Leon Lorenz lowers his voice to match the bear’s lowered ears.

Softly he instructs the grizzly: “Close enough.”

This isn’t an ordinary photo shoot. And while he keeps one hand on his gun, it’s the calm words that are his ticket out alive.

But 53-year-old Leon Lorenz has done this before.

The wildlife videographer has bartered with moose, black bears and grizzlies. Last summer his video of a mama grizzly bear charging towards him with her cub made international headlines, appearing in the Globe and Mail, NBC, and CBC’s The National, among others.

It was a flash of attention of the very private life he leads in Dunster, about an hour west of Jasper National Park. Since quitting his job at the lumber mill 14 years ago, he has supported his family from his rare footage of wildlife.

In May he’ll be releasing his seventh film, called Wildest of the Wild, his first film in high definition. But there’s still one shot he is trying to get.


He has tried to ambush the nocturnal felines, but for one reason or another, it hasn’t worked out so far.

I’d been speaking to Leon for months about joining him to track cougars. This would be a quick outing – just a couple of hours on snowshoes. Part of his new film is about what goes on behind the scenes – he even staged a re-enactment of the grizzly attack, filming how he reacted. I wanted to see for myself.

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One thought on “Stalking cougars with Leon”

  1. I think the cougars have been watching Leon for an amount of time that’s longer then he realizes. Cougars are by far, the smartest and best camo species in the forests of BC Growing up in Valemount I remember we had our share of these cats on the Mckirdy farm there were cougars that plaged the ranch from the time I was young until the later years. When Jim and Angus finally hunted it down to the barn in the hay loft, where it was quite content… there was another watching from it’s post and they (Jim and Angus)never knew due to the fact that the cougar were a they until that moment because the cats follow and walk on the lead bigger cats prints, such survivors! moreover the cats would also step back in their same prints. I know they toyed with Mac (Angus’ dog) after his first attack, he would chase it away from the cattle and the cat by the second and third time seemed the lure Mac to an attack position where the cat would have the greatest advantage, it was just to odd were Mac was found the second and third time. I wish Leon the safest journey in his quest, but cougars would/ will not talk or listen to him or any other human they are the stronger and more intelligent in this wilderness race… and definitly not conparable to any bears.
    Cats in the Loft…

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