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Cooper Landing man hopes for return of hunting trophies

Posted: December 23, 2012 - 10:57am

Two weeks ago someone pried the window up on Brandon’s Allen’s cabin in Cooper Landing, crawled into the house, rifled through closets and draws and shelves and stole six hunting trophies.

As far as he can tell, nothing else was stolen — just two Dall sheep shoulder mounts, two black bear rugs and two mountain goat shoulder mounts.

But they were the worst things that could be stolen, he said. They were vestiges of his father, Buster Allen, now deceased, and of the time when he was just a kid he and his dad killed that brown bear up in the mountains.

“It was the first big game hunt we’ve been on, and we were stalking this bear,” he said. “He was above us and we were walking up the hill and there was a series of benches.

“We were about 100 yards away and I whispered to him: ‘Let’s go up this next bench and let’s get a little bit closer.’ We did, and due to the topography we couldn’t see him anymore — it was too low — so we had to go to the third bench.

“When we got to the third bench we were probably within 25 maybe 30 yards of this bear, on our hands and knees.

“My dad was a career soldier, so as we started to crest this little hill he poked me on the shoulder and he looked at me and said: ‘When we cross this hill, you better commence firing.’

“We shot the animal, and I think what I remember is how excited he was for me to take this animal. It was one shot, the animal was down, and I was concerned that maybe the animal wasn’t done — you know, you read about (hunters firing) two cases of shells and the bear keeps coming and eats half of Kenai and dies of old age.

“But one shot and the bear was down, and (my dad) was just jumping up and down; he was so excited. He was pounding me on the back.”

That was the only big game trip he took with his father. The other trophies he and his father collected separately throughout the state.

Now when he looks up on the wall between the four large windows that flood the cabin with sunlight — where his dad’s first place, hand-carved totem pole used to stand and where the sheep and goats used to look down — he thinks: “There’s just going to be an empty spot there. They’re never going to be there.”

He said it is lost history.

“You think about grandchildren not being able to see what their great-grandfather took 50 years ago,” he said.

Allen’s theft insurance gave him $5,000 for the loss. But he said you can’t buy back the mounts and you can’t buy back the memories. He’s putting the $5,000 forward as reward money to catch the person who stole his family heirlooms.

To report any findings, call Allen at 907-230-5966.

Dan Schwartz can be reached at

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northernlights 12/25/12 - 03:30 pm

theives are such cowards. They sneak around when no one is looking and steal for themselves. they are like parasites, living off of another person possessions. they may think for now they are getting away with it, but they are not above the spiritual laws God set up and one of them is, you will reap what you sow. They are making thier lives poorer and poorer. You might be miserable for the moment, but they will be for a life time. Keep an eye out on ebay, craigs list, and I dont know if there is anyway the boader patrol in Canada can keep a lookout. Send a fax with pictures of it or descriptions to all pawn shops. I beleive one day you will recover them. they will not be enjoyed by the coward. My heart goes out to you, but its temporary. Sorry.

BigRedDog 12/26/12 - 07:14 am
To catch a theif

I hate theives, must be devastating loosing those many memories and experiences associated with your trophies. Last winter a fellow got his murdering theiving a-- busted bye a trail camera! He is going away for the BIG ONE via picture proof evidence. His smiling face going into a man's house with the entent of robbing and murdering him was caught on a trail camera. I know it's a little late now but pick up your Cabela's catalog, or run down to Sports Authority and look for some simple trail cam you can set up to monitor your property. Just one of those big cards in that camera and you can see everybody thats pulled into your driveway for a year! With two of them you could be the local neighborhood monitor. You could set it up to see the licence tag of every vehicle that entered your whole subdivision showing date and time!
I bet a good Trooper that knew his beat could spot the bandits car out of 100 driving by! They would LOVE to have this kind of sucurity survalence pics to help solve this crime. These cameras are becoming the way to monitor all kinds of activity, just call up the local LE and ask for some hints on how to set it up so it's legal! ASK first, but with a couple of dozen of these cameras spread out around the Kenai we would have some very worried theives plying their trade! We would have a much greater chance of putting them in that old cross barred motel, where with their many freinds they would feel free to be themselves. Sorry for your loss, but NL is right about looking for a market as these thefts don't happen unless these theives can turn over the bouty quickly.
Everybody entering or even driving by triggers the camera and gets recorded. These cameras have HUGE chips and one even advertises a million pic capacity, some of these cameras cost under $100. Food for thought!

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