Sunday Times Q & A – Game shoot
Question - I’d like to create a game shoot on some land I’m buying, how do I recruit a gamekeeper? TAS by email
A. There are around 3,000 full time gamekeepers in the UK, and a similar number who work part time. There are also many more who would like to become keepers, and it’s not unusual to have 100 or more applications for any jobs that are advertised. For anyone who loves shooting, rural life, working outdoors and independently, it can be the perfect job, and many employers will provide a vehicle and cottage. On the downside, it can be a tough, lonely career and frequently involves anti-social hours.
The National Gamekeepers Association (www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk) will be a good source of advice for both employers and applicants, and advertises gamekeeping jobs. In terms of publications, a lot of gamekeeping jobs are advertised in the Shooting Times (www.shootinguk.co.uk). Rather like a football manager, a keeper will often be judged on results, which may be the result of relatively few shoot days, regardless of all the hard work behind the scenes.
Two organisations that offer a shoot advisory service are the Game Conservancy Trust (www.gct.org.uk) and the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (www.basc.org.uk) and can help with starting a shoot from scratch.