A hunter and fitness buff is facing online backlash after posting a video of himself killing a bear with a spear and celebrating the accomplishment.
The footage from last May showed Josh Bowmar of Ohio hurling a spear at the bear, which had been lured to the location in Alberta, Canada, with a barrel of bait.
The Edmonton Journal reported that neither the spear nor the bait were illegal in Alberta. Yet critics were outraged over both the method of the kill as well as Bowmar’s joyful reactions.
(Note: the above video contains footage some people may find disturbing.)
“The hunter seems to have viewed the hunt as an opportunity for entertainment,” Roland Lines, Alberta SPCA’s communications manager, told the Toronto Star. “That’s what’s most disturbing.”
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, called it a “stunningly unethical trophy hunt.”
“He’s so deeply disconnected from the suffering of an innocent creature that he felt free to yell and prance with joy as the life was spilling out of this innocent animal,” Pacelle wrote in a blog post.
Bowmar, however, refused to back down from his critics.
“You all should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to kill a heritage that has existed for over a million years,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Literally, since the dawn of man, the spear has been a vital role in survival.”
During the 13-minute video, which included footage from a GoPro camera strapped to the spear, Bowmar gloated over spearing the bear from a distance he estimated to be about 12 to 15 yards away.
“I just did something that I don’t think anybody in the world has ever done and that’s spear a bear on the ground on film,” he boasted. “And I smoked him!”
He also giggled and did a fist-bump with whoever was holding the camera.
In the following footage, Bowmar attempted to track the bear, but found only his bloody spear. Based on the blood, he boasted about “a lot of penetration” and the “epic footage” he had.
“That is a dead bear!” he said.
When he eventually discovered the bear’s body, he let out a new round of celebratory cries.
The bear wasn’t found until the next morning, about 60 yards from where it was speared, so it was not clear exactly how long it survived while mortally wounded. Bowmar told the Global News the bear died “immediately.”
Bowmar said he plans to eat the meat and save the hide so no part of the bear would be wasted.
As the story went viral, officials in Alberta announced plans to make spear-hunting illegal.
“The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video... is unacceptable,” Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Parks told the CBC in a written statement. “We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall.”
Bowmar’s Instagram, which is now private, suggested he was sponsored by Under Armour Hunt. In response, a number of people left angry comments on the company’s Facebook page.
Under Armour has not replied to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. This report will be updated if they respond.
(h/t Raw Story)