Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast, Belize, or as it was once called, "British Honduras," was a well-known jaguar-hunting destination from colonial days in the late 1940s up through the name change and independence in 1981, and for a time afterward. In the day, there were several "hunt clubs" in the country, along with colorful and legendary guides, such as "John," "Little John" and Jackie Vasquez, who called in jaguar; it was also a familiar haunt of the late Peter Capstick. Belize is only two-and-half hours by air from Houston and the official language is English.
Although Belize has one of the world's highest concentrations of jaguar, the officially "endangered" status of the big cat and its total protection ultimately dried up the market for big-game hunting in the country. For the better part of a quarter of a century, Belize has remained almost exclusively a top fishing destination for tarpon and bonefish and other flats and river species, along with reef fishing. But that may be about to change.
Even though hunting has remained open over the years, commercial guiding and outfitting operations for hunting have been virtually non-existent. Now, fishing-, diving-, wildlife-, Mayan culture-, and adventure-tour operator R. David Hill of the Belizean-owned company Maya Kingdom, and California-based hunting agent C. J. "Chip" Anderson are planning to offer organized big-game hunting in Belize for a variety of native species, and at least one quite intriguing exotic.
I have known Anderson for several years, since he organized a hunt in Senegal for a group of hunters, including me, who were the first Americans to safari in that country in recent memory. Hill has been operating jungle camps in Belize for a number of years,........(continued)