I have reported several times on the outstanding cougar hunting that British Columbia offers, especially for outsized toms. Unfortunately, one outfitter that I previously recommended (Scott Odgers of Frazier Valley Outfitters) has sold his outfit. So, for my recent hunt there, I turned to an outfitter who guided my son, Mark, to a monster cougar several years back. The tom my son killed was as big as they come, and the one I tagged this past January was well above average. (See photo in Trophy Gallery section of our web site.) The outfit, Kobau Mountain Guides & Outfitters, is owned by Jay Ganzeveld and operates under the outfitter license (Guide Area 8182) of arguably the most famous of all cat outfitters, namely Albin Hochsteiner. I've been told that Hochsteiner has been in on more cougar and bear kills than any other outfitter in BC, and, perhaps, all of Canada. Ganzeveld has set up his own separate outfitting business with Hochsteiner's cooperation, in hopes of eventually acquiring Hochsteiner's territory, which Hochsteiner holds for his lifetime.
While Hochsteiner still actively works the dogs and rides his snowmobile almost daily looking for tracks, Ganzeveld, and sometimes another young houndsman, Tony Dunsdon, actually accompany the hunter during the chase. Together they have over a dozen trained dogs, allowing them to use fresh dogs daily.
It's no accident that this outfit produces some very big toms each year. First they take only two or three cougar hunters a year. Second, their hunting area is bordered by several Indian Reservations and a Provincial Park (with no vehicular access). This limited hunting pressure allows the cats to get old and big.
As I wrote this in early February, Ganzeveld had taken out only two hunters, including myself. Both of us killed toms in less than three days. Another hunter was scheduled to arrive shortly after I left.
Ganzeveld charges $7,000 (US), plus the various Canadian taxes for his six-day cougar hunt. The hunting license and cougar permit will cost $459 (US). One other possible cost........(continued)