California Fish & Game Commissioner Bags a Big Cat In Idaho; Californians Trying To Bag Him

A "trophy shot" of the Golden State's top Fish and Game Commission official hugging the carcass of a mountain lion he'd just treed and shot has Californians steaming.


For decades hunters have posed for pictures with their kill -- proof of the culmination of a successful hunt.

California Fish and Game Commission president Dan Richards' trophy shot shows him happily hugging the lifeless carcass of a magnificent mountain lion, treed by dogs and shot by Richards during an expedition on an Idaho hunting ranch.

“I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho," Richards was quoted as saying when asked about the moratorium banning the hunting of big cats in California. But the echoes of his Idaho killshot are not dying away, and instead are rippling throughout his home state as public officials and citizens alike demand his ouster.

Supporters say Richards' position with the California Fish and Game Commission (not to be confused with the state Department of Fish and Game) has no bearing on his private desire to trek into Idaho back country with professional guides and stalk, tree and shoot a mountain lion.

Others, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a growing number of state officials, maintain that Richards' actions "do not reflect the values of the people of California" and are calling on him to resign.

A description of the commission's responsibilities on its website included this description of their role: "The Commissioners' ultimate decisions must reflect not only the biological needs of our fish and wildlife, but also the wishes, needs and desires of all those who enjoy these resources. This is not an easy course to follow, and frequently it leads to conflicts between various interest groups. However, with the interest, understanding and involvement of everyone who appreciates our magnificent fish and wildlife resources, the California Fish and Game Commission will continue along the path of sound and enlightened resource management."

We'll leave it to you. What do you think?

Chris Nicholson November 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM
@Fritz: So Fish & Game officials should oppose the killing of Fish & Game? Odd position. Which is preferred: (i) a cow penned and fattened without ever experiencing the life her genetic programming drives her to seek, until she is slaughtered, or (ii) a doe born in the wild, running free as nature intended until "lights out" when a hunter's bullet painlessly dropped her where she is standing, without fear or warning?
TMoraga November 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Chris your not a hunter are you? You don't hut Doe's for obvious reasons.
Chris Nicholson November 15, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Ha ha. Good point. No. Not a hunter. I like guns and am not morally opposed to hunting-- just never drawn to it.
TMoraga November 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
I don't hunt or even own guns. But like most CA natives grew up with it and spend lots of time tromping around the woods. I've seen three Mountain lions in my life so far. One while hiking in the Marble Mountains as a kid "Deep Lake" look it up. The hidden Jem of CA. One while Mountain Biking in Bidwell park which was a very close encounter that had the cat scrambling up the hill and two of us on bikes diving down the hill all of us going as fast as we could in opposite directions. 3rd one was Mount Tam mid week during a rain storm. All examples as to why I don't hike, run etc with ear buds in my ears. Like most idiots I see on trails today.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 16, 2012 at 01:52 AM
The man's behavior is unprofessional and embarrassing. Fish and Game is not referred to as the Gill-Netting Fish and Shooting Treed Mountain Lions and other Game Commission. Most authentic hunters would see this behavior as sacrilegious. I am not a hunter. If it was how food was obtained instead of the proliferation of supermarkets, I would hunt rather than starve. This jerk brings to mind these rich, fat guys that pay big dollars to "hunt" fenced, stocked reserves where George Shearing, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could bag their limits by blasting away in the dark. It is an insult to all wild things and the considerate people that hunt for game management (And actually eat what they track down and outwit), or the removal of rogue animals from populated areas. You know exactly what I mean CN and are just doing your "high road" routine. It is mostly entertaining, but on this issue I see it as foolish and inappropriate.


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