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WVU Mountaineer Mascot Shot Bear With School Musket

mountaineer mascot

The West Virginia University Mountaineer is much more than a mascot. He’s an actual mountaineer. The school’s mascot carries a real working musket and occasionally goes hunting for bears.

According to ABC News, Jonathan Kimble dresses up as the mascot for West Virginia games but he also uses the costume, and the mascot’s gun, to go hunting. The University has ordered Kimble to stop using the weapon for non-school related activities but Kimble says that it’s a mascot tradition for the Mountaineer to go hunting with the musket.

WVU spokesman John Bolt said:

“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.”

The controversy was brought to light this week after Kimble posted a video of his hunt on the internet.

In the video, Kimble shoots a bear in a tree while screaming: “Let’s go Mountaineers!”

Kimble said that past Mountaineers have used the musket on hunting trips and that he’s gone deer hunting with the gun in the past.

Kimble said:

“Hunting can be a controversial topic. I apologize to any of those who took offense to the video. It definitely wasn’t my intent to offend anybody. Other Mountaineers have gone and shot multiple deer with it before. I’ve taken it with me deer hunting before, also.”

Here’s the photo of the Mountaineer mascot after he shot and killed a black bear. The video has been taken off Youtube but you can still watch it at Deadspin.

mountaineers mascot

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56 Responses to “WVU Mountaineer Mascot Shot Bear With School Musket”

  1. Ron Peterson

    let him hunt who cares I care more that the gun he carries durring games in crowds is a functioning weapon but he atleast knows how to use it GO DUDE NICE BEAR!

  2. Carlin Nelson

    I get so tired of the term "weapon" being assigned to all firearms. Here's the deal. Intent is what determines what is a weapon or not. A pen can be a weapon. If the mascot is parading around at games with a functioning gun, then it is a prop. It only becomes a weapon when he decides to use it to destroy a target. It's no wonder why so many people are afraid of guns.

  3. Lou Kass Kirbee

    That's not a bear….that's a cub. You could have caught that with your bare hands you POS.

  4. Carlin Nelson

    One more thing….why is the mascot running with his finger on the trigger? Moron!

  5. Brett Von Riesen

    Because he probably just fired it. The mountaineer fires the musket several time during a game(powder and wadding only, no ball. and always fired up). The picture looks to me like one of the times when he would have fired it while taking off running with the male cheerleader holding the flags running behind him. If the picture showed a few feet higher you'd probably be able to see the smoke coming out of the barrel.

  6. Tony Fontane

    I hope someone shots that Muther F*ker! Killing a small, defenseless animal and then posing. What a tough guy….Send that f*ker to Montana and him him hunt a Grizzly with a knife. Then we'll see who is posing with who.

  7. Christian Halas

    “Hunting can be a controversial topic…….."

    Uh, no dude, actually hunting has been going on since the dawn of time and the fact that our ancestors hunted as a means of sustenance is the reason we are all here today. It is only "controversial" in our modern liberal leaning politically correct world where many think that the meat in their grocery store magically appears there in Styrofoam packs wrapped in plastic, or if they do know that an animal had to die are unaware, or conveniently forget, that it's stuffed in a box and has a bolt driven into its brain.

  8. Carlin Nelson

    Ah. Well then, I rescind my comment about him being a moron. That is of course if he did, in fact, just fire it. Thank you, Brett.

  9. Tjaden Sadowski

    That's a pretty small bear. Looks like a juvenile who's just out of the "cub" stage, if that. Try hunting a full-grown boar bear the next time. You're not a "mountaineer," you're a lame mascot. Stupid cub killer.

  10. Matthew Towne

    It should be added to the article that he actually shot a cub. That thing is tiny. If he shot mama with that gun that'd be impressive but chasing a year old bear up a tree isn't all that exciting…

  11. Troy Stone

    Hunting for sport – such as that bear – seems pretty lame to me. Kill as much food as you want/need/as is legal. But you are glossing over the real controversy.

  12. Doris Knudsen

    disgusted, that guy should be ashamed, killing innocent cub!

  13. Iggy Markosian

    Yes, hunting was done for purposes of survival and sustenance. This WAS NOT done for purposes of survival. This was done for some reasons of novelty – now only that, but he killed a bear that is way underage.

    This is not my liberal way of thinking, since I am not a liberal, but you seem to be too far up bullshit creek to be able to comprehend logic.

    All you can see is red, and the fact that you feel like you "need" to hunt because of some dumbass ancestors.

    Don't get me wrong, I will hunt, but only if I need to survive. For now, this is why I have a job and a farmer's market.

  14. Rob Crowley

    Horrible biased article. Rearranged qoutes. Missleading statements. As far as the size of the bear, it was definietly young, but weighed 175lbs. WV hunting laws protect cubs up to 75lbs. Some areas of WV are very over populated with Black Bear and are a danger to people, property and pets. Guy did nothing wrong. If a 175lb black bear is where your kids play, I bet we wouldn't be talking about it's size.

  15. Anonymous

    Running around the football field with his finger on the trigger? Sure looks like he knows a thing or two about guns.

  16. Rob Crowley

    Hunting laws are very strict and carry high penalties for anyone who breaks them. They are also designed to manage and protect the species in it's own geographic location. That's why bear/deer/etc laws are different in WV than say MI. The guy in question broke no laws and does use alll the meat and hide. A 175lb bear may sound small behind your keyboard, but it's a different story when it's your back yard

  17. LaDene Mayville SavingPaws

    A "great achievement?" So, killing something is a great achievement to be proud of??? Obviously you agree because, after all, according to you (and this Mountaineer character) there is no greater feeling than SNUFFING the LIFE out of an innocent creature who was LIVING in its own habitat before his life was TAKEN from him by some redneck, backwoods, 18th century-looking IDIOT!!!! I USED to be a Mountaineer fan……but I am NOT anymore!!! This breaks my heart and makes me SICK!!!!

  18. LaDene Mayville SavingPaws

    Yeah, it WAS a nice bear….too bad that it's life was cut short simply for sport; and that people like you will congratulate this killer on a "job well done." How about putting your efforts into helping nature and wildlife LIVE rather than taking that God-given LIFE away for your amusement!!!!!!! Poor, sweet little bear……SO VERY SAD!!!

  19. Ben Calvert

    They said it was legal and no moter around or he might not look so good. No problem.

  20. Ben Calvert

    Bears have large areas to roam and need it. Less bears mean more food for the others. He did a good job.

  21. Ben Calvert

    175 is not small and it was legal. The mother had kicked it out so she could have more. No problem.

  22. Anonymous

    Wow, he's a real mountain man to shoot a bear in a tree. I wonder if he ate it or just left it to rot. It should be mentioned that this man is a complete retard.

  23. Rob Crowley

    First of all I'm a big supporter of no-kill shelters, but we're not talking about a domesticated animal…. we're talking about a bear. You've obviously never encountered one. I've had encounters in Minnesota, Montanna, and West Virginia. It's a scary experience. As far as "their habitat"? Look out your window. That used to be their habitat too. And to call someone a backwoods, redneck idiot because they choose to hunt and kill their own food instead of going to the grocery store or local butcher to get it is ridiculous and embarrassing for you. Even if you're a full Vegan, I bet you have a nice leather belt, handbag, shoes, etc. So grow-up, just because you didn't kill it yourself, doesnt mean you're innocent

  24. John Harris

    Nice to see that the coon skin cap the guy wears still has an ASS HOLE UNDER ITS TAIL.

  25. Rob Crowley

    @david- He's actually firing the weapon in that photo as he leads the football team on to the field. You can't see the smoke, because the photo is cropped. Uses only powder, no ball, for games.

  26. Steve Frederick

    R.I.P young Cubby. I'm sorry you had to die at the hands of the Bully from A Christmas Story.

  27. Bob Welch

    one it was black powder you get one shot thats it and even though not ethical it was obviously within the law and his right to shoot it. also from the looks of things the meat didn't go to waste.

  28. Roger Griggs

    @rob. your a punk. i live at 9200 ft in colorado. we have bears all the time. man up, walk out and yell at them and the RUN away. America, land of the 'i'm scared and proud of it'

  29. Rob Crowley

    Not impressed Roger….. I have no idea what 9,200ft has to do with anything. I used to live in Leadville, CO about 1,000ft higher, not sure what that has to do with bears though. While hiking in Glacier NP we do keep pots and pans on the outside of our packs to warn the bears before we see them, but you're a liar if you think you're going to roll up on a grizzly and yell at it….. In the National Recreation Boundary waters came back to camp after fishing for a few hours and went to our bear hang about 150yds from our camp and stumbled on a 300lb+ black bear dragging our food bag into the woods. Left the area and waited about 5min and then went back banging on pans and the bear was still there just growling, didnt run. so, picked up camp and moved to the other side of the lake. You're an idiot if your advice is to approach a wild bear and yell at. Always make noise to not surprise one, but avoid them if at all possible. Your false machismo shows ignorance and impresses noone.

  30. Rob Crowley

    and you still don't know the difference between "your" and "you're"

  31. Will Bledsoe

    The hunting of predators can be for food, hides, and more importantly in the name of conservation. If the predator population is not held, they can over populate. This could lead to many other problems, among them disease and starvation. The size of animal taking changes by the regulations within that particular state. In my state the hunting season for bear ends once five are killed and you can't take one under 75 pounds. I am sure in WVa. case the population is suffice to not have the strict regs we do in my state. I know this fires up the animal right folks to no end but if you don't allow hunting you will end up with bigger problems and cause more harm than good.

  32. Rob Crowley

    Roger Griggs nice freaking devil tatto…..LMAO, You are an idiot

  33. Jason Jordan

    I have seen dogs much bigger then that little bitty bear….probably out by himself for the first time and you killed him….

  34. Adirondack Wildlife Refuge

    Rob, just keep trying to pump this guy up. I prefer statistics to anecdotes, and the fact is that you are far more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a black bear. Where I live, black bears invariably run. They're not stupid. They've figured out that we're the dangerous ones. Death by hunting is the number one cause of bear death in the U.S. On the bear's side, there is a fatal human encounter with a black bear every four years. Do you have any clue how many thousands of people see black bears up close every year? By the way, the danger from grizzlies is wildliy over-rated with an average of one or two fatalities a year. Again, how many thousands of people have seen grizzlies up close? I've seen 40 in the last 25 years, and I don't carry a weapon, as pepper spray is a far better deterent than firearms. This bear is a yearling, and not a very large one. Yeah, what a hero!

  35. Eric YooVille

    why can't we hunt repeat felons who are no good to society? I think we should allow a game sanctuary where convicts are hunted and killed.

  36. Anonymous

    That's not a musket-It's a Kentucky(Pennsylvania)Rifle.There is a difference! If he didn't have the hammer pulled back it wouldn't matter if he had his hand on the trigger.

  37. Rob Crowley

    Not "pumping" anybody up, just don't like hypocrites who bash people for hunting but continue to purchase meat and leather products………Your numbers are a little skewed to favor your opininon…… It's a numbers game… how many lighting strikes per year in North America : over 20,000,000( yea, I got google too) How large is the black bear population: About 300,000 thats a little over 66 to 1, so it would be fair to say that lightning kills 66 times more people than bear attacks. But those aren't the numbers. 2 bear attacks each year vs. 50 lightning strikes(based on the US) giving us a 25 to 1….. Now 2 deaths per year is very small(that's based off 1990's data) but is increasing every year with encroachment of their habitat. As far as Grizzlies being far overated. Grizzlies are enormous beautiful creatures but very dangerous. Why do you think it's mandatory to get a backcountry trail permit with Bear and Mtn. Lion training before being allowed access to Bear country in our National park system. It's for our protection. If humans had as much contact with Bears on a daily basis as they do with other animals, this number would be in the thousands, but thanks to wildlife management we are able to keep interaction low…… To go along with your thinking about " do you have any clue how many thousands of people see black bears up close every year?" Do you have any clue how many MILLIONS of people see lightning up close every year?

  38. Tjaden Sadowski

    No way is that a 175 lb bear. And nowhere in the article does it give the weight of the bear. That's a bear cub who was just starting to put on weight.

  39. Brett Von Riesen

    At davidsfp. Again, his finger is on the trigger because he just did, or is about to fire it. There are several points during a game that the Mountaineer fires his rifle(powder and wadding, no ball). That photo looks to me like the pregame show. You can see he's starting to run across the field, and the cheerleaders are starting to follow, and behind them the team is also getting ready to run. If the picture was from a wider angle you'd see the band on the field and probably a plume of smoke from the barrel. The video linked below shows what I'm talking about. Its a bad angle, but at about 1:33 you can see the smoke from the shot off to the right side of the screen. Then they all come running across the field.

  40. Rebecca Furr

    LMAO Good one John Harris.. I live in WV and I'll have to remember that one for future reference.

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