It’s all downhill from here for Dylan Kirby from the Chesterfield County community of Ruby. That’s what you’d figure since the first bow kill of his hunting career was a wild hog approaching 500 pounds that fell on Monday evening.
Kirby, an 18-year-old senior at Chesterfield County High School, was hunting with his father, Ronnie, and older brother David, on the first day of a six-day archery season on the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge near McBee, toting a Martin compound bow he’d bought this past summer.
At around 6:15, 15 feet up in a climbing stand attached to a pine tree, Kirby heard some shuffling in the leaves in the patch of oak trees he was hunting, about 70 yards from a thicket.
“I didn’t hear very much noise for such a big animal,” Kirby said. “There were some branches that were in the way, and when he finally came around to where I could see him, I didn’t know what to think. He looked like a grizzly bear. I’ve never seen anything in the woods that big.”
When the big hog finally gave him an open shot, Kirby stood up, got in a position to deliver a killing shot, pulled back on his bow, and when he got a quartering away shot at about 40 yards, he “popped him.”
“You’ve never heard anything squeal like that in your life,” Kirby said of the noises the hog made when the Carbon Express arrow, tipped with a 100-grain Muzzy broadhead, hit home.
In fact, Kirby’s father, headed to the spot where his brother had shot a 5-point buck around 200 yards away, was within earshot of what he called “the loudest squealing I’ve ever heard.”
The hog ran barely out of Dylan Kirby’s sight, and not wanting to face off with something that big by himself, he headed toward his family members.
“If you had seen what he looked like, you wouldn’t want to go down and mess with it by yourself,” he said.
The three Kirbys found a refuge staff member who had a truck and winch, and they returned and found the hog about 50 yards from where it had been shot through both lungs.
“You talk about happy,” Dylan Kirby said.
With the truck and winch, they dragged the huge hog out of the woods and back to the Kirby’s vehicle.
“It took six of us to get him in the back of the truck,” Ronnie Kirby said.
The Kirbys carried the hog – and the buck – to Angelus Deer Processing in Jefferson. There, according to Ronnie Kirby, the hog bottomed out a set of scales.
“They told us he was probably within a couple of pounds on either side of 500 pounds,” he said. “That’s what I got charged for.”