Unless you have been out hunting the Brooks Range for the past week you know the name Josh Bowmar.
But in case you don’t here is a quick rundown, he is the hunter that started an internet hissy fit because he killed a black bear with a spear and released the video on You Tube. Sure it is not the usual method for this day and age, but he made a perfect throw. The bear was dead within minutes if not seconds. It was everything you could hope for in a bear kill with any weapon much less a spear.
A few weeks after it was posted the media organizations found the video and all hell started to break loose. The anti-hunting Stormtroopers descended on every hunting site that dared to mention the name Bowmar and started laying the hate. They called him every derogatory name in the book and even sent him death threats. The outrage came to a head when Josh and his wife Sarah lost their sponsorship from Under Armour after they were petitioned by a mire 4,000 people.
I would understand the outrage if he wounded the bear and it ran off to die a long slow death. I would also understand if he wasted the meat or if he broke any game laws. He did none of that. He made a kill like 1000’s of other bear hunters will do all across the US and Canada this fall. Sure he used a spear, but dead is dead no matter the weapon.
The animal rights community is always looking to make political hay. It does not matter how far they need to twist things to accomplish their goal. In this case they took three things from the video and slanted them to make their point.
First, The Spear: Even though he made a perfect throw, they called it barbaric. They concentrated on the huge scary blade that made the big nasty hole that caused the bear to die. I am still scratching my head on this one. Don’t they understand that the bigger the blade means a bigger wound which leads to a quicker death which equals less suffering? That does not matter. Big Scary blade is bad.
Second, The Wait: Like any smart hunter after a late evening shot, he waited until the next day to recover the bear. This was twisted by The Daily Mail article saying that because the bear laid over night “it could” have suffered for up to 20 hours. First of all he did wait 20 hour to recover the bear and looking at the wound and how much penetration the spear had (2 feet according to The Daily Mail) it was a very quick death. I tried to explain this to people but they wanted to believe the 20 hour story.
Third, His Reaction: He was pretty excited about the kill. He showed a lot of emotion. Which was taken as him fulfilling his blood lust and showing disrespect to the animal. This is actually the only place where I can sort of see their point. What a non-hunter see as excitement over a kill, I see as the culmination of tons of hard work. Anyone who has killed a big game animal knows it is a very emotional experience and it is not an easy task to accomplish. Excitement can come over someone and it can easily be misconstrued into something it is not.
Why let the truth get in the way of a good story? Outrage sells better than truth and plus it forwards their agenda. These are the tactics anti-hunters will try to employ against us. Even when we do the right ethical thing their outrage hammer can come swift. And if a hunter makes a mistake or is careless, look out. As hunters we need to be careful what we post on social media, because it can and will be used against us.
I see nothing wrong in what Josh did. He obeyed the law, used the meat, and made an ethical kill. His emotions may have been a little much but it was no more then what we see on the Sportsman Channel every day. Hunters need to support Josh. They can do that by sending a polite email to Under Armour saying they are disappointed with their decision to drop the Bowmar’s sponsorship. I stress polite because we are better than the anti-hunters and we should not stoop to their level.
Email Address for Under Armour