Man who illegally killed 700-pound black bear on Red Lake reservation sentenced to prison

He returned the next day to take photos and saw off its head.
Author:
Publish date:
Faceook - Brett Stimac with bear

A Minnesota man who trespassed on Red Lake Indian Reservation land, illicitly killed a 700-pound black bear, then returned the following day to take photos and saw off the animal's head, will spend more than a year in prison

Brett James Stimac, of Brainerd, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release, plus a $9,500 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Minnesota. The 41-year-old had pleaded guilty in September of 2020 to wildlife trafficking and trespassing on Indian land.

According to the allegations, Stimac on Sept. 1, 2019, entered the Red Lake Indian Reservation with the goal of hunting a bear. 

He is not an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and the band doesn't permit non-members to hunt bear on its land. The bear is one of the seven principle clans of the band, and holds spiritual and cultural significance. (The others are turtle, bullhead, mink, eagle, marten and kingfisher.)

But that day, Stimac - without permission - shot and killed a 700-pound black bear with a compound bow near the garbage dump.

The following day, he came back to the site and took photos with the bear's carcass, which he then shared on social media. He wasn't able to move the bear, so instead, sawed off the bear's head for a trophy. He brought the head to a taxidermist in Ironton, Minnesota, and left the other remains of the bear to rot.

Stimac had previously been convicted of illegally transporting big game in 2008 and deer hunting violations in 2011, according to online court records.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Danielle Hunter

Report: Danielle Hunter will attend mandatory minicamp

The big question is if he and the Vikings have worked out a new contract.

enbridge energy line 3

MN appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

The decision is a blow to Tribal leaders and environmentalists fighting the project.

Pixabay - police crime tape do not cross stock

Update: Standoff with barricaded suspect in Cannon Falls ends

The man had entered a multi-family building and stopped communicating.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

Victim of shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis identified

Dontevius Ahmad Catchings was shot outside the Shiloh Temple, where a funeral for one of the victims of a May shooting was taking place.

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 8.45.06 AM

Loved ones identify woman killed in Uptown as Deona Marie Knajdek

She was among the protestors Sunday night when a motorist drove through the crowd.

hutchinson health hospital

Hutchinson Hospital forgives $184K in medical debt following settlement

The AG's office accused the nonprofit hospital of violating a regulatory agreement.

waterski

Chaska man seriously injured in waterskiing accident

The 24-year-old was airlifted to a hospital.

Flickr - beach water

9-year-old dies after drowning in Carver Lake in Woodbury

The incident follows a string of drownings in Minnesota over the weekend.

3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - August 2017

Owner closes JUUT in Uptown, cites 'escalating crime and violence'

JUUT is closed after 35 years at the Hennepin and Lake Street location.

Related

Stimac bear

Charges: Brainerd man shot, killed 700 lb black bear on protected land

The killing happened on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

A black bear.

Bear carcass illegally dumped in northwestern Minnesota

The bear was found with no head, but was otherwise intact.

A Black Bear wandering through grass.

More bear sightings reported in Twin Cities

All recent sightings have occurred in the eastern metro

Flickr - fishing minnesota 2020 -Lorie Shaull

The most offbeat DNR conservation officer reports from the past week

An impatient Jeep driver, a bald eagle in a kennel, and more.

Danny Heinrich, who admitted to killing Jacob Wetterling, gets 20 years in prison

Danny Heinrich admitted to killing Jacob Wetterling in exchange for fewer charges.

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 9.18.11 AM

Elk illegally shot and killed in northwest Wisconsin

Elk hunting season isn't until October 12 in Wisconsin.