A video published on YouTube showing Ohio fitness company owner Josh Bowmar spear hunting a black bear in Alberta, Canada has caused a public outcry. The video, published in June on the YouTube account of Bowmar, has since been deleted but can be viewed above.
The video is about 13-minutes long and shows Bowmar, a college javelin champion, spear hunting a black back measuring 7-feet. The bear was lured to a location with bait placed in barrels. When he gets to about 40 feet away from the massive bear, he launches a spear at the animal. When the spear hits, Bowmar celebrates, saying, “He’s going down. I drilled him perfect. That was the longest throw I thought I could ever make… I just did something I don’t think anybody in the entire world has ever done and that was spear a bear on the ground on film. And I smoked him.”
Bowmar returns to retrieve the bloody carcass the next morning with John and Jenn Rivet, owners of the Swan Hills, Edmonton based “Livinthedreamproductions” that provides a reality television-like hunting guide experience for hunters.
The public outcry from the video has caused the Alberta government, which described the hunt as “unacceptable,” to begin legislation to ban the practice. According to the Globe & Mail, Tim Chamberlin, Alberta Environment and Parks spokesman, said in a statement:
Work is well under way to update Alberta’s hunting regulations. We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall as part of those updated regulations… In the meantime, we have asked Fish and Wildlife officers to investigate this incident to determine if charges are warranted under existing laws.
Bowmar defended his actions. In an interview published in the Mirror on Monday, he told them:
You all should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to kill a heritage that has existed for over a million years… Literally, since the dawn of man, the spear has been a vital role in survival… If (I) didn’t care about the humane killing of this bear, why did I spend years preparing and practising, becoming extremely proficient with a spear to make sure I could harvest this bear ethically?