On the first day of North Carolina’s archery season, Dylan Martin of Stoneville killed a possible new state record buck with his Ravin R10 crossbow. During the last few minutes of daylight, Martin arrowed a 171 5/8-inch non-typical giant at only 16 yards from his stand. 

James Thompson’s 163 1/8-inch Moore County deer currently holds the state record for the largest non-typical buck every killed with a crossbow in the Tarheel state. But, Martins’s Rockingham County buck may overtake the top spot after the required drying time.

Ever since the second week of July, Martin had his eyes on this deer. When he first saw it in trail camera photos, he knew it was a deer to align his crosshairs on. 

“I knew he would be something special as soon as I saw him on camera.” Martin said. “He was already big in July and he had a lot of growing left to do. He gave me anxiety all summer long!” 

Martin typically sees some big bucks on his property every year, but nothing like this. As soon as the deer showed up, Martin made sure the deer had plenty to eat while on his farm. But with a bumper crop of white oak acorns getting ready to drop, Martin knew he had to get on this deer as soon as the season arrived. 

On the first day of the season, Martin decided to avoid the stand in the morning in an effort not to spook the deer off the corn on the way to the stand. So that afternoon, he was in the stand and ready. He knew it would be the perfect opportunity to catch this deer with his guard down. 

Martin got situated for the afternoon and within a short time, his hunting pals started to send out messages in a group text about all the deer they were seeing. Martin hadn’t seen anything yet, but it was still early. It was only 6:30 p.m. and there was plenty of daylight left for his deer to arrive. He patiently waited and at 7:45, a doe walked to the corn and circled around to his back. 

“She started blowing at me and then ran off. I figured it was over and I started to leave,” he said. 

While he was preparing to end his hunt and walk out to his truck, the doe came back and right behind her was the bachelor group of bucks he was looking for. And guess who was bringing up the rear? 

“It was him,” said Martin.

The buck walked up, took a bite of corn, and turned broadside. Martin shot him at 16 yards and the Rage broadhead penetrated the deer’s liver inside his chest cavity and quickly disappearing into the darkness on the other side. The buck ran off and piled up just 40 yards away. 

“He has driven me crazy all summer,” Martin said. “I have killed some nice deer in my life, but nothing like this. I was happy to get him before the acorns started to fall and he changed his travel pattern.”