One of the most egregious acts of poaching in recent memory is not going unpunished.
The horrific act occurred back in 2019, but the violator was just sentenced for his crimes this week.
Brett Stimac, a 41-year-old from Brainerd, Minnesota, will serve 15 months in federal prison followed by a year long supervised released period. He will also be fined $9,500.
Stimac, who is not a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, invited himself onto the tribe’s land for the sole purposes of illegally hunting a bear.
He shot the bear with a compound bow at the edge of the reservations garbage dump. He returned the following day to take photos with the 700-pound bear he shot, but because of the bears size and his desire to remain undetected he was unable to remove the bear from the promise. So instead, he just sawed its head off for a trophy and left the meat and the fur to rot, an incredible sign of disrespect to the bear itself.
His actions were also horribly disrespectful to the Band of Chippewa’s whose land he trespassed on.
According to Bring Me The News, the bear is one of the seven principle clans of the band, and holds spiritual and cultural significance. The others are turtle, bullhead, mink, eagle, marten and kingfisher.
The Minnesota District Attorney’s Office said in a statement:
“The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians does not permit non-Indians to hunt bear, one of seven clan animals of the Band, within the boundaries of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, due to the bear’s cultural and spiritual importance to the Band.”
He had previously been convicted of illegally transporting big game in 2008, and deer hunting violations in 2011.