Fred Bear’s Legacy Continues
By Jerry Bush
Feb 9, 2007 – 11:38:00 AM
Fred Bear was born in Waynesboro, PA, on March 5, 1902, and grew up on a farm in the Cumberland Valley. Fred was innovative by nature, and after becoming interested in bowhunting himself, Bear desired to earn a living by designing and improving archery equipment. To do so, the man literally needed to create a market, which he did through lectures, writing, and film making. Bear remained active in designing products and promoting the sport he loved until his death in 1988 at the age of 86. Fred Bear; or “Papa Bear” as some have come to call him; was truly a bowhunting icon. His contribution to archery will be remembered for generations to come.
|Jerry Bush loving his Code Bow.
Fred began making bows in his basement as a hobby, but circumstances changed quickly. In 1939 the bowyer went into business commercially. Actually, one of his patents actually dates back to 1937. Bear was the first known bowyer to experiment with fiberglass as a legitimate material for bow limbs and machined aluminum for various purposes, including obviously, the riser.
At one time, any bowhunter who wanted the best sought out the equipment that lifted “Papa Bear” to the height of archery prominence. If you haven’t been paying attention, you may have missed the fact that Escalade Sports has pumped new vigor into the Bear Archery, and that means you may well be missing out on the best value bows on the market today.
I’m not just talking about inexpensive beginner’s equipment. I’m talking about bows that will handily take on the elite, “cool” bows being thrust on viewers by all the full page ads.
In this day and age of “new & improved” products, it becomes difficult to separate fact from advertising ploy. Well here’s a fact for bowhunters to feed on! Fred Bear compound bows are back in a big, big way!
Regardless of whether a hunter is looking for an economical, beginner’s bow, a mid-range bow, or a top-of-the-line, the new Bear will stand the test of time, and these hunting bows will do you proud! The Will Primos team has recently teamed with Bear to create a hot new bow called the “Truth” which is making its debut right now. The Primos boys can shoot any bow in the marketplace and they choose Bear.
|At a recent outdoor writer camp, Scott Alread of Bear Archery, shared the strategy of giving bowhunters more value per dollar spent in all of the Bears bows for 07, Scott said that, ?Bear can out value the competition because we own so many of the important patents?.like the solo-cam and compression limb technology?.
I couldn’t wait to hit the practice area after recently coming into possession of a Fred Bear “Code” bow. My heart picked up a beat or two as soon as I opened the box and removed the hunting bow from its packaging. I couldn’t believe this parallel limb, single-cam bow that only retails for $499, could honestly compete with the so-called elite bows. Truthfully, speed is one thing; but a little factor I refer to as “shootability”, means so much more. After all; what good is arrow speed if it is attained through a draw that only a gorilla can pull and a brace height that makes IBO champions cringe?
To say this bow is smooth, quiet, and easy to shoot is like saying Santa is a nice guy. The “Code” is a dream to draw, quiet to release, and the arrow flight is truly fast. Perhaps it was coincidence, but I can honestly attest that this bow tuned faster than any I’ve ever owned. Within a few shots I was placing arrows in the 10-spot at 20-yards.
Renowned videographer and bowhunter Wade Nolan reiterates: “I’ve never owned a bow that tuned as quickly and shot as simply as the Fred Bear Code. This bow is everything you look for in a hunting bow. It needs to be tried to be appreciated!”
Now $499 might seem like a lot of money to some, but compared to the other hunting bows that it goes head to head with, the “Code” saves the hunter anywhere from $300 to $350. If you think those other bows are “hot”, you’re more than welcome to go ahead and spend your money, but I define a “hot bow” as the one that looks and shoots as well as the others, and yet costs less, while granting me equal opportunity to tag an animal.
Go ahead and ask! How can this bow permit me more opportunity to tag an animal? My “Code” looks and shoots as well as any bow on the market, and I’m perfectly happy with an arrow traveling at an impressive 310 fps. However I am now free to use the money I save to purchase the muzzleloading rifle I’ve been wanting; and that provides me yet another season to hunt deer in my home state of Pennsylvania. Let’s see those other bow manufacturers top that!
In a recent independent test that used 25 “average-Joe” shooters to rank the top 9 bows, the Bear Instinct, which is actually a step below the Code, compared favorably with bows like Hoyt’s Trykon, Mathews Switchback XT, Bowtech Tribute, Pearson Stealth, High Country Sidewinder, Ross CR334, Parker Frontier, and PSE Mach X. Each bow was tested in categories such as noise level, smoothness, kick, balance, and speed. The inexpensive Bear bow finished with a remarkable overall ranking of 3rd, though it was the only bow in the test priced under $700. (The Instinct retails for $399.)
Hey; that’s what Fred Bear was all about. He understood the passionate hunter and wanted to put his bows in the hands of as many “average-Joe” bowhunters as possible. Though Bear Bows will hold their own at the 3-D shoots; that’s not what “Papa Bear” was all about. Sure, he won some tournaments, but Bear was a bowhunter first and foremost. He wanted every hunter, regardless of income, to be afforded the opportunity to experience the adrenaline rush of chasing game with archery equipment.
That’s why Fred Bear Archery also offers equally impressive values in even lesser priced bows. For example, the “Instinct” as mentioned earlier, retails for $399; and is nearly as impressive as the “Code” that retails for $499. There’s no need for embarrassment If your finances require yet another step down, because Fred Bear’s “Element” retails for $299, though it will outperform most any bow that retails for 25% more.
You may be reading this article and thinking – “This guy is just a Bear Guy.” Well, if you describe a “Bear Guy” as an employee of the company, or somebody on the take; nope – not so! However if you describe a “Bear Guy” as a family man with modest income; who has been bowhunting since the late 70’s; wants the best equipment he can afford to hunt with; and admires “Papa Bear” and the contributions he brought to bowhunting; then yep, I’m a “Bear Guy!”
Today Bear Archery is again producing some really “cool” hunting bows! You’re shorting yourself if you’re not accepting the challenge offered by Bear when they dare you to compare their bows with any other bow. Shoot the new Bear bows and then try to justify the price tag of the other guys. Now there’s a real challenge!
|With all of its innovation, and selling for half the price of other top of the line bows; the Fred Bear “Code” brings the WOW factor back to Fred Bear Archery.
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