Ducks Clayton Stoner charged with unlawful grizzly bear hunt
In 2013, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner killed Cheeky the bear in a trophy hunt. Stoner was even photographed posing with Cheeky's severed head.
Two years later, Stoner is facing five different charges related to British Columbia's Wildlife Act after killing the grizzly bear, from the Vancouver Sun:
The B.C.-born Stoner is charged with two counts of making a false statement to obtain a licence on May 22, 2013, as well as one count of hunting without a licence, one count of hunting wildlife out of season, and one count of unlawful possession of dead wildlife – the latter three offences allegedly taking place on May 28, 2013. Stoner is scheduled to appear in Vancouver provincial court on Oct. 9.
The main issue is that hunters in British Columbia have to be Canadian citizens or living in British Columbia in at least six months out of the year. Stoner was a member of the Minnesota Wild at the time. More from the Vancouver Sun:
The legal argument is that Stoner did not meet those conditions due to living out of the province as a professional hockey player. At the time of the hunt, Stoner played for the Minnesota Wild but joined Anaheim as a free agent in 2014.
Anyone who cannot meet that criteria must pay to hunt with a licensed B.C. guide-outiffter –typically, about $25,000 US for a coastal grizzly. The charges carry potential maximum fines of $50,000 to $250,000.
In 2013, Stoner released a statement through the Minnesota Wild's P.R. team.
“I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors. I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting licence through a British Columbia limited-entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my licence while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May. I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia.”
Stoner shot the bear in between Bella Coola and Bella Bella in the Kwatna River estuary, an area declared off-limits for trophy hunters.
According to the Vancouver Sun, a total of 267 grizzlies were killed in British Columbia in 2014; 165 by Canadian residents, 102 by non-residents.
Stoner, 30, played in 69 games for the Ducks last season. Stoner is signed through the next three seasons with a $3.25 million AAV.
The Ducks have yet to release a statement regarding this development.
(h/t Vancouver Sun)