B.C. YouTuber Faces Prosecution for 30-Day ‘Survival Challenge’ in National Park

B.C. resident and bushcraft YouTuber Gregory Ovens is facing prosecution for filming a survival challenge in a national park.

Ovens faces six charges connected to illegal fishing, hunting in a park, discharging a firearm in a park, lighting an illegal fire, and damaging or destroying a natural object over a “30 Day Survival Challenge” he attempted and filmed in Banff National Park — reports The Prince George Citizen.

From jumping onto track tracks in an attempt to parody distracted Pokémon GO players to sending Apple AirTags to North Korea, YouTubers have done some questionable things over the years. Being prosecuted isn’t all that uncommon, especially when you’ve broken the law in 4K ultra-high-definition.

Ovens launched his YouTube channel in 2019 with a “30 Day Survival Challenge in the Canadian Rockies” series and has since amassed over 540,000 subscribers and 45 million views on his videos.

The YouTuber was joined on his allegedly law-breaking campaign with fellow survivalist Zachary Fowler, an American citizen with an outstanding arrest warrant for seven related charges.

Throughout the series, both outdoorsmen are seen foraging for mushrooms, building a raft, and panning for gold. Most of the videos show the men catching and smoking fish, but by day 30, Ovens can be seen roasting a wild gopher in a tree fort several metres off the forest floor.

Ovens, who lives in the village of Canal Flats near the headwaters of the Columbia River, is next scheduled to appear in a Calgary court on February 9, 2022, to defend against the charges. The YouTuber is also accused of having breached the Canada National Park Act by flying a drone without a permit, said a spokesperson for Parks Canada.

Charges were brought after a joint Parks Canada and B.C. Conservation Officer Service investigation into Ovens, which was originally triggered by a public report against the YouTuber in July 2019.

Both Ovens and Fowler previously appeared in the third season of the History Channel reality survival show Alone, during which Ovens lasted 51 days and Fowler went on to win the competition after 87 days in the Patagonia wilderness.

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