What should I consider when applying for a gamekeeping job?

ask the experts

ask the experts - Credit: Archant

The Sparsholt Team offer expert advice on some things to consider when applying for a job in gamekeeping...

Q: I have noticed a boom in the number of gamekeeping jobs available this year and would like to progress my career to the next level. What should I take into consideration when applying for jobs in the gamekeeping profession?

THE SPARSHOLT TEAM replies: This seems to be the case; however, your first port of call should be to avoid the jobs that you see appearing every year, sometimes more than once. These jobs could be either badly paid, mismanaged, or simply overwork the keepers to breaking point. Sure, an estate can employ a bad apple that interviews well and doesn’t fulfil their role, but can there really be that many bad keepers out there?

Once you have avoided these positions your next line of investigation is to contact any and all the people you know in the profession, as we all know the keepering world is very small and bad news travels faster than good. If they come back with positive/no feedback, send in your CV. Hopefully you will then be asked to attend the interview with the current keeper, showing a good relationship between owner and employee. Who better to tell you about life on the estate than the horse’s mouth?

Before attending the interview it’s always worth running an internet search on the shoot and its owners, as this can reveal interesting information, both good and bad, which may help in the interview. If the interview is to be held with the agent or landowner, don’t be scared to ask questions such as: How long was the previous keeper employed for? Why did they leave? Are they available to be contacted should I need to ask anything further regarding the estate? If these come back with quick and clear answers, hopefully the estate should be a respectable place to work, offering you and your family security.

Though, as you know, you will probably not truly know what it’s like to work for someone new until you are there. Good luck!