For years now, there’s been a movement underway to stigmatize hunting to such a degree that anyone who partakes in the activity almost instantly becomes an object of scorn and hatred. We’ve outlined multiple examples where people who engaged in lawful hunts have been viciously attacked by those who think hunting is a cruel pastime.
Today, unfortunately, we have another example.
Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer said in a letter to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter he “made some poor judgments” when he emailed images of a family of baboons he killed with a recurve bow to current and former state officials, prompting an unexpected backlash.
“I recently made some poor judgments that resulted in sharing photos of a hunt in which I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested,” he wrote, according to Reuters. He concluded by apologizing for the controversy, saying “my actions will not harm the integrity and ethic of the state’s wildlife agency.”
Otter appointed Fischer for his second four-year term in June, according to reports. A search for his replacement began immediately.
“I have high expectations and standards for every appointee in state government,” Otter said. “Every member of my administration is expected to exercise good judgment. Commissioner Fischer did not. Accordingly, I have accepted his resignation from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.”
Fischer, however, doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral,” Fischer told the Idaho Statesman. “… I look at the way Idaho’s Fish and Game statute says we’re supposed to manage all animals for Idaho, and any surplus of animals we have we manage through hunting, fishing and trapping. Africa does the same thing.”
Fischer and his wife shot more than a dozen species in Africa, according to the emails, including a giraffe, leopard, impala, sable antelope, waterbuck, kudu, warthog, gemsbok (oryx) and eland. He maintains he paid fees for some of his kills, but the “baboons were free.”
In other words, he did in Africa what Idaho hunters do for that state. They help manage various species to keep the populations from growing too large. A large population has the unfortunate tendency to run out of food, leading to starvation for the species as a whole.
Further, there doesn’t seem to be any restrictions on baboons in some parts of Africa, which suggests that they’re considered a pest species. Baboons have been known to go after farmers’ crops, which can be a huge problem if the population is too large.
Fischer wasn’t just enjoying a hunt; he was managing the wildlife to not just protect species from starvation, but also to protect crops. Kind of like what we do here in the United States. Here in Georgia, hunting hogs is a year-round opportunity due to the destructive nature of the wild critters.
Fischer shouldn’t have been pressured to resign. While sending the pictures might not have been the best move, it’s still a non-issue. There’s no reason for him to have to quit, but anti-hunting whiners are going to keep screeching until they get their way, aren’t they?