A Proper Penalty for Colorado Cougar Poachers
I’m not a vengeful person. Partly, that’s a mindset that comes from a certitude that we all get what we...
I’m not a vengeful person. Partly, that’s a mindset that comes from a certitude that we all get what we deserve in some afterlife. Call it Heaven, or Hell, if you like, or simply some immeasurable length of time that we are given after our mortal fire burns out to reflect on our just-ended lives.
In other words, my hell is intensely personal, and punishment is delivered not by a red-tailed demon with horns on his head but by one’s own fading consciousness.
With that happy thought in mind, I hope Christopher Loncarich and Nicholaus Rodgers are visited by scores of sharp-clawed mountain lions and bobcats in their afterlives.
Loncarich, a Colorado outfitter, and Nicholaus, one of his guides, allegedly led a number of illegal hunts for mountain lions and bobcats in western Colorado and Utah. In the indictment, announced by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Utah’s Division of Wildlife earlier this week, the two are accused of illegally capturing and then caging mountain lions and bobcats, “often incapacitating them by shooting them in the paws or keeping them in place with leghold traps.”
The “guides” would then allegedly bring paying clients to the places where these incapacitated felines were staged, and then have the unwitting hunters kill them. The alleged arrangement ensured a kill for the clients, and easy money for the outfitter and guide.
It’s a genius arrangement, right, since wild lions and bobcats are notoriously elusive.
The outfitter and guide are accused of running this racket for three years, between 2007 and 2010, and it gets worse than the heinous act of wanton cruelty. The two are accused of staging these “hunts” in Utah, and then checking the cats in with authorities in Colorado. The illegal trophies were then transported to clients’ home states, all in violation of the federal Lacey Act.
Violations of the letter of the law are bad enough, but what haunts me–and what I hope haunts these two alleged felons–is the procedural nature of their crimes, deliberately maiming animals in order to turn a profit. These guys are facing some pretty serious punishment by the judicial system, but I hope their ultimate punishment is endless revisitation by all of these cats that they tortured.