Hunting Experience – Scotland

The ultimate working holiday in the highlands of Scotland

The Ultimate OE Scottish Ghillie program is was new for 2018 and has been very successful to date. We can now safely say that we have two unique and rewarding hunting experiences both in Canada and now Scotland.

Scotland is a great mix of hunting, guiding, and culling Red Deer in Scotland. All of this, whilst getting paid.

Our unique model of training before you travel has allowed us to lock down paid positions ahead of time on the best hunting Estates in Scotland working as a Ghillie (stalkers assistant).

What is a Ghillie and what would I be doing in Scotland?

Ghillie is the term used for the “assistant stalker” on an Estate. A stalker or deerstalker is the individual employed by the estate responsible for all of the hunting, culling, guiding, and management of all deer species (and sometimes game birds) on the estate.

On arrival our cadets will be working as ghillies to help facilitate all of the tasks on the estate relating to game management, guiding, culling and hunting on the estate. Although wild game based activities will be the main focus there will also be a wide range of other work on the estate related to the day to day running of the property.

Loosely speaking there is a “guided” hunting season over the Roar (July – October) where trophy stags are harvested with guests, with some additional culling of poor genetic stags later in this period. This is then followed by a culling season (October – February) where the numbers of female deer are managed and culled back to a predetermined management threshold. All of the meat comes off the hill as whole carcasses (normally on horseback or with use of ATV’s such as ARGOS) and is processed at the estate before being sold into the wild game meat market in the UK.

Who should apply?

We’re looking for applicants who have a proven work ethic and a real passion for hunting and the outdoors. Long days spent on the hill, often in wet and windy conditions can be physically and mentally demanding. You should be able to (or willing to learn) how to work with horses and experience butchering and dressing game is a bonus.

Successful applicants will be expected to have good social skills and the ability to interact with both paying hunting guests, important guests of the estate, and other estate staff. Being presentable and working well with others is very important.

All applicants should be motivated by the experience of working in Scotland. This is not a get rich quick programme.

Eligibility requirements:

New Zealand and Australian passport holders must be 30 years of age or younger to qualify for the youth mobility visa. If you hold a British passport you do not require a visa or you may qualify for an ancestry visa if is that you can provide proof (original birth certificates) that you have a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man or they were born before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland.

We also require all successful applicants to complete a benchmark marksmanship test with a centre fire rifle at 100 meters and log a minimum of 10 hours horse riding/handling before we train in May. More details can be obtained for these prerequisites once you have submitted your application. 

UK visa fees and conditions:

Please note that the fees attached to acquiring your UK visa are a separate cost are not covered by your Ultimate OE package. Youth Mobility Visa Fee £235 + international health surcharge £300 (Will be increasing to £600 approximately on 6 April 2018).  Also to be allowed to enter the UK on a Working Holiday Visa you must show proof of having at least £1890 (approximately $4,500) in your bank account on the date you complete your visa application

Placement Details

Placements will be approximate 4.5 – 6 months* in duration with the option to work a second season (assuming you do well in your first season). All of our placements include a place to live on the estate for the duration of your employment and some meals (not all) will be provided (this varies from estate to estate).

You can expect to be paid on a “per day” basis and you will receive at a minimum the legal minimum wage in Scotland. Your employer will quickly align your wages to match the going rate once you have proved yourself to be a valuable employee but your primary motivation for travelling to Scotland should be the experience. If money is your motivation, then you’re likely not a good fit for the programme.

* These are approximate dates; season length is often dictated by weather, hunting conditions, cull numbers and the different operation models between different estates. The dates/seasons stated here is just a guide only based on an “average” season length.

How it Works

If you wish to be considered for the upcoming season you must submit an application (available online via this website) and agree to a preliminary interview with an Ultimate OE representative. Once accepted into the programme all cadets will attend our industry-specific Scottish hunting training where they learn the required material and assessed further. Once the training is complete and cadets have met all minimum requirements set by Ultimate OE and our employers, Ultimate OE will provide a paid placement in Scotland.

Where and when is the training course?

We’re now taking applications for 2020 Canadian hunting season.

Dates for the training course for 2020 will be the 18th of March (Wednesday) through to the 25th of March (Wednesday) 2020. 

Training will be based in the South Island out of Gunn’s Bush Camp, which is located ten minutes out of Waimate, New Zealand.

A shuttle from Christchurch airport will be available to transport successful applicants to and from the training facility in Waimate. 

Applications for the 2020 season are now open. Suitable applicants will be accepted on a first in first served basis and we expect that the 2020 season will fill quickly.

The course will be a mix of practical and theoretical skills tailored to what you need to know in order to hit the ground running in Scotland. The training is designed to be Scottish estate specific and directly related to your placements in Scotland. The Ultimate OE training program is the reason we can secure our graduates the best-paid hunting jobs in Scotland with the largest and most attractive estates in Scotland.

The training course contains industry-specific content provided by our employers in Scotland. It’s what you need to know to hit the ground running and what we need to teach everyone in order to secure the best possible jobs in Scotland. It’s a mix of practical and theoretical content delivered by our team of industry experts with recent and real experience both in the Scottish and international hunting industries.


Applications for the 2020 season close on the 1st of March 2020. Once we receive your application we will be in contact regarding the outcome. If you don’t hear from us advising you of the outcome of your application within three weeks please email us to confirm that we have received it.

– Scottish Hunting Package –

UOE Scottish Hunt Training + One Scottish Estate hunting placement (Paid employment for 5 -6 months*)

Ultimate OE Scottish Hunt Training

  • Professional Stalking and the role of a Ghillie
  • Leading horses, loading carcasses on horses, horse handling, packing saddles
  • Trophy skinning and trophy preparation
  • Scottish horse tack, hunting gear, equipment, and traditional dress
  • Scottish deer management practice and culling basics
  • Head skinning
  • UK game law, regulations and politics
  • First Aid (NZQA – MediTrain)
  • Gralloching, field dressing and UK best practice wild game handling
  • Larder work and processing best practice
  • Client/guest interaction and proper etiquette
  • Animal selection, shooting and shot placement
  • Trophy photos, photography and hunting video
  • UK visa, travel insurance, bank accounts and support

The Scottish hunting package also includes a professional visa service to help streamline the process of obtaining your Scottish working visa.

$5000 + GST

* These are approximate dates; season length is often dictated by weather, hunting conditions, cull numbers and the different operation models between different estates. The dates/seasons stated here is just a guide only based on an “average” season length.

Not ready to apply but want to stay in touch and get the latest updates on new experiences, opportunities, and up to date notifications when we open applications for a new season? Register below: