The Tipping Curse

Dear Bruce,

I’m not sure if this has been covered in a Miss Manners section or not, maybe it would make a good topic.

A few days ago a group of us went to shoot at Alexander’s Sporting Farm in Golts Maryland. (The facility is very nice and incredibly clean (They had a big 75 target shoot the day before and there were NO empty shells on the ground), the 5 stand is awesome and the people there are nicer than any other facility I have ever been to.) We shot 3 rounds of 50 (a 38, 39 & 41 if you were wondering) and never saw the same presentation twice.

Here is where the question comes in.

For the first round we had one person who worked the traps and kept score. That day was not busy at all so for the second and third rounds we had one person who worked the traps and one who kept score (one of whom was the same person as the first round). We were not a very demanding group of shooters and were not in a hurry so I think one person could have handled the 5 of us (We were there for 5 1/2 hours including breaks between rounds).

OK, here comes the questions.

How should you handle tipping the trapper at the end of the day in this situation? Should you tip both people and should they be tipped equally?


Dear Mason,

Miss Manners, who is sitting next to me at this very moment, says that it is never an error to match the tip to the service rendered. If one trapper does more for you than the other, he should be tipped more. Only in socialist countries does everyone get the same, deserving or not.

Having said that, speaking as the Technoid and not Miss M, let me rail against tipping for a while. I just hate tipping. It isn’t that I am cheap. I just feel that the range owner should pay the kids a proper amount, charge a proper amount for the targets and let that be it. Tipping is a pain in the neck and is really just another method of doing the owner’s job of paying the kids.

No proper private club permits tipping because it is such an inconvenience to the members to always be thinking what to give the kid and then fumbling around for a few dollars and ending up borrowing it from his pals. This tipping curse is the fault of the owners, not the trappers. If the range owners were considerate, they would post “No Tipping Permitted” signs and adjust the kid’s pay and the price for the targets accordingly. They just don’t have the guts to do it because they want to advertise an artificially low price for the targets.

You shouldn’t have to pay someone a second time to do a decent job for you.


Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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1 Response to The Tipping Curse

  1. Well………..Bruce, I have to disagree with you a little bit. While I agree, tipping is NOT necessary, it is a “thank you” for going over and above the “norm”. What is the norm for a trapper? Just pushing the buttons correctly I guess, but some do more than that………and to be tipped just because you can breathe and push a button, that would be excessive too. However, you are correct in saying about a normal wage. Most trappers are getting $10.00 an hour or targets, and while it is not a tough job, many are asked to be range officers, keep everyone safe in the box (which in many charity events is tough enough), pick up shells, manage firearms, distribute correct ammo, etc. It is a lot of responsibility for that small amount of money………..And then, in some cases help shooters who know very little about the sport or how to correctly manage a firearm, hit targets. I know they are not shooting instructors, but in many events, they help the masses enjoy their time out there. So, while I understand and agree with you, I also understand what many of these people “really” do out there, and seeing that, reaching into my pocket to say, “thanks” is not a big problem for me. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but many shooters do not see or realize what many of these people do, are asked to do, or just do because they are good people and want to see people enjoying the sport, be safe, and break targets, which is what they come to do. Just my two cents buddy.


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