Clayton Stoner charged with killing grizzly bear in 2013

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner has been charged with illegally shooting a grizzly bear in British Columbia.

He is to appear in court in Vancouver on Oct. 9, the day before the Ducks open the season and three days before his team plays the Vancouver Canucks in Anaheim.

He is accused of two counts of knowingly making a false statement to obtain a hunting license. Court documents show the statements were made in his hometown of Port McNeill in May 2013, when he played for the Minnesota Wild.

Stoner faces separate counts of hunting out of season, hunting without a license and unlawfully possessing dead wildlife related to the shooting of a bear near Bella Bella.

He declined a request for comment from the Vancouver Sun on the charges.

Coastal First Nations, an alliance of native groups in British Columbia, identified the slain bear, which it says was 5 years old, in a 2013 statement.

"The bear, nicknamed 'Cheeky' by local field technicians, was skinned and left to rot in a field. His head and paws were carried out past a sign declaring trophy hunting closed in the Great Bear Rainforest."

In 2013, Coastal First Nations produced a 20-minute documentary titled "Bear Witness" about Cheeky's death.

Stoner has never denied the hunt, which drew attention when an online picture showed him holding the severed head of a grizzly. He said in a 2013 statement released by the Wild that he had the necessary permits and licenses.

"I grew up hunting and fishing in British Columbia and continue to enjoy spending time with my family outdoors. I applied for and received a grizzly bear hunting licence through a British Columbia limited entry lottery last winter and shot a grizzly bear with my licence 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.