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Five-year-old, Tre Merritt, Kills A Bear

Perhaps most of us agree this is a good use for a gun, except that wasn’t Tre in great danger as, with a tiny gun, he shot this lumbering bear. (I’m not even sure what a youth rifle is.) Quite extraordinary that a child this size and age could shoot and kill a bear, would you not agree? But then, the little fella is from Arkansas which bumps against Missouri, my home state, and we’re known to be tough and enduring, we are, we midwestern mountaineers. 🙂

From KATV Spirit of Arkansas

Dewitt – An Arkansas County boy killed a black bear Sunday weighing more than 400 pounds.

(Tre Merritt, Five-year-old Hunter) “I was up in the stand and I seen the bear. It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it.”

Tre Merritt’s grandfather was in the stand with him at the time. He says Tre did it all by himself.

(Mike Merritt, Tre’s Grandfather) “He came in about 40 to 50 yards, and when he got in the open. I whistled at him and he stopped and I said, ‘Shoot Tre.’”

And that’s just what Tre did–he fired his youth rifle.

(Mike Merritt) “I said, ‘Tre, you missed the bear.’ He said, ‘Paw-paw I squeezed the trigger and I didn’t close my eyes. I killed him.”’

The bear turned out to be 445 pounds–twelve-times the size of Tre. Mike Merritt said tears rolled down his cheeks when he found out his grandson killed the enormous bear.

(Mike Merritt) “His 10th great-grandfather was Davie Crockett. And Davie supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davie killed one when he was three.”

Tre’s dad says he started teaching his son to shoot when he was just 2 ½ years old. Last year, Tre killed three deer.

The family plans to get a life-sized mount of the bear, but they’re not sure right now where they’ll put it.

So, if anywhere around the world you feel threatened by a bear, call on one of us midwestern toughies. On second thought, just call on Tre and I’ll go ahead and hold down things here on my blog. But I’ll be cheering in the background. Actually its quite fair, for I don’t believe I am in a direct–or indirect for that matter–line with Davy Crockett…and Tre is. What a brave and talented little man he is.


My devotional blog is here.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

7 replies on “Five-year-old, Tre Merritt, Kills A Bear”

Hi Mrs.Shirley,

I am Tre’s father and just thought i would update you on his latest achievement.

This weekend Tre harvested an Osceola gobbler in Florida. This makes his third and final species to comple the “grand slam.”

I am so proud of him and am blessed by God to have such a special son!

I will try to keep you updated as much as i have time to.

Thanks and God bless


good job, the only way our youth will stop killing people with guns is when people start teaching them about guns and showing them that they kill (hence huting). Great too here such a wonderful hunting story.


Five year old shoots bear.
Yes, I did hear this story on the radio. I have several questions? What caliber or gage was the weapon the boy fired? How close was he and his grandfather to this bear? To drop or kill a bear takes a reasonable size weapon, not a 22 or a 410. Sorry a 22 is a very small caliber rifle and a 410 is a small boar shotgun. Yes, I taught my boys the safety around weapons. Yes, I taught my boys to hunt and clean what they shot. But this was not until they were twelve years of age. Sorry, personal option, five is just a little young to be with a weapon in the field. Should this young man have been using a 410 shot gun firing a solid slug? They would need to have been within, not more than twenty yards from this bear to make as clean a kill as it sound in the story. Not only close but one lucky shot. I hope this young man and his family like bear meat. As they will have plenty of it for the winter.


I’m very surprised that Arkansas allows hunting licences for one so young, I believe here in Michigan the minimum age is 12.
What a mature young man, hunting requires a lot of discipline and patience. Patience is hard enough at 44, let alone 5! 🙂


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