Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner has been hit with five charges under the Wildlife Act following his shooting of a grizzly bear in British Columbia two years ago.
In May 2013, Stoner shot the bear, nicknamed Cheeky by locals, and was subsequently photographed with the bear’s severed head and paws. Though Stoner, 30, was born in B.C., most of the charges stem from him living out of provincefor more than half the year. At the time of the incident, Stoner was a member of the Minnesota Wild.
According to the Vancouver Sun’s Larry Pynn, Stoner has been charged with, “two counts of making a false statement to obtain a (hunting) 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.”
Cynthia Mann, detective-sergeant of the Conservation Officer Service’s major investigation unit, told the Vancouver Sun that all five of Stoner’s charges are, “directly related to the residency requirement.”
The Vancouver Sun first reported the story of Stoner’s hunt in September 2013, at which point the defenseman released a statement regarding the controversy.
“I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors,” Stoner said. “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.”
The bear was shot in an area that Coastal First Nations said was off-limits for trophy hunting. After the bear was shot, the First Nations group released a statement saying the bear was, “skinned and left to rot in a field. His head and paws were carried out past a sign declaring trophy hunting closed in the Great Bear Rainforest.”
Stoner is scheduled for a court date Oct. 9. The charges could carry a maximum fine of up to $250,000, according to the Vancouver Sun.