“Killed him a bear when he was only three”

I assume you recognize the post title as one of the lyrics from the old Davy Crockett song. It turns out that at least one of Davy Crockett’s descendants is living up to that legacy:

While most kindergartners are thrilled by an action-packed afternoon of finger-painting and clay sculpture, an Arkansas 5-year-old is shooting for something a little more dangerous.

Tre Merritt was in a stand with his grandfather when a black bear came from a thicket at the side of the road, Little Rock news station KATV-TV reported. From about 50 yards away, Tre shot the bear with his youth rifle.

The boy’s grandfather, Mike Merritt, told KATV-TV that Tre’s 10th great-grandfather was Davy Crockett, a legendary outdoorsman who killed a bear at just 3 years old, according to folklore.

Mike Merritt taught his grandson how to shoot when the boy was 2 years old and bragged to KATV-TV that he already had killed three deer.

The family plans to get a life-sized mount of the bear but is not sure where they will put it, KATV-TV reported.


10 Responses

  1. I thought the lyric was “killed in a bar when he was only three.”

    • So did I! Being the skeptical type, and thinking there might be some kind of macho propaganda around folk heroes, I appealed to my older brother for fact checking when I was about seven. “How could he have been killed in a bar when he was only 3. One, they don’t let kids in bars, and two, how could he have done all that other stuff?” He set me straight, looking at me like I was a moron.
      It didn’t stop me from playing that record to DEATH though!

      Glad to know I have a Daniel Boone soulmate out there! I am wearing an imaginary coonskin cap in your honor.

  2. Well, good for the kid!! And blessings on Grandpa.

    I know a lot of folk are going to hyperventilate about this, and bemoan the corrupting of a little boy, yada, yada, yada…..

    But, my reaction to them is shaped a bit by what I heard this morning about the release of the DVD of Sesame Street’s (complete) first season (1969, believe it or not). This is NOT the excerpted DVDs they have on Amazon (I just looked) – it includes (gasp) smoking – Sammy Davis Junior was on. It includes Oscar the (really) Grouch(y), and the Cookie Monster eating all kinds of unhealthy stuff!!

    According to the guys on the radio, this DVD actually comes with a warning to parents that it’s suitable for adults, but not necessarily for children! I don’t know if this is true or not, but I can believe it……..somehow today’s (chronological) adults think that their kids are shrinking violets of some kind, unable to cope with the possibility of being hurt, likely to wither if someone calls them a name, susceptible to being instantly turned into a nicotine fiend if anyone should appear on the silver screen with a cigarette.

    Of course, when it comes to getting an abortion, then the shrinking violets become strong young women, and no interference in their “rights” is countenanced…..but watch someone smoking? Oh NO!


  3. Jesus wept.

    “She said it was thrilling to see the rare animal, but 100 times more exciting to be able to actually take it home. ”



  4. I suspect (whatever the heck a “youth rifle” is) that the grandfather *also* shot the bear.

    I really don’t think that it’s possible to kill even a small bear with something that wouldn’t lay a 5 year old out flat (or dislocate or break a collar bone or shoulder) with the recoil.

    It’s a cute story, though.

  5. Synova,
    The recoil on a .223 rifle is actually quite managable with one hand for an adult if you are using an AR-15/M16 frame. Add a simple monopod, bipod, or shooting frame and it drops even more. While it would take a good shot, the .223 (also known as the 5.56 x 45mm NATO round) is fully capable of killing a small bear with that one shot.
    And Vanderleun, officially “Killed him a b’ar when he was three.” The appostrophe was added to represent local dialectic traits.
    Anyhow, the boy gets the trophy and the story. Enjoy it.

    SGT Dave
    “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…” – dead officer who underestimated a rifle’s capability.

  6. I suppose that’s what I get for learning with a 12 gauge. 😉

  7. They usually start out with the .22 caliber because of the recoil. If he was using .223, then it is far more likely to get a clean kill if they were already prepared and prone.

  8. Synova,
    Don’t feel bad; I learned on a 12-gauge too. Beat the holy hell out of me (I was eight). I learned about rifles after a healthy dose of respect from watching 00-shot and deer slugs destroy a piece of sheetrock. Kept the image of “guns are dangerous, don’t point them at people” in my head until my Army days.
    I still don’t like pointing them at people, but the M-16 and M-4 are fun to shoot. Big springs mean low recoil and the new sights are sweet. The red-dot sight makes it easy for anyone (and I mean anyone – I work alongside a division staff) to shoot reasonably well.
    For big fun, the full-auto weapons are really the best. The M2 (.50 caliber aka “Ma Deuce”) is about as rugged and shootable as you can get. The old M60 and newer M240B are both great in 7.62×51 NATO. The M249 fires the same round as the M16, but in linked belts. And for the joy of joys in portable, destruction-raining, jihadi-smiting fun you have the Mark 19. It is a machine gun that shoots 40 mm grenades (each round is about the size of a standard Red Bull can). When I was on the range in ’05 before going to OIF I listened to a 53 year old First Sergeant giggle like a schoolgirl while he fired. He was blushing and acted like a boy after his first kiss from the girl he had had a crush on all through grade school.
    I swear the company commander thought we’d taken him to a house of ill-repute when we got back. He accused us of using mind-altering substances – I got the last laugh with the reply “Yep, gunpowder and shrapnel.”
    Anyhow, (as you can tell) I like talking about guns. BTW, for anyone that is involved with ESGR (Employer Support for Guard and Reserve) contact your employees’ units and find out when the next Employer Appreciation Day is. Three years ago we took a number of employers to the range so they could experience full auto bliss. Sometimes we get permission for family and friends, too. The whole thing is packaged for people to have fun and find out a bit about the whole Guard and Reserve community; it helps people meet other Guardsmen, Resevists, and employers and can really smooth out the transitions on and off of deployment.

    Enough talking; I have to go clean my M9 pistol and head to bed.

    SGT Dave
    “It is a poor substitute for holding my wife, but far better at killing hostiles at half a mile than she is.” (actually overheard on a patrol)

  9. Dear, oh dear, the lyric is “Kilt him a bear…” not “Killed.” This was my favorite song when I was three, please take good care of it.
    I say give the kid a Bowie knife!

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