What to Tip the “Tipper”
He or she is your guide into those woods, out on that river, etc. They are the ones who have gone to school and been educated in this particular sport/pleasure you are delving into for your vacation time, and they are the ones with companies that make it easier than ever to plan a guided hunt or trip for you, family and friends. They are also the ones with just the right “tip” that could allow you to have the most successful hunt you’ve ever had.
Over the internet, a lover of the hunt (or fishing, boating, etc.) can log on and go through a list of outfitter websites that contain everything about their company and their team. They will offer up information that all prospective sportsmen and sportswomen need to know: from accommodations provided to equipment to pictures of the areas being utilized for the sport, animals harvested in the past, as well as various packages and prices.
But, oddly enough (unlike the rest of American business and industry in the 21st-century), you will most likely never find anything about what specific dollar amount or percentage of the hunt cost to give the guide as a tip. And because each package is so completely different, coming up with an average tip can be extremely tough. This is a gray area for many sports people, especially those who have never been on a guided hunt/tour before.
It is understood that a tip is not a requirement. However, it is important to realize that if you “land” a quality service and a guide who truly loves what they do and knows the ins-and-outs of everything they happen to be doing, than offering your guide a tip is the best way to offer thanks to them for their service.
It is important to remember as well that if the guide is not the outfitter, they are usually told what to do by someone higher up in charge. They may not have any say when it comes to choosing the location or what your accommodations will be during your stay. That is the outfitter’s responsibility, and your guide should never be “hung out to dry” if that outfitter has made errors in your trip. The guide’s tip is always based on the job that they did for you and your friends/family. If for the duration of your event they work as your partner – such as, on a hunt, if they help fill your tags, make sure you have a safe hunt, and offer those stellar, helpful ‘tips,’ than they should be rewarded with a “thank you.”
If the outfitter is both the owner and your guide, then it becomes a different story entirely. They are the ones responsible for every detail during your trip – from being the guide to making sure your hunt is set up well and your accommodations and other details promised have been delivered. This becomes another gray area for some because why tip the owner when you have already paid them for everything in full? Most hunters and sportsmen will agree that if the guide does everything in an A+ manner, it doesn’t matter if they own the company or not, they should still get the “thank you.”
When thinking about the prices, start with something easy. At a restaurant the approximate tip for your waiter/waitress is 15% (if the job is done well, of course). When it comes to the guide of your trip, most hunters begin in the neighborhood of 8-12% of the cost of the hunt when it comes to tipping the guide. (Example: For most waterfowl hunts that comes out to approximately $25 per day; for a 5-day big game hunt you are closer to the $250-$350 range. And if we are talking about a guide that has literally shown you and your guests a truly incredible week, then giving a little extra is definitely a good show.
Above all, remember the fact that the guide is not responsible for you shooting correctly, being able to “land that big one” right, and definitely are not responsible for anything that Mother Nature decides to throw in your path. Certain things will always be out of a human’s control, but hard work most definitely matters and should be appreciated. Just think, you may have such a successful expedition that you will want that particular guide the next time around, so saying “thank you” is a great way to start a long-standing relationship.
Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle