The English Gamekeeper..an introduction
Last Post 28 Mar 2011 04:06 PM by birdshot. 4 Replies.
Author Messages
The English GamekeeperUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:2 The English Gamekeeper
--
26 Feb 2011 06:51 AM

    Hi everyone, first may I congratulate you all on a fantastic website, all very interesting how you cousins conduct your hunts, and are so passionate in doing so, even among the worldwide negativeness of hunting in general. I have being a gamekeeper in England for the last twenty years or so, and have worked for a number of Dukes and Duchesses, and have presented shoots for many of the landed gentry and even members of the royal family. I have worked with Red Grouse, pheasant, partridge and duck, as well as looked after deer herds. I have of course extensive experience with many gundog breeds, and trapping of course.

    We are an incredibley small island, and at this time under immense pressure from legislation and the public in general about hunting, shooting and all the conservation issues that surround it. The general public are mostly misinformed.

    Well, why am I here?....I was hoping to obtain some first class information from across the pond relating to employment prospects within the USA, if there are any, and how would an English Gamekeeper go about finding a post if they are available. I am at the time in my life when a new horizon beckons.

    Hope some of you may be able to help, Kind Regards, Davy

    PorknbeansUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:542 Porknbeans
    --
    01 Mar 2011 04:30 PM
    Davy, welcome to the site. Like the rest of the world jobs are few and hard to find. Disposable income is also at a low. I'm afraid I'm not much help for you but please feel free to enlighten us on how things are on the other side of the pond whenever you want.
    Porknbeans Grand High Pooba of the Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
    The English GamekeeperUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:2 The English Gamekeeper
    --
    05 Mar 2011 05:11 AM

    Hi, thanks for the reply, I was starting to think I had said something that had upset you all!

    Well, where do I start, over here in the UK we have a tradition of bird shooting going back since the shotgun was invented, and its popularity peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, which was then a pastime only of the very wealthy. Times have changed however, and although driven shooting (birds driven over the shooters) still is quite expensive, it is not out of the reach for everyday working men and women. Bird shooting over dogs is still practised, by all the classes, grouse being the most expensive, whilst pheasants and partridge can be aquired quite cheaply. I have worked on estates that have produced bags of 4000 pheasants in one day, which is a sight to see, where gun barrels become too hot to hold, and have also worked on grouse moors, which is the pinnacle of driven game shooting over here because of the speed and agilty of the target. I have met many guns from the states who often book year after year for their grouse shooting, including some quite prominant figures.

    My favourite type of shooting is when I and two or three friends shoot over cocker and springer spaniels which flush the birds from hedgerows and bracken beds, to see the dogs work is a good as the shooting. We someimes may use pointers, depending on the habitat, and labradors are more or less used for retriveing only.

    Many shooting estates have woodland that was planted hundreds of years ago specifically for pheasant shooting, taking into account which way the birds will be driven to produce testing targets.

    It is all big buisness over here, with around 3500 full time gamekeepers employed, although that sounds a lot, we are a very small country, with diminishing countryside because of urban sprawl, most of the population reside in towns or cities and have none or little education into the realities of managing wildlife and habitats. Because of this we are constanly under pressure, with tighter gun laws and restrictions on wildlife management, but as we all know, times moves on, and so we must with it. One thing does not change however, we still wear victorian style tweed for shoot days, with many estates having their own style cloth woven for their gamekeepers, this is because of the desire to acknowledge the tradition, as well as enjoy the sport.

     

     

    PorknbeansUser is Offline Master Hunter Master Hunter Send Private Message Posts:542 Porknbeans
    --
    11 Mar 2011 10:24 AM
    Sorry for my delay but I've been crazy busy lately.

    Thanks for the feedback and the explanation. How do you do your hunts? Are there clubs that you join? Is it on a "per hunt basis"? Do you get birds with your memberships? Over here there are a thousand different types of clubs with each one having slightly different variations on the memberships. Most of the higher end places that I've seen have expansive grounds with top notch amenities. The hunting experience is not as much the focus as much as being a member of a club. However, most of the gamefarms are small, mom and pop places that offer modest amenities, modest prices with focus on the birds and fields.
    Porknbeans Grand High Pooba of the Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
    birdshotUser is Offline Pheasant Egg Pheasant Egg Send Private Message Posts:25 birdshot
    --
    28 Mar 2011 04:06 PM
    Howdy Gamekeeper, I just joined this forum myself. I have been training and hunting over springers for the last 20 years. The reason i became interested in springers was due to a Welsh gamekeeper who had taken a job on a ranch in south Texas, that was training springers. I am currently working on an English Cocker that is about 6 months old. He has a lot of english dogs on his pedigree. I know of another englishman who came over training dogs and after beating most of the field trialers, he opened his on successful kennel. I have always been amazed at his game shooting skills and dry wit. he could open a shooting clinic if he wanted.


    ---