WVU's Mascot Shoots Bear with Official Musket

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posted on December 10, 2012
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In a YouTube video declared by Deadspin's Barry Petchesky as the "most West Virginia video ever," the West Virginia Mountaineer mascot is shown shooting a bear from a tree with his official school-issued musket. The mascot, senior Jonathan Kimble, was hunting in his native West Virginia and, obviously, had chosen a hound hunt as his tactic.The video has since been deleted by the user, but was reposted by Deadspin.

It has not gone without controversy. West Virginia University's biggest concern is not that Kimble participated in a bear hunt, but that he used his official musket (who knew the .45-caliber rifle was a real working muzzleloader?) and embedded the school fight song into the YouTube video. A university spokesperson provided the following statement to The Daily Dot:

"While Jonathan Kimble's actions broke no laws or regulations, the University has discussed this with him and he agrees that it would be appropriate to forego using the musket in this way in the future. There are some provisions regarding the gun, but none that prohibit its use outside of University-sponsored functions or for hunting purposes. It is also worth noting that powder is used when the musket is discharged at public functions."

Others have attacked Kimble on Twitter (his username is @WVUMascot) regarding the size of the bear. West Virginia law prohibits taking bears under 75 pounds live weight or 50 pounds dressed. The bear isn't huge by any means, but it does apparently meet this standard. Kimble responded to his Twitter critics by noting his intent to eat the bear and citing an overpopulation of bears in West Virginia.

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