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This Hunter Killed A Bear With A Spear And People Are Furious

Josh Bowmar received hundreds of angry messages online, including some death threats.

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A hunter who filmed himself killing a black bear with a spear got intense backlash online, leading him to remove the video and lock down his social media accounts.

Josh Bowmar / YouTube / Via

Josh Bowmar, a fitness trainer and former college javelin thrower, killed an adult male black bear in Alberta, Canada, earlier this year.

The video of his kill was on YouTube until it was removed Monday afternoon. It showed Bowmar hurling a spear into the bear's side from about 20 feet away, after luring it to a bait box. An excited Bowmar boasted afterward that he'd gotten "mad penetration" with his throw.

“I just did something I don’t think anybody in the world has ever done, and that was spear a bear on the ground, on film," Bowmar said to the camera. "And I smoked him.”

The video also included footage from a GoPro camera attached to the spear, showing the mortally wounded bear running away in terror with the weapon still lodged in its body.

Josh Bowmar / YouTube / Via

Bowmar and two other hunters found the dead bear the next day, with its innards having spilled out of the gaping wound.

Bowmar said the bear measured about 7 feet in length from nose to tail.

As the video spread online, many people flooded Bowmar's social media accounts with angry messages accusing him of cowardice and cruelty.

@joshbowmar how you killed that bear and left it to suffer was DISGUSTING. Call your self a man. Nothing but coward🖕

@JoshBowmar you make me sick what gives you the right to kill an innocent animal. Coward is what you are and scum of the earth


Some commenters also accused Bowmar of being an unethical hunter.

@JoshBowmar Karma is a great thing. That bear was killed in a despicable way. A disgrace to hunters.

People also left angry comments on Bowmar's shared Facebook page with his wife, also a fitness trainer and hunter.


Both of them have locked down their Instagram accounts after getting hundreds of angry comments there.

In a statement to Global News, Bowmar defended himself against accusations of cruelty and said spear hunting is more humane than the alternatives.

Josh Bowmar / YouTube / Via

"The bear I speared only ran 60 yards and died immediately, that’s as humane and ethical as one could get in a hunting situation on big game animals," Bowmar said, adding that he didn't waste any parts of the bear.

"If 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?"

Bowmar did not respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.


The Alberta government says it will outlaw spear hunting of wildlife following the widespread outrage over Bowmar's video, The Canadian Press reports. The province plans to update its hunting guidelines this fall, with a spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Parks calling spear hunting an "archaic" practice.

Authorities are also looking into whether Bowmar could face charges under existing laws.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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