[UPDATE, 11:50 AM ET Thursday: WVU has issued a statement saying that Kimble has agreed not to use the musket for hunting purposes in the future.]
In addition to being issued buckskins and a coonskin cap, the West Virginia Mountaineer mascot also carries around a musket. We recently found out is an actual musket, one capable of bringing down a black bear.
Jon Kimble, a WVU senior and the 62nd official Mountaineer mascot for the school, demonstrated this on Monday when he posted the following to his Twitter account.
Killeda WV Black Bear today with my Mountaineer Rifle today!! twitter.com/WVUMascot/stat…
— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) December 4, 2012
In a since-removed YouTube video, Kimble shoots the small bear after it was chased into a tree by dogs and yells “Go Mountaineers!” after shooting the animal.
While Kimble was within his rights to take down the bear since it is in hunting season and the bear was tagged and not a cub, his critics say he took his school spirit and his role as the Mountaineer mascot much too far – not to mention lent credence to a number of stereotypes for West Virginians.
We recommend Kimble hunt in the future without the allusion of representing the university.