You will never see a more intense bear hunt than this and it was all done on film with a spear, from the ground.
“I just speared a bear!”
The words of excitement from Josh Bowmar of Bowmar Bowhunting after he speared a bear on May 19th, 2016 in Alberta, Canada. Here’s the crazy part: he did it with no blind, no guide, no backup weapon and from the ground, all on film.
Bowmar, an All-American Javelin thrower in college, had always dreamed of hunting with a spear. Placing Top 6 in the nation having thrown javelins over 200 feet, this 12-15-yard spear toss, was one for the record books.
The day before, May 18th, his wife Sarah, shot a bear with her bow in which they left overnight to track the next morning. As they battled the weather, they found Sarah’s bear, but by the time they quartered it and got it back to camp, it was too late for Josh to be picky as to where he was to set up for the evening and had to choose the bait closest to the camp.
“I wanted to spear a bear without back up and the entire time we were there, the guide was telling me basically I was crazy because they had just recently heard of a guy being mauled by a bear. With that, I agreed, and every other time we hunted, we had a guide with us who carried a shotgun. However when we finished with Sarah’s bear I spoke with the guide and because of the situation, he told me since it was pouring down rain and bears tend to be fair weather animals, if I wanted to take the chance and go hunt without backup, I could if I wanted to. He told me how bears are mostly curious so if one comes in just keep the spear out there and nudge him with it if need be. It was obvious neither of us expected a seven foot giant to come out and offer me a shot.”
After Josh speared the bear, he admitted to me on the phone, he was a tad nervous. The bear, being quarter-to during the shot, and having only able to see the footage on the camera at the time, Bowmar was devastated. About an hour after he speared the bear the guide showed up but it was just too dark to begin tracking and at that time, blood had completely washed away.
It wasn’t until they made it back to camp and pulled the footage up on the computer that Josh became confident in his shot. He had over 24 inches of penetration but the GoPro footage showed as soon as the spear hit the tree the spearhead moved into the chest cavity for the fatal poke.
Watching the video and listening to Josh and Sarah recap the story on the phone, you can just hear the excitement they share for hunting together. Josh spent over 100 hours practicing with his spear and it truly paid off.
Not having the actual measurements, the guide estimated the bear to weigh over 400 pounds and measure a 19-20-inch skull.
The custom made spear, Josh designed himself. He modified the handle to acquire perfect balance after he spent countless hours griding the entire spear out from nose to tail. He knew that if he placed his hand in Quadrant A4 or Quadrant B7, it would spin and throw a completely different way. So after getting perfect balance and creating a custom rope handle that allowed his finger to control and add spin for increased accuracy, Josh knew he was ready for the hunt.
Confident, ready and passionate described both Josh and Sarah minimally as they headed to Alberta for their hunt. Excited, relieved and overcome with the feeling of success is what they came back with. The true testament of success doesn’t always lie in the trophy itself but rather comes from the work and effort put in and seeing your self worth and results with minimal consequence.
To keep in touch with the Bowmar Bowhunting couple, be sure to follow them on Instagram at @bowmarbowhunting and check back here soon to see Sarah’s video of her bear she shot the day before.