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tipping a guide

Old 01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
  #11  
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I copied the following from a scetion of an article written by Jerome Phillipe. This article addresses tipping a PH in Africa. Does a PH work harder than a deer or elk guide? I think his method is fair, if you are satisfied with the hunt.


"How much to tip on a plains game hunt
There is a lot of advice and theories out there regarding how much to tip, which often creates more confusion than actually helping you get a better grasp on a fuzzy subject. I will share with you my method for how I decide how much of a tip to leave and knowing from the other side of the equation how much people really do leave. This method really works for all hunting safaris from a bargain plains game hunting package all the way up to a big five hunting safari.

I base my tip for the Professional Hunter on the total cost of the hunt, daily rate and trophy fees combined, excluding tax. Using that figure, I multiplying it by:

For professional hunter:
5% for an average tip
6% for a better than average tip
7% for a very good tip
8% plus for a very generous tip

I believe that this method works well because it figures in the cost level of the hunt, the number of species you take and allows for you to express your appreciation by giving you the ability to choose the percentage based upon your overall satisfaction."
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:13 PM
  #12  
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1st off, Dack, Good article, thanks for posting it.

As to what to tip a hunting guide, I cannot speak on behalf of hunts other than Whitetail, Turkey, or Predator. I have been a hunting guide for 11 years. This has always been a controversial subject, and comes up each year. When our hunters come to camp, they sit through an orientation and sign a liability waiver, before they are allowed to go out to hunt. In this orientation, it is explained to them what will make their hunt the most successful, how to field judge a deer, some rules and regulations, what to expect from their guide, and Gratuities, are part of what it entails. We state that Gratuities are not mandatory, but are a way for the hunter to show his appreciation on a job well done. Quite often Hunters will ask what the average tip amount should be. The average tip at this date and time is $150-$250, according to the job performed by the guide. It is the guides job to transport the hunter to the property, walk or transport the hunter to his treestand or blind location and carry their pack, (waiting until the hunter and his gear are in the stand, if the hunter so desires), tracking game potentially harvested, dragging and field dressing said game, caping the animal, quartering the animal if the hunter elects to take the meat with him. In the evening, guides are assigned a property to watch with binocs, scouting for possible "Shooter Buck" movement. A good guide, and things that I do to further their enjoyment and hunting experience. I will carry things in my truck, that people may run out of or forget. Such as, extra flashlights, a bow release, shooting stick, cover scent spray, hand warmers, quality bow hangers, a cooler with soda and water, some sort of snacks: jerky, deer sticks, nuts, or chips. I will also on processing the hunters meat, ask if they would like it de-boned. It really takes very little extra effort to do this, than quartering an animal. Communicating with your hunters is key to knowing what they are seeing in the field and knowing what may need to be done to enhance their possibilities of a harvest. I have been out after dark to hang a stand in a new location for a hunter for their morning hunt, or to chip ice from their stand and cover it with plastic, if conditions are icey (this is part of the job).

The tips I receive, pay for the extra things I carry to help my hunters. I have gotten tips ranging from $0 up to $1000. For myself to receive a $0 tip(and it has happened very few times) does not mean that I didn't do my job, but says more about the type of hunter I was guiding. I will not go into this.

I had one hunter years ago that harvested a 173" buck and tipped me $20. He had saved from lawn mowing for a year to come on the hunt. That was all he had to tip. I don't get disappointed or complain if I get a small tip. I've made a new friend and quite often am requested to be their guide on a future hunt.

Another time, 2 young men came on a hunt. They were lodging at a nearby motel. They drove to the lodge to meet me each morning. They had truck trouble and borrowed my tools to work on their truck, besides having to rent a puller. I bought them dinner at the lodge while they were working on it, and in the end received a $20 tip. It was all they had. They felt bad and we laughed about it, as it was comical that I ended up paying them to be their guide. But, I had 2 new friends.

The quality of a guides performance should not be done based on an expected tip. He has a basic job that is expected of him. But rather, a guides tip(above the average) should be given, based on the quality of his performance, attitude, and the extra measures he may go to further the experience of your hunt.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:50 PM
  #13  
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Very good and thoughtful post here, and it's nice to hear the hunters perspective. I know some people say guides should just get paid and leave the tip out of it. Thats fine, we could increase our hunt fees and pay the guides the tip included, but I always felt be keeping lower rates and allowing the hunters to make a tip decision gives them some control over their own hunt cost based on performance.

Secondly, the 15% covers guide, cook, and wrangler. Tips are an important part of the job, but you will never hear any of my staff even hint at a tip. Tipping, on a bigger scales attracts better wranglers, guides and cooks to the profession, which is an over all good thing for the industry. I also want to say that 15% is the industry standard. It assumes you are very happy with the service you recieve. It is only a benchmark and not everybody can or will tip that amount, and others can and will tip more.

I guided a fellow last year that really scrimped to make the trip, he had a ball. He wanted to come back this year. He asked me if he was supposed to tip me as I was the outfitter. It was rather awkward situation for me. I told him I would be happier if he took the tip money and applied it toward nexts years hunt. He is coming back this year, and everybody is happy. I also have had clients that treated guides like dirt, and didn't tip. I have stepped in and tipped my guides out of my own pocket. I will say that 99% of the hunters we get are great and tipped fairly based on their personal circumstances.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:07 AM
  #14  
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Here's my issue with tipping guides, and those of you who are guides take no offense, or feel free to, it's up to you. Whether I pay $250 a day for you to take me fishing on Lake Fork Texas or $4000 for you to work to find me a good Elk or whatever, that's the agreed amount for the service. To expect a gratuity is just not right. If I choose, so be it, but I rarely choose to do so unless something was exceedingly above my expectations for what I have already paid.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:38 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Nitro.Bass
Here's my issue with tipping guides, and those of you who are guides take no offense, or feel free to, it's up to you. Whether I pay $250 a day for you to take me fishing on Lake Fork Texas or $4000 for you to work to find me a good Elk or whatever, that's the agreed amount for the service. To expect a gratuity is just not right. If I choose, so be it, but I rarely choose to do so unless something was exceedingly above my expectations for what I have already paid.
I take no offense, and understand your position. Your guide and any guide in camp are there to try and make your harvest successful. What has been said, is that, as a hunting industry standard, it is common practice to tip your guide. The guide should never expect or ask for a tip.

If I went out for a $20 or more steak dinner, but instead get a $2 piece of shoe leather. My waitress is there for me making sure all my needs are met. The bad steak is not her fault, and I will make sure she gets her tip accordingly due. But if I have to go to her or call to her to get her attention to see that my needs are met, her tip will reflect the disservice provided.

Or from another viewpoint: I am paying $20 for a steak dinner that probably cost less than $5 for the whole meal. The waitress has spent the entire time making sure I had the very best of meals. When I pay with my cc, I write on the ticket: "The meal and service was excellent. Please take 15% from the cost of this meal to tip the waitress."
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:00 AM
  #16  
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A couple of resorts that I've gone to always have a gratuities envelope in the room for the house keeper.Although I pay a premium for the room I do tip the house keeper.....but it's not 15% of my bill.
I don't agree with the % system.........where's why... lets say you got an outfitter that is charging $6000 for a guided elk hunt and another outfitter is charging $3500 for the same services. Both guides preform the jobs equal.........why should the more expensive outfitters giude get a higher tip just because his boss charges more.
I would tip the wrangler and cook $75 each for the week and the guide $250 for the week.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:12 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by jerry d
I don't agree with the % system.......
I agree 100% Jerry. Let me give another scenario with the whitetail outfitter that I work for.

A bow hunt is a 5 day hunt vs a rut gun is a 4 day hunt. On the bow hunt early season, it is obviously a cheaper hunt. In my opinion, I have to work harder and strategize more to accomplish the desired results. Whereas a rut gun hunt is almost a given, as long as the weather cooperates, and takes very little extra effort on my part. (beyond my normal extra courtesies). So on a percentage based tip I would get a smaller tip for working harder.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:56 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Nitro.Bass
Here's my issue with tipping guides, and those of you who are guides take no offense, or feel free to, it's up to you. Whether I pay $250 a day for you to take me fishing on Lake Fork Texas or $4000 for you to work to find me a good Elk or whatever, that's the agreed amount for the service. To expect a gratuity is just not right. If I choose, so be it, but I rarely choose to do so unless something was exceedingly above my expectations for what I have already paid.
I don't know a single guide that operates under the "expectation" of a tip. Almost every guide from day one in the field is instructed to never expect a tip, if they don't get one, thats no dissappointment, if they do, it is greatly appreciated. It's kind of an 'insider" philosophy in guide circles. I posted the 15% to cover guides/wranglers/cooks, as an industry norm, not as a requirement. If we go back and look at the last 200 clients, thats were the percentages would fall. I don't have those numbers frankly, nor do I track such things, I'm just pushing out the industry norm.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:24 PM
  #19  
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TwoBear nice website looks like you run a nice outfit.
You offer a couple of options that I didn't see other outfitters offer{semi guided & drop hunts}What would an apporpriate tip for the guide on a semi guided hunt? His duties would be alot less on one of those type hunts.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:22 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by jerry d
TwoBear nice website looks like you run a nice outfit.
You offer a couple of options that I didn't see other outfitters offer{semi guided & drop hunts}What would an apporpriate tip for the guide on a semi guided hunt? His duties would be alot less on one of those type hunts.
Drop camps usually give the wrangler 50 bucks or so. We supply all the food, home made, then frozen and packed into camp for our hunters, so the cook sometimes gets a 50 bucks or so also, which is a pleasant surprise.

Semi-guided we spend at least one day in the field with the hunters, and if a guide tags out his full guided hunter, he may go with the semi-guided guys 5-6 days, so tipping on semi-guided is a real crap shoot, sometimes nothing, sometimes 300-400 depending on how much time was actually spent with the semi-guided guys. Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate that
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