[Dylan] Mayer had a valid shellfish permit for the hunt, which was legal. But critics said it shouldn't be — at least at that location.
Others grieved that giant Pacific octopus — the largest octopus species in the world, and widely renowned by nature lovers and divers — are hunted at all.
At the family's home in Maple Valley [Washington], Mayer's mother, Denise Mayer, has taken to answering the phone "Octo-Mom" in an effort to maintain a sense of humor in a situation that quickly became anything but funny, with critics commenting online that they wished someone would tie weights around her son and sink him.
"They value the life of an octopus and they are threatening a family," Denise Mayer said. "They put his life below that of an octopus. It's gone way overboard."
A state game warden investigated the hunt and determined the animal, a male octopus weighing about 80 pounds, had been legally hunted. But the controversy continued to feed on itself.