Two years ago, Clayton Stoner was in hot water after pictures of him hoisting the severed head of a grizzly bear appeared online.
Now, the water’s even hotter.
Stoner is facing five chargers under British Columbia’s Wildlife Act in relation to the hunt, per 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 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. “All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement,” [conservation office Detective-Sergeant Cynthia] Mann said.
Shortly after the social-media firestorm occurred, Stoner released a statement through the Wild’s PR team to explain his side of the story.
“I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors,” he explained. “I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting license through a British Columbia limited entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my license 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.”
It’s believed about 100 bears are hunted and killed annually in the Great Bear Rainforest, a remote region in B.C. between Vancouver Island and Southeast Alaska.