The Truth About Speed

Bear Archery

The Truth About Speed

By P.J. Reilly

Jul 17, 2007 – 8:46:15 AM


They say “speed kills.” When it comes to bowhunting, however, speed won’t kill if it’s achieved at the cost of accuracy.

Bow manufacturers today all like to advertise that their bows shoot at least 300 feet per second. Through those advertising campaigns, manufacturers have succeeded to a large degree in convincing hunting archers they must have bows that shoot at least 300 fps in order to be successful. What those archers quickly learn, however, is that in order to legitimately shoot an arrow at 300 fps, they’re going to have to opt for measures that increase the possibility of decreasing their accuracy.

They’re going to have to shoot a bow with a very low brace height – the distance between the string and the riser – or they’re going to have to shoot a light arrow at a high draw weight. Bows with short brace heights – under seven inches – are more difficult to shoot accurately, because you have to hold the bow steadier for a longer period. Simply put, the string holds on to the arrow longer on a bow with a short brace height. And as long as the arrow is on the string, you have to keep the bow steady.

Unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mr. Olympia days, the higher you set the draw weight on your bow, the more difficult it will be for you to draw and hold that string at full draw. As your muscles get tired, your arm will start to shake, which, obviously, decreases your ability to shoot accurately.

Shoot an ultralight arrow at a high draw weight and the arrow becomes increasingly unstable in flight. Also, the lighter your arrow, the less kinetic energy it has, which means the less it’s able to punch through game animals. Shooting a light arrow might be okay for a target shooter, but it’s lousy for a hunter.

As the technician at my local archery pro shop was setting up my The Truth bow, he told me the bow shoots as well as any of the Hoyts, Bowtechs and Mathews bows in the store.

First and foremost, I am a bowHUNTER. I shoot 3-D tournaments, but only to get me prepared for hunting season. So it was with that mindset that I set up my new Fred Bear, “The Truth” bow.

I have to admit to being a bit skeptical at first about shooting a Fred Bear bow. The Fred Bear name certainly has been around a long time, but before The Truth bow came on the scene, you’d have been hard-pressed over the past decade to find any serious 3-D shooters/bowhunters shooting a Fred Bear bow ( They just couldn’t compare to Hoyts, Mathews and Bowtechs.

As the technician at my local archery pro shop was setting up my The Truth bow, he told me the bow shoots as well as any of the Hoyts, Bowtechs and Mathews bows in the store. The big advantage of The Truth over the others, he said, was the price. It’s $200 to $300 cheaper than the comparable bows in the other brands.

Anyway, I set up my The Truth bow at 70 pounds to shoot a 29.5-inch-long, 5575 Gold Tip XT Hunter arrow with three, four-inch-long feathers and a 100-grain tip. All together, the arrow weighs about 480 grains, which is a nice hunting arrow for a 70-pound draw weight. If anything, that arrow is a bit on the heavy side, but I like that. Penetration is not a problem.

Now the manufacturer says The Truth bow is capable of shooting 310 to 314 fps with an arrow and draw-weight combination that meets International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) minimum standards. Of course, IBO standards are applied to 3-D tournament shooters, rather than hunters. With a 70-pound draw weight, I could shoot a 350-grain arrow and meet IBO standards.

My setup produced an arrow speed of 288 fps. That’s fast for a 70-pound bow shooting a 480-grain arrow. My Hoyt Razor-Tec set at 70 pounds shoots the same arrow at 280 fps.

The Truth bow measures 33 inches axle to axle, weighs 4.5 pounds, has a single cam and parallel limbs and features 80-percent let-off. The brace height is seven inches.

The one thing you never hear about a Bear bow is that the limbs failed. That’s because Bear holds the patent on “Compression Limb Technology”. This means dependable limbs%u2026and all serious bowhunters know that dependable is an important word.

The bow draws smoothly and has a rock-solid wall when you reach full draw. That’s a nice feature that helps you keep your string-arm steady while you’re aiming. With a pair of string leeches tied into the bowstring, The Truth is whisper quiet at the shot. It barely makes a “blip” sound when you release the string.

What impressed me most about The Truth, however, was how accurately I could shoot it right from the start. Usually, it takes me a week or two to get used to the feel of a new bow and become accurate with it. With The Truth, as soon as I got my sights dialed in, I was regularly nailing bull’s eyes.

It’s a very “forgiving” bow, which means, I can twist my hands and flinch a little bit at the shot without affecting my arrow’s point of impact. It means I don’t have to be perfect in my shooting form in order to produce a perfect shot.

Two days after I set up my bow and sighted my pins in at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards, I went to a 3-D tournament and shot a 292 out of 300. Only four of my shots fell outside the 10-point ring and landed in the 8-point ring. Because of the 288 fps arrow speed, I found that as long as my range estimation was within 5 yards of the correct distance on targets out to 40 yards, I could keep my arrows in the 10-ring.

That’s the advantage of controlled speed. That’s the advantage of “The Truth”.

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