friday at his service, and I apologize for clogging up this thread, I know you guys and gals have plenty you want to share, but this process is really helping me to try and find things I can incorporate into my tribute to him...
Keep em coming Matt,great stuff,
You were very fortunate to have such a great guy for your father in law and best friend and it seems he was very fortunate as well to have you as a son inlaw
God bless the whole Lee family
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:22 PM   #45
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That is alright Matt. Share all your thought you want.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:26 PM   #46
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keep those stories coming mailman!!! Awesome stuff amigo...
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:36 PM   #47
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R.I.P. John. thanks for sharing everyone.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:16 PM   #48
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I feel extremely fortunate to have shared a couple of hunting camps with John.

First time on the Junco was our first work weekend after leasing out a pasture. John took time out to run over to our pasture to show Mike Miller and I a few areas to set up protein pens. He also showed us an easier way to build them too. I would always enjoy inviting the Lee's over for fish fry's or going over to their camp to look over video's and deer pics. I learned a lot from my conversations with them about bowhunting and chasing deer on the Junco. When I emailed John about leaving the Junco, I told him that the only thing I would really miss was sharing a camp with him and his brothers ( Dog and Blade included ).

John also recommended me to Mitch for a spot on the Axis Lease. We had so much fun last year. My first trip up I didn't have adequate transportation around the ranch. John and Bobby were leaving that same day. John told me where the keys were and told me to use his ranger. John saved me a lot of walking that first hunt. We hunted a few days together towards the end of the lease. I will never forgot sitting in camp watching video of "one eyed jack" and telling John he was crazy for not shooting him.

I will always remember John for his outgoing personality.

Like Bruce said on another post, we just went through the motions this weekend. I kept thinking that John and Mark should have been there this weekend. He was missed this weekend and will be missed many, many, more down the road. But I will have the memories of the hunts I was able to share with John.

For all the fellow TBHer's that mentioned that they wished they could have met John in person, I wish you could have met him too.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:23 PM   #49
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Keep em coming Mailman, especially if it helps you through these times, We are all here for you, I didn't have the priveledge of knowing him very well, Only a couple of meetings at TBH get togethers. The first being at Triple Edge, I was asking people who was who and Joey pointed out Doc, I was awed, It was like a kid meeting his favorite pro ball player or something, I had to meet him and shake his hand. We will all miss his knowledge and wisdom
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:24 PM   #50
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Keep the stories coming Matt.

I'm keeping your family in my prayers.
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