Tipping guides
OK...this one is always a headache for me. What is everyone's feelings on how much to tip?

Also, do you tip a percentage of the total hunt or a daily amount times the number of days hunted? I've heard many different things. I want to be fair, but I don't want to under tip or over tip too much as that raises the expectations... What if you take your animal the first day and leave the next...does that affect your tip? Another thought, do you tip the outfitter and let him split it with the guide, cook, etc... or do you tip each of them individually yourself? Since I have not hunted abroad, I guess my questions pertain to US and Canadian hunts.
Posts: 98 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: June 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm 100% with you on this, Huntinman. Always a headache...

There is some good reading on this very subject at http://www.wildsheep.org/pdf/tipping.pdf The topic was covered a few times in Grand Slam magazine a few years back. I think "The Hunting Report" even compiled a special survey and subsequent report on the subject. I'll have to see if I can dig that one up.
Posts: 1168 | Location: Colorado | Registered: November 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Huntinman, that is one of the toughest questions to answer in the "guided" hunting world today! I have been on many a hunt, Canada, Europe and Asia. I feel (personally) that no tip is required at all. Most sheep guides I know are paid very well. Of course one must go with the flow. I always factored all things at the end of the hunt. How did your guide work for you, not only on the hunt portion but also around the camp fire! Was he personable? I have been with "guides" and after one day wanted to run home! European and Asian hunts for me are cheaper tip wise, especially the farther east you go. Exception: Expensive exotic trophies!! In short, I use the 10% rule. If everything was good, you had a great time then ten percent of the hunt cost. I always give tips directly to the individual. Cooks and wranglers obviously demand less. On a final note, I give tips regardless if I was successfull or not.
Posts: 13 | Registered: March 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like others believe that NO tip is required. Now that I have said that: I always tip! I tip the guide, cook and wrangler as needed. I cannot remember tipping an outfitter. The guide is the one who helps to get me to the animal...the others do contribute a part in making the camp home. I base the tip according to all that has been said before: not 10% but what I feel is comfortable for me. I give what I feel these people have earned...have they made my trip better and went out of their way to assist me and my party. Did they provide exceptional service...not lip service. And I provide that gratuity whether or not I have collected the animal. Sometimes it just does not go your way: it is hunting.

An old man thinking out loud,

Posts: 10 | Registered: August 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have tipped in and on these terms,
#1)if the outfitter is my guide: no tip he/she shouldnt expect one, they profit directly from the hunt
#2)5% of the hunt cost to the cook that cooks only
#3)5% of the hunt cost to the wrangler
#4)10% of the hunt cost to the guide whether I am successful or not,now if the hunt excedes my expectation or he cooks and wrangles I give 15%

Bottom line is they have put in the time and resources to know the areas you will be hunting in and the knowledge of the animal you are hunting they are professionals and should act like one, knowing that a tip is not expected by you but earned, yes they get paid and many times very well but they should always make your hunt to excede your expectations, just remember they are selling you a hunt not a kill, your guides abilities to be successful are really in your hands: If you can walk,and shoot, your guide will be happy!
Also, remember to have fun on your hunt dont think how much you just spent to go on a hike everyday, take in the experiance and at the end of the hunt you will know exactly what to tip your guide!
Posts: 5 | Location: TAOS, NEW MEXICO | Registered: June 28, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well... why don't I wade in here too since its a little different than everbody else!

Sounds like I'm a little on the cheap side, but I generally budget 10% of the hunt cost in total for tipping. Just about all of it goes to the guide, but the trips that I've been on usually consist of mountain house and very little time at camp (other than day of arrival/departure)! I have also arranged to do little things like send a couple bottles of wine back to the kitchen.

I don't tip the outfitter unless he/she does the guiding. On my first guided hunt, the outfitter's wife did some of the guiding and I didn't tip her because "she was making the money on the hunt" - I have always regretted doing that and will never do it again. She was very gracious about it and we remain friends today, I'm just not very proud of what I did.

Finally, when in doubt, I come up with a plan for how much and who I was going to tip - then run it past the outfitter to make sure that it was reasonable. I give the tip to the individual and usually with some specific feedback on how that person made my trip enjoyable.
Posts: 48 | Location: Alberta | Registered: March 17, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A timely thread. One thing that hasn't been touched on - do you ever tip the pilot be it plane or helicopter that takes you in and drops you off, brings you back out, and may even move you during your hunt?
Posts: 7 | Registered: April 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I actually have tipped pilots in the past. I don't know if that is customary or not, but would like to hear more from you guys on it.
Posts: 98 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: June 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I tend to agree with the idea that no tip is or should be required. But theory and practice are often different. I am an attorney. I don't charge anywhere near as much as most attorneys nor as much as the public thinks attorneys get. Part of the reason I am a 'cheap' attorney is that I am semiretired doing immigration law in a one-attorney office. As a professional with 7 years of college and 35+ years legal experience should I get tips? How many of you tip your attorney when he/she works their behind off for you?
As for tipping guides, etc., I have failed to do so in the past when I meant to and I have tipped when I should not have done so. Tipping is a supplement to someone's salary for doing a good job. If someone gets good pay where is the justification to tip? But I don't think that most guides really make that much at their jobs if you really consider the hours they put in. These people are usually paid a flat rate per hunter for 16 if not more hours per day for 7 if not more days per week. Figure out the per hour pay including an overtime factor and they don't really get such great pay. If you tip when you get a good service, you encourage that guide/wrangler/cook to do at least that good for the next hunter. If we all follow this basic practice, it can come back to benefit us all.

Posts: 100 | Registered: December 03, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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