Wildlife Official Slammed For Posing With Dead Animals He Killed On Hunting Trip

Wildlife officer criticised for hunting trip.Idaho's Office of the Governor

An Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner has come under fire after posing with animals he had killed during an African hunting trip.

It is believed Commissioner Blake Fischer and his wife shot at least 14 animals during their time in Namibia. Fischer emailed photographs of himself smiling broadly alongside his kills, apparently expecting an appreciative response.

The photographs, which were received by one hundred friends and colleagues, show how Fischer had killed a leopard, giraffe, impala, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthog, kudu, gemsbok (oryx) and eland.

In one particularly disturbing photo, Fischer can be seen grinning as he sits behind the bodies of an entire family of baboons, including a baby. He had reportedly killed them using a bow and arrow, and captioned the picture, ‘So I shot a whole family of baboons’.

His predecessor Fred Trevey has now called upon Fischer to step down from his position within the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, a commission which makes policy decisions relating to Idaho’s wildlife.

As reported by the Idaho Statesman, Trevey – who served as a Fish and Game Commissioner from 2007 to 2015 – sent Fischer an email where he told him to resign.

According to this email, Trevey believed Fischer’s resignation would help ‘shield the commission as an institution and hunting as a legitimate tool of wildlife management from the harm that is sure to come’.

Trevey wrote:

I’m sure what you did was legal, however, legal does not make it right, Sportsmanlike behavior is the center pin to maintaining hunting as a socially acceptable activity.

He continued:

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.

Hunted baboons

Fischer, who has held his position for four years, has reportedly since apologised for sending the photographs but has not apologised for the hunt itself:

I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral,

I look at the way Idaho’s Fish and Game statute says we’re supposed to manage all animals for Idaho, and any surplus of animals we have we manage through hunting, fishing and trapping. Africa does the same thing.

Fischer told the Idaho Statesman how he likes to hunt ‘new and interesting species,’ and has described the photos as being ‘normal’:

I was raised in a very ethical hunting family, In every picture, we try to pose the animals in a natural position, wipe the blood off the mouth, place the rifle or bow over the bullet hole. … These are normal hunting photos. You shoot an animal, you take a picture of it.

It is believed by some critics that Fischer’s poor judgement could reflect poorly on the commission if left unchecked, with the photos going against the recommendations made in Idaho’s hunter-education manual.

Governor C.L. ‘Butch’ Otter has reportedly been notified about the photographs and has expressed concern. The governor’s office will now be looking into the matter further.

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