Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Fred Bear thinkin’

I’ve always been a fan of Bear. Since I was knee high to my papa, there has been a Bear in my life.  I was elated when my dad handed me his ol’ Bear super Griz and told me to take good care of it.  Saddened as well as that meant he was done shooting. All things come to an end though (even if I can hope he will want to shoot again; targets don’t bleed and that is the why of his quitting I take.  He often mentions his regrets of shooting that last deer.)

I still marvel at watching ol’ Fred Bear shooting: draw to cheek and release, smooth as silk and fast like a bee outta the hive. And accurate! Maybe not the tight Robin Hood groups compound shooters are getting, but minute of pie plate at 30-40 yards will put meat on the table and THAT was what Fred was trying to provide the world.  Rather like Henry Ford and cars.  Nothing ‘special’ but affordable, effective, and reliable.

Reading recently, I gather that Bear Archery has garnered an unfavourable reputation in the archery world.  Partly due to not running in the competitor classes, but also because they sell bows at general box stores like Wal-Mart and Kmart (now defunct).  That actually was right in line with Freds vision: putting archery in the hands of the common Joe.  I don’t see the problem.  Personally, if I can buy a tool, a quality tool, for something more in-line with my payscale, and don’t have to go in hock to do so, does it matter if if its the latest and greatest, or solid enough that I can pass it on to my kids kids?  Does it have to be this years model, every year? (That seems more in-line with ‘keeping up with the Jones’s ‘ mentality than enjoyment. At least IMO)  Hell, my dad bought that super Griz, that’s hanging near my back door right now, when I was about two years old.  It wasn’t new, but that bow was, and is, solid enough that it put meat in our fridge many times over the years. And I plan on using it to do so again. That was exactly what Fred was trying to do.  And there is a reason why ol BEAR bows are in demand on Ebay,  yet rarely do you see other brands fetching like numbers.  I’d bet the many of the buyers even shoot the bows they collect. (Afterall, they were made to be used, not gather dust.)  Maybe you’ll, on occasion, see a Hoyt TD or some species, but those were Olympian target models, and therefore a different breed of bow. I kinda doubt there will be such demand for the plethora of compounds out now; not for many many years, and even so, I have my doubts. (Note: other old bows in demand are the ol Ben Pearsons.  Those old solid fiberglass backyard shooters that introduced far more kids to shooting than any other bow out there.  The prices those are fetching now are simply outrageous.)

Where am I going with this?  Really just cruisin’ through my brain, looking at the items in stock, and assessing where I come from.  Gotta know your groundwork, before you can fly, so to speak.  

I guess, that means when I go looking at any new bow, its gonna be a Bear. I mentioned recently about the Wild, and there is another one at the shop I frequent called a Patriot, both Bear.  I would love to be able ‘try before I buy’ but the way of compounds means more tuning before that would work. (Another reason I prefer simple recurves and longbows.  Yeah, you’ll have to tune it, but drawlength and poundage are there and thats what you have to work with, built right in fixed like. Test shooting is much easier.)

Who knows, I may sell off this Darton, and just write it off as a learning experience.  Then again, as much of a pain as it is, I like that accuracy too. And it’d be fun to compete every once in while.(and there some fine women competing, and I am a healthy male,,,, Hermit I may be, but I am not against the female friend.)

Just some casual thoughts rambling out onto to keyboard.  😊

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4 responses

  1. Spud

    Prime reason Bear has become less favored is because they are built with cast risers.
    Whereas a top end Hoyt, Mathews etc have machined risers. Porous cast bows tend to be variable with temp fluctuations and prone to cracking.
    In my opinion a five year old Hoyt is a better value than any generic bow.
    The only thing which will wear out on a Hoyt…strings
    Beware however, because they all manufacture low end bows with cast risers ,including Hoyt. Only the upper end ones have machined ones.

    October 29, 2017 at 5:30 am

    • My understanding of the process is that they are heat extruded, rather like the process the use in making lowers for the AR rifles. This is a heated die where heated but not yet fluid aluminum is forced into the die, then allowed to cool while in the die. That changes the nature of the cast from porous to, essentially, forged. The Darton is machined and it definitely showed temperature issues. Thanks for the advice though, something to consider.

      October 29, 2017 at 5:38 am

      • Spud

        Might be an issue with limbs too.

        October 29, 2017 at 9:11 am

      • That was a consideration as well. Seeing how the bow is 17 years old, repair is likely not feasible or inexpensive. Best to buy new this round IMO (and its my wallet so I decide 😆)

        October 29, 2017 at 4:27 pm

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