Brainerd man pleads guilty after removing head of 700-pound bear from Red Lake Reservation

(Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).

A 41-year-old Brainerd, Minnesota man pleaded guilty to removing the head of a 700-pound black bear from the Red Lake Indian Reservation last year.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brett Stimac knowingly entered the reservation for the purposes of hunting a bear. Using a compound bow, Stimac shot and killed the large black bear near the reservation’s garbage dump on Sept. 1, 2019.

Stimac’s guilty plea says he returned to the bear carcass the next day, posed for photographs with it and shared them on social media. He then used a saw to remove the bear’s head for a trophy, which he brought to a taxidermist in Ironton, Minnesota.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians does not permit non-Indians to hunt bear within the reservation due to the bear’s spiritual importance to the Band as a clan animal.

Stimac was charged with one count of violating the Lacey Act of wildlife trafficking and one count of trespassing on Indian land.