Wednesday, 24th April 2019


Game farm workers and stalking ghillies work on game estates, assisting game keepers and beat keepers in general duties in game and wildlife management and during shoots. If they are not volunteering, they are usually training to become a game keeper or a beat keeper and gaining hands-on experience in all aspects of working on a game estate.

The term ghillie, apart from in angling, is most often used in Scotland and is used to describe an assistant during the shoot, who helps with the beating or picking up. Ghillies may also help with pest control on the estate. Stalking ghillies is the name given to assistants who work on game estates specialising in deer, and who will have different tasks from an assistant working on a bird game estate.

Game farm workers have a variety of general duties. Most of these tasks are practical, involving long periods of time working outside on the estate, maintaining game habitats and equipment.

Tasks of a game farm worker might include:

  • Monitoring and dealing with pests and predators
  • Constructing and maintaining land structures such as fences
  • Operating and repairing equipment and vehicles
  • Maintaining natural habitats
  • Rearing chicks and young game
  • Assisting on shoots and beating
  • Caring for gun dogs
  • Collecting bird or deer carcasses
  • Maintaining site health and safety procedures

Duties of a game farm worker or a stalking ghillie will vary according to the estate, the type of game farmed and the size of the estate workforce. They may assist one gamekeeper, or a number of them, depending on the size of the estate. Either way, game farm workers and ghillies have a great opportunity to learn the day-to-day running of a game estate, and with the right skills and technical experience, they can progress become more experienced game keepers.