Brainerd Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Killing Bear on Red Lake Reservation
A Brainerd man has pleaded guilty to illegally killing a 700-pound black bear while trespassing on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
41-year-old Brett Stimac pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to wildlife trafficking and trespassing on Indian land. Stimac shot the bear with a compound bow near a trash bin on September 1st, 2019. The bear ran away, but Stimac found it the next day and posed for photos with it.
According to Stimac’s guilty plea, because of the bear’s large size, Stimac was unable to move the bear from the reservation. Instead, Stimac used a saw to remove the bear’s head for a trophy. Stimac brought the bear’s head to a taxidermist in Ironton and left the remainder of the carcass to spoil.
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians does not permit non-Indians to hunt bear, a clan animal, within the boundaries of the Red Lake Indian Reservation due to the bear’s spiritual importance to the band.