BOISE — An Idaho Fish and Game commissioner is facing calls to resign after sharing photos of himself and his wife from a recent hunting trip to Africa.
The photos from Commissioner Blake Fischer show him and his wife posing with animals they killed in the country of Namibia.
In a public records request, KTVB obtained the email which went out to more than 100 of Fischer's friends and colleagues last month.
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.
Trevey 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.
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.
“I’m sure what you did was legal, however, legal does not make it right,” Trevey wrote in the email obtained by the Idaho Statesman through a public records request filed with the governor’s office. “... Sportsmanlike behavior is the center pin to maintaining hunting as a socially acceptable activity.”
Six past fish and game commissioners have said they agree with Trevey's approach to the issue.
Fischer told the Statesman that he did not do anything wrong.
“I didn’t do anything illegal. I didn’t do anything unethical. I didn’t do anything immoral,” Fischer told the newspaper.
He said Idaho statutes call for hunting excess game as a management tool and "Africa does the same thing.”
Fischer reportedly killed 14 animals, including a family of baboons, for which a trophy tag was not required.
“Baboons are free,” he told the Statesman. “ ... I get it — they’re a weird animal. It’s a primate, not a deer.”
The Statesman also spoke with Steve Alder of Idaho for Wildlife, a pro-hunting group based in Lewiston. He said Fischer’s photos were troubling and "just sends the wrong signal."
“The biggest thing is the baboon thing. I was really troubled. That’s my biggest issue. He killed the whole baboon family and you’ve got little junior laying there in mom’s lap. You just don’t do that. I hate wolves as much as anyone, but I’m not going to take a wolf family and put it on display and show the baby wolf.”
Fish and Game commissioners are appointed by the governor.
A spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter says he is aware and concerned about this.