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poacher turned gamekeeper

A person whose job or role has completely changed, from one extreme to another. Primarily heard in UK. The notorious computer hacker who once stole money from unsuspecting Internet users now helps the government catch other hackers—it's a strange case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn

old poacher makes the best gamekeeper

Prov. The best person to guard something is someone who knows all about how to steal it, so he or she can anticipate what thieves might do. We should hire the computer hacker to design computer security systems. An old poacher makes the best gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, make, old, poacher

a poacher turned gamekeeper

someone whose job seems to involve working against the person who is now doing the job which they did before
Usage notes: A poacher illegally kills and steals animals on someone else's land, and a gamekeeper's job is to stop this from happening.
He used to be the the union rep but now he's in management - a case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
References in classic literature ?
And at that very instant, from the fulness of his heart, had almost betrayed the secret; but the good genius of the gamekeeper suggested to him what might be the consequence to the poor fellow, and this consideration sealed his lips.
The online messages were spotted by gamekeepers at Millden Estate in Angus, who had noticed a bird fitting the lost eagle's description.
Mr McMorn sought a judicial review of a 2014 decision, backed by the National Gamekeepers Organisation.
Well, driven grouse shooting depends on gamekeepers - and the legal predator control and habitat management work done by them.
com)-- Vail Products[R] of Horton, KS, a leading manufacturer of aftermarket severe-duty construction equipment attachments and land management tools, has renewed its television partnership with Gamekeepers of Mossy Oak for the series' 2015 schedule on the Pursuit Channel.
The indiscriminate traps are used by gamekeepers to stop predators from eating prized pheasant, partridge and grouse before they are released for hunting parties to shoot.
PCSO Paul Payne explained: "We have an effective Farmwatch scheme in place, with police being joined by farmers, landowners and gamekeepers all keeping an eye on the countryside they depend on for their livelihood.
The classes, open to gamekeepers, owners of working gundogs, gundog teams and young handlers, will be held on "Gundog Day" on Sunday, March 9, at the NEC, Birmingham.
WILDLIFE experts fear gamekeepers have driven hen harriers to the brink of extinction in England.
Gamekeepers have blamed conservation groups for wildfires in the Highlands.
But the soggy summer is still having repercussions for us gamekeepers.
The term was initially used to describe chronic occupational injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament to gamekeepers in Scotland because of their methods used to kill rabbits.
But Defra says a survey by the National Gamekeepers Organisation found that three quarters of gamekeepers believed buzzards had a harmful effect on pheasant shoots.
But gamekeepers in rural Staffordshire say they take their lives in their hands every time they go to work.
Duncan described running the gauntlet of gamekeepers during his early days as a rambler.