After the student representing West Virginia University’s mascot, senior Jonathan Kimble, successfully harvested a black bear in his home state and posted the video online, he has faced criticism on the Internet and has since taken the video down.
Every year, the university elects a student mascot, known as The Mountaineer. He appears at school sporting events, receives a scholarship, a tailor-made buckskin suit, coonskin hat and period rifle and powder horn.
In the video, he proves the firearm isn’t just for show when he takes down a treed bear on December 3 in Pendleton County.
In the video dogs are heard barking in the background, Kimble himself hollers at his success and a WVU fight song plays. Soon after, he received numerous comments, both good and bad, on YouTube, Twitter and other social networks–some people were simply surprised that you could really use the old Mountaineer rifle, a .45 caliber muzzleloader (though it should be no surprise to sportsmen and women). Others harshly criticized him for taking what they allege is a bear cub. A copy of the video is currently hosted at deadspin.com.
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources states in their regulations that it is illegal to “shoot at or kill a bear weighing less than 75 pounds live weight or 50 pounds field dressed weight or to kill any bear accompanied by a cub or to kill any cub accompanied by another bear, regardless of its weight.” Doing so may result in a penalty and fine.
On his twitter account, Kimble stated that the bear weighed 175 pounds.
Kimble’s hunt was legal, he had a tag and it was within the season. At this time, it seems like he will face no repercussions, save for a few more nasty comments.