The ethics of the Idaho Fish and Game department are up in the air after one of its commissioners reportedly emailed photos of himself with dead animals he'd killed during an African hunting trip

By Maura Hohman
October 16, 2018 03:00 PM
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One man’s decision to share photos of his big-game hunting trip just cost him his job.

According to local CBS outlet KBOI, the disturbing images of a smiling Blake Fischer — ironically an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commissioner — with a family of bloody baboons (including a baby), a leopard, giraffe, impala, antelope and waterbuck were sent to 125 people, many of whom were colleagues. Fischer said in the emails that he went hunting during a two-week trip to Namibia with his wife.

“First day she wanted to watch me, and ‘get a feel’ of Africa,” Fischer allegedly wrote. “So I shot a whole family of baboons.”

He continued: “I shot a Leopard … Super cool, super lucky. The Leopard is one of the big 5, as in one of the 5 animals in Africa that will kill you before you can kill it. Crazy cool animal. They are normally super nocturnal, so this was really unique.”

In a press release obtained by PEOPLE on Monday evening, the governor’s communications director Jon Hanian announced that “Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter announced today that he asked for — and has received — the resignation of Blake Fischer as an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commissioner. Fisher came under intense criticism for graphic photos taken during an African hunting trip he participated in last month.”

“I have high expectations and standards for every appointee in state government,” Governor Otter said in the release. “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.”

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Idaho Fish and Game Commission had no comment about the photos because Fischer was appointed by the governor and not an employee of Fish and Game, said Alan Kahn, chief of communications.

In response to Fischer’s photos, one former commissioner, Fred Trevey, who served from 2007 to 2015, responded Fischer’s email by asking him to resign, KBOI reported.

“My reaction to the photo and accompanying text of you smiling and holding a ‘family’ of primates you killed, dismays and disappoints me,” Trevey wrote. “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.”

Another former commissioner, Keith E. Carlson, also wrote Fischer an email suggesting he resign, the Idaho Statesman reported. Fischer didn’t immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but he told another outlet he “didn’t do anything illegal.”