While the YouTube video of an American bodybuilder spearing an Alberta black bear has sparked controversy, technically his method of kill may not have been illegal.
Josh Bowmar, the man believed to be in the video, told Global News the bear was killed “in Alberta, Canada” in May.
The video was posted in June 2016, and recently caught the attention of people, gaining hundreds of thousands of views in just hours. The person who posted it has since changed the settings to ‘private-view’.
The use of spears in hunting is not covered under Alberta Regulations. The current rules for hunting big game in our province covers the size of arrows; methods of firing arrows; exploding arrow heads and the animals activity when it is being targeted. But spears are actually not mentioned.
Bowmar is defending his choice of using a spear. In a statement to the media, Bowmar said, “first and foremost, spear hunting gives the animal the greatest chance of escape, considering our ethical killing range is within 10 yards.”
While spear-hunting might not currently be covered under Alberta’s hunting regulations, it sounds like it will be soon.
A statement from the ministry of Environment and Parks indicated changes will be coming to the provinces hunting regulations.
“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.”
The government went on to condemn the video.
“The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video of a hunter spearing a black bear, allegedly in Alberta, is unacceptable.”
The statement also said Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are looking into that particular incident to see if charges are warranted under the existing laws.