Tips for tipping your guide

Tipping your fishing or hunting guide

Service industry jobs span travel, transportation, hospitality, finance and more. For some of these jobs tipping is standard and for others it is completely unheard of. Most sportsmen know that hunting and fishing guides work in the service industry, most even know that tipping is somewhat customary. But there seems to be a lot of confusion about how much to tip. There is a general rule of at least 8-10%, but that wont apply to every single situation.

Keep in mind that tips can make up a significant part of the guides income as the trip cost alone can be eaten up largely by expenses. Also, guides work harder than you know, there is a lot of prep before you show up and also clean up and maintenance after you leave. A 10 hour adventure might be a 16 hour commitment for the guide. Another common practice is for sportsmen to offer a gift as well as a tip for a guide that delivers a great adventure.

Below are some tips for tipping, if not a complete guide to tipping your guide.

Tips for Hunting and Fishing Guides

-Generally, as a starting point, consider tipping your guide 10% of the trip cost.

-If the guide went above and beyond you would be in line to increase your tip to 15% or even 20%.

-If the guide gets you a world class trophy or checks off something on your bucket list you should really consider what that experience was worth to you. Guides are always working hard, but when they can deliver something special they deserve recognition.

-A tip is NOT required, although much less than 10% usually indicates dissatisfaction.

-If you aren’t sure if you should tip you can always ask the guide if most clients leave a tip.

-Tip based on what the guide can control, don’t withhold a tip because of things that are out of their hands (like weather).

-If your trip includes cooks, hands, or other support staff it is customary to tip them as well. Consider $10-$15 a day. You can also ask the trip organizer or head guide what a customary tip would be for the other staff.

-When on an international adventure you should ask what currency is preferred, often they prefer USD.

-Plan ahead for tips and bring enough cash, you may not be able to easily hit up an ATM.

-Great gifts, beyond a tip, include a decorative knife, a piece of your kit that was admired, a favorite spirit, or meal in a nice restaurant.


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