Keeper of the forest and wildlife
Animal and habitat management: Game keeping is an occupation related to maintaining and protecting the natural wildlife of Red Deer and various types of birds on large estates in Great Britain and Europe.
Control predators and wildlife population: A Gamekeeper protected the wildlife population by trapping and killing wild boar, foxes, bears, and lions. Wildlife population control was maintained by planned annual hunting seasons which was the sport of the upper classes.
Provide shelter for a wide variety of animal and plant species: The maintenance of wildlife through the breeding of pheasants, partidges and ducks in the lowland areas. In the Scottish Highlands, the gamekeeper maintains herds of wild red deer that roam his employer's estate.
Law enforcer: To catch and punish poachers. Established hunting seasons. Protect falcons and swans.
. Reference: Bryan Alexander, "Keepers of the Games," International Wildlife, Volume 18, Sept/Oct 1989, pp. 34-37.
The hunt in Scotland is of very ancient origin and many a king of England and Scotland traveled north to participate in the sport which lasted for a week or longer. Scottish nobility who participated in hunts included Malcolm III, Alexander III, James III, James IV, James V, James the VI of Scotland and 1st of England, and Mary Queen of Scots.
Much of Scotland was at one time covered with vast tracts of forest which lent itself to the sport. The forests became protected and reserved for royal hunts only.
The kings territorial rights entitled him to have possession of large forests and big stocks of game. The middle class hardly ever possessed the right to hunt for large game. Royal hunting lodges were established, providing a place of recreation and pleasure situated close to the hunting grounds.
Scottish noblemen were appointed as foresters and given rights of tenure of a section of land by the king. The foresters were the "keepers of the royal forest," employing a gamekeeper, and at hunting time - huntsmen, falconry men, and hound boys. Starting in the 16th century houses were provided in the royal forests for gamekeepers.
Many a king brought his favorite hunting dogs with him. A prized possession. They hunted Red deer, wild bears, sows, and boars. Also beasts of Prey: bear, wolf, lynx, beaver, badger, fox, otter, and wild cats.
Reference: Erich Hobusch, "Fair Game," Arco Publishing, Inc. New York
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