Earlier this week NHL player Clayton Stoner pleaded guilty to hunting a grizzly bear without a proper license.
He received a fine of $10,000. Stoner plays for the Anaheim Ducks, which the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged to suspend the defenseman for all of this season. PETA called Stoner a “bad role model” and demanded the Ducks send him to “empathy school.” Animal-rights activists yelled at fans entering the Honda Center for one of Stoner’s games earlier this season.
In September 2015 The Vancouver Sun reported that Stoner faced five charges in total, “two counts of making a false statement to obtain a license on May 22, 2013, as well as one count of hunting without a license, one count of hunting wildlife out of season, and one count of unlawful possession of dead wildlife.” But CBC News reports that Stoner’s lawyer “delivered the plea of guilty to one charge of hunting and killing a grizzly bear without a proper licence” on Wednesday and “the Crown dropped four other charges against him.”
Stoner’s attorney argued that his client’s possession of an improper license stemmed from a failure to understand residency requirements. Stoner had a resident license to shoot the bear but “B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service alleged that Stoner failed to meet Wildlife Act regulations requiring anyone eligible for a B.C. hunting licence to live in the province for six of the 12 months prior to the spring grizzly bear hunt.”
Stern argued that “while Stoner may have misunderstood the residency requirements for the hunting licence, and made an incorrect assumption he was a B.C. resident, he did everything else within the law during the hunt.” The Crown concurred, noting that “Stoner didn’t try to trick anyone but that he wasn’t diligent in representing himself as a resident.”
More than half of Stoner’s $10,000 fine will be go to maintaining habitat for Grizzly bears.
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