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Poachers & Austrian Gamekeepers


They say the best person to catch a poacher is.., well, another poacher, and for good reasons. A poacher understands how another thinks, how he might seek to misdirect, break the rules, cover his tracks and the motivations behind his actions. In this way, he can thwart or at least minimise the poachers “catch” seeing through thinly veiled excuses and mete out a suitable punishment. However, a gamekeeper who has never been a poacher himself is unlikely to possess this insight.


At the start of the race, the gamekeepers seemed to be a bit “sleepy” on the job, resulting in one of the more mature Spanish poachers commenting that others were snatching chickens right under their noses. No doubt after some furious clucking from the pit wall, they felt the need to “knee jerk.” Come the re-start, the pump-action penalty guns were, polished and brought to bear. Blasting at anyone who came close to the Koop - legitimate or otherwise. Leaving the poachers bemused as to how near they could or could not get to the chickens before getting “both barrels.”


This is becoming increasingly frustrating for the poachers since every time they go to a “New” farm, there seems to be a new set of gamekeepers with their own interpretation of the rules of engagement. Whilst they are not averse to pushing the limits and indulging in a little skulduggery… they do like to know where the chicken run boundaries start and end. It is then their choice or not if they want to run the risk of being “shot at.”


I do have some sympathy with the gamekeepers though since they are sometimes being asked to make objective judgements on matters that are quite clearly subjective. Such as did Poacher A force Poacher B into the chicken run…?

Every Poacher knows that if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time then expect to be “moved out the way” by the others. This is an unwritten poachers’ agreement between themselves. Yes, you can cry about it to your team… protest your victimhood to the media… all to cover up the fact you were a numpty for exposing yourself in the first place.


The problem is further exacerbated then if you then have a committee of gamekeepers to perform the task. Even though it contains a poacher who understands this to consult. A committee knows that to preserve their image of sage authority (and possibly dignity) they must present a common front - Safety in numbers etc. A lone “voice of reason” is then, likely to be over-ruled for the benefit of the common purpose. Resulting in proclamations that the earth is flat, Trump really did win the US election and that Lando Norris absolutely deserved to be penalised.

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