Brainerd man pleads not guilty to illegal hunting in Red Lake

During a Wednesday federal court appearance in Duluth, a Brainerd man entered a not guilty plea to a charge of illegally killing a 700-pound black bear.

According to the federal complaint, 40-year-old Brett James Stimac was trespassing on the Red Lake Indian Reservation when he shot the bear with a compound bow Sept. 1. 

Non-Indians cannot hunt bear on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, according to tribal law.

The bear–or makwa, in Ojibwe–is a clan animal and has spiritual significance to the Band.

The animal ran away, but when Stimac found it the next day, he cut off the head and paws to keep as trophies. 

He later posted a picture of himself with the bear on Facebook, shown in this article. 

If convicted, he could spend a year in prison and pay a fine. 

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