ANIMAL: Alaskan Brown Bear
WHEN: September 7, 1997
WHERE: Nak Nek River near Katmai National Park (Alaska Peninsula).
METHOD: From a drift boat, spotted bears eating salmon, beached craft and stalked on foot.
OUTFITTER: Joe Klutsch, Katmai Guide Service.
MEASURMENT, SCORE: 26 4/16 inches. Bear was No. 6 bow record in world. P&Y minimum is 20 inches.
SPECIAL CHALLENGES, DANGERS: Martin and a guide, who never guided for brown bears, were drifting a river, spotting bears eating salmon and getting downwind for a stalk. They had three stalks to within 30 yards of tremendous bears in very thick bushes near the river.
"The adrenaline was running so high, you could have wrung out my shirt and filled a 5-gallon bucket of perspiration," Martin said in a recent interview with ESPNOutdoors.com.
Martin saw a huge one and stalked to within 28 yards in the tangle of grasses and branches.
"This is it," he said to himself. "If I'm going to get him, it's got to be now."
But when he turned to signal the guide, the guide was nowhere to be seen.
"I need to kill the bear or he would kill me. That was mental game, the mindset. It was not fun and games, it was life and death," Martin said. "I didn't know if I could do this, with the bear so close. But I was cool as a cucumber as I came to full draw."
The arrow hit it with a double-lung shot. The bear dropped to all fours, and turned away among the thick vegetation.
But that's when everything changed.
"Suddenly I was petrified," said Martin, who does not carry a gun. "The bear was wounded, the guide was nowhere near me and I could not see but a few feet ahead of me. I knew that bear was going to come back and kill me."
But it didn't. In fact, the guide was not too far behind, and he saw everything. The guide said the bear lumbered off, turned and looked back at Martin, then dropped. It was dead in 15 minutes.