Skip to main content
Press Release

Brainerd Man Charged With Shooting And Killing 700 Pound Black Bear On The Red Lake Indian Reservation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a misdemeanor information charging BRETT JAMES STIMAC, 40, 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 Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois in U.S. District Court at a later date.

According to the allegations in the information, on the evening of September 1, 2019, STIMAC, who is not an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, willfully, knowingly and without authorization or permission, entered the Red Lake Indian Reservation for the purposes of hunting a bear. Using a compound bow, STIMAC shot and killed a large American black bear near the Reservation’s garbage dump.

According to the allegations in the 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.

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.

Assistant United States Attorneys Gina L. Allery and Emily A. Polachek are prosecuting the case.


Defendant Information:


Brainerd, Minn.


  • Lacey Act wildlife trafficking, 1 count
  • Trespass on Indian lands, 1 count





Additional news available on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Updated December 6, 2019