Every year a few of our guest take
me aside and ask about our tipping policy. This question is awkward
for me to answer. In short, we don't have a "tip policy."
Tips are not the driving factor behind the everyday courtesies and considerations
afforded our guests. We're all in this business because we love to hunt
and we love the outdoors. On the other hand, gratuities are important
to our guides and kitchen help, so let me take a shot at making you
aware of what I think about tips - and why.
At Wilderness Connection, we play "team ball", which means
to every degree possible you will be helped on your hunting trip by
all our staff. If you harvest an animal, it is quite possible that several
guides will assist in logistics and the packing out of your meat. We
make an extreme effort to get your harvested animal out of the hills
as expeditiously as possible, even if it means a radio call to other
guides for assistance. Practically translated, this means more hunting
time for you.
Guides share in saddling horses, picking up hunters for each other,
servicing vehicles, and hauling meat to the butcher. You will usually
hunt with several guides during the course of your hunt, but may not
be aware of the effort expended by the guide you never hunted with -
effort on your behalf!
For these reasons, I think that at least part of your tip $ (probably ¼ to ½) should go into a “group” tip.
The other question most asked is – how much should I tip? I don’t believe there is a hard and fast answer for this one, as it partially depends upon your ability to pay and the kind of service you feel you have received. Judging upon past tipping, most hunters tip between $300 and $400. Assuming you are tipping $350 a reasonable approach might be to tip the guide you were with the most $100, $125 to the cooks, and another $125 towards the “group” tip that is shared equally by the guides, packers, and camp tenders.