Is Hunting Grizzlies Really Sporting?

A professional hockey player killed Cheeky.

By Jude Isabella, Slate
In Bella Bella, British Columbia, a First Nations community about 700 kilometers north of Vancouver, I met Larry Jorgensen, founder of the Qqs Projects Society, a program for Heiltsuk First Nation youth.
“Are you here about the kill?” he asked.

Someone shot a grizzly bear in Heiltsuk Territory, in Kwatna Inlet, part of the Great Bear Rainforest. The killer? Clayton Stoner, an NHL defenseman for the Minnesota Wild. The victim? A 5-year-old male named Cheeky.

Stoner’s kill outraged the indigenous community. It outraged many other British Columbia residents. At the same time, hunters united around the hockey player’s right to hunt. Hunting is big business. But so is bear viewing, especially in an area stung by economic hardship and stripped of one natural resource after another—except bears. Living bears. Parts of the Great Bear Rainforest, 32,000 square kilometers of habitat along the B.C. coast, are protected and closed to hunting. Some parts are not—residents can still hunt grizzlies here, and in most of the other grizzly habitats in the province. It’s legal…

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