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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
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References in periodicals archive ?
John Allotey, says his men are ready to protect the reserves, resist poachers and defend themselves anytime they come under attack.
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2019 - 12:00am You may not have imagined it possible, but even in government, there are poachers who stalk and prey on government officials and positions just like wildlife poachers do.
The female poacher, Cabs said, attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended when the officers arrived.
Newry schoolteacher Poacher (above) had been linked with the manager's job in his native Down after Carlow's memorable season in which they gained promotion from division four and knocked division one side Kildare out of the Leinster Championship.
MULTAN -- A raiding squad of the wildlife department arrested six poachers and recovered hunting material from them in a proactive operation saving falcons and quails in Rojhan desert area of district Rajanpur Wednesday.
The law court in Iran's southern province of Bushehr heard out a case of a poacher accused of illegally trapping birds during the closed season, and the judge handed down a unique and interesting judgment against him.
'Yung mga foreign vessel ng mangingisda, kabilang ang Vietnam, maraming poacher dito sa ating lalawigan.
7 (ANI): A poacher has been injured in an encounter with the police in Assam's Kaziranga on Saturday.
GALLANT Capture of a Poacher - from the Merthyr and Cardiff Guardian, December 24, 1869: On Thursday evening, December 16, 1869, as Mr George Crofts Williams of Llanrumney Hall was retiring to rest, shortly after midnight, a shot was heard in a wood in the immediate vicinity of the Hall.
He now faces ruthless poacher gangs who will stop at nothing to get their prize - including slaughtering baby elephants with tusks an inch long and using children as young as eight as mules to carry their weapons and contraband.
He reveals one of the poacher giveaways is carefully placed gun cartridges which are used as arrows to mark their progress through the trees or signal where ivory drops may take place.
Footprints were easier to read than a newspaper, indicating a single poacher.
"The Poacher's Moon: A True Story of Life, Death, Love and Survival in Africa" is the story of Higgins and Lady, two rhinos from the farm Fairy Glen that defied the odds by surviving a brutal attack.
Further, not a single poacher out of the 52 arrested by the Kaziranga authorities themselves has been convicted till date.