B.C.-born NHL player Clayton Stoner at centre of grizzly bear shooting controversy
A National Hockey League player who hails from Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island is embroiled in a controversy over the shooting of a grizzly bear in an area of the B.C. coast that aboriginals have declared off-limits to trophy hunting.
Clayton Stoner, a defenceman with the Minnesota Wild, issued a statement Tuesday after The Vancouver Sun obtained photos of him with the severed head and a paw of the grizzly he shot last spring in the Kwatna estuary, midway between Bella Coola and Bella Bella.
“I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors,” said Stoner, 28. “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 group, Coastal First Nations, is holding a news conference on Wednesday in Vancouver to release a film on trophy hunting, including the killing of the five-year-old male grizzly nicknamed Cheeky.
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