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Canucks Player Under Fire for Bear Baiting

Canucks Player Under Fire for Bear Baiting

Vancouver Canucks player David Booth is getting quite a bit of negative attention after taking to Twitter to post photos and video of himself killing a black bear while he was on vacation in Alberta.

Animal advocates, and even some hunters, are taking a major issue with the fact that he was bear baiting, a controversial hunting practice that involves leaving food out to lure animals to a certain spot where they’re easier to kill.

Some take issue with the  advantage it gives hunters, ruining the supposed “fair chase,” while others simply abhor trophy hunting altogether.

“It is even more difficult to find a moral justification for trophy hunting ― the killing of an animal to satisfy human vanity. There is a moral difference between killing for food and killing for pleasure. While an ethical vegetarian might argue that both are unnecessary, the latter plumbs the depths of immoral human behaviour through its selfishness, trivializing of nature and disregard for life,” wrote Peter Fricker, Projects and Communications Director at the Vancouver Humane Society, about the incident.

Bear baiting is legal in most of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, but not in British Columbia, where Booth lives. It’s also illegal in 18 states in the U.S.

In this case, Booth spent a week luring the bear to the kill spot before shooting him with a crossbow from way up high in a tree stand while he was out with guides from Twin River Outfitting. The plan all along was to show footage of the hunt on The Edge, a program on the Canadian hunting and fishing network Wild TV.

During the ambush he tweeted, “In Alberta trying to kill a few bruins. #unleashthefury,” followed by, “Just killed a Chara-sized bruin! 7ft black bear – 21in skull.”

There are no reports to indicate that Booth suffered from an epiphany that he is no greater, braver or manlier for having done so. Either way, the backlash came quickly and the video he posted to YouTube has since been taken down. There are, however, some who are defending his actions.

“There are people who get upset and they pick out certain aspects to push their own agenda,” said Lowell Davis of Alpine Outfitters in Alberta. “But it’s not an easy way to hunt. You have to be perfectly still. The slightest movement and the bear will go hunt for beavers.”

Wow. Sitting still and waiting. That does sound terribly difficult. Hopefully no one strained themselves during the whole ordeal. Still, others are defending his actions because, well, just because what he did is technically legal …and then there’s Ted Nugent, who also took to Twitter to express his admiration.

“David Booth the great NHL Warrior is a tru conservationist supporting the proven success of Canadian bear mgt. Godbless the wildlife hero,” he tweeted.

“David Booth is a self-professed, devout Christian — a fact he has also brought into the public realm through interviews with the media. He no doubt sincerely believes that his bear-baiting trophy hunt is not at odds with the Christian values of mercy, kindness and respect for Creation. Perhaps some genuine soul-searching would tell him otherwise,” said Fricker, who contrasted Booth’s actions with those of NHL player Scott Niedermayer who’s using his status as a celebrity to campaign to save the Great Bear Rainforest and speaking out about the need to protect grizzly bear habitat.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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4:00AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

And even more despicable is that trophy up as a video where he shows how it kills the bear. A being defenseless against one (the man) that attracts and kills the animal in brutal cowardice while hiding behind a gun. Should be shown as contemptible in the eyes of the world. Only he who loves is love in return.

3:56AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

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I would put those who enjoy hunting and the fighting bull, on equal terms. The would both face to face. Al Hunter unarmed. Let's see how brave he is. The bullfighter without prior crossbows and spear without end. Not only is cowardice of the lowest, but showing dangerous behavior and sick to human society itself who despises life and reaches the torture of an animal as a form of gratification. Their behaviors are sociopathic and as such should be treated. Who torture torturing an animal then a human being and if I did not also is a human being not only despicable but sick of cruelty and malice. For this reason they should be penalized and treated up to know that motivates his deepest self the pleasure of killing.

2:51AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

That piece of waste would probably kill the last individual of a specie just to mount the head on a display and boost about his heroic manhood on Twitter. There's nothing heroic or manly about killing animals for the sake of fame among other blood thirsty animal haters!

8:25PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Yeah it’s kind of beat they have kill those they feel are beneath them-animals- to feel like men (good luck on that one since the only ones they impress are the same ones that bond with- like minded assholes involved in 'manly' activities butt-buddies on the down low) and it is beat that these pussies aren't man enough to try to hunt another man (with or without weapons), or are too much of bed wetting impotent dirtbags that they won't try to hunt without any weapons- aw maybe a knife- lot of good that would do- I'd love to meet with these gun toting macho men to set up a "hunt” between us baiting of course would be their kids. As for the NRA I do respect their belief in gun owning for protection, too bad these pussies need to use them against those that can’t shoot back- animals, fruit, cans & the elusive paper target instead of allowing the prisons to be full of those that they are too scared to go after just another hunters opinion- No I’ve never shot an innocent living being- key word innocent.

3:40PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Hi guys, I'm from the uk and to be quite honest this sort of thing horrifies me. Over here hunting animals for trophies is dying a death, the practice is only really popular among the upper classes who have recently had a real kick in the teeth with the ban on hunting all animals with dogs.

The reality here is that most of the voters live in cities and have no interest in harassing and torturing poor creatures probably minding their own business. We also have no right to carry guns without a very complicated license.

So you see , to a young person in the uk, a bunch of bloodthirsty NRA devoted hics obsessed with decorating their homes with the dismembered remains of once sentient beings is definitely odd behavior. The upper classes who would like to pursue this sort of thing here will never see these laws repealed even though they say that city dwellers "don't understand the country ways". Simply put, this generation is more sophisticated and as each year passes more and more anti-blood-sport laws and restrictions are put in place. It is one British tradition that I am delighted to see fading away along with the barbaric neanderthal mentality which spawned it.

I truly hope that the North American continent will follow suite one day but you do have the NRA to contend with.

6:15AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

sad news about the bear :( but thanks for sharing :)

2:41AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

"Die Größe eines Volkes und seine moralischen Fortschritte können daran gemessen werden, wie es seine Tiere behandelt."

Those who are cruel to animals cannot be righteous human beings.

Wer gegen Tiere grausam ist, kann kein guter Mensch sein.

2:40AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

"Die Größe eines Volkes und seine moralischen Fortschritte können daran gemessen werden, wie es seine Tiere behandelt."

Those who are cruel to animals cannot be righteous human beings.

Wer gegen Tiere grausam ist, kann kein guter Mensch sein.

2:40AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

"Die Größe eines Volkes und seine moralischen Fortschritte können daran gemessen werden, wie es seine Tiere behandelt."

Those who are cruel to animals cannot be righteous human beings.

Wer gegen Tiere grausam ist, kann kein guter Mensch sein.

10:10AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

You should be ashamed David Booth!!! What were you trying to prove??? At least Scott Neidermayer is acting with good concience and supporting a great cause of the Great Bear Rainforest.
" If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls".Jane Goodall.

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