Eightgh-grader Ian Meredith picked the perfect day to play hooky on Monday, Sept. 26. Meredith had his sights set on a giant whitetail he’d nicknamed “Tackle Box”, and he’d seen the huge buck on a trail camera on his family’s 400-acre property in Kentucky. His mother, Beth, wasn’t so keen about Ian skipping school, but one of Ian’s teachers encouraged her to allow him to hunt that morning.
“He was coming into my stand just about every morning in daylight, and it was the first day that the wind was right,” Ian told Drury Outdoors Deercast. “So I just had to hunt.”
The faculty member who nudged Ian’s mom in the right direction is Adam French, an orchestra teacher at Grayson County Middle School. French had gotten to know Ian through his music class, but his role changed in 2020, when Ian and his brother Will lost their father to pancreatic cancer and French became a mentor for the two boys.
Adam French and Ian Meredith with the amazing whitetail buck ‘Tackle Box.’
Adam went with the boys to the Whitetail woods that fall and helped them set up trail cameras. Soon they noticed a big mainframe 10-point.
The buck was in the trail camera pictures again in 2021, but now his rack was much larger. His rack was a maize of antlers, including a couple of drop tines. The twisted appearance of the buck’s antlers reminded Ian of a messy fishing tackle box and he named him “Tackle Box.”
AN ACTUAL TRAIL CAMERA PHOTO OF ‘TACKLE BOX’ IN 2022.
That fall Ian harvested his first buck during firearms season. Several neighbors now knew about the ‘Tackle Box’ and one got a shot at him. When the 2022 deer season opened several other hunters were hoping to get a shot at ‘Tackle Box’.
On Monday, Sept. 26, Ian’s mother gave him the okay to miss classes that morning. By 9:30 a.m. Ian climbed down from his treestand with the intention of going to school. Walking home, he saw a buck and instantly recognized it as the ‘Tackle Box’ buck.
On foot, and not certain of what to do, Ian called French, who had just dismissed his second period class.
French told him, “I told him to take his boots off, take his time, and make a stalk.”
Ian took Adam’s advice and removed his hunting boots. Barefoot, and with a stiff fall wind in his face he slowly closed the distance between him and ‘Tackle Box.’ In 15 minutes they were 12 yards apart. Ian drew his bow and made a perfect double-lung shot. ‘Tackle Box’ bolted a few short steps and dropped!
Ian hurried to the buck and then pulled out his cellphone and called his Mother and Adam.
Ian Meredith and his mother BETH with Ian’s giant buck ‘Tackle Box’
After the drying period Buckmasters scored Ian’s buck with an official score of 238 6/8 inches. “Tackle Box” will likely go down as the biggest non-typical whitetail buck ever killed by a youth hunter in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.
Ian Meredith’s P&Y Buck was 7 1/2 years old. He dropped in a few paces, taken with a Grim Reaper Broadheads 3-blade Razorcut Pro 2 3/4 Inch.