Fred Bear Instinct
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Jason Balazs

Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 – 18:37:03

Fred Bear Instinct

By Jason Balazs

Jul 20, 2006, 07:10

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To Jason Balazs web site
Blazin Arrows.

When I was young, I was given a
fiberglass recurve bow that was made by Fred Bear.   I never
did shoot at much with it, but that was not the bows fault. You see, I
think I lost the arrows that came with it; the same day I got it. 
Although I never had any arrows, I would still tote it up the mountains
of Colorado, looking for a stick that would substitute.  My
grandfather had given me that bow, and I still have it today. 
Yet, even with the scratches and nicks that a kid growing up in the
“Wild West” could put on it, my kids still shoot it in the back yard
and it performs just like it should.

Over the last ten years
the archery industry has gone from one extreme to another.  The
process of “keep up or get out of the way” really applies in today’s
industry. If there is an archery company that does not want to conform
to what the hunters want, then the profits of that company
plummet.  Bear archery has conformed and made the transition into
the 21st century.  One thing that Bear Archery has done is,
implemented 21st century technology and quality, but only attached a
20th century price tag. 


new Fred bear bows are made with vertical limb technology. This allows
the bow to have a longer riser.  The Instinct’s riser is 22 inches
and made from machined aluminum, which adds strength and speed.
There are 9 cutouts that reduce the overall weight of the whole bow, which has the mass weight of 4.1 pounds.   
brace height of the Instinct is 7 ½ inches.  Another great thing
about the new vertical limb bows is the extended brace height. 
This makes the shorter bows more forgiving and easier to shoot.
The grip is a two-part grip that also includes a grip material to ensure that your hand does not move. 
Instinct is outfitted with compression molded quad limbs that are solid
and give very little.  That is what is great with the new vertical
limb bows on the market.  With little to no limb travel the
manufactures can make their limbs more rigid for increased speed, yet
there is not an increase in vibration or shock.


Perimeter Weighted Single Cam System adds speed along with a smooth
draw.  The weighted cam increases your strings speed, which
increases the arrow speed and nock-down power.  The cams have
modules that let you increase or decrease your draw length, but the
let-off is capped at 75%.  


Every Bear
bow comes with factory installed Simms vibration laboratory limb savers
and string-leach set.  Simms is the number one vibration dampener
on the market and it goes to show that when you put two quality items
together, nothing but a good thing can happen.


was done outside at distances from 10 to 20 yards.  First thing I
did was put the bow in my press made by Archery Custom Extremes. 
After loosening the string and installing a peep sight, I moved the bow
to my R. S. bow-vice leveling system to install the rest.  This
bow-vise has made my life easier when it comes to setting up a bow for
shooting.  After installing a whisker biscuit and tuning it using
the levels that come with the R. S. System, I was ready to shoot.

bow was sent with the draw length set at 29″ and poundage at 68. When
drawing the Instinct, it was smooth throughout and once you reach the
wall, it does not give anymore. When you are at full draw with this
bow, you can feel the power that it harnesses.  I attribute this
to the short axel-to-axel length of 31″. With a 29″ draw I am almost
drawing the length of the bow back.  This gives you a real feel of
control and allows the bow to rest firmly in your hand.

Now it
was time for the speed test.  First I wanted to shoot an arrow
that was as close to the IBO weight of 350 grains. I cut my arrows to
28 inches using my Apple Archery Arrow cut off saw. After installing
the inserts I weighed all my arrows using a pocket scale. After
weighing all my arrows I pulled out three that weighed 360 grains with
field points. I shot all three arrows through my Chronograph made by
Competition Electronics and found my speed to be 262 FPS. I thought to
myself, “Wow that was fast and this is with using a Whisker Biscuit
rest.” Now I wanted to see how it performed with a little heavier
arrow, so I bumped up my field point weight to 125 grain. Now my arrow
weighed 385 and I shot three more times. The outcome was still good
with the average speed of 255 FPS.  While shooting, the noise
level was very quiet. I think we can contribute this to the SIMS
vibration dampeners that came factory-installed on the bow.

I shoot a bow I am very critical of how the grip feels in my
hand.  I usually install a custom grip on all of my hunting
bows.  Most grips on the newer bows are just to skinny, which
results in torque or improper hand placement. The Instincts grip is
perfect for my hand. It is like the case of the three little Bears,
neither to skinny nor to fat, but just right.  On the back of the
grip is a “non-skid” type of gripping tape.  This does not allow
your hand to slip at all and gives you that perfect placement, every

Category – Rating – Comments

  • Grip – 10 – Like holding nothing very natural
  • Maneuverability – 9.8 -31″ Perfect for stalking or blind hunting.
  • Speed – 9.0 – Nice and fast
  • Quality/Workmanship -9.5 – Great construction and quality
  • Shock/Vibration – 9 – Even shooting without a stabilizer there was little jump
  • Noise Level – 9.5 – Not much at all
  • Draw – 9.7 – Easy draw with a solid wall
  • Shootability -9.7 –  When at full draw you feel at one with the bow.
  • Over all impression – 9.7 – Highly recommended!
  • Affordability – 10+  – The Instinct has 2006 quality but the price is that from 10 years ago.

Total Score – 95.9 – Out of possible 100


was very impressed with the quality that Bear Archery has put into their newer
bows.  I am a true believer in the vertical limb technology and
can honestly say it increases your speed with out adding the shock.
Bear has brought us a product that is as good as the best bows on the
market, yet they have given it a price tag from a bow 10 years it’s
junior. For right around 400 dollars you can reach amazing speeds with
out sacrificing brace height or added noise and for that,  they
have my thumbs up!!

2006 Fred Bear Instinct Specs:

  • Brace height- 7 ½”
  • Draw Length – 26″ – 31″
  • Draw weight – 50, 60, 70
  • Axle to Axle – 31″
  • Mass Weight- 4.1 lbs
  • Let Off – 75%
  • IBO Speed – 305 fps
  • MSRP – $399.00

For the entire Line: The Fred Bear Legend

Visit Jason’s Website at:

To visit the items mentioned in this article, visit the links below.


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