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calnaughtonjr
09-21-2009, 12:30 PM
I'm leaving in a couple of days for a guided moose hunt and I'm not sure how much cash I should bring for the guide. I'm assuming you should tip them? What about the float plane guy? The hunt is 6 days long if that matters.

Thanks for your help.

Kmassaro
09-21-2009, 01:06 PM
I asked the guides at Three Forks Ranch that question a few years ago. Elk hunts there are $7500, and mule deer hunts can be $15,000.

He indicated a good tip was $500, and an excellent tip was $1000. Hope that helps.

Mattb
09-21-2009, 03:39 PM
10% of the hunt price is the common rule of thumb. Most folks decrease the % when 10% gets over $500, which is in line with the Three Forks comment above.

one-eyed Bob
09-21-2009, 05:03 PM
You don't tip the owner if he guides you, nor his wife if she is the cook. I used to tip $200 or $300 when hunts were cheaper. More than $500 sounds like a lot unless you have the same guide every day, find game, and he skins it and preps a mount. Then a lot more work is involved. I have retired from backpacking Moose.

TR
09-21-2009, 06:06 PM
10% of the hunt price is the common rule of thumb. Most folks decrease the % when 10% gets over $500, which is in line with the Three Forks comment above.

That's good advice. I guided deer and hog hunters for a while. It's tough work. Vary the tip up or down depending upon the level of energy and enthusiasm of the guide. Remember to do your part as well.

A good guide has done his scouting, knows the area and knows when to call for a change of plan.

one-eyed Bob
09-22-2009, 05:22 PM
Some hunts are $3000 and some are 20,000. Does one guide deserve so much more?

Songdog
09-22-2009, 06:02 PM
Come to think of it, I've never actually hunted a paid/guided trip (no knock on those who have, just never had the need/opportunity). I did hunt AK last year and was helped/accompanied/guided by a relative of a friend with no expectations for anything in return other than a fun time. I did leave a nice .45/70 Guide gun with him as a thank you.

calnaughtonjr
09-22-2009, 09:19 PM
I was hoping you would say ten bucks, but I appreciate the help. In a couple of weeks I'll try to post some pictures of my long hunter with a 60 inch bull. It's my first guided hunt too. Probably my last since I can barely afford the tip. I won this trip in a raffle.

Ksnake
09-22-2009, 10:13 PM
I know you're kidding about the $10 but just think about how much you would like to get paid for a week's worth of work keeping in mind it's a seasonal job and hours are more than 9-5. Remember that the cost of the trip goes to the outfitter. Like waitresses, guides live off tips (with the exception of when your guide is the whole outfit). Sometimes there is a camp manager and a cook that need tips too. In that case the tip would get spit between them with percentages depending on involvement. I've only been on one guided trip up to caribou country and was asking the same questions. And the consensus was around 500 given the price of the trip. The split would then be 300 to the guide, 100 to the camp manager, and 100 to the cook. With that as a rough guideline I took it from there. Yes it was an expensive trip, but I considered it a once in a lifetime type of thing and just ignored the money and had fun. If I remember correctly, the bar tender at the hotel at the end of the trip faired well also, but I'm not totally clear on that :D Think of it this way, if you only have to tip, you got a great deal! And remember, these are only guidelines. Ultimately its up to you and what you want and can afford. I would think the pilot is already well compensated by the outfitter.

Smokepole
09-23-2009, 10:23 PM
10% of the hunt price is the common rule of thumb. Most folks decrease the % when 10% gets over $500, which is in line with the Three Forks comment above.

Well, I'm not sure about the rest of you guys, but I think a lot of it has to do with how long and how hard the guides work. The Three Forks hunts are generally (as I understand it) about a day or two in duration. The guides don't wrangle livestock, set up camp, cook, or do anything except take you to the game. To me, a one-day hunt with that kind of involvement from the guide does not justify the same tip that a full-service backcountry multiple-day trip would. I could be wrong about that but.....

Ksnake
09-24-2009, 06:39 AM
I'm leaving in a couple of days for a guided moose hunt and I'm not sure how much cash I should bring for the guide. I'm assuming you should tip them? What about the float plane guy? The hunt is 6 days long if that matters.

Thanks for your help.

Smoke, I think responses were assuming a week long trip.

Smokepole
09-24-2009, 06:55 AM
You're right, and for a week in the backcountry, the guidance sounds good. This year I'm taking my son on one of those Three Forks hunts (not the paid hunt, the free one through the RFW program), so I'm interested in that end of the spectrum too.

Tundra Monkey
09-25-2009, 10:24 AM
If it helps I just returned from 6 weeks guiding caribou on the tundra. We had a very successful season with 38 outta 40 taking 2 bou and 1 each for the remaining. Spent the first 3 weeks living out of tents 40 miles from the main camp and the last in the main camp.....roughly a $6000 hunt.

Tips ranged from $300 to $1000. One gentlman tipped $800 and a Leica 1200 :-) and he was one of the 1 bou guys....on another hand one group was $50/hunter......hurt our feelings a little bit.....more of disbelief though.

On average they run $3-400 for the guide and $100 for the cook.

Keep in mind tips are earned and not expected....but they are very much appreciatted.

Respectfully,

tm

rost495
09-27-2009, 07:15 AM
I've guided a bit, and know other guides. I"ve never guided for free, only hoping to make it on tips.... I don't know anyone else that does.

I took the jobs because I loved the work and got paid decently, tips were a bonus.

That being said, guides do have long days, and that gets really long in a 2 month long season with basically only breaks on swapping hunters days..

Tip wise, if I got 50-100 bucks that was average for a 3 day hunt. Times we'd get more. The bad thing is that IMHO if the guides work hard they should get even tips, regardless of game as you just can't control being right place/right time for everyone.

When I tip, I do my level best to tip according to service, and regardless of success. That tends to average out to 10% or more even though we never really got that amount on average.

Also some folks can barely afford a once in a lifetime hunt, and you could always read that, I did my level best to make sure they had a great time and enjoyed the hunt, and if they gave me a little or nothing, never bothered me. Totally understand that part.

Now... how you split it between cooks etc... I have NO clue... I've never been on a fully guided hunt before... only DIY drop offs...

We did have one guide that got a 4 door Chevy 2wd truck delivered to his home, used with about 8000 miles on it, the hunter was a used car dealer.... never seen a tip like that, though that fellow did give me a rifle.... but the truck was earned, the "hunter" liked to drink and this guide was the only one that would drink with him.... I refused to take the hunter out drunk one morning and never got another word from him which was fine... I did like guiding his son though.

disillusionedpatriot
09-30-2009, 01:25 PM
I was hoping you would say ten bucks, but I appreciate the help. In a couple of weeks I'll try to post some pictures of my long hunter with a 60 inch bull. It's my first guided hunt too. Probably my last since I can barely afford the tip. I won this trip in a raffle.

I recently returned from a 6 day elk hunt. Cost was about $3500. It was a "2 on 1" hunt, two hunters, one guide.

I tipped < 5%, and it probably should have been less than that, for reasons which I'll post in a separate thread, and which you can judge for yourself. There were three basic problems:

1. The guide used essentially one strategy = squeeze-bulb cow call, with very rare use of bugle. Wait to see if bull comes out. If not, leave area.

2. The guide basically just led us around single file. Never consulted with his hunters on how to use two of us. Never consulted about strategy, topology, wind, anything. Just led around by the nose like we were ignorant rubes.

3. The outfitter/owner had a policy of secrecy--no maps, no planning, no destinations, no idea of what trails we were on. This is complete foolhardiness, as the other hunter and I discussed, if the guide dropped dead, we'd have been out in the wilderness with no clue where we were or how to get back to camp. Guide's tip decreased because of nonsense from the owner. Sorry dude, but go work for a different outfitter.

Many other things to say about the outfitter, which I'll place in a separate thread.

Montana: 0/2 in terms of outfitter quality, despite my effort at diligence. I would have much rather had my gear dropped and done this myself. So-called guides are often just kids.

Uncle Jake
10-02-2009, 02:22 PM
Montana: 0/2 in terms of outfitter quality, despite my effort at diligence. I would have much rather had my gear dropped and done this myself.


Too true around here. While I know a couple of guides that are decent folk, most I have run into around here (SW MT) have been sub-human trash.

brian88
10-04-2009, 01:09 PM
i think you should tip depending on how the guide is. if they are clueless and you get nothing i wouldn't tip much of anything, but if they teach you a lot and give you some helpful tips you can use for years to come then 10% seems fair to me.

i'm always more open to open my wallet when the hunt was successful. but sometimes they are great and you just don't have any luck for those hunts i try to be between 5-10%

i have never given more than a 1000 on any one hunt