NHL player faces illegal grizzly hunting accusation

Published in 24 Hours Vancouver | September 17, 2013 | Circulation: 280,000+

Syndicated on Sun News Network

B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service is investigating allegations that NHL player Clayton Stoner hunted a grizzly bear illegally.

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation alleged on Tuesday that Stoner does not qualify as a B.C. resident because it’s unlikely he spent the required six months in the province before his hunt. The claims have not been proven.

“The Conservation Officer Service is investigating these allegations,” said ministry spokesman Brennan Clarke. “As such it would be inappropriate for the minister, or any other official to comment until that investigation is complete.”

Stoner lives in the United States, where he plays for the Minnesota Wild. Since the National Hockey League’s regular season lasts from October to April, not including training camps or playoffs, Raincoast added that “it would appear implausible that he could have been physically present in B.C. for the time required to qualify as a resident.”

Attempts by 24 hours to reach the hockey team for comment on the allegations were unsuccessful. The team handled Stoner’s press relations previously.

Stoner faced controversy late last month over revelations he killed a grizzly bear on the coast, severing its paws and leaving the carcass to rot. In a previous statement, Stoner said he applied for and received a grizzly hunting licence through a limited entry lottery, and “shot a grizzly bear with my licence while hunting with my father, uncle and a friend in May.”

Brian Falconer, Raincoast’s marine operations coordinator, said in a release he is concerned the grizzly “may have been killed illegally.”

The requirements for residency include having “been physically present in British Columbia for the greater portion of each of six calendar months out of the 12 calendar months immediately preceding the date of making an application.”

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