Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter returned from an out-of-state trip on Monday in response to the escalating national and international criticism of Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer.
Fischer had emailed photos of the animals he and his wife had killed during a hunt in Africa to over 100 people last month. The photos, which included a disturbing image of an entire baboon family Fischer had killed, eventually were provided to news outlets and after that it didn’t take long for a social media firestorm to erupt calling for him to be removed from his commission post.
The photo of the baboon family that Fischer had killed caused outrage even among other hunters. Among the four baboons slain by Fischer was a baby baboon.
The animals’ likeness to humans was not lost on Fischer’s critics and the thought of killing an entire family of anything was unsettling to just about everyone.
Fischer’s grinning smile in the photo while grasping the dead baboons just added more hate to the fire.
It didn’t take Otter long after cutting short his out-of-state speaking engagement and returning to Idaho to ask for Fischer’s resignation — a move that was met by widespread support even in a pro-hunting state like Idaho.
Hunters should never ever do something that will turn non-hunters into anti-hunters.
Fischer’s photos did just that and someone who clearly enjoys killing this much should not be on our state’s Fish and Game Commission.
The only redeemable thing about Fischer’s actions in this matter is that when Otter asked for his resignation on Monday he provided it.
Fischer is not the only hunter who pays to go to Africa to hunt wild game. But posting the photos of the beautiful wildlife killed on those trips is increasingly becoming something that attracts criticism and lots of it.
When most of us see wildlife, especially the awe-inspiring animals of Africa, the first thought that enters our minds is not to kill them.
Yes, Fischer was legally hunting the African game but it’s obvious that public opinion here in Idaho and elsewhere was that someone with his bloodlust has no place helping to lead an agency responsible for our state’s wildlife.
There are a lot of reasons why people hunt, and aside from providing food, controlling the populations of wild animals is necessary, especially in Idaho.
But most hunters respect their prey and wouldn’t wipe out a whole family of wild animals just for kicks.
It’s refreshing as well as telling that so many members of the hunting community took issue with Fischer.
All we can say about his ouster from the Fish and Game Commission is “good riddance.”
He definitely won’t be missed.