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No charges for hunter who speared Alberta bear in video

Click to play video: 'Hunter’s YouTube video shows him allegedly killing a black bear in Alberta with a spear' Hunter’s YouTube video shows him allegedly killing a black bear in Alberta with a spear
WATCH ABOVE: Video posted on YouTube showing a man killing a black bear with a spear while hunting in Alberta has sparked outrage. The 13-minute video, posted on June 5 to the Bowmar Bowhunting YouTube account, had been viewed more than 200,000 times as of Aug. 15 – Aug 15, 2016

WARNING: This article and video contains graphic content that some may find disturbing.

The Alberta government says no charges will be laid against a hunter who was captured on video killing a black bear with a spear while hunting in the province. The video was posted on June 5 to the Bowmar Bowhunting YouTube account and was viewed hundreds of thousands of times before it was removed.

“As there is no evidence that any existing laws were broken, no charges will be laid,” Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Brendan Cox told Global News Tuesday.

READ MORE: Video of hunter killing Alberta bear with spear draws death threats; provincial ban coming 

The video shows American hunter Josh Bowmar throwing a spear equipped with a GoPro camera at the animal, piercing its stomach.

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“The hunter possessed the valid non-resident alien black bear hunting licence and tag,” Cox wrote in an email, adding the hunt took place in a wildlife area where it is legal to bait black bears (the north side of Lesser Slave Lake).

READ MORE: Alberta Fish and Game Association fine with ban on spear hunting

In the wake of the social media outrage, the Alberta government said last week work was “well underway” to update hunting regulations.

“The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video of a hunter spearing a black bear in Alberta is unacceptable,” Ministry of Environment and Parks spokesperson Kyle Ferguson reiterated Tuesday.

“We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall as part of those updated regulations.”

Bowmar said allegations that spear hunting is inhumane “couldn’t be further from the truth” in a statement sent to Global News last week.

“Spear hunting gives the animal the greatest chance of escape, considering our ethical killing range is within 10 yards,” Bowmar said. “A spear will kill an animal twice as fast as an arrow will.”
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READ MORE: ‘This guy is crazy’ – Spear hunting already illegal in Ontario

The use of spears in hunting is not currently covered under Alberta Regulations. The rules for hunting big game in the province covers the size of arrows, methods of firing arrows, exploding arrow heads and the animal’s activity when it is being targeted. Spears are not mentioned in the guidelines.

With files from Emily Mertz and Jodi Hughes

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