How Much Does a Hunting Guide Make?

Working as a hunting guide seems like a dream job for most hunters, but is it a viable job?

The average hunting guide earns $26,000 – $41,000 per season. The highest-paid hunting guides earn $77,000, while the lowest-paid hunting guides earn $16,500

Do Hunting Guides Make Good Money?

Most seasoned big game hunting guides can earn a considerable amount of money per season. 

New guides don’t earn a huge amount of money on their first season; outfitters get a lot of applicants for hunting guides. Most applicants enjoy hunting but don’t know what it’s like to be a hunting guide.

A hunting guide in his first season should expect to earn $1,000 – $1500 per month.

The guides that come back for the second season can see a considerable increase in their salary. Experienced guides can expect to earn $2,500 a month.

On top of their salary, hunting guides also get accommodation and food included also.

How Much do Alaska Hunting Guides Make?

Hunting guides in Alaska tend to make more than guides in the lower 48, for a few reasons.

  • More challenging terrain
  • Longer time away from home
  • Harsher weather conditions
  • Costs of hunts are more expensive

Guides in Alaska can make around $4000 per hunt on average, with bonuses for successful outings.

The average hourly salary of a hunting guide in Alaska varies from $12-$21 per hour. Generally, tips and bonuses for Alaska are much higher than the lower 48.

Do Hunting Guides Get Tips?

Some guides’ salaries may not be that high, but that’s because a lot of their income can come from tips.

The average tip for a hunting guide is 10-20 percent of the cost of the hunt.

So if you paid $7500 for an elk hunt, the guide could expect to earn $750 in tips for their work.

Most guides won’t look for tips, but it is expected in the industry. 

Hunting Guide Salaries

How Much Does a Hunting Guide Make?
Hunting Guide Salaries 2021

Conclusion

Being a hunting guide is a great career, however, it’s not for the faint of heart. It is hard work with much time spent away from friends and family. You often give up your own hunt to help someone else be successful on their hunt, which is rewarding in itself.

A hunting guide doesn’t make much money in their first or second year, but seasoned guides can make a good income once they gain the skills. A talented guide not only gets paid a good salary but can also make a good amount on tips.