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Tipping Your Guide Or Outfitter

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Don’t forget to Tip Your Hunting Guide

When the hunt is over, don’t forget the guy that made it happen. Whether big game or upland, if you use a guide, he should get a tip unless the hunt was a poorly planned joke. Hunting guides depend on tips for a large portion of their wages.  Unless your hunt was a poorly planned bust be sure to leave a good tip for your guide or outfitter.Most guides get paid by the lodge or outfitter, but it is usually beans. They depend on tips to cover the rest of their income. A good guide really did all the work so that you could buy those roosters or kill that big bull elk.

But before you hand him your life savings, there are a few things to consider. Did he really try to make it a good experience, or was he just there for the money? Was he mannerly and in good humor or did he just hang out? Did the guide try his hardest to get you the best experience possible? These are the things you are paying for.

Now it’s time to give him his tip. How much depends on what kind of hunt and how everything went. Most of the time, a couple hundred dollars on a three day bird hunt is really good, and nobody will be upset with a hundred. On some really high class preserves, guides get really big tips. I’ve heard of guides getting $500-600 in a weekend, but I really thing that the amount depends on your budget. Those big tips don’t come often, and I don’t think a guide would expect it, either.

I don’t know for sure what big game guides get, but I’ve heard it’s a good amount. When guiding wild bird hunts, I’ve been tipped around a hundred dollars per day per guide, and on preserve hunts it usually runs about $50.

Always give the tip directly to the guide, not the lodge owner or outfitter. I’m not saying that they are all dishonest, but you should give it to him yourself with a smile, a handshake, and a thank you. Remember, the guide is the one who made it happen.  

By Ed Hall Professional Dog Trainer and Upland Hunting Guide