Clayton Stoner caught in First Nation dispute over grizzly trophy hunt

VANCOUVER – An NHL player has been caught up in a demand by a British Columbia First Nation that trophy hunting be banned in its territory.

Minnesota Wild defenceman Clayton Stoner was photographed by a Heiltsuk Tribal Council field technician with parts of his grizzly kill this spring.

Stoner, who’s a B.C. native, issued a statement saying he received a licence and shot the bear legally and that he’ll continue to hunt with family and friends in British Columbia.

The band says the bear its field crews named “Cheeky” was shot three times by trophy hunters last May, its head, fur and paws were removed and the body was left to rot in the Kwatna Estuary.

The Heiltsuk say Stoner’s hunt is an example of why trophy hunting should be banned along coastal B.C., saying it’s at odds with First Nations’ values to shoot an animal and not use its meat.

The band claims trophy hunting makes no economic sense compared with eco-tourism, isn’t sound science and that it has the responsibility to protect the culturally-significant bears.