Contributors to this thread:
Wow!!! One of them got the story wrong!
Yeah, someone is full of shit. There was another review that backed the outfitter. The guy said he was in camp at the same time and the hunter who posted the bad review was just a whiner and liar.
Did the guy actually kill a 365" bull? If so, was he really cited by F&G? Did he have his kill taken away? Was the outfitter cited?
Those are very specific claims that I would think should be verifiable, or not.
I killed a 365 bull and the guide sucked....
Should be a paper trail if everyone got tickets, if so outfitter has some explaining to do.
And worst of all, no coffee!!!
Is there a way to look up Arizona F&G citations on line? That would get some clarity to the situation pretty quickly. I did a quick google search but couldn't find a way to search citations.
I don't understand why a hunter would knowingly hunt with an invalid tag regardless of what his outfitter says. I also note that the outfitter did not deny that the tag was not valid nor that he was cited.
Whole thing sounds fishy.
A 365 bull, with no coffee? No way!
I understand the tag date and meat mix up. The outfitter was going back in November to get the meat.
I'd have to check into things, but had friends that were booked/guided by a "Sonny" in NM a few years ago and that sounds exactly like the kind of operation he ran. Hetold them to let him take care of the tags and such, don't worry about it. NM land owner permits all screwed up. After a couple days of "oh, I left them in the other truck" etc. they finally had to demand to see the tags..... took another day or so to get them. Looked like they were going to try and "resell" the permits if this group didn't tag out. They only had a guide for 3 days of what I recall was a 10 day hunt.
I'll try and check with my buddy and get some last names. Likely different folks.... but would be interesting if it was the same guy.....
Sounds like a 1st world problem to me. Not sure who is right or wrong. Just saying when you hire a guide and your whole hunt depends on someone else, you stand a chance of this happening.
I'm not against guides at all. But, I am my own worse enemy and do things dumb enough on a regular basis that I don't need another factor to influence my life. I trust a few great friends and a lot of people in general. But, I'm not hinging 13 years wait time on anyone but me.
350 pounds of meat... really ?!
I don't drink coffee so I don't see a problem...
How bout a link instead of the screen captures?
No coffee... THE HORROR!!!!
If I had a tag that said November, and the hunt was in September I’d be making some phone calls prior to the hunt...
GF, it's in the Bowsite Outfitter Reports.
One thing that is for certain is if you know you tag isn't valid until November and you hunted in September, I don't feel sorry for you. How that happened is a different story.
If I ever book a hunt, there better be coffee, and it better be good. Furthermore, they better not try to serve me any iceberg lettuce.
I actually know the guy who shot the bull. Although I don’t like him I didn’t think he’d be dumb enough to use a November tag in September... guess I was wrong.
GF... feel free to add a link.. It’s beyond my capabilities
I'm sorry, bad situation and all. . . but Shug's last post above has me laughing pretty hard!
I'd of turned around and left the second the outfitter told me I'd have to bring my own coffee. I'm not putting up with that crap.
Gotta agree with Bake. But you know what Einstein supposedly said: "Only two things are Infinite - The Universe, and Human Stupidity. And I'm not so sure about The Universe."
If an outfitter were to hand me an invalid tag, would turn him in immediately and press fraud charges, followed up with a civil suit to cover whatever financial losses I had incurred in the process. I suspect that in most Western states, there would be legal precedent for awarding damages for lost preference points...
Bad or No coffee is not a crime (though of course it SHOULD be) - and nor are unsatisfactory service/amenities - but anything that could cost a client his animal, hunting privileges or clean legal record should cost the outfitter his license and business, plus applicable fines/jail time.
Thanks Midwest ... by the was that would be the perfect situation for a like button... Just saying
Perhaps a very hard lesson learned for a guy that "MAY" not be very bright. You better be sure of where you are, and what and when the tag is good for. Have it in your pack! I would never trust an outfitter that had "MY" tag in his possession! No F'n way! Outfitted, Guided or not, you are responsible for what you do and when you do it! He/ the outfitter may get a little slap on the wrist, but you are screwed!
Sounds like he should have done his own meat processing!!!
I'm kidding...What a cluster.
These guys need to hash it out on Maury.
"So you said that your outfitter gave you the wrong tag. Lie detectors determined........that was a ___"
Some guy with the same handle had a nice review of an Ohio whitetail outfitter on AT. No complaints about coffee, though.
"Sunfish Valley is a #$%^!^#$ Rip off run by JERK OFFS that neither hunt or know anything about outfitting or guiding. Let me make this perfectly clear they SUCK! I have been fortunate enough to do over 14 guided hunts in my life, 3 were for whitetails and without a doubt SUNFISH VALLEY OUTFITTERS IN OHIO was the most clueless bunch of liars and jerk offs I have ever dealt with. They will lie to you and tell you anything you want to hear just to take your money. I killed a nice deer there but wouldn't go back there if you paid my way 100%. The food was horrendous, the accommodations sucked and you were basically left to fend for yourself on so called Private land that was overrun bu local hunters. These *******S didn't even have the equipment to hang a deer!!!! Their stand placement could be improved by Ray Charles! "
Why am I starting to think that “Sonny” is still in business?
Lol. If that’s the same guy he’s either a giant jack wagon or he has the worst taste in outfitters.
Click link to hear the rest of the story...
This is a link to another hunter's outfitter report on the same outfitter and this guy was there at the same time. Shed's a lot of light on this story and I think anyone that reads it will know which guy is full of chit!
I met Sonny about 25 years ago in Arizona when he was working for a couple other guys....good dude and one of the best elk callers I've ever seen.
I've lost touch with him in the last 15years or so...sad to see him in the middle of a mess.
This guy sounds like he would be a real blast to hang out with in hunting camp....
If the guide new the tag was no good, why would they let the guy take it to a processor? On the other hand, of the not wanting to pack the meat out story is true, that could be why.. but still, they should've checked the dudes tags at the start of the hunt, right? Do outfitters ever check your tags before they guide you to make sure you are legal?
So much for the "he said she said" situation. That is quite the difference with now a great report to contradict the mess reported in the initial one. Seeing as we now have good comments from a fellow member that Sonny is on the up and up I think I'll go with two good ones to the chit show the first guy put up. My guess is that the hunter put in himself for that late hunt that I believe is a lot easier to draw than the September time frame and got caught when it went to a processor that immediately noted the serious violation on when the tag was good for. If he had done the processing himself, it's possible he would have skated. However, the one reservation I do have is whether the outfitter actually knew the tag was no good and let the guy hunt for his $6K fee, rather than send the guy packing as soon as he showed up at camp and didn't have a valid license for September.
If you read the other hunters report closely, he says that the guy failed to tell the outfitter his tag was for a different date because he wanted to hunt. I suppose it still comes down to a my word vs his word deal, but this other hunter has no apparent reason to lie. And I'm much more inclined to believe a military veteran that's battling cancer who may have just went on his last hunt over someone that has openly used profanity on multiple public forums about multiple different outfitters and who has undeniably hunted and harvested a trophy Elk on a tag he knew wasn't valid at the time of his hunt. End of story!
I'm confused that the hunter blamed the outfitter for his tag being in November? I could see being mad if it was a landowner tag that the outfitter was supposed to secure for the hunter that ended up being wrong, but since the hunter was (i'm assuming) the one that had been putting in for the tag for 13 years, it's strange that he hunted anyway and wouldn't take the blame. Since the guide didn't mention the fine/tag mishap in his review I find it possible that the hunter never told the outfitter about his application mistake and then when he got busted tried pegging it on the outfitter? Jumping to a lot of conclusions here but that's about the only situation I can see making sense for both reviews to be so different.
Assuming the guy who did the second report was an actual hunter and not the outfitter with a bogus registration covering his ass. I'm not saying that that's what happened, but it's possible.
Of all things though, I don't care if you're guided or not. If you're a hunter, you have to know when hunting season is, where and when your tag is good for. It may be difficult out of country, but in AZ it's not that tough.
I hope that justice is meted out for whoever is at fault. Both accusations are serious. One has to be a line of crap.
Someone is responsible for one heck of a bull being taken criminally.
"If an outfitter were to hand me an invalid tag, would turn him in immediately and press fraud charges, followed up with a civil suit to cover whatever financial losses I had incurred in the process."
"I don't care if you're guided or not. If you're a hunter, you have to know when hunting season is, where and when your tag is good for."
Agree with both statements above.
I've seen tag screw-ups from both angles (outfitter got wrong tag and hunter got wrong tag), but I still prefer to get my own tag--after getting info (in writing!) from the outfitter re. what tag to put in for.
No matter what, before the hunt starts the hunter and outfitter had better look at the paperwork and make sure they're both on the same page. I'd never hunt without seeing a tag an outfitter obtained for me, and an outfitter should never guide without seeing the hunter's tag.
Good lessons for us all.
Don't know when this will go before the commission but here's the link to watch commission meetings live. Just need to find out when they get this on the docket.
No coffee at camp would be a complete non-starter...I have 3 daughters under 7, I NEED coffee...
Even if you hire an outfitter have your crap together. Know your tag is valid....hell know what you apply for. In life be 100 pct responsible for yourself at all times, never blame and watch how things turn out. I keep a box of Via in my truck... Usually can scratch up some hot water.
Yes always amazes me how grown men can so easily blame others for everything that goes wrong in their life.
Your tag says November-don’t hunt and kill one in September. Geez.......
There was no coffee but, since he was staying in a crack house, there should have been some go juice somewhere near. If you like hunting with invalid tags...what’s a little crack to get you going.
I like my coffee but elk hunting is enough to get me going. The coffe detox can be tough though.
^^ LOL LINK that's funny right there!
Outfitter should verify the tag is valid. Hunter should verify the tag is valid. One or both screwed up by not carefully inspecting the tag before heading out on Day 1.
Who bought the tag? Outfitter or hunter?
When I was an outfitter, around 10% of the clients were odd or hard to deal with and 1% were extremely hard to work with. I would guess about 10%/1% of outfitters fall into those categories as well.
Sounds like a couple 1%ers from both sides met up on this hunt.
Hey Glunt, does this other client review sound like it's about one of those "1% Outfitters" you accuse this guy of being?
So I came out and this was an excellent hunt! Sonny is a very selfless guy he bent over backwards to make me feel comfortable and welcome. I came early and the guy who complained was there, he was rude complained about everything and I saw both sides of the story. He failed to tell the guid his tag was for a different date because he wanted to hunt. Sonny was the one who did all the work and in the end sonny got screwed over. During my hunt I was met with amazing hospitality and encountered world class animals and harvested a very old mature bull. Everything was first class even the home cooked meals where up to my standards (I'm a chef). I'm in the military and have the upmost integrity, I truly feel this guy is just salty because he got his animal confiscated due to his immoral negligence. Everything from game care to hospitality and food was amazing. I've been fighting lymphoma since may 2018 and I told the guid if I never get to hunt another day of my life my cup is full. Memories I'll never forget!! Stongly recommended for guid service
I dunno who is right in this particular situation but I do have a general comment regarding Outfitters/Clients;
I gave up guiding....you get some real losers as a hunting guide....you cannot pick your clients. I know it goes both ways...some real loser guides....beentheredonethat...I bet many of us have. It really does go both ways...and you won't hear it so much from the guides perspective as these guys would be shooting themselves in the foot!
I can guarantee, that for every crummy guide story you hear there is a crummy client story too- maybe more.
The best guides I know don't take every single hunter that wants to hunt with them...they screen them. Thats smart. It only takes one jerk that thinks he is "Owed" an animal to spoil the whole camp.
I've already told my last day guiding to many of you guys here....its a tough business for sure.
If your client gets a ticket, chances are, as an outfitter, you're gonna be investigated as well for wrong doing. If the outfitter got the wrong tag, knew it was wrong and let you hunt anyways, as an outfitter, your butt is in trouble. Letting your client kill a bull out of season is a major violation if you knew about it.
Somewhere is a paper tail, citations issued, reports wrote. I'd like to know where this paper trail is.
Begs the question; wouldn't it be prudent for every outfitter not personally procuring the clients tag to verify every client has a tag that's legal and applicable in the unit being hunted at the time of the hunt? And that could certainly be done in advance of the hunters arrival into camp with an email or even a faxed copy of the tag before the guy shows up. Hindsight is 20/20, and easy to say now, but that's what I'd be doing on every hunt for sure.
Some states like Alaska put the onus on the guide or even transporter to make sure everything is legal.
I was talking to my pilot in Alaska the other day and he had a group that he transported for moose shoot a bull that had a tiny bump for a 3rd brow tine. It didn't look legal.
If he puts that rack in his plane...and it turns out its not legal....he loses his plane. So he called the Troopers and sure enough, it was legal.
He had another one that clearly wasn't legal and told the hunter as much. He told him, you call the troopers...or I will. Troopers confiscated all of the meat...and the hunter was ticketed. Its a LOT worse if they catch you trying to slip one by them.
Thats ^ how Alaska handles it I dunno about Az or NM. I do know the outfitter friend I helped out this year checks every license, has them shoot and takes their money before they go in the field.
I attempted to find any legal action in reference to this -- unable too. Maybe someone who lives in that area can find it.
No coffee!!....that's a huge red flag, indicating that one is dealing with a fraudulent outfitter.
The hunter says the outfitter bought the permit which was not valid for the scheduled hunt. The outfitter did not dispute that assertion so one can only assume that fact is true. So both hunter and outfitter are equally culpable regardless of whether a different hunt went great.
Unless outfitter did not buy the permit both are in the 1% and both equally at fault.
I don’t think outfitters can “buy” permits in Az. Pretty sure it’s client draw only.
not enough facts to defend either the outfitter or hunter so far...they both appear at fault up to this point. The lesson, as stated very well by many already, is to verify the paperwork (and expectations) beforehand and to be personally responsible for your own compliance with laws/regulations.
Bee dare..good info there
If you want to see the 'paper trail' just submit a request to see them under the Open Records Act.
Just be specific on the wording in the document you submit
If the guide is the one who supplied the tag, he would know what date the tag was valid for, right? It sounds like the op wanted a certain season, was sold a tag for a different season and told to come out and hunt. So, why is it the ops fault he didn't declare what date was on his tag. They both knew it wasn't valid. Am I reading this right?
Useless opinion, why in the world would you pay an outfitter 6 grand just for an elk?
Not to read too deep into this but...I am a criminal investigator and this does not add up.
I have been on one guided hunt in my life. It was with Steve Chappell and in AZ unit 9 for archery. So that there is no confusion, my hunt was AWESOME and I would recommend Chappell Guide Service to anybody. He runs a first class operation and exceeded every expectation. And before any questions...yes, he did have coffe and even an archery target. However, I don’t remember Steve ever asking to see my tag. He might have but I don’t remember it.
I was in contact with Steve a couple years before I drew and we talked about the different units and the different hunts. However, I applied for the tag and I was responsible to put in for the right tag.
From this guys story, he drew a November tag and knew it before the hunt. I don’t know Sonny but I do know Springerville AZ pretty well. It’s in the middle of Unit 1 and is a great elk unit. All of the draw odds sight show an early AZ unit 1 archery tag hunt requires 16 points to draw as a NR. This guy said he applied for 13 years. Doing the quick math...he had twelve points plus possibly a loyalty point and (if he traveled) a hunter Ed point. I see him entering the draw with a max of 14 total points. That puts his odds at around 2%. All this assumes we are actually talking about unit 1 and I do know the old saying about assume.
If he had a talk with the guide about the November hunt dates. He should have called AZ Game and Fish. Strong argument for the point protection option offered by AZ G&F.
He knew his tag was not valid, went on a guided hunt without a valid tag, shot a great bull, and lost it to AZ G&F. He seems pissed but he should really be mad at himself.
If his post is correct and the guide knew...then I would stay away from the guide. However, I do have a hard time believing the guide knew this guy didn’t have a valid tag and took him anyway. I do think the guide should be drawn and quartered if he failed to provide coffee??. After all, cops live on coffee and doughnuts.
On a total side note. AZ unit 9 archery elk hunt has ruined me. It is all it’s cracked up to be and I am not stuck desperately trying to figure out how to get that tag again. A move to AZ is not in my future plans.
For what it’s worth...those are my thoughts. Hunter blew it and guide should have given him coffee.
I believe the hunter has to apply for his tag in AZ and the outfitter has nothing to do with it. If that's the case, I would say the outfitter is still at least partially at fault if he doesn't check licenses on everyone that is in his camp BEFORE the hunt starts to ensure he's not guiding an illegal hunter. Not doing that could probably be bad news for him up to and including him losing his outfitter license.
AZ is a draw, but I believe the guide can do the application for the hunter? I recall there are a good many companies that do applications for hunters in many states. I don't know the procedure as I've never used one..... but i know it's legal and available.
That this was the case...... who knows?