Anaheim Ducks Player Punished For Illegal Bear Hunt

Hockey player Clayton Stoner and his bear that he hunted illegally in 2013 in British Columbia. (VANCOUVER SUN)
Hockey player Clayton Stoner and his bear that he hunted illegally in 2013 in British Columbia. (VANCOUVER SUN)


As a massive hockey fan as I am, I have become fascinated with the penalty box, the Ryker’s Island of sports, in reality a jail cell where offending hockey players are sentenced in two- to 10-minute increments for charges ranging from cross checking to hooking, slashing to holding the stick (no jokes intended). When you are guilty of said crimes, your pays the price and has to trudge on – a man down mind you – while the player must sit and watch in timeout in a tiny, isolated space. It’s one reason why I enjoy hockey so much. Think about other sports like football, where players can commit penalty after penalty and never have to leave the field. Pro basketball allows you five fouls before the sixth finally disqualifies you from the game. Hockey violations at least provide a lot more legitmate form of players paying for their crimes (hence the penalty box’s nickname of sin bin right on the spot.

Well, it took all of three years for California’s Anaheim Ducks player Clayton Stoner to serve his penalty. In 2013, Stoner, then playing for the Minnesota Wild, illegally hunted a bear and drew the ire of animal rights’ groups. Stoner has been now sent to a metaphorical penalty box. His punishment includes a $10,000 fine and a three-year hunting ban in B.C., were he wasn’t considered a resident at the time of the hunt, and thus he didn’t have a proper license.

From the Vancouver Sun via the Canadian Press:

The Anaheim Ducks defenceman admitted through his lawyer on Wednesday that he had breached the provincial Wildlife Act. Marvin Stern said his client mistakenly believed he was qualified to participate.

Stoner wasn’t in the Abbotsford court, instead, Stern pleaded guilty on his behalf to hunting without a licence.

In handing down the fine and hunting ban, Provincial court Judge Brent Hoy accepted that Stoner thought he was qualified as a resident, but the law had still been breached.

“If one hunts, then one must do so responsibility,” he said when handing down his sentence.

The Crown dropped four other charges against Stoner, including knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting licence, hunting out of season, and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife.

Stoner was charged in connection to the hunt in May 2013.

The case first gained media attention when graphic photos were published of Stoner holding up a bear’s severed head. First Nations and environmentalists claimed the animal was Cheeky, a star tourist attraction in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest. …