$100 Worth of Raffle Tickets Wins PA Hunter a Record Elk
Russ Chastain 11.04.15
Pennsylvania – A friend of mine told me about this one. He lives within a few miles of Mark Martino, a hunter who won an elk license raffle and parlayed it into a sure-nuff trophy that rivals the PA state record.
It all began when Martino bought 6 chances for $100 in a Keystone Elk Country Alliance raffle. His raffle win included the right to hunt for 60 days “anywhere in the elk range” beginning on September 1, 2015. Also included was a week of hunting guide service from Elk County Outfitters.
The 52-year-old hunter knew what he wanted, and that was a big one. He dedicated himself to the job. He even closed his business so he could concentrate on elk hunting.
A self-employed mechanic, Martino closed his business for September, paying his monthly bills from his savings. He was prepared to do the same for October if necessary, all so he could be in the woods every day.
After vainly pursuing a huge collared bull, of which his guides had captured photos, he had come up empty, but he had a number of exciting close calls with big bulls while hunting the rut.
‘That was the best part of everything,’ Martino said. ‘Brian (Hale, one of the guides), he’d rake the brush and those bulls would come in looking for a fight. We had that four or five days. They’d be within 20 yards, 15 yards.’
The guides grew frustrated with each big bull he refused to shoot, but he stuck to it.
After hunting Monday through Saturday (and scouting on Sundays which often involved up to 8 miles of hiking), his guides found another big bull, and he agreed to hunt it.
He got a few glimpses over the next several days, then took the huge bull on September 25th.
It was the elk hunt of a lifetime, and it brought him close to the state record–reportedly 442 6/8. Martino’s 8×8 bull had a green score of about 440 inches and can be officially measured after it dries for 60 days.
A PA game biologist said that bulls like his are rare, and at age 8 to 9 they are considerably older than average 6×6 bulls, which are generally between 5 and 6 years of age.
Pretty great for a $100 raffle hunt!