BOISE — An Idaho Fish and Game commissioner has resigned after getting flak for photos from a recent hunting trip to Africa obtained by the media.
Blake Fischer submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Butch Otter Monday and it was accepted.
In his letter, Fischer admitted he used poor judgment in sharing the photos of a hunt which he did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals.
Fischer sent the photos in a mass email to more than 100 contacts. The pictures showed Fischer and his wife, Beth, posing with numerous animals they killed on a trip to Namibia. This was his wife’s first trip to Africa, according to the message, and she wanted to watch him and “‘get a feel’ of Africa.”
“So I shot a whole family of baboons. I think she got the idea quick.” the email read. “After we left all of the animals in Africa that were still alive we pretty happy we were on a plane headed home!”
Last week, Fred Trevey, a former Fish and Game commissioner, sent an email to Fischer expressing disappointment.
Trevey wrote that he was dismayed and disappointed by the photo and accompanying text of Fischer smiling with a family of baboons that he had shot. He went on to say that the pictures and words in Fischer’s email unnecessarily put at risk the credibility of the Fish and Game Commission and hunting in general.
He cited a Fish and Game hunter education manual advises hunters to respect the views of non-hunters, and to refrain from taking photos of their kill and describing the kill within earshot of non-hunters.
Trevey closes by suggesting that Fischer take responsibility and resign.
Six past fish and game commissioners have said they agree with Trevey’s approach to the issue.
In his letter of resignation, Fischer said his actions were out of character for him and he accepts full responsibility for his actions. He went on to say that he felt it was in the best interest of sportsmen and the citizens of Idaho that he resign his post.
He offered an apology to the hunters and anglers he was appointed to represent.
Here is the full text of Fischer’s letter of resignation:
Dear Governor Otter,
Please consider this letter as a statement of my resignation from the Idaho Fish & Game Commission. I recently made some poor judgments that resulted in sharing photos of a hunt in which I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested. While these actions were out of character for me, I fully accept responsibility and feel it is best for the citizens of Idaho and sportsmen and women that I resign my post. I apologized to the hunters and anglers of Idaho who I was appointed to represent and I hope that my actions will not harm the integrity and ethic of the Idaho Fish & Game Department moving forward.
Contributing: N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
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