Hunter is jailed for 15 months after beheading a 700-pound black bear


Hunter is jailed for 15 months after beheading a 700-pound black bear for a trophy on Native American land

  • Brett Stimac posed with the bear’s carcass in the Red Lake Indian Reservation
  • He pleaded guilty to charges of animal trafficking and trespassing on Indian land
  • Prosecutors alleged that he poached the black bear using a compound bow 
  • He is then said to have beheaded the bear and took what he could of its carcass 
  • But he claims he did not kill the bear, and that he simply found its body 
  • People who are not members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians are not permitted by them to hunt bear as they have spiritual significance to the Band 
  • He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was handed a $9,500 fine 

A hunter has been jailed for 15 months after beheading a 700-pound black bear while trespassing on Native American land. 

Brett Stimac, from Brainerd, Minnesota, posed with pictures of the carcass on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in 2019.

Stimac, 41, was sentenced to 15 months in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday, along with a year of supervised release. He was also handed a $9,500 fine.

Brett Stimac, from Brainerd, Minnesota, posed with pictures of the carcass on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in 2019 and posted the photograph to his Facebook (pictured)

Brett Stimac, from Brainerd, Minnesota, posed with pictures of the carcass on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in 2019 and posted the photograph to his Facebook (pictured)

In September 2020, Stimac pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of animal trafficking and trespassing on Indian land.

However, his lawyer alleges that only half of the federal government’s story is accurate, saying his client originally lied about killing the bear and that it was already dead when Stimac found it. 

Prosecutors said that Stimac killed the bear with a compound bow near the reservation’s garbage dump, and came back later to remove the bear’s head as a trophy, along with other parts of its body.

Those who are not members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians are not permitted by them to hunt bear on the reservation’s land.

Bears are a clan animal and possess a great spiritual significance to the Band, and Stimac is not an enrolled member of the tribe.

Authorities accused Stimac of killing the bear on September 1, 2019, and returned to the reservation with his girlfriend.

There, they say he posed photos with the bear’s carcass and posted the pictures to Facebook, along with a message claiming the bears weighed over 700 pounds.

Because of its size, he was unable to move the bear. He went back to the reservation on September 3 and attempted to remove the bear’s hide.

Those who are not members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians are not permitted by them to hunt bear on the reservation's land (pictured)

Those who are not members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians are not permitted by them to hunt bear on the reservation's land (pictured)

Those who are not members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians are not permitted by them to hunt bear on the reservation’s land (pictured) 

When he failed to do that, he used a saw to remove the bear’s head and paws, and took around 71 pounds of meat, the court documents – seen by CBS Minnesota – allege, with the charges saying he left the carcass and at least one paw behind.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, Stimac has a long criminal history in the state of Minnesota – including the illegal transportation of big game in 2008.

The Tribune found he also had convictions for criminal damage to property in 2014, a possession of a firearm felony in 2011, received stolen property in 2009 and 2000, second-degree felony assault with a dangerous weapon in 2008, and disorderly conduct in 1999.

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