Mathews Inc.
wards
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Pyrannah 18-Feb-24
Trial153 18-Feb-24
NM highcountry 18-Feb-24
Pyrannah 18-Feb-24
TEmbry 18-Feb-24
Pyrannah 18-Feb-24
cme2hunt 18-Feb-24
WapitiBob 19-Feb-24
NM highcountry 19-Feb-24
MQQSE 19-Feb-24
Ward's Outfitters 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
Brotsky 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
Pat Lefemine 19-Feb-24
Pyrannah 19-Feb-24
Highlife 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
BlacktailBob 19-Feb-24
Trial153 19-Feb-24
W8N4RUT 19-Feb-24
WapitiBob 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
skull 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
Grasshopper 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
Pyrannah 19-Feb-24
WapitiBob 19-Feb-24
RJ Hunt 19-Feb-24
Pyrannah 19-Feb-24
Orion 19-Feb-24
Ward's Outfitters 19-Feb-24
Highlife 19-Feb-24
NM highcountry 19-Feb-24
JTreeman 19-Feb-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 20-Feb-24
Scott/IL 20-Feb-24
Rgiesey 20-Feb-24
Junior 20-Feb-24
NM highcountry 20-Feb-24
BOWNBIRDHNTR 20-Feb-24
Quinn @work 20-Feb-24
HunterR 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
WapitiBob 20-Feb-24
pirogue 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
Pyrannah 20-Feb-24
WapitiBob 20-Feb-24
Junior 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 20-Feb-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 20-Feb-24
Pyrannah 20-Feb-24
Firsty 20-Feb-24
Scar Finga 20-Feb-24
KsRancher 20-Feb-24
Chuckster 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
midwest 20-Feb-24
Pat Lefemine 20-Feb-24
TEmbry 20-Feb-24
Orion 20-Feb-24
Shug 20-Feb-24
Highlife 21-Feb-24
Ov450 21-Feb-24
Orion 21-Feb-24
Grasshopper 21-Feb-24
Billyvanness 21-Feb-24
FORESTBOWS 21-Feb-24
Ward's Outfitters 22-Feb-24
bigbuck 23-Feb-24
From: Pyrannah
18-Feb-24
these guys still around? good outfit for elk?

i emailed them a few weeks ago no response.

other suggestions?

thanks

From: Trial153
18-Feb-24
Kind of tough to get a call back or message back from Steven at times, agree.

Yes the is still around for sure

18-Feb-24
AZG&F suspended their outfitting license for 5 years maybe they unhooked their internet too.

From: Pyrannah
18-Feb-24
oh wow... link to details by any chance?

From: TEmbry
18-Feb-24
Steven is in Mexico wrapping up outfitting season south of the border still I believe so I’m betting service is spotty. The outfitter license suspension is pretty ridiculous unless I have the details wrong on what actually went down. Steven is a stand up guy so I’m sure he’d be happy to chat about those details when you are able to get ahold of him.

From: Pyrannah
18-Feb-24
ahh that makes sense

thanks man

From: cme2hunt
18-Feb-24
I spoke to Steven Friday, they just got back stateside and he was getting settled back in. May reach back out just in case he missed it.

From: WapitiBob
19-Feb-24
Nothing ridiculous about guiding without a Forest Permit. He should have just walked into the Dept, admitted his permitting mistake, and filed the guide reports for the forest permit that he forgot to renew. The dept was tipped off and knew he was permitted for one forest but not the other, they were just sitting there waiting to see if he filed the reports. As the citing leo pointed out, he only "forgot" to report the hunts where he lacked a permit, all the other reports got turned in. I'm not a lawyer but just filing, even without a forest permit, should have satisfied the dept's guide report regulation. He should be back in business in Arizona this year or next.

19-Feb-24

NM highcountry's embedded Photo
NM highcountry's embedded Photo
Good hunting ethics…. doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

From: MQQSE
19-Feb-24
Seems a lot different than poaching to me.

19-Feb-24
OH BOY HERE WE GO AGAIN!! Haters gonna hate. Nothing was being hidden!! I'm not going to get into specifics of this case. It was a head hunt trying to put Ward's Outfitters out of business. Didn't happen and the two entities hate that. Ben S feel free to reachout on the phone number listed on the website or email [email protected]

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
So you got into trouble for not doing anything??? Did you file all your reports or not seems like a simple yes or no question

From: Brotsky
19-Feb-24
NORAD is definitely tracking an incoming nuke.....3...2....1

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
Of course it will get nuked if Pat was involved

From: Pat Lefemine
19-Feb-24
I nuked it the last time since I was specifically asked by USFWS not to discuss the case until it was fully adjudicated. My lawyer also advised me not to implicate the site in the matter. Now that it has been resolved, I can discuss.

NM Highcountry, you seem like you have an axe to grind. Please post the full transcript, not just a selective summary that makes it sound far worse that it was.

A critical thinker would ask: if Steven was knowingly guiding without forest service permits why would he let me post my story on Bowsite for tens of thousands of people to follow every day? Why was he not worried about me openly discussing our hunt taking place in the Coconino? A knowingly guilty person could have easily asked me not to disclose where we were hunting - he did not.

I was asked to cooperate with the USFWS and I did. To me, this sounded more like a clerical paperwork error than a serious violation. The Forest Service investigator, who flew to my office in Hartford to question me acted like he was hunting El Chapo. Still, I cooperated fully as I had done nothing wrong and sensed that neither had Steven.

As is so often the case, sometimes its' easier to accept lessor charge than try to fight a federal agency and bankrupt your family with legal fees. I don't blame Steven for making it go away. I learned a lot about the federal justice system during that investigation. All I kept thinking is: They flew investigators across the country for this? While international murderers, rapists and violent gangs are flooding across our borders and nothing is done to stop them? It seemed ridiculous to me.

One last thing. It was my first time hunting with Wards. He was above board about everything. LIke telling me while we were working a bull that we had a few minutes left to legal sunset, making sure we stayed away from other hunters working a bull (they did not reciprocate), following all the forest service rules about staying on designated roads, etc. I saw nothing that made me question Steven's ethics or adherence to laws. That was provided to the investigators during their OTR testimony.

Bottom line: I would hunt with Steven again.

From: Pyrannah
19-Feb-24
holy smokes...

didn't mean to start a whole thing here...

apologies

From: Highlife
19-Feb-24

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
So did he have the correct permits or not? Seems like a simple question

From: BlacktailBob
19-Feb-24
I've hunted with Steven a few times, successful on a mule deer management buck the first year, and partially successful this past year on mule deer. Saw an over whelming number of Coues deer (87 one day), but was being picky so didn't shoot one. I passed approximately a half dozen Pope & Young bucks. Steven is one of the better outfitters I've hunted with over my 56 years of bowhunting. So completely obvious that he and his guides, probably based upon Steven's direction, know how to set up blinds for bow hunters.

When I traveled to Mexico I had some concern regarding safety. Steven made sure I was met at the airport by someone I recognized and who spoke English as well I do. I can't say enough positive things about Steven and would not hesitate in recommending him to fellow bowhunters.

Agree with Pat. Our government can't seem to put together an adequate system to monitor murders, rapists, or drug dealers. However, try to bring a set of antlers back into the country and its takes two hours to pass through customs. Ridiculous.

From: Trial153
19-Feb-24
I would hunt with Steven again without blinking an eye.

From: W8N4RUT
19-Feb-24
I hunted with Steven a few years ago. First class all the way and would highly recommend them. I trusted him to my Arizona elk tag that took years to draw and we had a great hunt! I plan to do the same when I draw again. Scott

From: WapitiBob
19-Feb-24
Orion, he did not.

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
So he didn't do what was required and got into trouble. Where is the issue?

From: skull
19-Feb-24
I hate technology, can’t get away without people knowing everyone else business lol

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
So Pat did he did have the permits or not? A simple yes or no will suffice

19-Feb-24
I too have hunted with Steven and he ran a first class operation! At times he was a bit forgetful due to being extremely busy. I think in this case it was a simple innocent over sight on his part. We are all human and make mistakes. Doesn’t mean there was any malice in this on his part. The punishment seems a bit harsh in this instance.

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
Nobody said it was done in malice, also isn't that the normal punishment for his charges?

From: Pyrannah
19-Feb-24
orion what is your deal with this thread? you personally scorned or what

From: WapitiBob
19-Feb-24
Orion, I suggest you listen to the Dec 2021 commission meeting audio, in the commission area of the web site, rather than continuing to harp on Pat. You'll hear both sides of the issue and should have most of your questions or concerns answered. The fun starts at 2:08:30

From: RJ Hunt
19-Feb-24
Never knew a guy had to have an outfitter license and forest permits. I find it ridiculous all the different permits and licenses we need to work…drive… build a home… fix your plumbing… spray round up… carry a gun. Government it out of hand and I’m tired of asking their permission just to exist. Ok rant over.

From: Pyrannah
19-Feb-24
rj for the win

From: Orion
19-Feb-24
Pyrannah nope not personally scorned just find it funny how some people blast guys who break the law or poach while others get a pass because of who they are or who they have helped on a hunt

19-Feb-24

Ward's Outfitters's embedded Photo
Ward's Outfitters's embedded Photo
Let's set the record Straight. My Guides license was revoked for 5 years after the AZGFD audited 6 years of guides reports over 600 clients and found ONE discrepancy !!! I was and have been the only person in AZGfD history to have my guides license revoked due to a paperwork error. I made a mistake and OVERLOOKED Pats hunt. Since my case I have been advised on numerous occasions where the AZGFD has called guides to correct a mistake on their guides reports. I was never given that opportunity. Since this incident my life has change immensely. Soon after the revocation , both my parents became Ill and moved into my home where I cared for them until the day they passed. I have been blessed with being able to hunt for myself and with my children more. I have volunteered as a varsity and Jv football coach because now i have time. I work without compensation as an advisor and manager to Ward's Outfitters llc which is fully licensed and permitted to conduct hunts in Arizona and on numerous forest. The fact is i was blessed with this revocation. I'm free now to enjoy my children's events my own Arizona hunting and life in general.

From: Highlife
19-Feb-24

19-Feb-24
No axe to grind,I don’t know the guy, I just joined the conversation. I had been following a thread on cousewhitetail.com when this was being discussed and thought it was interesting and someone said you could hear the outfitter and the AZ game commissioners conversation on the AZG&F website. I don’t have a link but it was on the AZG&F web site…game commissioners meeting for Dec 10, 2021 in Yuma. Listen to the meeting and make your own decision. You’ll hear what the outfitter had to say and what the game commissioner had to say.

From: JTreeman
19-Feb-24
I listened to the commission meeting audio. I guess maybe I’m hearing it differently than some other guys want to hear or believe.

—Jim

20-Feb-24
Is it really a question why half the people have their panties in a bunch? Pats involved, so naturally everyone’s just gonna hate hate hate no matter the situation.. They hate him cuz they ain’t him ;)

After reading all this and what went down I would still hunt with wards. They seem to do a fabulous job year in and year out for their clients! On clerical screw up and someone at F&G took it to the bank instead of allowing a fix like they have a million times it sounds.

From: Scott/IL
20-Feb-24
I hunted with Ward’s this past January for AZ muleys. The guides running the Arizona operation were top notch and I wouldn’t hesitate to book with them again.

From: Rgiesey
20-Feb-24
Sorry to see this Steven!

From: Junior
20-Feb-24
I booked a late season archery elk hunt with him and gave him deposit. I was in contact with the his guide and had planned to stay in town and just drive the 30 minutes to the guides house every morning. The guide insisted that I just stay in his motor home parked by his house. So I call Steven and tell him the plan and he said that's fine but it will cost you 2000 to stay there. The guide had told me it was his motorhome and I could stay for free. I wonder how many times he has charged guys to stay in another guys motorhome? Lol I never got into this with Steven as my Father died and I didn't hunt with him. He did send me 500 of my deposit back that I appreciate. Although he promised to send all? I question him and he said he didn't have to send none, which I knew! BUT why tell me you would refund then change face? So yea he will lie and cheat you.

20-Feb-24
MaPa deerslayer no one is hating on Pat or the outfitter, it is something that happened in the outdoor world that everyone on here is involved with…. hunting and the outdoors. When someone breaks the law and it is public record it is wide open for discussion.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
20-Feb-24
RJ, there's a reason you and I get along so well...and we've never got to meet face-to-face!

I've hunted with Steven several times. My son and I were hunting deer with him a few weeks prior to Pat's elk hunt. Steven was hoping to have Wyatt come back to video for Pat but Wyatt was hired as a deputy sheriff right after our hunt and couldn't make it work to get back. Point is, I don't think Steven would have wanted Wyatt videoing Pat's hunt had he known he was doing anything "illegal".

There are a lot of great bow hunters who no longer post much on Bowsite or other places simply due to the jealousy and envy of others. Funny how one person's hard earned success can fuel so much contempt by others....or in this case, perhaps a C.O. just couldn't believe that an outfitter could have such a high success rate? He could never catch him doing anything illegal while hunting so he had to find another way to attack his business.

From: Quinn @work
20-Feb-24
MA-PA ldeerslayer nice job white knighting Pat. LOL.

From: HunterR
20-Feb-24

HunterR's Link
"Is it really a question why half the people have their panties in a bunch? Pats involved, so naturally everyone’s just gonna hate hate hate no matter the situation.. They hate him cuz they ain’t him ;)"

lol. OR, maybe half the people read the thread at cousewhitetail.com (see link) or listened to the audio of the game commissioner/outfitter meeting and realize there's a whole lot more to this than the handful of clients of this outfitter that are posting here and the outfitter would like everyone to believe. There appears to be very valid reasons why the charges were as "severe" as some here are complaining about, and I see why some folks think the charges should have been more severe than they actually were. I understand why NM found the thread at cousewhitetail interesting, I found it interesting too especially the last couple pages for those that don't want to read all 7 pages. IMO anyone that reads the thread at couse or listens to the audio of the game commissioner meeting and still feels it's valid to opine that the outfitter "did nothing wrong" or "made a simple mistake" or "was targeted unfairly" or even "got a bad deal" with the charges is not looking at this from an unbiased position.

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
Thanks, exactly why I called out the hypocrisy on this thread. Some law breakers or poachers get a pass because of who they are or who they have helped while others are hung at the gallows

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
For the guys too lazy to listen to the meeting or read the link

Coconino was was aware Ward had not been getting permits last several years to take clients on the Coconino. Coconino sent letter to Ward stating they aren’t allowed to guide on Coconino. Ward does anyway. Coconino LEO contacts AZGFD Mike Richins and asks to see guide report. It is noted that Ward left off all hunters that hunted Coconino. I believe it was $60,000 worth of guide fees. However many clients that is. Wards Outfitters was guiding Pat Lefemine the owner of bowsite.com on an archery elk hunt. They were posting a live hunt everyday on bowsite for the world to follow along. The hunt went on for several days then Pat killed a bull. The outfitter claimed he forgot to file reports of his hunts on the Coconino plus he had no forest permit for that forest but remembered to file all their hunts on the Coronado where he did have a forest permit. The USFS said they had notified him about forest permits. The Game Commission said, you put us in this position and suspended their Outfitters license for 5 years.

From: WapitiBob
20-Feb-24

WapitiBob's Link
"Funny how one person's hard earned success can fuel so much contempt by others....or in this case, perhaps a C.O. just couldn't believe that an outfitter could have such a high success rate? He could never catch him doing anything illegal while hunting so he had to find another way to attack his business."

That's possible, give the audio a listen and you'll have the info straight from the people involved.

2:08:30

From: pirogue
20-Feb-24
Back to “setting the record straight.” Is the clause that you “work without compensation for Wards Outfitters LLC”, to seek sympathy, because most are thinking business reorganization , for obvious reasons that keep you “affiliated”or, was the business name Wards Outfitters, LLC, before the suspension?

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
Dang Pat and his poached elk disappeared quick from this thread

From: Pyrannah
20-Feb-24
thank you bob, that was an interesting listen...

From: WapitiBob
20-Feb-24
"..Pat and his poached elk..."

I'm not a Ward fan by any stretch, but your comment crossed the line. Pat had a valid hunting license and broke no laws. Nor was he required to be in the presence of a licensed guide.

From: Junior
20-Feb-24
I agree...he's in the clear!

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
Really? Ask bou'bound how that worked out for his mountain lion

20-Feb-24
I went off what I heard and read here from different things. Midwest was kind enough to send me the link for video.. I’ll give a listen on my way to work in the morning..

20-Feb-24
Gave it a listen…yikes.

From: Pyrannah
20-Feb-24
ma-pa, that was my thoughts....

From: Firsty
20-Feb-24
Pat is in the clear here, but the outfitter was knew what he was doing was unlawful.

From: Scar Finga
20-Feb-24
Pat did absolutely nothing wrong, and neither did I... I'll leave it at that!

From: KsRancher
20-Feb-24
I don't know Steven Ward other than what I read and see on here. And it's some great animals he post. As far as Orion talking about Pat's "illegal elk hunt", that's BS.

I just listened to the video link above. From what I can tell it is apparent that he knew exactly what he did before he did it. I just don't see how it could have been a "mistake". Just too many things coming together on one issue for it to be a mistake.

But......... I can't for the life of me figure out why he would be trying to hide it over a few thousand dollars if he donates money like he said. What's a few grand in the sceme of the dollars that he moves. So I wouldn't say 100% it was all done on purpose. But I would give it a better than not odds he did.

From: Chuckster
20-Feb-24
I've met Steven a couple times. Seems like a straight shooter and has alot of supporters here. The cabin he's clients stay at is actually my brothers bosses cabin. Really nice place.

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
Steve also had unlicensed guides and was not permitted where he took the hunters, is that much different than following an outfitter while trespassing? Is it any different than hunters hunting on bait piles the outfitter tells him are legal? Where is the line where the hunter assumes some responsibility? Is it bad to ask to see permits before a hunt?

From: midwest
20-Feb-24
"Where is the line where the hunter assumes some responsibility?"

When the hunter is doing something illegal.

From: Pat Lefemine
20-Feb-24
Appreciate the support but it’s best not to feed the troll. He’s not worth it. Please ignore him.

From: TEmbry
20-Feb-24
Where does it end Orion? You ask friends to see their proof of insurance before hopping in the truck with them? Lol

Some pretty whacky takes on this thread.

From: Orion
20-Feb-24
No but many outfitters post their license and permit numbers on there website. You guys are pretty naive if you don't think what Steve did wasnt intentional. Maybe you should take a few minutes and listen to the meeting. Like I said just tired of the hypocrisy on who gets blasted or a pass when they break the law or poach.

From: Shug
20-Feb-24
Good man… you should have used a capital W in the title though

From: Highlife
21-Feb-24

From: Ov450
21-Feb-24
I wonder if this outfitter is related to the outfitter that took ole Boubound on his lion hunt back in the day

From: Orion
21-Feb-24
Hahaha I've already mentioned that

21-Feb-24
I too have hunted with Steven and he ran a first class operation! At times he was a bit forgetful due to being extremely busy. I think in this case it was a simple innocent over sight on his part. We are all human and make mistakes. Doesn’t mean there was any malice in this on his part. The punishment seems a bit harsh in this instance.

21-Feb-24
I’ve met Steven a couple times…solid, stand up guy. I’d hunt with his outfit.

21-Feb-24
Steven is a great guy. Anyone that doesn't agree i would worry about.

22-Feb-24
Orion I sent you a private message with my phone number. Feel free to give me a call. Highlife I also sent you a message so I can tell you all about the bow !

From: bigbuck
23-Feb-24
I have a Elk hunt booked with Steve partly because of Pat's Live hunt even after the news came out of this I listen to the proceedings and thought to myself there really is nothing there but someone trying to make life harder for someone making an honest mistake, talked to Steve at Pope and Young Convention and was impressed by him was hoping this would be the year to draw with my 15 points but not looking like it's going to happen

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