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Is there any future in game keeping anymore?


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I’m 19 and I’ve been interested in game keeping all my life. Always had working dogs always worked my dog’s, love the great outdoors. There’s nothing more I’d love than to be a gamekeeper it would be like winning the lottery. I know there are cons too but I wouldn’t care, I have never seen any opportunity’s to introduce my self to game keeping! Is it just knowing the right people or what? 

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I haven’t been posting on here for a while but I had a look today and I feel that my input might be valid as I earn my living as a gamekeeper and have done for the last 15 years or so . There are some

I'm not a keeper so I don't know shit really but I'm going to say what I think anyway.  The future (beyond five years time) of traditional keepering is quite possibly abroad, places where operati

Mate I think it would be good if you got yourself a trade to fall back on like Stiff said😉... Then get out there and find yourself a job that gets you out into the countryside and that could open a fe

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1 hour ago, LukeandLou said:

I’m 19 and I’ve been interested in game keeping all my life. Always had working dogs always worked my dog’s, love the great outdoors. There’s nothing more I’d love than to be a gamekeeper it would be like winning the lottery. I know there are cons too but I wouldn’t care, I have never seen any opportunity’s to introduce my self to game keeping! Is it just knowing the right people or what? 

Morning young man and welcome onboard, there is a gamekeeper thread on here but this is the most busy page so I,m sure some of them will see your question and answer you, I,m a bit of a townie so not the man with all your answers, but for a starter I would advise you to find your local shoots and put your name forward for some weekend beating work, think this can be a gateway in and will definitely get you talking and mixing with the right people ✌️✌️

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I think there is a future. Nit sure what it is yet but there will always be a need for gamekeeping type jobs, even if shooting goes completely south and all guns are banned there will always be a need for conservation work. 

It's becoming a very competitive industry with people in their 40's, 50's etc taking career changes to a job they enjoy rather than being accountants etc as well as the youngsters like yourself. 

You will be competing with people who are extremely well qualified and eloquent and will potentially have the funding to take volunteering roles to gain experience as well as people who have grown up around the countryside and have years of practical experience. 

You have to work on setting yourself against all those people and being more employable. 

A good start is to look into colleges like Sparsholt or Newton Rigg for their Game and Wildlife Management courses. 

Meanwhile try to take on anything you can to gain experience - any labour or monkey work that gets your foot in the door.

It's a good time of year to offer your services to a game farm for catching up/rearing. 

Look at the conservation organisations and see if they have any jobs open or volunteering opportunities, anything that would gain you relevant experience so that when you are being interviewed/talking to a potential employer they can see you are keen and motivated and don't mind grafting, as well as having experience. 

 

Subscribe to the countryside jobs service, lots of jobs advertised there emailed to you for free and keep an eye out in Shooting Times etc. 

Where in the country are you? Be prepared to have to move and relocate.

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I was chatting to a lad who was in charge of a project over here in Ireland to try and preserve some native bird or the other.

They have a massive problem with mink and other such predators here.

There is no culture of keepered estates here in Ireland so they simply don’t have the keepers.

What they have is an organisation called the NPWS who are about as useful as a chocolate fire guard.

He told me that after 3 very unsuccessful years trying the project with their own people he recruited a load of keepers from England and within 12 months they had sorted it.

Point is, those skills will be required somewhere and if it’s what you want to do then do it, you can always do something else if you get the pox of it.

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I understand your need to follow dreams,nothing wrong with that,but its a very low paid role,long hrs.ok if your single but to run a house,cars,family on the salary id say would be impossible.if you get your own rented estaste and ran that later on then you would make money.why dont you run/help a sydicate as a hobby,be out doors and doing what you love.

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No because there is no need most Shoots [Pheasant ]  can be ran by one man working  part time  Grouse Moors are a different Kettle of Fish and requires more training but my own opinion is that Game Shooting is Dying and wont be around much longer, get a job on the Electricity Board as a Linesman or Jointer you will make a load of Dough and be able to pay your own Keeper .

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Makes me cringe,pay shit wages,but you have to mix with the guns who generally have a bob about them.pay the beaters a unbelievable low rate too.last time i went on a day it was 400 each,50 keeper tip,day off work 200 plus lost,pub food,beer 35,diesel,carts,etc.looking at 700 quid.i shot 7 birds.

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I'm not a keeper so I don't know shit really but I'm going to say what I think anyway. :laugh:

The future (beyond five years time) of traditional keepering is quite possibly abroad, places where operating costs are lower and politics more favourable.

At home, in the UK, I really think we need to adapt, hard! Our value of 'sport' over 'harvest' is going to be our undoing in the 21stC. When it costs £45 to kill the bird but the meat is worth nothing alarm bells should be ringing! The public just won't accept it "Hunting for food is fine, hunting for fun is disgusting".

As always, it's a lot more complicated than that but the public don't want to know and so it is what it is.

I'd like to see a hard cultural shift towards a greater value of what is harvested and the utilisation of it. Personally standing on a peg does nothing for me, the whole day that surrounds it is great but the shooting part is not what makes me tick. I want to hunt, I want to harvest something, and I want to feel beat at the end of it. I find people, even non hunters, respect that more.

Two days stalking to provide sausage rolls for everyone on NYE. The piss heads demolished them! :laugh:

stalking1.jpg.445a4126509d147f72085c0256dcd2c2.jpg

stalking2.jpg.36016bfd4e21fea87b8911ed918e2b7f.jpg

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Thats true,the birds get sent away or unused which is not the way it should be.most guns dont take a brace home,they have,nt got a clue how to prepare a bird for the oven,they should,nt shoot then in my opinion.the dead bird after paying for processing becomes bloody expensive.a mate of mine went on a duck day,they shot 700 duck.bloody slaughter,dont sit right with me

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I haven’t been posting on here for a while but I had a look today and I feel that my input might be valid as I earn my living as a gamekeeper and have done for the last 15 years or so . There are some valid and interesting points of view in the previous posts . If you really want to get into keepering then go for it . Is there a future? Who knows. I agree that there there are aspects of the shooting industry that can be improved. But my experience is that the game that is shot on the estate I look after goes to the game dealer and in to the food chain . Poorly paid ? Not always. The keepers I know do very well indeed .  And I’m not exactly poverty stricken. A head keeper on a  top commercial shoot is probably on £40.000 plus tips and housing. It’s difficult to say because each estate or shoot is different,  but it’s the package you look at because it might be that you get a cottage and your bills paid and then a smallish wage , plus tips and deer money. But to have a proper career my advice would be to get yourself into Sparsholt college. The reason for this is it is seen by employers as the best and they won’t even look at a candidate unless your CV says “Sparsholt” . Now I know there are good lads going to other college’s and I also know that some of the graduates from Sparsholt are proper numptys who you couldn’t trust to shut a gate behind them , but the big shoots want Sparsholt graduates. Once you yet your job you will start off as a “trainee” then under keeper then after a few years beat keeper then you when you feel confident or you have enough of a good reputation and experience a head keepers job . But a word of warning, don’t just take any job because there are some real twats for head keepers who  treat young lads like shit . I’ve seen some good lads broken by these knob heads . Look for a job where there is a low turnover of shoot staff . If you do this you can rightly assume that the head keeper is fair . I hope you follow what you want to do . It’s better to try it than live your life regretting not having followed your passion. It’s hard work though and for a lot of young lads it comes as a bit of a shock . Especially when all the rest of the world is going out enjoying themselves and going on summer holidays.....you can kiss your social life goodbye and also any women in your life will have to be “on board “ because it affects every aspect of your life . It’s not 9-5 it’s 24_7 , and it takes a special woman to put up with it . Good luck 👍

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 Its some of the farmers that dont help too,our small sydicate./farmers shoot is over 5 farms,some dont want straw put down,some grub all the ditches out,all covers gone 4 weeks before we shoot,let friends with dogs run threw the woods,some 1hr before shoot starts,have chainsaws going in woods just as poults have been released,ask if we need help 2 weeks before oct 1st,had a load of pheasants in a field of turnips,asked farmer not to put sheep on  it until sunday,turn up sat to push it out,sheep on it grazing.and so on。i noticed one yr while on quad alot of snipe,said to the boys sat,shall we go snipe shooting,they laughed,said thier woodcock mate,no snipe round here.anyway walked it up flushed 11.all snipe

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1 hour ago, Qbgrey said:

 Its some of the farmers that dont help too,our small sydicate./farmers shoot is over 5 farms,some dont want straw put down,some grub all the ditches out,all covers gone 4 weeks before we shoot,let friends with dogs run threw the woods,some 1hr before shoot starts,have chainsaws going in woods just as poults have been released,ask if we need help 2 weeks before oct 1st,had a load of pheasants in a field of turnips,asked farmer not to put sheep on  it until sunday,turn up sat to push it out,sheep on it grazing.and so on。i noticed one yr while on quad alot of snipe,said to the boys sat,shall we go snipe shooting,they laughed,said thier woodcock mate,no snipe round here.anyway walked it up flushed 11.all snipe

Not a big fan of keepers at all are you ? 

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10 hours ago, LukeandLou said:

I’m 19 and I’ve been interested in game keeping all my life. Always had working dogs always worked my dog’s, love the great outdoors. There’s nothing more I’d love than to be a gamekeeper it would be like winning the lottery. I know there are cons too but I wouldn’t care, I have never seen any opportunity’s to introduce my self to game keeping! Is it just knowing the right people or what? 

I think your quite vague here ... do you beat? Are you composed enough to talk to people ? The list goes on 

in reality your 19 pal , you haven’t been able to get out and prat anything that moves or go out on the piss as a younger man should be. 
 

I wouldn’t tolerate keeping as a career for my kids , but bluntly it’s not all cabbing around with a terrier or two or scuffing over a fallow . It’s a big lifestyle job and for the MAJORITY a low reward. 

i know a lot of keepers struggling as a family and a lot of ex keepers who can’t believe they did it for as long as they did. 

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