A video posted to the Bowmar Bowhunting YouTube channel back in June has caused quite a stir in the media over the past couple of days. Former Javelin thrower and personal trainer Josh Bowmar prepared for this spring’s bear hunt in a slightly different fashion than most.
While traditionally hunted using rifles or compound bows, Josh decided he was going to attempt to kill a bear using a homemade spear, and to add to the theatrics, he announced he was going to mount a GoPro camera to the weapon for added effect.
He ended up being successful in his hunt, drawing a good sized bear into about 10 yards from his ground blind. Unfortunately, they were unable to recover the bear until the following morning, but judging from the bear’s condition, it was believed it died quickly after penetration.
As anyone can imagine, the video of such a hunt could make even some hunters slightly uneasy.
None the less, Josh was operating completely within the laws of Alberta and while I or anyone else might not agree with his methods, the fact remains that he truthfully did not do anything wrong. Just something that many disagree with, and in today’s society sometimes that can come with a life sentence.
Aside from the usual left-leaning publications, celebrities and pundits chiming in on the “sick” and “warped” display of hunting, the Alberta government has also taken notice. Provincial officials announced they will be investigating the hunt and that hunters should expect to see a ban on spear hunting as early as this fall.
“The type of archaic hunting seen in the recently posted video … is unacceptable,” Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Parks said in a written statement. “We will introduce a ban on spear hunting this fall.”
The Ministry has also instructed the province’s fish and game officers to take a closer look at what exactly took place during the spring hunt.
“We’ve got at least one hunter that has come up here and wanted to hunt by use of a spear, so now it means we’re going to have to address it by way of policy,” Wayne Lowry, president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association told CBC News.
Lowry and others are interested in learning as to whether or not the 2016 ban on spear hunting would be applicable to Bowmar’s hunt, despite the fact that at the time of the hunt there was no specific ban on spears at the time of the kill.
Bowmar has been open with many of the publications blasting his ethics, citing the fact that spear-style hunting has been around for millions of years.
Adding more insult to injury, Under Armour made a brash decision to drop the other half of Bowmar Bowhunting, Sarah Bowmar, who was signed as part of the company’s “The Women of Will” campaign back in January.
In a statement, Under Armour confirmed the dissolution of their deal with Sarah.
“The method used to harvest this animal was reckless and we do not condone it,” an Under Armour spokesperson told Business Insider. “Under Armour is dedicated to the hunting community and supports hunting that is conducted in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and hunting practices that ensure a responsible and safe harvest of the animal.”
As the hunting community rallies behind the Bowmars, Under Armour’s decision is being seen as one that is against the hunting community rather than for it.
While undoubtedly facing a great deal of pressure from petitions such as the one that read: “Regardless of their impressive fitness techniques, Under Armour needs to drop their sponsorship of Bowmar Fitness immediately. In video after video, these two showed a sickening pleasure in the suffering and death of the animals they hunted (usually for fun). It is disgraceful for a company like Under Armour to be associated with Josh Bowmar and his fitness and hunting businesses,” Under Armour buckled.
I can’t speak percentages, but I imagine hunting is a very small piece of the estimated $5 billion in revenue the company expects to bring in this year. That being said, I suppose it can be easy for some to understand the hasty decision.
On the other hand, while smaller than say, the general athletic apparel industry, the hunting and outdoor industry is tightly knit and loyal, which could be problematic for the company’s outdoor line in the long run.