Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Government to Ban Spear Hunting after Online Bear Video Sparks Outrage

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Government to Ban Spear Hunting after Online Bear Video Sparks Outrage

Article excerpt

Alberta government to ban spear hunting

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CALGARY - The Alberta government says an online video showing a black bear being killed by a spear is unacceptable and it plans to ban the practice.

The video posted in June on the YouTube account of Josh Bowmar, who runs an Ohio-based fitness company with his wife, set off a deluge of outrage before it was made private.

By the time it was removed from public view on Monday it had garnered more than 208,000 views.

The 13-minute video shows the man launching a spear -- with a camera attached -- at a bear from 11 to 14 metres away and captures his jubilant reaction when the animal is hit.

"He's going down. I drilled him perfect. That was the longest throw I thought I could ever make," he says, raising his arms in the air and smiling broadly.

"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."

The hunter and two others are shown retrieving the bear the next morning. The animal's internal organs are seen spilling out of a large wound in its side.

Commenters on YouTube were livid. At least one threatened to do to the hunter what he did to the bear.

Twitter users called the bear's killing sick, inhumane, shameful and disgusting.

The video credited John and Jenn Rivet -- who run a hunting outfitting business in Swan Hills north of Edmonton -- for organizing the hunt. They did not reply to requests for comment.

Alberta Environment and Parks spokesman Tim Chamberlin called spear hunting an "archaic" practice.

"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," he said in an emailed statement.

"In the meantime, we have asked Fish and Wildlife officers to investigate this incident to determine if charges are warranted under existing laws. …

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