Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper

proverb People who have a lot of experience in a criminal activity are the ones best suited to trying to protect against that activity later in life. A: "I heard that computer company is planning on hiring renowned hackers to run their security infrastructure." B: "Well, old poachers make the best gamekeepers." A: "The new sheriff used to be a notorious thief?" B: "Hey, you know what they say—an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper." Yeah, he did some jail time for crimes he committed when he was younger, but I think that might actually make him a better father than most—you know, in the way that an old poacher makes the best gamekeeper.
See also: an, best, gamekeeper, make, old, poacher

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

poacher turned gamekeeper

If you describe someone as poacher turned gamekeeper, you mean that they have changed their job or opinion and now have authority over the same sort of people that they were themselves before. She returns as poacher turned gamekeeper. Previously a union leader, she now works for the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. Gary Mason, boxing's poacher turned gamekeeper, will make his managerial debut tomorrow. Note: You can also say that someone is gamekeeper turned poacher, when someone who was in authority changes to a situation where they need to be controlled by others. He used to manage properties for other landlords. Now the gamekeeper turned poacher has to find occupiers for his own building. Note: A poacher is someone who illegally hunts animals such as deer, pheasant or salmon. A gamekeeper is someone employed by a landowner to look after these animals, which are known as game.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

poacher turned gamekeeper

someone who now protects the interests which they previously attacked.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

poacher turned ˈgamekeeper

(British English) a person who has changed from one situation or attitude to the opposite one, especially somebody who used to oppose people in authority but is now in a position of authority: He used to represent an oil company but now works for an environmental organization; a real case of the poacher turned gamekeeper.
See also: gamekeeper, poacher, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
In the same area, gamekeepers found GPS tracking equipment which has been known to be fitted illegally to the underside of work vehicles by saboteurs.
However, the National Service representative said that work was not enough to occupy his time for a year and suggested that one gamekeeper covering Kilbryde and Argaty estates might be enough.
Gamekeepers are legally allowed to snare and kill foxes but not "non-target" animals such as badgers.
The gamekeeper, who made around PS10,000 a year from the pheasant shoots, claimed buzzards took about 700 birds a season.
Lindsay Waddell of Newbiggin-in-Teesdale is one of just a handful of gamekeepers from throughout the country to earn a CLA Long Service Medal.
Gamekeeper's thumb is a common injury and is used to describe an acute or chronic injury of the ulnar collateral ligament of the first metacarpophalangeal joint.
But gamekeepers in rural Staffordshire say they take their lives in their hands every time they go to work.
It will not be easy, but this easy going though hard-nosed gamekeeper might catch a few hares.
Earlier this year, gamekeeper Kyle Burden, 19, of Kempton, was found guilty of killing buzzards and badgers and was given a 26-week sentence suspended for six months.
As Amy takes over the estate, with the aid of the gamekeeper, conditions for her and all of the servants and dependents of the estate improve.
Arminio Fraga Neto pulled the Brazilian economy back from the brink of disaster--not bad for a "poacher turned gamekeeper."
Lawrence, presenting the author's mystical theories of sex in the story of Constance, or Connie, the wife of an English aristocrat, who runs away with her gamekeeper. Her husband, Sir Clifford, has been rendered impotent by a war wound and is also an emotional cripple.
A gamekeeper, quoted anonymously by the pressure group, said: "I've been filmed, verbally abused, verbally threatened and had very unpleasant messages left for me.
Ben Fitzsimons, 23, of Nanhoron, Pwllheli, and Ben Wilson, 29, of Ely, Cambridge, deny the manslaughter through gross negligence of Peter Colwell, 18, a gamekeeper on the Boduan estate near Pwllheli.
CLA Long Service Award recipient, gamekeeper Lindsay Waddell