The current owners of the Meredith House had heard stories of game mounts displayed by prior owners. As an English Tudor Revival residence, the house seemed to crave such a display. Trouble was that the current owners are not game hunters. Therein lay the dilemma.
The issue was resolved in 2016 with the addition of a mounted buck as seen above.
This taxidermied deer was not sourced from an estate sale or avid hunter wishing to offload a less-favorable trophy. This mount was sourced about a mile and a half from the Meredith House through an unfortunate and chance encounter. In the early evening hours of February 11, 2016, one of the current owners was driving a newly acquired Volvo XC90 past West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta when a doe darted across the road with great speed and agility. Thinking an accident was averted, the driver and passengers breathed a sign of relief only to be surprised when a young buck darted across the same road with great speed but less agility.
The Volvo XC90s accident avoidance system engaged appropriately and ensure the occupants of the vehicle were unharmed; however, the young buck and the automobile met with sufficient speed to kill the deer. This was a tragedy, especially for the young buck.
The Atlanta Police Department officer stated that animal control would come to remove the animal. That way, no neighbor would be negatively impacted by the deceased deer. Unfortunately, this never happened. On a subsequent evening, the Meredith House owners noticed the carcass still by the roadside. They hatched a plan to be neighborly and ecologically friendly at the same time.
Lemonade Out of Lemons
Being that it was February, the overnight temperatures were below freezing overnight and barely reaching 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. If the dead deer was still on the side of the roadway the following morning, they would remove the carcass themselves. Not only did they remove the dead deer, but they conveyed him to a taxidermist about an hour away.
This was a unique opportunity for the Meredith House owners. This was a buck killed – – accidentally – – in the heart of Buckhead. Buckhead is a neighborhood within the City of Atlanta. According to local historians, Buckhead was named in the 1830s after a “posted head of a buck on a small stake about two or three feet high” shot by John Whitley and located about a mile and a half from where this deer was killed and near the same road (West Paces Ferry) that served as an early trading route. Accidentally killing a deer with an automobile is really the only legal way to currently bag a buck in Buckhead. This young buck killed in 2016 would be mounted and preserved as the name-sake buck from the 1830s from the same general vicinity.
A few months after the accident, the mounted young buck’s preservation was completed. Of note, the taxidermist put the entire animal to good use. He field-dressed the buck and utilized all the meat he could for his family (given the favorable weather temperatures). Beetles cleaned a portion of the carcass as part of the taxidermy process. And, the mount came back to the Meredith House. He now rests in the foyer. We named him ‘Bucky.’
Since having a few filming projects, Bucky has made cameo appearances in a few of the shoots.
In Summer 2021, music artists, Moe and Zaytoven, filmed and released the music video for Walkin On Water at the Meredith House. They animated Bucky, and he sings a line from the song. How cool!