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Idaho Fish And Game Commissioner Resigns Following International Condemnation

Jack Zalium
Flickr Creative Commons

A member of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission resigned after a photo of him posing with hunting trophies on a trip to Africa drew international criticism.

The picture at the center of the firestorm shows Blake Fischer grinning as he props up three dead baboons with a smaller juvenile placed in its mother’s lap. Blood is clearly visible on the small animal’s chest, and the bow Fischer used to make the kill is visible at the edge of the frame.

Credit Idaho Office Of The Governor
Former Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer poses with that he calls a "family of baboons" while on a trip to Africa earlier this year.

The photo is one of several Fischer sent to over a hundred people documenting the exotic animals he and his wife harvested while on a trip to Namibia. They were eventually forwarded to Governor Butch Otter’s office.

“You know, he winced when he saw it; I did,” says Otter’s spokesman, Jon Hanian. “The governor – this is somebody that’s hunted all of his life; he’s taken plenty of pictures with game that he’s harvested in the field, but these photos that we’re talking about were over the top.”

Otter returned from out-of-state business early to deal with the situation. He accepted Fischer’s resignation Monday. In a statement, Otter says he has high expectations for every person he appoints to serve in state government, and he says they’re expected to use good judgement.

Credit Idaho Office Of The Governor
A giraffe was among the exotic animals Fischer killed while on vacation in Namibia.

“The judgment part of this really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, least of an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner,” Hanian says. “In fact, hunter education guides clearly state that graphic images of harvested game are not appreciated by people who don’t understand hunting and in some cases actively oppose hunting.”

In addition to the baboons, Fischer and his wife killed several varieties of antelope, a warthog, a leopard and a giraffe while in Africa.

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