Man who maimed wildlife for hunters sentenced to prison

Photo: Mountain Lion
A mountain lion in a snow storm in Teller County.

A western Colorado outfitter who captured and maimed mountain lions and bobcats to make hunting easier for clients has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that 56-year-old Christopher W. Loncarich of Mack was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years' probation for illegally killing wildlife.

Loncarich sold bobcat and mountain lion hunts for up to $7,500.

Authorities say he and his assistants would locate cats prior to a client's arrival and then "shorten up" the hunt by caging the animals, then releasing them when the client was present. Sometimes cats were shot in the paws or stomach.

Loncarich also took people who didn't have Utah licenses on hunts in Utah.

Three of Loncarich's guides were sentenced to probation.