A hunting method causing outrage on social media may be legal in Alberta, but not in Saskatchewan.
In a video posted by Josh Bowmar, the hunter from Ohio uses a spear to kill a black bear during a trip to northern Alberta last spring. It drew sharp criticism and has since been made private. Alberta’s hunting regulations do not specifically outlaw the practice, but provincial officials said they would move to do so in the fall.
Brad Tokaruk, a regulatory specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment, said the laws of this province clearly prohibit hunting with a spear.
“I don’t think it was ever actually legal,” he said. “It certainly was prohibited in writing in regulations since 1981.”
Tokaruk said the purpose of the regulations is to ensure animals are being treated humanely and responsibly.
“For instance, our regulations state a minimum calibre for a rifle; they state the draw weight that must be required for a crossbow or a bow and arrow. So there is actually no variation in terms of human strength or that type of thing,” he explained. He said he understands the public outcry, including from other hunters.
“Most hunters are quite concerned about the welfare of their quarry and certainly do treat animals as humanely as they can,” Tokaruk said.
In an email to the Canadian Press, Bowmar, a former competitive javelin thrower, defended his use of a spear as “quick, moral, ethical, and legal.”
-With files from the Canadian Press
Geoff Smith is battlefordsNOW's News Director, business and agriculture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @smithco.
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