MEXICO: Scammed In Mexico - Sierra Madre Outfitters

BowKen

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I am brand new to this forum. I wanted to join to alert as many people as possible that Sierra Madre Outfitters is a scam. DO NOT send them any money. I spent two days trying to get two of my hunting partners out of an Hermosillo jail, (which they did not enjoy) and two more days getting out of Mexico. I am very interested to hear from anyone else that has had a bad experience with "Homer". Check your outfitters out thoroughly. Ken
 

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I’m very interested to hear more as well. Is the outfitter actually a scam or were you unprepared for new/worsening covid restrictions and caught by surprise? The outfitters website says season is canceled over covid do not travel to Mexico. US embassy page shows varying covid restrictions. How did you go about booking this hunt and what communication led up to attempting to go to Mexico to hunt? An opening post to criticize an outfitter doesn’t look good.
 

BowKen

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Friend of my father-in-law's bought the hunt from a Canadian auction outfit of some kind. They had a fair amount of email correspondence with the outfitter up until about 10 days prior to the hunt. Our friend should have done a better job of confirming details like getting picked up. I sailed through customs because I am a bow hunter. The two other guys were detained for 5 hours. During that time they called the outfitter and a couple of young "representatives" showed up. My partners were carted off to jail. My father-in-law is 80 years old. So, over the course of two days I talked to lawyers, public defenders, prosecuters, family members translators and "Homers" crew. Made several trips to jail, which was unnerving when they confiscated my passport and phone. Weirdly, the outfitter/scammer was hanging around. We think that it was bad for the outfitter to make it onto the radar screen (of the police). They offered to fly us out of the company on a private plane. EVERYONE we spoke with, including the jail people, said "Do not get on that plane!" Finally got them out, but of course, no guns. All flights out were booked for days. After a lot of confusion we hired a car and driver to take us to Nogales. We walked, with luggage, across the border! Got another car to Tuscan and spent the night. Rented a car the next day and drove to Phoenix to use our tickets to fly home!
 

CoElkHunter

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Friend of my father-in-law's bought the hunt from a Canadian auction outfit of some kind. They had a fair amount of email correspondence with the outfitter up until about 10 days prior to the hunt. Our friend should have done a better job of confirming details like getting picked up. I sailed through customs because I am a bow hunter. The two other guys were detained for 5 hours. During that time they called the outfitter and a couple of young "representatives" showed up. My partners were carted off to jail. My father-in-law is 80 years old. So, over the course of two days I talked to lawyers, public defenders, prosecuters, family members translators and "Homers" crew. Made several trips to jail, which was unnerving when they confiscated my passport and phone. Weirdly, the outfitter/scammer was hanging around. We think that it was bad for the outfitter to make it onto the radar screen (of the police). They offered to fly us out of the company on a private plane. EVERYONE we spoke with, including the jail people, said "Do not get on that plane!" Finally got them out, but of course, no guns. All flights out were booked for days. After a lot of confusion we hired a car and driver to take us to Nogales. We walked, with luggage, across the border! Got another car to Tuscan and spent the night. Rented a car the next day and drove to Phoenix to use our tickets to fly home!
Wow, quite an unexpected adventure. The best part is when the JAILERS said, "Do not get on that plane". Seems like they've been there before? I hope if I ever make it to Africa, it's just like this! Ha! Ha! In all seriousness, I'm very glad everyone got away from the hunting cartel and back on U.S. soil. What a friggin nightmare!
 

mark-hunter

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What were the charges pressed against the hunters?

On what grounds were they detained?
 

Scott CWO

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Sounds like no gun permits. Got to have a copy with you and the outfitter should meet you at the airport with the originals.
 

Philip Glass

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A sad story for sure. Those “good auction deals” so often don’t turn out to be deals at all. We hear this over and over on AH. They obviously didn’t use a travel agent to fly to a foreign country with firearms which was mistake number 2. It sounds like to me if they had the gun permit they would have been off on a good hunt and all would have been fine. Did the outfitter drop the ball? Maybe but why didn’t the client ask about a gun permit?
YOU ARE GOING TO MEXICO WITH A GUN! DID YOU REALLY THINK YOU COULD JUST WALK IN WITH IT?
Regards,
Philip
 

Bullthrower338

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Two things about hunting Mexico:
1. Gun Permit well in advance
2. If you aren’t familiar with Mexican Gun and ammo requirements, hire your gun from the outfitter.
I’ve never had an issue but have many friends that have paved the way for me to get it right. To bad it went south for y’all Sonora is a beautiful place to hunt.
 

buck wild

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We most certainly need more info- Mexico doesn't play when it comes to firearms. I had a deer lease in Mexico for over 7 years and we never had any issues with guns but I was OVERLY vigilant with learned all the Mexico laws I could and following them to a T. I have friends that still hunt over there and they rarely if ever have issues with their guns when following the rules.
OP you and your family are lucky to be out in two days, as it normally takes $20-$30k AND 30 days to get released from a Mexico jail on a firearms charge.
 

BowKen

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Everyone is exactly right. Gun permits were supposed to have been waiting for them and were not. Again, I am a bow hunter, so I was not in that loop.
 

mark-hunter

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Since the outfitter is not on this forum, you can confirm that outfitter confirmed in email or some other written form that he will handle firearm permits?
 

flatwater bill

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I don't fully understand this. Why would they "send a couple...of representatives...." if it was simply intended to be a scam? And they offered to "fly you out of the company..." in a private plane? Did you mean to say "Country"? Why not just leave you? What was the major concern with the plane? Anyway, could this all be explained by error or incompetence, rather than attempted fraud? Just wondering. I have seen a lot of screw-ups, only a few real scams............regardless, am sorry to hear about your misadventure and lost hunt opportunity...........FWB
 

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Sorry to hear about your hunt but every one is correct in that Mexico does not play if you don’t have a gun permit! A reputable outfitter and guide along with research would have told you the right information.
 

LivingTheDream

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What were the charges pressed against the hunters?

On what grounds were they detained?
The outfitter never filled out their gun permits. There is a thread on another forum and there is a alot of hunters who are saying they got ripped off.
 
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LivingTheDream

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And to clarify it is a whole gambit of different things. There is a few people that had good experiences, but it is starting to be overwhelming negative. I looked at their auction hunts and it was extremely hard to find reviews as they are a new outfit. My big red flag was when I asked for references and was told they would gladly give them to me but email was showing up as hacked or compromised and to email from a different account. I never did.

I wouldnt put all auction hunts in this category, there are a lot of great outfitters who support numerous conservation efforts through donations at auctions.

And just a final distinction it is not Sierra Madre Hunting, which has a lot of positive reviews.
 

LivingTheDream

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Here is an example auction item that is closed now, but clearly says gun permits.
 

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deewayne2003

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What were the charges pressed against the hunters?

On what grounds were they detained?
LOL...@mark-hunter...... Have you ever been to Mexico? I assure you that the phrase "due process" does not translate well south of the border!

Bottom line - The law in Mexico is whoever is wearing a loaded gun and has keys to the local jail..... regardless of whether or not they have a badge, and more often than not cartel affiliation.

After all a few years back 43 college students were forced into police trucks at gun point by local authorities working in conjunction with cartel members and working under orders from the MAYOR OF THE CITY, these students were driven to a near by ranch where they were EXECUTED.

An excavator was brought in to dig a pit next to river and the bodies thrown in the pit and then covered with brush, old tires and diesel fuel then set on fire, throughout the night the excavator was used to add more brush and tires until all traces of human remains were gone - then the excavator was used to dig up the bone and ash left at the bottom of the pit and dump any traces of human remains into the river.

Justice will never be seen in this crime as 5 years after the incident .......
"A federal judge also recently dismissed charges against 77 individuals implicated in the crime, arguing that widespread torture was used to force confessions."

Point being.... This type of violence & corruption could never exist, if not for the complacency and or participation in such activities by the local population.
 

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