The bear spear hunting video that went viral has now made the hunter a target of online hate.
A spear hunt for a bear has gone viral and the hunter is now feeling the backlash. We first shared Ohio bowhunter Josh Bowmar’s Alberta hunt for a black bear with you back in June.
The video was pretty big in hunting communities at the time. But now it has been re-discovered by non-hunters and most aren’t happy. The 26-year-old All-American javelin champion is finding himself fending off online outrage and hate. And in the meantime, Alberta is now considering banning spear hunting. The hate was enough to make Bowmar set the Youtube video to private. His Instagram account has also been set to private.
Bowmar has since made a statement to CBS News.
“The bear I speared only ran 60 yards and died immediately, that’s as humane and ethical as one could get,” Bowmar said. “Trust me, no one cares more about these animals than us hunters, especially me. If I wanted to kill, why not use a rifle and shoot the animal from 500 yards away with it having no chance to escape. If I didn’t care about the humane killing of this bear, why did I spend years preparing and practicing, becoming extremely proficient with a spear to make sure I could harvest this bear ethically?”
The event has attracted enough negative that attention that Alberta’s Environment and Parks department is apparently taking a new stance on spear hunting. “Work is well underway to update Alberta’s hunting regulations,” Environment and Parks spokesman Tim Chamberlin told The Globe and Mail. “We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall as part of those updated regulations.”
A scan of comments made about Bowmar on Social Media showed people were outraged not just at the fact he killed the bear with a spear, but also at his excitement about the harvest. Others were outraged he waited until the next morning to recover the bear. Some have even called for charges to be pressed in the hunt.
Angry anti-hunt activists have even gone so far as to make a petition online calling for the video to be taken off Youtube completely and for Bowmar’s account to be suspended. It has racked up 57,000 signatures already.
Attacks on hunters are becoming more and more common online in recent years. In many ways, the current backlash over Bowmar mirrors that against Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer in the Cecil the Lion incident last year.