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Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Via The Other Paper:

An NHL player has sparked outrage after photos surfaced on social media showing him holding the remains of a decapitated grizzly bear and brandishing its head and severed paws for a photograph.

Clayton Stoner, a defenseman for the Minnesota Wild ice hockey team, posted the photograph of himself brandishing the gnarly trophy after a hunting trip last May in an area known as Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.

CTV News reports the 28-year-old Stoner had permits allowing him to hunt in the area where the bear was killed. After the pictures of him "holding its severed head and paws" were made public, the B.C. native released a statement saying hunting is a tradition for him and he has no plans to quit.

"I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with family outdoors," Stoner 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 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."

But local environmentalists and animal rights proponents lashed out at his strong stance on hunting, branding his actions "disgusting and barbaric."

It's sort of ironic since the team's logo features a "nature bear" head made to look like the wilderness it roams.

Stoner and his friends shot the bear, cut off its head and paws before skinning it and leaving its carcass for scavengers in the forest.

But despite fierce criticism from wildlife supporters, Stoner remained unrepentant to their outcries.

"I don't think there's any place for this disgusting, barbaric, so-called sport of trophy-hunting in British Columbia,"said Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

William Housty of the Heiltsuk First Nations urged authorities to ban the bloodsport, saying, "It's up to Mr Stoner how he wants to proceed from here but we'd encourage him and all other hunters to leave their guns at home."

The incident has reignited passions over an issue that has long divided British Columbia. The provincial government hands out 300 licences each year. Hunting generates more than $300-million in annual revenue for the state.

Whether you agree with game hunting or not, Stoner — who finished last season with 10 assists in 48 games — went through all the right channels necessary to gain the proper permits to hunt legally.

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16 Comments:
  • He did nothing outside of the law, period. If you don't like the law, lobby to repeal it, don't blame someone who is obviously an outdoorsman and did this legally.
  • I'm in total agreement with you. I get so tired of these bleeding hearts, not knowing what hunting or wildlife management is all about, and then jump on the fence and yell how barbaric it is.
  • I don't think the outrage is centered on him hunting and killing a grizzly bear. Or even the grotesque need to cut off the head and paws. But to put it on social media, for the shock effect, is what, imo, caused the firestorm. I'm wondering if he cuts off the head and hooves of deer and shows that on social media, too.
  • This shouldn't be about hunting,but the idiotic way he is presenting himself.A grizzly bear is an animal that is in short supply and if one is lucky enough to draw a tag to hunt and then kill what looks like a large bear,A Hunter would hardly put a picture on the internet for the world to see a mutilated animal and the man who killed him with a stupid grin on his face mugging for the camera.All hunters will pay for his picture.Someone will be denied permission to hunt on someones private property because of it.I hunt with my son too,and I would like to think he would know better and give to your Quarry the respect it deserves.I have been a hunter for a lot longer than he has,and HUNTERS like this cause us all grief.I wonder what will Boone and Crockett will have to say about your trophy, and how you chose to display it.
  • Congrats...You are an idiot for glorifying killing a defenseless animal. Rifle vs. defenseless bear eating and roaming the woods...WOW you are stupid. You might as well join the fisherman that killed a 150 year old fish for sport...Very UN-classy!!!
  • yes he did do everything by the law.....but there is no reason to show the animals head and paws.....he could have taken the picture before he cut off the paws and decapitated the head......what was he trying to prove anyway?????? maybe someone ought to take a head shot during the nhl season and make sure they post it before taking him off in a stretcher.
  • I can't believe there are SO many cry babies! The guy did everything by the book and legal. The hunting license gives him the RIGHT to hunt, it does not dictate the rules after the kill. It's not up to any one person or society to determine a mans hunting traditions or decide what's right or wrong. I am not a hunter and I wouldn't kill a "defenseless" animal unless I plan to eat it but I am not going to ridicule someone who does.

    You people are pathetic, you need to go find something worth crying about. If the image is disturbing to you...DON'T LOOK AT IT.
    Who do you think you are to ridicule someone that has EVERY right to their actions? The world will never be perfect to anyone...ACCEPT THAT FACT.
  • Hey hunting is one thing. Killing just to score a head and paws and skin don't sound like hunting to me. If he packed-out the meat and kept the trophies different gig...he comes off as a yuppie Canuck hunter, probably toasted the kill with a California merlot...
  • I may not agree with all hunting but I respect the right of people to lawfully hunt. The problem I have is with disrespecting the hunted animal and what this person did is disrespectful. There is no honorable reason to decapitate this animal and post it on social media, except to make himself look like a "Macho Man", which at this point has done just the opposite.
  • What a DICK! This guy just likes to kill stuff, which is pretty sick. It's not like there's an overpopulation of bear and the herd needs to be thinned out, or he's going to eat the meat, like with deer. Then, he cuts off the head and paws, just a sick F@#K. I hope the next time, the bear gets this AAAHOOOLE!
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • I'm not against hunting, but I hope he doesn't one day become a serial killer.
  • ive been a hunter most of my life i was always taught that you respect your prey as much as you respect yourself ive known many (sport)hunters who at least donate the meat of a kill if they dont keep it themselves to kill a bear like that and desicrate its body then take photos of it afterwards id shameful and sadistic ask this man if his child was hit by a car and the driver got out and gave a thumbs up and took his phone out to text pics of his splattered little girl to his friends how would he feel this idiot is a discraceto hunters everywhere and buy his behavior we see how much respect he has for himself i do hope someday he's on the other side of the coin himself somday he might just learn a lesson
  • Get over yourselves. People hunt, people HANG their kills on their walls. People STUFF them and show them off in their homes. The only thing that is different about this, is that the picture ended up online.
    He hunted within the law. He got his trophy. He left the meat for the scavengers..... GET OVER IT.

    I would never hunt, not my thing, but its not my (or anyone elses) job to judge someone who does.

    Also - for the person who said that he should take a head shot and have pictures shown of it before he gets taken out on a stretcher, Have you EVER watched a televised hockey game????
  • Clayton Stoner should at least apologize for hunting instead of playing hockey. If he wasn't such a knucklehead, and didn't suck, he would've still been in the playoffs.
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