Central Minnesota Man Charged with Killing Black Bear on Red Lake Reservation

Central Minnesota Man Charged with Killing Black Bear on Red Lake Reservation Click to Enlarge

ST. PAUL, MN—Brainerd man is charged in federal court for shooting and killing a 700 pound black bear on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

According to court information, 40-year-old Brett Stimac is not an enrolled member of the tribe entered the reservation to hunt on September 1st and used a compound bow to shoot and kill the large black bear near the Reservation’s garbage dump.

According to allegations in the court information, on September 2, 2019, Stimac posed for photographs with the bear’s carcass and later shared the photographs on Facebook. Because of the bear’s large size, Stimac was unable to move the bear from the Reservation, and instead removed the bear’s head and paws, and harvested a small portion of the meat. Stimac left the remainder of the carcass on the Reservation.

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.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald Friday announced a misdemeanor information charging Stimac with wildlife trafficking and trespassing on Indian lands after shooting and killing a bear on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Stimac will make his initial appearance before a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court at a later date.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Red Lake Department of Public Safety, the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with assistance from the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office.

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