Any gamekepers on here?

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
Part time only, if its entry to the profession unless you are qualified you will find it difficult to enter.
 
#7
As Ugly said you wont get anywhere without qualifications these days.
You may find this useful NGO Charitable Trust
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#9
Even then its not cheap, a beater on my shoot is on his second year at Plumpton and they make him pay for DSC1 etc. Mad really as he will likely need those, the college should include them along with tractors and chainsaws!
 
#10
Even then its not cheap, a beater on my shoot is on his second year at Plumpton and they make him pay for DSC1 etc. Mad really as he will likely need those, the college should include them along with tractors and chainsaws!
But on the plus side, he isn't paying Hartpury style fees and Plumpton is one hell of a lot prettier!

Just to echo what the others have said, it's Quals all the way now. Even baby underkeepers are expected to do day release, and conversely the number of positions for full time paid keeping has reduced dramtically in the last 15 years or so.

A shooting estate that I'm on fairly often has gone from a Head Keeper, Asst Keeper and Trainee/Lad to just a Keeper in 10 years. There has also been a big growth in self managed/kept syndicates with owner/keepers as money has become tighter.

There are still jobs there if you are good, dedicated and willing to put the hours in, but in a lot of cases diversification is the way forward. Hence a large emphasis on Conservation in modern courses.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
Thats the real problem, all those hard years at college and no paying job afterwards.
We had a syndicate member who really wanted to keeper for us so we all said ok. What he really wanted was to run the shoot. He left of his own accord as he couldnt understand the way syndicates work.
He had worked with the keeper at Firle for a few years and didnt understnd that he had to get agreement from everyone not to use vehicles to deliver feed, not to do this and that and in the end we sadly did little to stop him leaving. Syndicates have 2 classes of members, those that put in long hours and idle cnuts who ride along on the coat tails of others. Now I dont mind but when the idle ones whinge about the quality of the birds (when really they would struggle to hit a dokeys arse with a banjo when sat on it backwards) I tend to get ticked off and dont renew their membership!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
Most ag colleges accept a level of adult experience in addition to basic quals (maths, english etc) instead of recent school leavers chock full of useless GCSE's in community studies but will probably want an entrance exam or you to take additional exams whilst there unless sponsored by an employer.
Most employers wont take new starters unless sponsoring through a 2 or 3 year course in Keeping unless they already have the full course. A bit chicken and egg.
If you know a keeper then get some work experience in. Dont expect to be paid. its almost like the old apprenticeships.
Even when employed I'm surprised Keepers can save any money!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
I part-time keeper on our small shoot along with the farmer and one other. No Quals, No pay, but to me it is part of the lifestyle
Pretty much how more than about 75% of shoots operate in this country. Non commercial just mates having a good days walk with a shotgun and dogs.
If anything keepering costs me money and time.
I know many aspiring keepers have to do other work as even syndicate jobs pay very little, expenses and a few hundred a year/free gun in the shoot arrangement.
I have been approached a few times to keeper and to be honest its a calling not a job. I couldnt do it full time. Wife would leave me!
 
#18
Syndicates have 2 classes of members, those that put in long hours and idle cnuts who ride along on the coat tails of others.
There's a third type, the one who insists on doing everything himself, gets upset if anyone else 'muscles in' and has a hissy fit if anyone suggests a change to anything. Then he can't understand why people don't renew their membership.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
The 3rd type is pretty close to me. problem was the people making the suggestions werent, they were demanding more birds (despite being unable to hit the ones we put over them) and did feck all work anyway. No loss when they left!
I did let a lad keeper for us this year. he had a hissy and resigned because the syndicate diehards kept topping feeders. he wouldnt talk to people, just text me and then moan when I phoned him!
 
#20
I left a shoot last year where one bloke jealously guarded the role of 'keeper' but was ****-all use at it. Rarely filled the feeders (but kept the feed shed locked and had the only key), was totally disorganised, had blokes on opposite sides of hedges not knowing where the other was, radios never charged (but hid the chargers). Stuff like that. Oh yes, and invited 'beaters' whose dogs ran off - we'd see birds rising from a cover a mile off when someone's labrador had decided to go on ahead.
 
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