There’s no substitute for experience if you want to be successful as a gamekeeper so what better way to ‘make it’ than an Apprenticeship in the industry.
Would you rather spend a day at the shopping centre? Or would you prefer walking in the countryside breathing in that fresh air, the aroma of freshly cut grass, listening to the birds singing and taking in the tranquillity that nature provides? If you chose the latter then a gamekeeper Apprenticeship might just suit you down to a T.
So what is a gamekeeper?
A gamekeeper plays a vital role in its upkeep and the diversity of wildlife that lives in it. It’s all about managing areas of woodland, moorland, waterway or farmland for the benefit of game birds, deer, fish, and other wildlife in general. Be prepared for long hours and work that can be physically demanding, but you’ll reap the benefits of discovering something that isn’t known to anyone else, you could even become best friends with your own little Bambi.
About the Apprenticeship
Starting out in the gamekeeping industry used to be much more straightforward than it is today. Prior to today you would begin on the rearing field or in the beating line and then work your way up with no formal training required, just a willingness to work hard and put in the hours. Sounds rather simple doesn’t it? Now employers want to see qualifications from young people, but a practical job such as gamekeeping can’t be learned in the classroom alone. It is an industry where there is no substitute for experience. The way forward is an Apprenticeship that allows you to gain this experience and learn while studying the profession at the same time.
As an Apprentice gamekeeper your daily duties would include:
- Cleaning, ensuring they are fed and watered in the rearing pen
- Assisting in the organisation of shoots
- Clearing woodland and burning heather
- Protecting game from poachers and predators
- Training and working with gun dogs breeding game birds for release
- Keeping record of catches and arranging sale of game
No two days will ever be the same, you’ll always have to deal with something new so if you want a job that works with the rhythm of nature and not the monotonous nine-to-five routine then look no further.
Although progression routes are fairly restricted, with experience your prospects open and you can advance to head gamekeeper.
BONUS POINT: Most employers of gamekeepers, whether you’re a head or under keeper provide you with a vehicle and free/subsidised living accommodation. It’s a win win situation if you love the great outdoors.