On August 13, Kavon Ghassemi stood in his front yard in Central, La., watching helplessly as more than a foot of muddy water crept into his house during historic flooding.
“It was a helpless feeling, just watching what was happening to our home,” Ghassemi said. “There was nothing we could do about it. We have flood insurance, but just having to stand by watching your home ruined was a feeling that is hard to describe.”
Forty-eight days later, Ghassemi still hadn’t received his insurance adjuster’s decision and he, his pregnant wife and 5-year-old son were staying with a friend.
But Oct. 1 came — and along with it the opening of archery season for deer — so his thoughts were diverted from his ruined home to the velvet buck he had seen in a food plot on his trail camera.
“I am hunting on a club near Natchez, Miss. and for three straight days, I had images of this beautiful velvet buck, and he was coming out to the plot near the same time late every afternoon,” he said. “On Sept. 28, he came out at 7:30, September 29 at 7:10 and Sept. 30 at 7:20. With bow season opening that Saturday, I decided not to hunt that stand that morning, but went to a different stand for my morning hunt.
“I saw a small buck and some does, but I had my mind on the stand where the velvet buck was visiting late afternoons.”
Parking his 4-wheeler around 3:30, he walked 12 minutes to the stand wanting to get settled, hoping the buck would be keeping its same schedule. Once he reached the stand and stowed his gear, he realized he’d forgotten something rather important.
“I had left my quiver at the 4-wheeler so I had to get down, make the 12 minute walk there, get my quiver and walk 12 minutes back. I was sweating from all the walking plus, it had warmed up considerably that afternoon so I removed my shirt,” Ghassemi said. “Mosquitoes were buzzing, so here I am sitting in my stand, shirtless with my Thermacell going, when five minutes after I got settled in, the buck walked out at 20 yards.”
But the buck was nervous, sniffing the air as it began walking back toward the wood line.
“When he got to the wood line, he turned and was quartering away at 15 yards. I let my arrow fly, hitting the deer in the rib cage,” he said. “He only ran 100 yards and piled up.”
Ghassemi, 32, was shooting a PSE bow with a Blackout arrow and Rage Hypodermic broadhead.
The 8-point in full velvet tipped the scales at 170 pounds, with an inside spread of 16 ¾ inches. It measured 138 1/8 inches Pope and Young.
While flood cleanup continues, at least now Ghassemi can dream about the days when his renovated home will feature the big Mississippi deer on a prominent wall.
“After all we have been through since August, getting a chance at this beautiful velvet buck has diverted my attention to something a whole lot more positive,” he said.
Click here to read other big-buck stories from the 2016-17 season.
And don’t forget to post photos of your bucks in the Mississippi Sportsman Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free and offers great monthly prize packages.