Keep your hunting photos respectful

I talked yesterday about Idaho Fish and Game commissioner Blake Fischer’s photos from Africa that have angered hunters and non-hunters alike. Today, I feel I need to dig a little deeper into the topic.

Idaho Fish and Game commissioner Blake Fischer hunted in Africa last month, and he legally took several species of animals, including a leopard, a giraffe, and four baboons. The photos he posted from the hunt have gone viral, and both hunters and anti-hunters are calling for his dismissal from the Idaho Fish and Game commission.

He didn’t do anything illegal. He maintains that he also killed the animals ethically and respectfully. Ethics can always be debated, though, so I’m going to stay out of that argument for now.

What I will focus on for today’s discussion, though, is the fact that he posted photos showing a bloody baby baboon, laying on its mother’s lap as Fischer knelt above the baboon family he had killed. I’m a lifelong hunter, and I know hunting is vital for the conservation of wildlife species. I know the meat from many animals in Africa is given to families who desperately need the food. I realize many wildlife species in Africa, including baboons, are overpopulated in some areas and their numbers need to be thinned in order to protect the species as a whole.

But please, for the love of the sport, do not post photos of your kill with blood all over the animal. The blood in Fischer’s photo wasn’t egregious, but it was there. And the fact that the baby baboon was laying on its mother’s lap … if you are trying to stir up anger, that’s a good way to do it.

Wipe the blood off your animal before you take a picture. Pose it as naturally as possible. Don’t put a cigar in its mouth or a hat on its head. Show some respect. Please. Don’t make us as hunters look like a bunch of jerks.