Shelby Lynn Kirby hopes to win 'Outdoor Diva of the Year'

Tina Harbuck
Shelby Lynn Kirby shows off an 8-point buck she killed with a bow in Mississippi. She is currently vying for “Outdoor Diva of the Year” with Woods 'N Water Magazine.

Although she doesn’t think of herself as a “diva,” Shelby Lynn Kirby was just selected as “Outdoor Diva of the Month” by Woods ‘N Water Magazine for the month of August.

And now with a two-day hunting trip to Georgia on the line for “Outdoor Diva of the Year” winner, the 23-year-old is looking for your votes.

Kirby, who is married to Capt. Chris Kirby of the charter boat Backlash, is passionate about the outdoors. Together the two own and operate Destin Inshore Charters, Inc., and Florida Duck Guides. Their summers are spent taking people fishing inshore and offshore, while the winters consists of guiding duck hunts for all types of diver ducks.

“I like to fish, but I love to hunt … I live to hunt,” Shelby said.

“I didn’t start duck hunting until I started dating Chris. He took me on my first duck hunt about 4 ½ years ago. So I went from being hardcore into deer hunting and loving it, and then duck hunting. Now they pretty much balance out.

“Duck hunting is more social vs. being in the woods and being patient by yourself with a deer. But he’s definitely talked me into it,” she said.

The two go hunting together, but Shelby says she usually goes by herself.

“He’s too loud in the woods. He likes to roam around and I like to be in a tree and actually wait,” she said.

Shelby killed her first deer when she was about nine on a hunt with her dad.

“He had two girls and wanted boys … so we are the only sons he ever got,” she said.

Her first was a doe in Laurel Hill shot with a 243 that her dad got her for Christmas. “Ever since then I’ve loved it,” she said.

Shelby’s biggest buck was an 8-point harvested in Wyoming in 2008.

More recently she killed an 8-point in Mississippi with a bow.

“Bow hunting is definitely my favorite probably because they have to be right in your face … you’ve got to look them in the eye and you’ve got to feel their heart beat as fast as your heart is beating. With a gun you can be in a shooting house drinking coffee and see them walk out in the field. They can be 60 yards to 260 yards, where as with a bow your shot is going to be at max 30 to 40 yards.”

But she’s not just about the hunt, Shelby loves being on the water as well.

“I love to fish too,” she said. “As far as taste, I love to flounder gig or fish for flounder because that’s my favorite thing to eat.

“As far as the biggest fish, that was two days ago,” she said. Earlier this week, Shelby hauled in a 45-pound amberjack while fishing with her husband Chris.

“And I don’t want to catch anymore of them,” she said. By the time she got the hard-pulling amberjack to the top, she got deckhand Jordan Colson to help get it in the boat. “I am done,” she said.

Shelby’s not scared to get her hands dirty as well.

“I clean my own deer, I clean my own duck. I can clean my own fish, but Chris doesn’t let me,” she said, noting there wouldn’t be much meat left when she was done.

“But I can clean anything you want me to.”

Right now Shelby is just hoping to clean up on votes for “Outdoor Diva of the Year.”

“For me, since I love to hunt so much, it would mean me winning a hunt of a lifetime. This would be a chance for us to breakaway.”

Voting is open until Sept. 30 on the Woods ‘N Water Facebook Page. Find the “Diva of the Year” contest and then find her photo and like it.

Is she a diva?

“I don’t know,” Shelby said. “I just love the outdoors. It was the way I was raised, it’s what I like to do and if I win some stuff off of it for liking that, then I’m willing to do that.”

Voting is open until Sept. 30 on the Woods ‘N Water Facebook Page. Find the “Diva of the Year” contest and then find Shelby Lynn Kirby's photo and like it.