An Idaho Fish and Game commissioner faces calls to resign after sharing photos of dead animals from a recent hunting trip to Africa and bragging of killing “a whole family of baboons.”
Blake Fischer, in a recent email to colleagues, boasted of having killed at least 14 animals with his wife in Namibia last month, The Idaho State Journal reported.
Photos included in the email, which was obtained by the paper and other news outlets, show him posing with a dead giraffe, leopard and warthog, as well as multiple baboons.
Blake Fischer likes to kill lots of African wildlife. Some animals on the verge of being declared endangered (and he knows this). He shouldn't be a US Game Commisioner. pic.twitter.com/WwGIWvfAAp
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) October 13, 2018
Fischer, in his email, said his wife “wanted to watch me and ‘get a feel’ for Africa… so I shot a whole family of baboons. I think she got the idea quick.”
More than 100 people were reportedly sent the email, which included details of each kill in the photos’ captions.
Former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Fred Trevey was among those who were upset by Fischer’s conduct and urged him to resign.
In an email to Fischer obtained by The Idaho Statesman through a public record request, Trevey cited a passage in a hunting manual that’s endorsed by the state’s fish and game department. It says that hunters should “refrain from taking photographs of the kill and from vividly describing the kill within earshot of non-hunters.”
“I have a difficult time understanding how a person privileged to be an Idaho Fish and Game commissioner can view such an action as sportsmanlike and an example to others,” Trevey told Fischer.
The kills may have been legal, Trevey wrote, but that doesn’t make them right. He warned that Fischer’s actions put the commission in a bad light.
Fischer, reached by the Statesman, apologized for sending the photos unsolicited but not for his hunt.
“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral,” Fischer told the paper.
Fischer did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment on Sunday.
Idaho has seven fish and game commissioners whose role is to administer department policies, according to the agency’s website. The commissioners have four-year terms and are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.
Fischer was appointed to his post in 2014 and, according to the Statesman, re-appointed this year to a term ending in 2022. His re-appointment has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
Former commissioner Tony McDermott, in an email to a member of the staff of Gov. Butch Otter (R), said he and six other former commissioners agree with Trevey’s response to “this potentially explosive issue,” the Statesman reported. The paper also obtained a copy of McDermott’s email.
Some of those former commissioners, reached by the Statesman, gave mixed answers on how the situation should be handled, with one suggesting that Fischer should resign and another requesting an apology.
Jon Hanin, Otter’s communications director, told HuffPost in an email on Sunday that “the governor is concerned and that this office is actively looking into the matter.”
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