Clayton Stoner, defensemen for the Anaheim Ducks, is facing five charges under Canada’s Wildlife Act related to a grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia.
Stoner, a native of British Columbia, has now been charged with two counts of making false statements to obtain a hunting license, one count of hunting without a license, one count of hunting a wild animal out of season, and one count of illegal possession of a dead wild animal.
The alleged illegal hunt has created Shades of the “Cecil the Lion” case that enraged many anti-hunters.
Stoner shot and killed a grizzly that was known to the First Nation Aboriginal people as “Cheeky” The big bruin was also taken in a part of Kwatna River estuary system, which is an area declared as off limits to hunting by the Coastal First Nation counsel.
Detective-Sergeant Cynthia Mann of the Conservation Officer Service’s investigation unit said that the Wildlife Act is clear about residency issue for hunters and directly defines a resident hunter as a Canadian citizen or residents whose primary homes are in BC or the applicable province.
Mann is quoted as saying the “greater portion of each of six calendar months out of the 12 calendar months, preceding both their application for the hunt and the date of the actual hunt.”
“All five charges are directly related to the residency requirement.”
At issue is the fact that Stoner was a member of the Minnesota Wild at the time of the hunt and then joined the Anaheim Ducks as a free agent in 2014.
This would mean that, legally, he was out of the province of BC for a time long enough to be considered a non-resident.
With those conditions in mind, Stoner would have had to, under Canadian law, make the hunt only by hiring a licensed BC guide/outfitter.
The cost for such a hunt in British Columbia: about $25,000 US currency.
The 30-year-old Stoner who is from Port McNeil, Vancouver Island said in a statement:
“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 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. (2013) I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia.”
The pay schedule for licensing in BC is as follows:
BC residents pay $32 (Canadian) for an annual hunting license, non-resident $75, and non-Canadians $180.
A resident grizzly bear license is $80, non-resident $1,030.
Stoner is scheduled to appear in Vancouver provincial court on October 9.
All photos via Vancouver Sun