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November 1: Zach Playle

Thriller is dead!

As told by John Williams


Zach made a great kill back in September with his bow. As Missouri’s youth season rolled around we made plans to try and smoke a giant. I had been seeing a few big deer around my farm, including a giant I nicknamed Thriller. I had an encounter with this buck on Dream Season 10. Unfortunately at the time, I couldn’t stop him for a shot. Thriller loved to have his picture taken. I have dozens of trail camera pictures and some wildlife eye of him. Mark Drury looked at a photo of him in 2005 and thought he would be a great deer in a few years. In his 6 ½ years I only saw him three or four times, so I kind of gave up on killing him.

Zach and I set out after a big 8 point that we had several encounters with over the past few weeks. Zach wanted to sit in a ground blind we set up not far from where Taylor Drury killed her first deer. The weather and wind were perfect. It wasn’t long before we had 15 does and yearlings in the Biologic Maximum field we were hunting on. All of a sudden a doe bolted onto the field with none other than Thriller on her tail! This was the first time we had ever seen Thriller while we had a gun in our hands. Zach made an awesome 60 yards shot with his .223 Thompson Center Contender. The 170 4/8 inch giant ran 70 yards before he went down on camera. Zach’s reaction was priceless! What an awesome youth season!