Career change

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Climbing trees 5 days a week is blody hard work, esp if u doing it properly and no spikes and not using a SRT set up.

I would imgine u'd stand more chance of a job at a small estate also doing forestry work than with FC as a stand alone ranger/stalker.
Ur experience/skill/tickets will mean nothing to FC as they don't need tree surgeons/cutters, but to a small estate it would be a very handy skills to have and likely set u apart from a lot of the other applicants.

U do often see general estate workers/foresters/gardeners/stalkers/keepers jobs advertised now and again.
But some bosses when giving u multiple 'job' titles expect miricales and expect u to be doing the work of 2-3 FT staff.

But a lot might depend on jimbo's question above?
Plus if looking to go in at 'pro' level ur looking at DSC 1+2, mibee quad/tractor tickets, probably EFAW+F (most arb boys don't bother with the +F)
 

palframan5

Well-Known Member
I’m fairly new ( last couple years ) to red deer stalking and even tho I was well warned ......
Roe stalking doesn’t prepare you for this
When you have 8 or 9 hinds down and start getting them together whilst someone goes to get Argo ... even after gralloch ... getting them together ...... bu44er me!!!

Even going downhill you hit hags and bumps and your going up again to get them over ....

Burns that might be only 6 ft wide but 5ft deep and need to get them over to get them to Argo at closest point!

It’s still an eye opener couple years in & I wish to hell I’d been able to do it when younger.

Hats off to the guys that do this 6 days a week ....

The. You get them back to the larder and work starts all over again & standards NEED to be worthwhile ....

Then your home get your self and your kit all sorted out & you’ve barely time for decent **** eye and it starts all over .

Just be real honest with yourself that your doing it for right reasons

&
That if you do .... then give it every bl00dy thing you’ve got ! Mean it

A’the best

Pau

Thanks Paul.

I greatly appreciate the advice. I am fairly new to stalking but every time i have been out i have absolutely loved it. The reason for me thinking about a career change is that i know i will not be able to shift 10-20 ton of timber everyday for all my life and i when the time comes i would like to be doing a job that i enjoy rather than someone who wines about how much they hate their job.

I know that stalking is hard work but at least it is not as difficult as what i am doing now.


Thankyou very much for your advice, i am thankful for all the advice i can get.

Many thanks
Richard
 

palframan5

Well-Known Member
Fail.

I didn't mean to offend.

Actually I am also very familiar with tree surgery.

Make no mistake. Professionally managing deer is no easy job, Physically, Mentally or the effect or sacrifice not only you will make but your family.

If your only motivation is that you want an job that is physically easier as you get older then with respect I would suggest you are looking at the job through rose tinted specs.
Jubnut

I'm not quite sure why i have "failed" in your words?


Look, I'm not sure if we have started off on the wrong foot or something, and if thats my fault i genuinely apologize. However i came on here after some genuine advice not for a sarcastic comment.

I understand that stalking is no easy job but neither is tree surgery. I have a small company with one 3 employees and we dont have any fancy machinery (with the exception of a chipper), hence everything from climbing, dragging brash and moving logs is all done by hand. I want to continue to do a job i enjoy when i am too old for tree work hence i am thinking about stalking. I am going into this open minded and i am prepared to start at the bottom.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Jubnut

I'm not quite sure why i have "failed" in your words?


Look, I'm not sure if we have started off on the wrong foot or something, and if thats my fault i genuinely apologize. However i came on here after some genuine advice not for a sarcastic comment.

I understand that stalking is no easy job but neither is tree surgery. I have a small company with one 3 employees and we dont have any fancy machinery (with the exception of a chipper), hence everything from climbing, dragging brash and moving logs is all done by hand. I want to continue to do a job i enjoy when i am too old for tree work hence i am thinking about stalking. I am going into this open minded and i am prepared to start at the bottom.
I don't know how old you are but aStalker/Keepers job is very hard to get into after 30 even with all the attributes you may have. You would definitely have to start at the bottom and if you were under me you would not do any culling or client work until I was satisfied. It could mean 3 or more years dragging and larder work with no actual stalking. You would be surprised how many think it is a wonderful life and give up in the first year. I was fortunate that I was super fit when I started and had been in some serious sh1t so was tough enough. I wish you all the luck in the world but have a serious think and consult your family.
 

lw woodlands

Well-Known Member
In the meantime I will do what lw woodlands suggested and try and get in with the FC now.
To clarify, i meant you might get a nice job with the fc but its unlikely to be stalking. You'll need to have all the stalking qualifications, wildlife management experience and a good knowledge of ecology, even then you'll be at the back of a long queue for ranger positions!
Use your tree experience to get into woodland management on private estates, that may lead into some deer management opportunities.
All the best.
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
If you have had say 20 years in the business then hire a young un and then do the managing of all your contacts and let the young ones do the hard work.
Should be easier than jumping ship.
BB
A real career change,what about a location change?
Want unlimited deer hunting?
Relocate to Victoria, Australia, we have lots of trees and I see TS are in short supply going on the amount of wanted ads over the years.
A true TS would stay on the ground allocating the tasks to the others in no time.
Btw a lot of the TS work here is carried out with very high lift cherry pickers,no ropes!

Read second line again ha ha.
 

jubnut

Well-Known Member
Jubnut

I'm not quite sure why i have "failed" in your words?


Look, I'm not sure if we have started off on the wrong foot or something, and if thats my fault i genuinely apologize. However i came on here after some genuine advice not for a sarcastic comment.

I understand that stalking is no easy job but neither is tree surgery. I have a small company with one 3 employees and we dont have any fancy machinery (with the exception of a chipper), hence everything from climbing, dragging brash and moving logs is all done by hand. I want to continue to do a job i enjoy when i am too old for tree work hence i am thinking about stalking. I am going into this open minded and i am prepared to start at the bottom.
No sarcasm.

The fail comment referred to your attitude that you would only shoot deer that you had to drag downhill. I appreciate that comment might have been tongue in cheek.

I understand that what you are doing now is hard graft but realistically it isn't any more so than a career in deer management. I know stalkers in their late thirties, 40's 50's with knackered knees, knackered backs, shoulders etc etc that are considering the very same thing you are... A career change to an easier job.

In your original post your main motivation appeared to be that you thought stalking would be a job to almost retire into, I am just trying to make the point that it is very physically demanding, every bit as demanding as working on a saw, climbing etc etc.

I am sorry to be negative - Make the career change because you love it. The job satisfaction is immense, it's without a doubt the best career in the world. Just don't underestimate the hard work and sacrifice you and your family will have to make.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 

sauer

Well-Known Member
Thanks Paul.

I greatly appreciate the advice. I am fairly new to stalking but every time i have been out i have absolutely loved it. The reason for me thinking about a career change is that i know i will not be able to shift 10-20 ton of timber everyday for all my life and i when the time comes i would like to be doing a job that i enjoy rather than someone who wines about how much they hate their job.

I know that stalking is hard work but at least it is not as difficult as what i am doing now.


Thankyou very much for your advice, i am thankful for all the advice i can get.

Many thanks
Richard


Don’t know if “advice” as such


I’m already in your not wanting to be place !

Bitching and moaning about my job !

I shouldn’t it’s put a roof and still puts a roof over my head but at 44 young family etc mortgage I just can’t cut and run retrain take the huge lifestyle change and more importantly that money drop .

Easier if no dependents I guess .

Whatever you choose ... be happy ... I just do what I do knowing it’s for a purpose .... then come home and try to hunt whenever I can family time & cash willing!

Paul
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
My advice is, if you are passionate about deer control or keepering then go for it. Your current saw and climbing skills might help with jobs on estates more than FC ranger posts. Doing deer control for a living can be physically demanding in many ways. Dragging deer is just part of it. Getting in and out of bed at all different times is difficult esp. in a family situation. Contract culling is another option where your saw/climbing skills could be used during summer months when you might be quiet on culling. On this note try getting in touch with contractors to see if you can give them a hand and that way you can get a taste for it.

I would say explore as many options as possible and just keep trying for any opportunities. Remember a big part of deer control is perseverance and determination. Hard work is not easy but can be addictive. Good luck with your future
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Paul.

I greatly appreciate the advice. I am fairly new to stalking but every time i have been out i have absolutely loved it.
Remove the rose coloured spectacles there is no comparison between doing it as a hobby and doing it as a job.
If you really really want to do it as career go for it and I wish you well but go into it with your eyes open, reading your posts you seem to have a somewhat unrealistic idea of what you can achieve.
While a stalkers is not great as a newcomer at best your are only likely to get a job as a trainee, expect to put in about four years before being accepted as a stalker thats doing al! The menial tasks with very little actual stalking unless you are very lucky ,unfortunatley along with the menial tasks comes a menial pay packet.
As for your idea of securing a job in estate management any such Job will almost invariably require having completed a three year college course or better still a university degree.
As someone already said you will from time see estate jobs for keeper/stalker/forester/gardener etc. etc. the truth is these jobs are hard to do justice to as they are all full time jobs in their own right so it ends up none gets done as well as they should.do
Also bare in mind the financial implications as a tree surgeon you will probably earn as much in a day as a stalker does in a week.
A stalkers salary somewhere around £20,000 per annum maybe up to about £24,000 if you are lucky of course there are perks to go along with that you will be provided with a house which can be a double edged sword , most get their community charge paid, many will get a % of costs such as heating,electricity and telephone,and of course a vehicle will be provided.

If its what you want go for it! But with your eyes wide open not through rose coloured spectacles.
In spite of all that I have said I would do it all again.

Boggy
 
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palframan5

Well-Known Member
My advice is, if you are passionate about deer control or keepering then go for it. Your current saw and climbing skills might help with jobs on estates more than FC ranger posts. Doing deer control for a living can be physically demanding in many ways. Dragging deer is just part of it. Getting in and out of bed at all different times is difficult esp. in a family situation. Contract culling is another option where your saw/climbing skills could be used during summer months when you might be quiet on culling. On this note try getting in touch with contractors to see if you can give them a hand and that way you can get a taste for it.

I would say explore as many options as possible and just keep trying for any opportunities. Remember a big part of deer control is perseverance and determination. Hard work is not easy but can be addictive. Good luck with your future
Thank you.

How do I find a contractor?
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
I read your post with interest. I am a 45 year old tree surgeon. The same question -what next? vexes me greatly. This is a hard job. Its not just the physical, its the fact you also need to keep to schedule or you lose badly if it is your own business and you have a full diary and you must do that while damaging nothing. They are three different stresses that wear you down. It was a bad career choice when I could have done just about anything. I liked a challenge back then when I was younger. I liked the outdoors and I didn't imagine I would have many children to feed either. Lawyers and accountants seemed very dull. Now going out in the dark before even the deer move to do a big hard job, come home and sharpen my saws in the dark, then go on line and talk to clients seems very dull indeed and those who have more money to spend and who are not forced out into the rain to do dangerous stuff with low public respect are much wiser men who can then spend that extra money doing what they want later.

I think the mistake was doing what I fancied not what people value. I am not doing that again if I ever manage to give up my business. Giving up something successful is hard even if you don't enjoy it.

My own present solution is to get my fingers in as many pies as possible that are related to my job and my interest (maybe too many pies??) I train tree surgeons sometimes (which is rewarding). I do arboricultural consultancy work (which is dull but involves no heavy lifting) and I am wondering what I can do with a piece of woodland I own (maybe train tree surgeons/ tree fellers?) I also wonder about a bit of pest control. Shooting deer and foxes for free is fun, doing it for money would be harder because it must fit with the client's time table and fast results are wanted but doing just a bit, as a side line only, might be OK. I would not give it all up to do something that means starting again against younger men who need less money and have more energy. My wife is always saying I should charge for pest control and I am always saying maybe one day but not now when I am too busy to do it professionally but like it when I have time.

I expect you, like I, have sometimes worked for land owners who keep men to do the grounds. I think such people would probably snap you up and the right one would soon be sending pest control your way in paid time. But you would need to get the right one. Sometimes you talk to the men and they are happy and other times they are pushing them too hard in too many directions and they hate it. I would have thought that such a job might be fairly easy to come by if you have the luxury of keeping on working and then applying for only the jobs you want. I think your tree skills might be very much in demand (on little more than gardeners wages of course) and in the right place you would get to shoot deer and be paid for it. It could be a good move if you can get into being a normal employee again. Most tree surgeons are quite free characters and the sort of jobs I am describing may better suit ex soldiers who are used to toeing a line.

To fully turn course and become a forester in one's middle years is not easy I think. Its a lot less about what you can do with a chain saw I think and more about efficient planning and use of large machinery -the sort of thing you need to do for years to get good at -just like reading a big dismantle 3 times as fast as the lad who has only beenclimbing 2 years is not much about climbing speed or saw skills but about planning ahead and reading the tree to make the minimum moves.

A tree surgeon I know's brother was mad to be a stalker and plugged away at the applications and did get a job culling red deer and a cottage to go with it in some far away midge filled place and hated it in the end (so I was told). I dare say the jobs exist but you may be exchanging one low public esteem outdoor grind for another in a place where you are a stranger rather than one of the good old local boys.

Anyway good luck. I would be interested to talk to you and see how you solve the problem. It occupies me a lot too.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I read your post with interest. I am a 45 year old tree surgeon. The same question -what next? vexes me greatly. This is a hard job. Its not just the physical, its the fact you also need to keep to schedule or you lose badly if it is your own business and you have a full diary and you must do that while damaging nothing. They are three different stresses that wear you down. It was a bad career choice when I could have done just about anything. I liked a challenge back then when I was younger. I liked the outdoors and I didn't imagine I would have many children to feed either. Lawyers and accountants seemed very dull. Now going out in the dark before even the deer move to do a big hard job, come home and sharpen my saws in the dark, then go on line and talk to clients seems very dull indeed and those who have more money to spend and who are not forced out into the rain to do dangerous stuff with low public respect are much wiser men who can then spend that extra money doing what they want later.

I think the mistake was doing what I fancied not what people value. I am not doing that again if I ever manage to give up my business. Giving up something successful is hard even if you don't enjoy it.

My own present solution is to get my fingers in as many pies as possible that are related to my job and my interest (maybe too many pies??) I train tree surgeons sometimes (which is rewarding). I do arboricultural consultancy work (which is dull but involves no heavy lifting) and I am wondering what I can do with a piece of woodland I own (maybe train tree surgeons/ tree fellers?) I also wonder about a bit of pest control. Shooting deer and foxes for free is fun, doing it for money would be harder because it must fit with the client's time table and fast results are wanted but doing just a bit, as a side line only, might be OK. I would not give it all up to do something that means starting again against younger men who need less money and have more energy. My wife is always saying I should charge for pest control and I am always saying maybe one day but not now when I am too busy to do it professionally but like it when I have time.

I expect you, like I, have sometimes worked for land owners who keep men to do the grounds. I think such people would probably snap you up and the right one would soon be sending pest control your way in paid time. But you would need to get the right one. Sometimes you talk to the men and they are happy and other times they are pushing them too hard in too many directions and they hate it. I would have thought that such a job might be fairly easy to come by if you have the luxury of keeping on working and then applying for only the jobs you want. I think your tree skills might be very much in demand (on little more than gardeners wages of course) and in the right place you would get to shoot deer and be paid for it. It could be a good move if you can get into being a normal employee again. Most tree surgeons are quite free characters and the sort of jobs I am describing may better suit ex soldiers who are used to toeing a line.

To fully turn course and become a forester in one's middle years is not easy I think. Its a lot less about what you can do with a chain saw I think and more about efficient planning and use of large machinery -the sort of thing you need to do for years to get good at -just like reading a big dismantle 3 times as fast as the lad who has only beenclimbing 2 years is not much about climbing speed or saw skills but about planning ahead and reading the tree to make the minimum moves.

A tree surgeon I know's brother was mad to be a stalker and plugged away at the applications and did get a job culling red deer and a cottage to go with it in some far away midge filled place and hated it in the end (so I was told). I dare say the jobs exist but you may be exchanging one low public esteem outdoor grind for another in a place where you are a stranger rather than one of the good old local boys.

Anyway good luck. I would be interested to talk to you and see how you solve the problem. It occupies me a lot too.
What an insightful and well-considered post.
Kind regards,
Carl
 

Teazel

Active Member
If its what you want to do mate stick your sights on it and keep trudging forward, you should start heading toward your DSC2, regardless of what some may think of the system its getting to be the benchmark these days. Going through the DSC1 to 2 is an interesting journey. And all those on this post that think dragging a red deer around a hill is more difficult that want you do now then I suggest they have never been hanging 60ft up a tree with a chainsaw. I can still drag deer around but you wouldn't get me back up a tree now :) Who said that most of the 'arb' boys he knew didn't have +F, you won't get on forestry without it round here? Maybe an course of game keeping, plenty of books etc but just stick at it, determination usually sorts the do's and the don'ts. Good luck with it.
 

palframan5

Well-Known Member
I read your post with interest. I am a 45 year old tree surgeon. The same question -what next? vexes me greatly. This is a hard job. Its not just the physical, its the fact you also need to keep to schedule or you lose badly if it is your own business and you have a full diary and you must do that while damaging nothing. They are three different stresses that wear you down. It was a bad career choice when I could have done just about anything. I liked a challenge back then when I was younger. I liked the outdoors and I didn't imagine I would have many children to feed either. Lawyers and accountants seemed very dull. Now going out in the dark before even the deer move to do a big hard job, come home and sharpen my saws in the dark, then go on line and talk to clients seems very dull indeed and those who have more money to spend and who are not forced out into the rain to do dangerous stuff with low public respect are much wiser men who can then spend that extra money doing what they want later.

I think the mistake was doing what I fancied not what people value. I am not doing that again if I ever manage to give up my business. Giving up something successful is hard even if you don't enjoy it.

My own present solution is to get my fingers in as many pies as possible that are related to my job and my interest (maybe too many pies??) I train tree surgeons sometimes (which is rewarding). I do arboricultural consultancy work (which is dull but involves no heavy lifting) and I am wondering what I can do with a piece of woodland I own (maybe train tree surgeons/ tree fellers?) I also wonder about a bit of pest control. Shooting deer and foxes for free is fun, doing it for money would be harder because it must fit with the client's time table and fast results are wanted but doing just a bit, as a side line only, might be OK. I would not give it all up to do something that means starting again against younger men who need less money and have more energy. My wife is always saying I should charge for pest control and I am always saying maybe one day but not now when I am too busy to do it professionally but like it when I have time.

I expect you, like I, have sometimes worked for land owners who keep men to do the grounds. I think such people would probably snap you up and the right one would soon be sending pest control your way in paid time. But you would need to get the right one. Sometimes you talk to the men and they are happy and other times they are pushing them too hard in too many directions and they hate it. I would have thought that such a job might be fairly easy to come by if you have the luxury of keeping on working and then applying for only the jobs you want. I think your tree skills might be very much in demand (on little more than gardeners wages of course) and in the right place you would get to shoot deer and be paid for it. It could be a good move if you can get into being a normal employee again. Most tree surgeons are quite free characters and the sort of jobs I am describing may better suit ex soldiers who are used to toeing a line.

To fully turn course and become a forester in one's middle years is not easy I think. Its a lot less about what you can do with a chain saw I think and more about efficient planning and use of large machinery -the sort of thing you need to do for years to get good at -just like reading a big dismantle 3 times as fast as the lad who has only beenclimbing 2 years is not much about climbing speed or saw skills but about planning ahead and reading the tree to make the minimum moves.

A tree surgeon I know's brother was mad to be a stalker and plugged away at the applications and did get a job culling red deer and a cottage to go with it in some far away midge filled place and hated it in the end (so I was told). I dare say the jobs exist but you may be exchanging one low public esteem outdoor grind for another in a place where you are a stranger rather than one of the good old local boys.

Anyway good luck. I would be interested to talk to you and see how you solve the problem. It occupies me a lot too.
Silvius, that was a cracking post mate, its nice to know that other people are in the same position. You are right to assume that it's my business.

I just have no idea about how to do the transitions but hopefully like you suggest some of my clients might be able to help.

Thanks
 

Silvius

Well-Known Member
Yeah I think that clients can be a great source of information. A person rarely gets to own a lot of trees that regularly need a tree surgeon unless he managed to succeed in life. Successful people know useful stuff and have successful friends. Clients have taught me a lot about life over cups of tea and offered me a lot of useful contacts too. Its that degrees of separation thing. When you are starting with successful people with good contacts (most clients who regularly need you more than once a year fall into this category), you are a lot closer to the kind of people who could give you a job. I would mention your ambition to every successful client you have whom you don't know to be an anti.

I bet that working for the forestry commission is going to be one of those things where a large employer that is very keen on compliance usually demands certain experience and qualifications. Unless you approach them when they are unexpectedly desperate for staff, you are going to be banging on a closed door unless you present the right ticks in the right boxes. When you get all the ticks, you will suddenly be pushing on an open door because you are then one of a limited group of people they can recruit.

The other thing I can think of is; you know when a lad with minimal industry experience rings you up out of the blue saying he wants to be a tree surgeon and asks for work... What happens next usually depends on what he says he is going to charge you. If he wants £80 a day, then you are only going to say yes if you are totally desperate. If, however, he says he will come out for free to get a bit of work experience you say "Yes no problem, come for a week if you like. You won't necessarily get your hands on a saw unless we have spare time but you will learn to feed a wood chipper and see how a site works". If he makes it to the end of the week, you will call him next time you are desperate and give him the £80 a day because he knows your systems. Soon you will call him more and more often. You will tell him which tickets to do, maybe even train him for a couple of tickets to save him the course fees. You will tell him what gear to buy and what is a luxury. You will probably even tell him who else to work for. It all started because he said he would come for free and do anything you wanted and you respected his ambition and desire to work his way. Why not search on line for "deer control" and then email them setting out your experience and asking them if you can be an unpaid and not necessarily shooting helper for a week?

Best wishes,
 

Dan Newcombe

Well-Known Member
I am afraid that speak from the point of view as someone who employs a lot of this role I would not give you a job based on what I see here.

Stalking / Keepering isn’t something that you pick up as you bobble along as a way of life. It is something employers expect you to know from the off. You would probably be desirable for the saw work and I have lads who have done the same - self employed to estate men very successfully but not to the keepering. There are a lot of guys wanting those jobs who are qualified and experienced.

The ‘failed’ comment I totally understand. When you are being paid to shoot deer it is a very different proposition to recreational stalking.

You also won’t get a job with the FC, it’s a tough gig to get at the best of time.

Off siding for a contractor is an option but the pay is likely to be minimal if it even exists and trying to do that AND a job full time is tough but you will get the experience.

Totally understand your desire to plan for the future and it’s a good idea but you need to realistically asses the skill set you have and how you might gain those skills you need.
 

CarlW

Well-Known Member
I think it is very honest of Dan Newcombe to share his reaction.

I also think that the comment that "I'll make sure I only pull the trigger when it's a down hill drag with the deer!!!" accounts for much of the negative reaction you are getting. If an employee said that to me (in whatever context), they would be unemployed before they finished the sentence. And my poor buggers have to recover elephants (both uphill and downhill, albeit in bits!).

The job of an FC ranger or deer contractor (or any professional manager of wildlife) is one of the roughest types of jobs out there. It is not an easy option or a retirement option: it is an all-consuming way of life. And, unfortunately, both metaphorically and litetally, much of it is an uphill drag.

Good luck!

Carl
 

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