DAVE & DUJANOVIC

“I shot a whole family of baboons,” Idaho Fish and Game commissioner boasts

Oct 15, 2018, 4:57 PM
Idaho Fish and Game commissioner Blake Fischer poses with four dead baboons and a giraffe after a g...
Idaho Fish and Game commissioner Blake Fischer poses with four dead baboons and a giraffe after a game hunting trip in Namibia. (Idaho Statesman/Idaho Governor's Office)
(Idaho Statesman/Idaho Governor's Office)

Blake Fischer’s job is to protect animals. He is one of Idaho’s Fish and Game commissioners; a man tasked with making sure that the animals in his state aren’t over-hunted or illegally poached.

That’s what made the e-mail he sent out to a hundred colleagues and friends on Sept. 17th so shocking. Because inside that letter was a picture of Fischer, out in Namibia on holiday, posing with an entire family of dead baboons.

Under the photograph, Fischer had written:

“My wife and I went to Namibia for a week. She wanted to watch me and ‘get a feel’ of Africa. … So I shot a whole family of baboons.”

In the photograph, Blake Fischer is grinning broadly, holding up the carcasses in of the dead animals in a mockery of a family photograph. Their baby lies in the front, its head craned back like its neck has been snapped, blood still spilling out from its stomach.

They were just four of at least fourteen wild animals Fischer had killed in Africa, according to his letter. He’d slaughtered leopards, giraffes, impalas, and waterbucks alike in a big game hunting safari across the Namibian wilderness.

In his letter, Fischer joked: “I think she got the idea quick.”

Blake Fischer’s safari of slaughter

Blake Fischer With Leopard

“I shot a Leopard,” Fischer boasted in his e-mail. “The Leopard is one of the big 5 … animals in Africa that will kill you before you can kill it. Crazy cool animal.” (Idaho Statesman/Idaho Governor’s Office)

Blake Fischer’s e-mail went out to about a hundred friends, family members, and co-workers, many of them Fish and Game commissioners themselves.

Not everyone was amused. Some of the people on Fischer’s list were horrified by the photographs of their colleague, posing over the corpses of animals who had been killed purely for sport.

Local papers, after getting wind of the outrage, managed to get ahold of Blake Fischer’s e-mails by filing a records request, and before long, Fischer’s safari slaughter was exposed to the world.

Many are calling on him to resign, including some of his own colleagues.

“I think that’s revolting,” former commissioner Keith Stonebraker told the Idaho Statesman. “It just puts a bad light on us.”

Another former commissioner, Fred Trevey, wrote a long e-mail to Fischer, admonishing for what he’d done:

“The photo and accompanying text of you smiling and holding a ‘family’ of primates you killed, dismays and disappoints me. … Your poor judgement has unnecessarily put the institution’s credibility, and hunting in general, at risk in a blink of an eye.”

Blake Fischer’s photograph does, in fact, violate the state’s department of Fish and Game’s best policies, which say that hunters should “refrain from taking photographs of the kill and from vividly describing the kill within earshot of non-hunters.”

Fischer himself, however, insists that he didn’t do anything wrong. When contacted by the Idaho Statesman, Fischer said:

“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral.”

He insists that the animals he killed were overpopulated in Namibia and that he followed every regulation while hunting them.

For many, though, his justification hasn’t been enough. The response online has been nearly unanimously critical, with many calling on Fischer to lose his job.

More to the story

Is this a clear-cut case of animal cruelty — or just a hunter culling an overpopulated herd? Dave & Dujanovic talked about this story on KSL Newsradio, and while Debbie Dujanovic said that it left her “incensed”, Dave didn’t see any problem with it at all.

“If you see a deer, you wouldn’t think a second thought,” Dave says, “but as soon as you see something more exotic–” we burst into outrage.

If you missed the show, you can still hear everything they had to say on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast:

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play Music

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Multiple dollar bills are pictured, social security will see a bump...
Mark Jones

Eyeing retirement: How much money is enough after you leave a job?

How do you know when it's time to leave a job or if you'll have enough for retirement? Dave and Dujanovic talk to a financial planner about this important question.
3 days ago
interest rate...
Curt Gresseth

Interest rate ticks up. Time to tame your debt.

The chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com joins the show to talk about the rising interest rate and how you can get out from under the debt you have accumulated.
3 days ago
One of the topics being discussed during the 2023 Utah Legislative Session is how to combat the tea...
Mark Jones

Bill would allow individuals to become teachers without a bachelor’s degree

A bill being discussed on in the legislative session would allow for individuals to become teachers without obtaining a bachelor's degree.
4 days ago
The main reason small businesses fail in America is that the business owner doesn't have access to ...
Simone Seikaly

Lack of access stands between Black-owned businesses and success

But lack of access to money isn't the only thing that hinders Black-owned business in Utah and across the nation.
4 days ago
More Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.  Nearly 1.5 million more U.S. households ...
Curt Gresseth

Cost of heating homes in Utah rising as thermometer sinks

The cost of heating a home in Utah is rising because demand has increased and the drought in the West has cut into production.
4 days ago
A bill that could make its way to the Utah legislature in the 2023 session would require school dis...
Mark Jones

Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes

Sen. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) is sponsoring a bill that would call for a slight redesign of the new Utah State Flag.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
“I shot a whole family of baboons,” Idaho Fish and Game commissioner boasts