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NHL blueliner caught up in bear-hunting controversy in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

A hunter holds a grizzly bear head from an animal dubbed 'Cheeky' by local residents.

Robert S. Johnson

A First Nations group is aiming to win support for its campaign to end bear hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest with a film that features the shooting of a grizzly bear in the coastal region in 2012.

The film – to be shown in Vancouver on Wednesday – has been developed by the Coastal First Nations, which last year announced a ban on bear hunting in its territories.

The short film features the killing of a five-year-old grizzly bear known to locals as Cheeky, according to the CFN. The group says the bear's head and paws were severed and the body left to rot in a field.

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The bear-hunt controversy involves Clayton Stoner, a defenceman with the Minnesota Wild in the NHL.

One of the hunters who interacted with CFN researchers last year for the making of the film identified himself as Clayton Stoner, Jessie Housty, a councillor with the Heiltsuk First Nation said on Tuesday.

"We are not profiling any hunters in the film… the issue for us is the broader hunting culture in B.C., not vilifying particular hunters," Ms. Housty said.

In a statement provided by the Minnesota Wild in response to media requests about the bear hunt, Mr. Stoner said that he had obtained a license to kill a grizzly bear last year.

"I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors," the statement said. "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. I love to hunt and fish and will continue to do so with my family and friends in British Columbia."

The province authorizes hunting of black and grizzly bears in the province and has asked the Coastal First Nations to respect the province's authority over the bear hunt.

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About the Authors
National correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Wendy Stueck has covered technology and business and now reports on British Columbia issues including natural resources, aboriginal issues and urban affairs. More

News reporter

Based in Vancouver, Andrea Woo is a general assignment reporter with a focus on multimedia journalism. More


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