DENVER — Federal authorities on Jan. 7
indicted two big-game hunting guides for the
illegally trapping — and, in some cases,
maiming — of mountain lions and bobcats to
make hunting easier for their clients in Utah
and Colorado, according to an article by Kate
Gibbons in The Denver Post.
Outfitter and hunting guide Christopher
Loncarich of Mack and his assistant guide,
Nicholaus Rodgers of Medford, Ore., are
accused of trapping the cats in cages before
hunts and releasing them once their clients
were nearby. The hunts took place in the Book
Cliffs mountain range along the Colorado-
Loncarich, Rodgers and other guides would
sometimes shoot the cats in the paws or legs
or put leg-hold snares on them , according to
a Justice Department news release. Loncarich
and Rodgers would then transport the
dead animals from Utah back to Colorado and
provide false records to obtain Colorado
state-inspection seals for the hides, the
Colorado Parks and Wildlife requires every
harvested lion to be presented to its office for
inspection within five days to manage wildlife
populations. According to wildlife officials, 467
lions and 1,850 bobcats were killed last season.
It wasn’t clear how many animals Loncarich
and Rodgers were accused of illegally
The 17-count indictment, based on the
pair’s activities between 2007 and 2010,
includes charges of felony transportation of
unlawfully taken wildlife, creation of false
records and conspiracy to violate the Lacey
Act, which protects wildlife. In March 2012,
federal wildlife agents searched Loncarich’s
home in connection to similar charges
brought against another guide, Marvin Ellis.
To date, four assistant guides have pleaded
guilty to conspiracy offenses.
The indictment also alleges Loncarich and
Rodgers knowingly allowed clients to hunt in
Utah without proper licenses.
Mountain lion and bobcat hunting season
stretches from November to March, when
snow is likely to be on the ground and when
the pursuit can be labor-intensive for hunters.