Maryland Weighing Ban on Spear Hunting, New Air Gun Regulations


Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is pushing a prohibition on hunting “big game” with spears, as well as new regulations on the use of air guns to hunt deer.

The Associated Press reports that the ban on spears would be achieved via “regulatory language stating that only the weapons listed in the regulations may be used for deer and black bear hunting.” The language would clarify that the allowable “weapons are bows and firearms, including a powerful new type of air gun that shoots full-sized arrows.”

The Department of Natural Resources air gun push “would limit deer hunting with air guns to the modern firearm season.” It would ban the use of air guns during the season for muzzleloaders.

The public has through October 17 to comment on these proposals.

The AP indicates that the push to prohibit “spear-hunting big game” is part of the reaction to Josh Bowmar’s YouTube video, in which he showed himself hunting a bear with a spear and taking the beast down with a GoPro camera. Breitbart News reported that outrage emerged in mid-August after Bowmar–an American hunter–killed the bear in northern Alberta.

The Guardian reported that “the Alberta environment ministry described the spear hunt seen in the video as ‘archaic’ and ‘unacceptable.'” Alberta officials asked for a Fish and Wildlife investigation into Bowmar’s actions, to see if he did anything illegal.

Fox 31 reported that the U.S. Humane Society compared Bowmar to the hunter who killed “Cecil the Lion.” Now Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is seeking to ban the use of spears for “big game” hunting.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at