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Ethical Versus Legal

We all the right to speak our minds and after seeing hundreds of posts bashing Under Armour I have decide to weigh in.

Much has been made this week about Under Armour terminating its contract with Sarah Bowmar from their Women of Will campaign after she filmed her husband Josh killing a bear with a spear.  The hunt was legal and the couple shared the footage on their Bowmar Bowhunting Youtube page last spring in Canada. The video was extremely popular and  had approximately 200,000 views in just the short time it was posted. The bear was killed legally, but was it ethical?

Before you answer lets look at another scenario. Where I live in Northern Virginia, we have a deer season that runs from September to the end of April. Durning the latter months of the season, it is legal kill doe that is carrying a fawn. By killing the doe you are also killing the fawn. Gutting the doe involves removing the live fawn, and leaving it to die. While this gruesome scene is legal, it certainly is not ethical. As hunters we have to balance the laws as they are written and the ethics that guide us internally.

Every state in the USA has laws in place governing the minimum poundage, minimum distance and minimum broadhead width, allowable for use when hunting with archery equipment. Why? To provide hunters with guidelines and information for achieving quick ethical kills. States also regulate guns, power loads and bullet types for the same reason. Quick, clean, ethical kills. There is no way to practically regulate how far or how hard someone can throw a spear.

There is a reason why hunting with a spear is not legal in the USA. First there is a large propensity for hunters to miss the kill spot, which in turn the bear or any wounded animal could turn on the hunter, and kill the hunter. Admittedly Josh is a world class athlete, and a collegiate, All American Javelin thrower.  His skill for throwing spears is far and away superior to most peoples, but is it ethical. That is the question we should be asking, not whether or not it is legal.

I hear a lot of people saying that you are either for hunting or you are against hunting and there is nothing between. NOT TRUE. I am for legal and ethical hunting. Not hunting that puts the hunter, and the crew in excessive danger. I not for ouching at night, or trespassing on others lands to kill animals.

Owning a business whether big or small is about minimizing risk to enhance your rewards. Unfortunately for Sarah Bowmar the risk for Under Armour of having her on staff became to great, and her contract was terminated. Both Under Armour and Sarah will come out of this better and stronger for the experience. Sarah is a talented hunter, with unlimited potential. She will rise above this, regroup, and return a stronger hunter, stronger business person, and stronger human being.

I believe at the end of the day Under Armour choose ethics over the law.  I was not in the room when the decision was made, but I do know the decision was not easy, required more than just an internet petition, and was one that no one wanted to make. Before you lash out at Under Armour, I would remind you that there are two sides to every story and you nor I have not read the contract that existed between Sarah and Under Armour. Take a half a minute and read both statements released. Neither side spoke ill of the other, just that they were both disappointed in the outcome and that they are moving forward.

I am not going to burn my Under Armour clothes because the company made a business decision. I have seen so many do this on social media, why? Under Armour has done nothing but promote hunting since they entered the market years ago. I will patiently await for opening day to arrive and dawn my UA Hunt Camo like I have done in years past and will continue to do for the unforeseeable future.

About Steve Sheetz (1056 Articles)
Steve is an avid outdoorsman who has been fortunate enough to publish two books on archery hunting. His first book, For the Love of the Hunt, was published in 2011. His second book, Wading Through the Darkness will be published in 2015. Steve sits on numerous Pro Staffs throughout the archery industry. For almost a decade Steve helped build, but wanted the opportunity to build something bigger and better and launched in December of 2014 as a way to share his love and passion for the outdoors. Today Chasin'Whitetails Media is growing. With the addition of the a radio show in 2014 and a The Heartbeat TV show in 2015, who knows what will come his way next. When it comes to understanding the movement and logic of the urban whitetail and waterfowl, he is more than just a PHD with a love of the outdoors. He is a self proclaimed expert who loves to engage and teach others about the sport he loves so very much. Spending over 125 days a year in the big city woods and urban waterways chasing all types of game.

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