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Thread: How much to tip

  1. #1
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    Default How much to tip

    I am moose hunting the selawik nwr and wondering what is a reasonable tip for a pilot that owns the plane?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubid View Post
    I am moose hunting the selawik nwr and wondering what is a reasonable tip for a pilot that owns the plane?
    Clearly, you got there and back safely. Did you enjoy the trip? Then - - - - - whatever you think you can afford. I've had clients that left nothing, others that stole from me, and a few that left tips in four figures. It's all in how you liked the service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubid View Post
    I am moose hunting the selawik nwr and wondering what is a reasonable tip for a pilot that owns the plane?
    Is this guy guiding you as well, or just flying you in and picking you up...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    is this guy guiding you as well, or just flying you in and picking you up...???
    two of us are going unguided for 10 days on our first trip but hopefully not our last to ak.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Depends on the level of service.... but for a charter pilot operating his own plane I'd be less inclined to tip heavy than for a hired hand working for wages and certainly less inclined than for a guide who's in the field with you.

    Of course, superlative service gets justly rewarded and lousy service doesn't...regardless of who's plane it is.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I've never tipped a pilot in my life and don't feel like I ever stiffed anyone. I am already paying them a decent wage for them to fly me into an area and then pick me up. You wouldnt tip a pilot on a commerical jet would you?
    Just my two cents worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I've never tipped a pilot in my life and don't feel like I ever stiffed anyone. I am already paying them a decent wage for them to fly me into an area and then pick me up. You wouldnt tip a pilot on a commerical jet would you?
    Just my two cents worth.
    Many hunters I have spoken with over the last few decades express the same feelings and has been extended to guides also.

    I have only been on one guided hunt (1x1) and the guide constantly dropped hints about how he liked my skinning knife and that he needed new boots.

  8. #8

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    There are many ways this one can go. I like to look at the service I got from my pilot. For example, my last hunt, we flew 2 people in. Each of us got a different scouting route to assess the area. Then the pilot flew by camp a couple of times to check on us. He came in to pick up our hide and meat, which was a hike to get to for him since he couldn't land on ski's where we left them. Finally he sat on ground for about 30 minutes waiting for us to get to the plane on pick up due to continually changing conditions during spring melt. It cost him about 350 an hour that he didn't necessarily have to do for us in the field. Made it worthwhile in my mind for that reassurance we had a great pilot and he cared about his clients. I never hesitated when pulling out the extra cash for a safe completion to my hunt.

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    I have seen and heard of things like,,extra cash up to 1K, knives, mystery ranch 6000, hand gun, hunting equipment due to ATM not attached to the local birch tree...etc. On the flip side, have seen some get discounts on hunts provided by the client in return. There are many options with this. Depends on the way the client feels. There are alot of factors to consider as a client, did they meet your expectations on the quality of the hunt, game, accomodation, meals, shelters, conversation etc. Way to many to list..also the fact that the guide has to deal with every type of personality out there...some want to help and others want to be pampered..seen both...usually ones that really dont get into the hunt until their "trophy" is down are most likely not to tip that much..the ones on the other hand that appreciate it all and take it all in, the good and bad..have a tendacy to tip more...I am sure some of the more experienced guides on here have a ton of stories to tell on what was left behind..

    If you pay the pilot to fly you in and drop you off..come back and pick you up, then he has already accounted for his overhead on the cost to do so. If he offers or has to come in multipe times to pick up game, drop off gear, etc...he will most likely mention the fact that it is costing him more..you can take this as a hint or just blow it off and expect he is losing some overhead. On the otherhand..most will tell you up front if you want them to come in and check on you and pick up gear and game..they will charge more for this.

    Talk this over with your pilot before you fly..see what he offers and what you can expect from him. All of this can usally be settled where both parties understand what they are getting out of the deal and usually provide a "package deal". Also understand that he is going to more than likely be very busy and if he says he is going to come by and does not..could be due to many factors..weather, equipment, other clients in trouble etc...keep an open mind and enjoy the hunt. If you feel like you need to tip, then something made you feel so.
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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Sound like solid advice so far, don't feel pressured but if service is there then reward the service.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Its kinda like going in a restaurant. You feel like you have to tip, but when you get really good service, you WANT to tip not just have to.

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    Have NEVER felt like I had to tip a pilot.

    If they were making minimum wage it MIGHT be different.

    They aren't guides, they are mysteriously glorified taxi drivers.

    A pilot would have to go above and beyond to get much of a tip, as was said I would have to WANT to tip. And that just doesn't usually happen.

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    I have outfited lots of trips into unit 23 and over the years I have received tips (groups of 3-4) ranging from $100 to binos and scopes. It is all based upon what you feel the service was. I never expect a tip but always appreciate them when I receive them. A flight out to the Selawik or Tag is at least $2,100 bucks so if the service was good and you enjoyed the hunt look at 10%.

    Walt
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  14. #14

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    My best tip to date (guiding) was a $1000 cash and a brand new .300WSM.. Or, was it the New Zealand Red Stag hunt? Toss up... Tip whatever you feel is right. "Right" is different for everybody...

  15. #15

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    On a successful guided sheep hunt, I tipped a Leica rangefinder. On a successful DIY moose and DIY caribou drop, we left a 20% tip. I left tips each time because I valued the service I received, and for providing me with great Alaskan adventures and memories to last a lifetime.
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

  16. #16
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    This is a pilot, not a guided trip.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  17. #17

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    Lots of good thoughts so far, no right or wrong answer on this one Ė each situation is different and depends on the service provided and the opinion of the buyer. I do want to offer a different perspective on a couple of points posted Ė not sayingthose points are wrong, just that the comparison isnít exact.

    One point was that commercial airline pilots arenít tipped, which is true. However, commercial airline pilots take their guidance from air traffic control and their instruments, and they donít have to make the call on whether they can make it in Ė AND make it back out Ė when cloud sare dropping quickly over the mountain passes.

    Another post mentioned bush pilots as mysteriously glorified taxi drivers. If a taxi doesnít pick you up, you can always call another one or call a friend for a ride. If a bush pilot doesnít pick you up, your only other option is hiking out over mountains and crossing glacial rivers, assuming you have enough food, gear, and savvy to make it out on your own.

    A safe and reliable flight into and out of the bush has value to me, so Iíve usually opted to tip when that service has been well provided.

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    I'm going to make a guess that the transporter is Sportsman's Air Service. If so the OP may get flown by the owner or he could be flown by another pilot. I'm pretty sure that Joe uses another pilot during moose season. Having said that, Joe's outfitted hunts are well planned with all hunters getting dropped in game rich areas. He does fly the area a lot and has quite a bit of knowledge of game pops. I think last season his nonguided hunters went 26 for 28 (or something like that) on moose.
    To tip or not all comes down to how the buyer feels he was treated at the end of the service. Whether the person you're dealing with is the owner or a hired hand is immaterial, IMO. If your happy with the service, a tip is the most appropiate way to show it. You don't have to give so much you have to tell the kids that Santa won't be by this year. I wouldn't worry about how much someone else gave either.

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    The last fly in we did, we tipped the pilot with a commemorative bottle of Crown Royal...after we were back on the tarmac.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    This is a pilot, not a guided trip.
    I was talking about tipping the pilot on the DIY moose and DIY caribou hunt.
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

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