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Idaho Wildlife Commissioner Resigns After Sharing Controversial Hunting Photos

Penny Hegyi


An Idaho wildlife commissioner resigned and apologized Monday for emailing controversial photos from his recent African safari trip.

The emailed pictures were obtained by the Idaho Statesman.

They show commissioner Blake Fischer posing with a dead leopard, a dead giraffe, and the bodies of four baboons.

In the emails, he calls the baboons “a whole family.”


While the hunts are all legal, the pictures sparked a social media outcry and calls for Fischer’s resignation.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Keith Balfourd of the non-profit hunting and conservation group Boone and Crockett Club. “You’re just inviting criticism. And that’s not a surprise. It shouldn’t be a surprise because social media didn’t just start yesterday.”

He said hunting pictures like the ones Fischer shared give sportsmen and women everywhere a bad rap.

“You’ve got to pay attention,” Balfourd said. “Understand that people have different views, so use common sense and be smart about what you’re doing and why.”

Fischer submitted his resignation to the Idaho governor’s office Monday afternoon.

“I did not display an appropriate level of sportsmanship and respect for the animals I harvested,” he wrote.

Fischer was first appointed by Governor Butch Otter to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in July of 2014.

“I have high expectations and standards for every appointee in state government,” said Otter in a press 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.”

His office said it will search for an immediate replacement.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.