How much to tip?

gman1

Active Member
Nov 29, 2011
158
4
North Dakota
If you had a great hunting experience on an elk hunt, how much should you tip?
Guide:
Cook:
Wrangler:
Camp Jack

I know this can be subjective but would appreciate what the members feel would be a fair amount?

Thanks and happy trails,
Gman
 

AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,577
439
Anchorage Alaska
I haven't done many guided hunts, so I'm no expert.

I think it can depend somewhat on the overall cost of the hunt and the effort required by the guides to prosecute the hunt. On the hunts I've done, I tipped the guide $100 per day that we hunted. Cooks, depending on the meals, about $25 per day.

I've never had wranglers, etc to deal with. Certainly there is no right answer, but I do think that it's appropriate to reward excellent service and hard work.
 

gman1

Active Member
Nov 29, 2011
158
4
North Dakota
I haven't done many guided hunts, so I'm no expert.

I think it can depend somewhat on the overall cost of the hunt and the effort required by the guides to prosecute the hunt. On the hunts I've done, I tipped the guide $100 per day that we hunted. Cooks, depending on the meals, about $25 per day.

I've never had wranglers, etc to deal with. Certainly there is no right answer, but I do think that it's appropriate to reward excellent service and hard work.
[/QUOTE
I was thinking the same amounts for the guide and cook but don't know how much to give the wrangler and camp jack?
Any help from the members would be appreciated. Thanks AK for getting back to me on this.
Happy Trails
Gman
 
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kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
4,432
1,473
53
idaho
a tip is a gratuity ,so...…….. tip in relation to how gratefull you are .

if you are satisfied with the guides service ,I would say 15% minimum. if the guide gets you on the next world record bull .. A new ford diesel and a harem of beautiful women would not be out of line.



a chevy or dodge would only be appropriate if the guide sucked 🤣
 
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mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
2,180
628
The whole tipping thing is awkward.

I always gave the pilots in Canada 100$ to fly me in to moose camp, a 12 pack of beer when I got there and 2 packs of Marlboro Lights.
They seemed very happy especially for the Yuengling Lager and the smokes. lol

I would much prefer the tip was just included in the fee if I went on a semi-guided bear hunt again. I found that trip to be the most awkward because there were so many people involved (Cooks/boat handlers/bait boys).

Having said this, I have never been on a fully guided big game hunt.
 
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RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,249
335
Two Harbors, Minnesota
I've always disliked it when tips are just added to your bill, such as is common for larger groups in a restaurant. A gratuity is supposed to be voluntary, and a reward for good service. I have done a number of guided horseback hunting trips, and use 10-15% as the baseline for total gratuities. Although being especially generous to your guide is easy when you scored on an exceptional critter, often times the guide works the hardest for you when the stars don't align and you have an unpunched tag. It's not their fault if the weather socks you in, if you are too out of shape to make it up the mountain, if you miss your shot, etc. On my last hunt in CO, I tipped the guide $100 per day (he was also the cook as we were the only two in camp), the packer who got us in and out of camp $100, and the guy who packed out my bull & took care of the meat, $100.
 

Yell Co AR Hunter

Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
460
122
Yell County Arkansas
I hate tips and hate when people just expect them. For crying out loud it is their job. That being said I tip according to their effort. If they do just what it takes to get by they will not get much. If they go out of their way to make sure I have the best experience possible I will tip well. I will give two examples.
1. Hog Hunt. The guide drove me around for 3 extra hours after my time was up to make sure I got my pig. He received a roll of his favorite snuff and a $75.00 bump on the $100.00 I had planed to give him.
2. Walleye guide fishing. Me and my partner got boat front ended the whole day. He caught all the fish but 4 for our 12 fish limit. He would catch the fish off the brush before we could even drop on them. We asked to learn 3 methods of fishing for walleye and he only showed us one to spoon fish. He received his trip price and no tip. He made a comment " most people tip 15 to 20%". I replied most people don't pay to be front ended and watch the guide catch all the fish. I can get that for free on youtube.
 
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AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,577
439
Anchorage Alaska
Personally, when I flew hunters in and out for their hunts, I never expected to be tipped. It was nice when I was tipped though. It was hard to guess who would tip and who wouldn't. Generally, it seemed like the guys who were really wealthy tipped the least. The guys who had to save hard for the trip, appreciated it more and tipped more.
I always tried to give personalized service to the guys I flew out to hunt. I would try and make early fly-overs to check on them. I did airdrops of candy bars to some and even dropped in with a pizza for one solo hunter. I still never did anything extra for a tip. I just always cared about the guys. I miss those days!
 

Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
2,989
316
Eastern Nebraska
As a former guide, I can tell you that most of us really relied on tips. Guide wages are fairly low in general and we put a lot of wear on our personal equipment and vehicles. Tip what you can and what you think the guide deserves, show appreciation, and you will make a friend. Most guides work really hard but some are better than others. Don't feel obligated to tip if the service is bad though- no reason to encourage that person to continue in a line of work they aren't good at.
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
4,251
1,468
67
Gypsum, Co
I figure for what you are paying for that hunt most of the tips should be included.

I also once read that if your guide is the outfitter then you have already paid him his tip when you paid him for the hunt. Other than that he should be paying his help a decent wage but a tip is always appreciated.

On a African hunting forum that I am on they have a thread going about tipping. It is pushing 800 replies and where most Americans tip you find that the Europeans do not, they figure that it is included in the price of the hunt.

On the couple of guided hunts I have been on I have tipped the guide around 10-15% and the help around 5%
 

nv-hunter

Veteran member
Feb 28, 2011
1,083
345
Reno
Only been on 2 guided fishing trips no hunts, on the first trip in Alaska the guide handed us our rods zipped up the cover to the cabin on the boat and ate his lunch we talked to the guide and the people in the boat next to us way more then our guide it was a crappy experience. When we hit the dock he stood their with his hand out waiting and my buddy asked if he knew any of our names and said that if we were going to tip it would have been the guide next to us.

I tipped 20% last year when we went fishing off the northern Ca coast, we had a blast and the guide worked his but off to make sure we all had fun and a great trip. I'm going back fathers day weekend for a day trip and back with the group we meet last year on labor day weekend we booked the boat.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
6,325
747
78
Dolores, Colorado
First let me say I have no idea how much an outfitter pays his help.

I've been on a few completely guided hunting trips and my feelings are based on the trip and not how successful I was. I also didn't use the cost of the trip as a basis for my tipping.

I used to work on a fishing boat that took fishing passengers on all day fishing trips. I used to help them if they didn't know something, gaffed their fish and gutted their catch. Filleting was an additional charge. A jackpot was a prized awarded to the largest fish on the trip. Fisherman entered it only if they want to and paid $5:00 to enter. It was customary for the winner to divide the jackpot between himself and the crew. We also had a jar labeled tips and divided that up between the crew. Sometimes the jackpot winner kept all of it, but it was rare. I did this for one summer while I was in college and saved it all. I ended up with about $1500.00 (in 1964 dollars). We worked 7 days a week too.

I did tip our deck hand nicely on our Alaskan trip last year. My wife and I were very pleased with the trip.
 
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Triple BB

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
286
6
Wyoming
15% plus or minus is a good start for your guide. Regarding everyone else, I always ask the guide what an average tip is for the cook or wrangler and go from there.
 
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Yell Co AR Hunter

Active Member
Dec 10, 2015
460
122
Yell County Arkansas
My buddy went on a guided elk trip last fall in MT. It was in a remote wilderness area. The cost of the hunt was more than I could think about affording. When I found out the exact area I did a lot of research. The success rates were not good in the area. I did not have the heart to tell him prior to the trip. I knew he would hunt hard and maybe have good luck. The reason I bring this up is I see a lot of 15% is a good amount. That would be right at $900.00 for the tip. I do not know what he tipped the guide. Success should not be the reason for the tip amount. He did not see a single elk on the entire trip. Two of the 5 days in camp it was raining and the guide would not take him out. He went out alone miles in a wilderness area while the guide stayed in the camp. The guide keep tell my buddy wolves had done a lot of damage to the elk herd. Maybe the guide knew the elk were not in the area who knows for sure. There is no way I would even consider giving the guy $900.00 for a tip. Out of the 40 hunters they guided that week 4 elk were killed. There was one guy in my buddy's camp that kill an elk. It was a small 2x3. Why would an outfit knowing elk numbers were really bad book the hunts?