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An American big-game hunter’s video, featuring him killing a black bear with a spear, has drawn sharp criticism from the Canadian government as well as the public.
Ohio hunter Josh Bowmar posted a clip of his hunting expedition in Alberta, Canada, in which he lures a bear out into the open by placing food in barrels. He then takes aim and launches his javelin at the bear. The javeline apparently sunk 2 feet into the bear’s haunches.
Bowmar boasted online about the spear hunt, saying: “I just speared a bear. I’ve worked so hard. This is crazy. That was a huge bear. I can’t believe that just happened. He’s going down. I drilled him perfect.
“That was the longest throw I thought I would ever make. I mean, that was a 12- to 15-yard spear throw. On the ground. No blind. No back-up. We have no shotguns within miles of here.”
The hunting party didn’t find the bear till the next day; a wait Bowmar’s hunting guides, John and Jenn Rivet, claim was necessary because it would have been dangerous to search for it into the night.
The bear was found a short distance away and instead of showing sympathy for the dead animal, Bowmar can be seen grinning over the blood and gore the bear left behind.
After the release of the video, fellow hunters denounced Bowmar and called his act “shameful.”
“I’ve been hunting for 56 years and this video was disgusting," one hunter wrote on popular U.S. hunting website Outdoorhub. “It’s mindless jackasses like this performing shameless ‘stunts’ that attempt to glorify the hunter, but by doing so demean the game animal, that give all the anti-hunters the arguments they need to hate us."
Bowmar has hit back at critics and in turn told them to be ashamed of themselves.
“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.”
He also denied the bear’s death, which could have taken up to 20 agonizing hours, was “inhumane” or unnecessarily prolonged.
“First and foremost, spear hunting gives the animal the greatest chance of escape, considering our ethical killing range is within 10 yards,” said the remorseless hunter. “The bear I speared only ran 60 yards and died immediately, that’s as humane and ethical as one could get in a hunting situation on big game animals. Trust me, no one cares more about these animals than us hunters, especially me.”
However, animal welfare campaigner Masha Kalinina of Humane Society International disagreed with Bowmar’s “selfless” motives.
“This is pure selfish blood lust, a desire for a thrill and a trophy at the expense of an innocent life,” she said.
Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Parks has also condemned the ghastly killing.
“The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video of a hunter spearing a black bear, allegedly in Alberta, is unacceptable,” said an emailed statement Monday by the ministry. “Work is well underway to update Alberta’s hunting regulations. We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall as part of those updated regulations.”
Bowmar said in his email he plans to eat the bear’s meat and the Rivets said they believe he is also having the animal stuffed and mounted.
It also appears his wife, a former vegetarian, is just as heartless. Just a day before her husband’s cold-blooded killing, Sarah Bowmar savagely killed another bear with a bow and arrow.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters