Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Fred Bear - Did you know?

Messages posted to thread:
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Trap 18-Dec-09
George D. Stout 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Earl E. Nove....mber 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Joe Van 125 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Zbone 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Joe Van 125 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
N. Y. Yankee 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
George D. Stout 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Hillbilly 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
MOOSE 18-Dec-09
Newaygo40 18-Dec-09
reddogge 18-Dec-09
dxray 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River 18-Dec-09
Jim Terrio 18-Dec-09
leftybearfan 18-Dec-09
EDW22 19-Dec-09
adirondackman 19-Dec-09
jeb 19-Dec-09
GLF 19-Dec-09
Joe Van 125 19-Dec-09
jeb 19-Dec-09
George D. Stout 19-Dec-09
Joe Van 125 19-Dec-09
Painted sticks 19-Dec-09
jeb 19-Dec-09
KPBEL5 19-Dec-09
Rovingarcher 19-Dec-09
Tom I. 19-Dec-09
manybows 19-Dec-09
Sipsey River 19-Dec-09
RKelly 19-Dec-09
dxray 19-Dec-09
Rovingarcher 19-Dec-09
EDW22 19-Dec-09
Sipsey River 19-Dec-09
vikingbear 19-Dec-09
Grizz 19-Dec-09
Bearbowshooter 19-Dec-09
Rovingarcher 19-Dec-09
Uncle Lijiah 19-Dec-09
Lostnation_Larry 19-Dec-09
traxx 19-Dec-09
Wolf Among Dogs 20-Dec-09
Cody R 20-Dec-09
Cody R 20-Dec-09
Rovingarcher 20-Dec-09
Bearbowshooter 20-Dec-09
GLF 20-Dec-09
GLF 20-Dec-09
GLF 20-Dec-09
George D. Stout 20-Dec-09
GilV 20-Dec-09
Uncle Lijiah 20-Dec-09
traxx 20-Dec-09
Jim Terrio 20-Dec-09
JP 20-Dec-09
drew a blank 20-Dec-09
Keith 20-Dec-09
The Lost Mohican 20-Dec-09
MOOSE 20-Dec-09
Zipperin' 20-Dec-09
wallbldr 20-Dec-09
Zbone 20-Dec-09
Sipsey River 21-Dec-09
johnnyrazorhead 21-Dec-09
Jim Davis 21-Dec-09
The Lost Mohican 21-Dec-09
spikehorn 21-Dec-09
fuzzy 21-Dec-09
jeb 21-Dec-09
Steve 21-Dec-09
Tom I. 21-Dec-09
Steve 21-Dec-09
Lee C. 22-Dec-09
Sipsey River 22-Dec-09
earl 22-Dec-09
Sipsey River 22-Dec-09
stikbow1 22-Dec-09
Van/TX 22-Dec-09
John Ryan 22-Dec-09
GLF 22-Dec-09
wallbldr 22-Dec-09
rawdawg 22-Dec-09
howler 22-Dec-09
stagetek 23-Dec-09
Sipsey River 23-Dec-09
Zbone 25-Dec-09
wildart 28-Dec-09
wahyeh 28-Dec-09
wildart 28-Dec-09
oldbow 28-Dec-09
chuck172 29-Dec-09
Sipsey River 29-Dec-09
GLF 29-Dec-09
Geauga bowman 29-Dec-09
GLF 29-Dec-09
Sipsey River 29-Dec-09
GLF 29-Dec-09
EDW22 31-Dec-09
Stick 31-Dec-09
John3 31-Dec-09
Bowman 01-Jan-10
McB 01-Jan-10
Sipsey River 01-Jan-10
GLF 01-Jan-10
Restless Spirit 01-Jan-10
Sewer Rat @home 02-Jan-10
pebowbender 02-Jan-10
Zbone 03-Jan-10
Stan Aulabaugh 03-Jan-10
The Lost Mohican 03-Jan-10
wildart 06-Jan-10
Sewer Rat in DC 06-Jan-10
rawdawg 06-Jan-10
Wolfsblood0229 06-Jan-10
ElRod 12-Jan-10
reddogge 12-Jan-10
69 Recurve 12-Jan-10
SLOWTACKTOO 12-Jan-10
broken arrow 13-Jan-10
reddogge 13-Jan-10
Pete in Grayling 27-Jan-10
NTProf 27-Jan-10
NTProf 27-Jan-10
Weshood 29-Jan-10
Swampman 12-Jun-10
Steve H. 12-Jun-10
AspirinBuster 12-Jun-10
Riverwolf 12-Jun-10
GLF 12-Jun-10
Zbone 12-Jun-10
Bonebuster 12-Jun-10
Grayling Merc. 05-Dec-10
Sipsey River 05-Dec-10
kanati 05-Dec-10
Stick 05-Dec-10
bowhunterfrompast 05-Dec-10
Sipsey River 05-Dec-10
GLF 05-Dec-10
AspirinBuster 06-Dec-10
Stick 06-Dec-10
Z-MAN 06-Dec-10
AWPForester 06-Dec-10
LeRoy Neal 24-Dec-10
Quiet Man 24-Dec-10
bent-stick 24-Dec-10
AspirinBuster 24-Dec-10
AspirinBuster 24-Dec-10
RonP 24-Dec-10
Sipsey River 08-Jan-11
judgeb 08-Jan-11
swampwalker 08-Jan-11
Kodiak T/D 09-Jan-11
From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




I am reading Fred Bears biography and I have found many interesting facts about his life that might interest you: Did you know that Fred had planned on passing on the business to his grandson,Christopher Bear Kroll. But the boy took his own life while in college, sometime in the 60s. I wonder what position in the Archery business Bear would have today if it had been passed onto a member of the Bear family. I'd bet it would be a leader in the industry. I will add more interesting facts to this post daily.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
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The first time he tried bowhunting was in 1929.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
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The first bows he manufactured for sale were lemonwood target models of longbows.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
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He got his first deer bow kill in 1935.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




His first patent was for the archery glove, 1936/1937. He patented the bow quiver in 1946. Also patented the arm guard. He was first with the fletching jig and bow fishing reel.

From: Trap
Date: 18-Dec-09




Bear Archery is still one of the leaders in the archery industry. The industry has just changed. I doubt things would be a great deal different regardless of who ran the company. Even in the 50s 60s and 70s Bear archery was appealing to the masses.

I wish the path of Bear Archery would have been different in regards to Fred's personal bows and other historical items. Maybe Bear Archery would still have the stuff instead of Bass Pro Shops.

Trap

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-Dec-09




Christopher was Chuck's son, and Fred's step-grandson. I also read that Fred was really devastated as he should be. Ironically, just a few years back, Chuck Kroll took his own life as well.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Recurves - 1950.

From: Earl E. Nove....mber
Date: 18-Dec-09




In the start of "I Remember Papa Bear" they say Fred's mother's maiden name was Drawbaugh. Her uncle was Danial Drawbaugh who sewed Alexander Gram Bell over the invention of the telephone and nearly won. (Basically he was not well documented) I was familiar with that story for along time before I read it in the book. My mother in law's maiden name was Drawbaugh and the story is told of part of her ancestry. Now I will say on our side I have not seen proof positive it was the same family but the names are the same. What it means to me, is if it is true, my kids are blood relatives of Ole Fred.. Kinda cool if you ask me.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Patent on glass on bow limbs 1946. Moved to Bear Archery from Detroit to Grayling MIch and opened that plant in 1947.

From: Joe Van 125
Date: 18-Dec-09




Was fred a chain smoker.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




So far I have not read anything about chain smoking. There are tons of pictures of him in the book, none that I have seen of him smoking.

About 1948 or 49 his company was struggling, he built cabinets to help make cash. Some of his employees went a couple of weeks with no pay.

The IRS came to see him because the company was behind on taxes, a check for $500 was given to IRS, but there was not $500 in Bear's account! Fred got a loan from a friend so the check would not bounce!

From: Zbone
Date: 18-Dec-09




Did not know Chuck Kroll took his own life.

Interesting thread, keep it going.

BTW, little birdie told me I'm suppose to get the complete Fred Bear DVD colection for Christmas, can't wait...8^)

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Glass was first used on front and back of bows in 1949.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Patent on the glass process on bows issued in 1953. But Fred never enforced the patent, he allowed others to use his process without pay.

From: Joe Van 125
Date: 18-Dec-09




I thought i read somewhere that fred was a heavy smoker. The only reason im curious about this is because i smoke and i really want to stop. I was wondering if Fred ever did stop if he was a smoker. Just curious guys.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




How about this, 1955, $1.5 million in sales, 300 bows per day! How much would $1.5 mil. equate to at todays rate? Big big business, for archery.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Bear razorhead designed in 1953 and first marketed in 1956.

From: N. Y. Yankee
Date: 18-Dec-09




When I was young and impressionable and learning about hunting, if I thought about archery, it was Bear archery. Bear was the whole world of archery to me. Good post!

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




How about this one- he first used clear glass in 1960, named Crystalight. It was not accepted well by customers, they believed the colored glass looked stronger.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




If you are in the archery business you will like this one- 1961. Bows made in Mich were made where they is low humidity. Bows made there and shipped across the country to places of higher humidity had problems, wood swelled and caused cracks in the glass. Cracks were not serious, but to protect Bear name Fred called back 1/3 of the bows made that year. Bear lost $180,000 that year.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




In its best years, over 100,000 people visited Bears museum.

Fred sold out to Victor Comptometer in 1967. Victor made Daisy Air rifles as well as other outdoor products.

It was then the worlds largest archery producer.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-Dec-09




K.K. Knickerbocker was the guy who helped Fred with some early financial issues.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Fred was friends and hunted with many famous people, one that might surprise you is Wm Shatner "Captain Kirk". I did not know he was that old.

From: Hillbilly
Date: 18-Dec-09




The thing I really like is that he was a leftie like me,cool.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
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The first Bear bow to sell for over $100 was the target bow, Tamerlane.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




One year Fred lost a ton of money because of problems with the Magnum bow. I read it, but can not remember the details, I have searched the book again, but been unable to find the reference in the book. Maybe someone else can tell us about that loss. I remember it was in a year they sold $2.5 mil in sales.

From: MOOSE Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 18-Dec-09




Fred smoked all his life both cigarettes and pipe. There are still photos of him smoking, but only one brief scene in his Tiger hunt where you can see him holding a cigarette. Very brief.

From: Newaygo40
Date: 18-Dec-09




ttt

From: reddogge
Date: 18-Dec-09




Fred was on an oxygen bottle in his later years. Don't know how many but towards the end.

From: dxray
Date: 18-Dec-09




I don't understand the repeated efforts at pointing out that he smoked...for cryin' out loud, so many from his era smoked...why can't we just appreciate the hunt, his tremendous contributions to archery, and enjoy the good things? I don't smoke, but I watched my father die because of it....two months by his side till the end. It just has no relevance to this topic. Continue on, Sipsey River with the good things. Let's just drop the smoking stuff, o.k.??

From: Sipsey River
Date: 18-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Ok with me for droppping any smoking issues. I am most interested in the facts concerning his business. It is my opinion that he was a very good businessman, very innovative. He overcame a lot of problems and changed the sport. I believe we would not have archery as we do today without him. I wish someone would buy Bear from present owner Escalade and get back to work on the trad side of the business. I would love to see a Fred Bear National (all trad) 3d tournament. An all week long, plan the family vacation type of event.

From: Jim Terrio
Date: 18-Dec-09




Everyone smoked then, even the dogs and cats.

Check out the thread on Kodiak Stress Cracks, I wonder if that bow is a '61 that didn't make it back during the recall? Just a thought. This is indeed interesting. I'm a Damon Howatt man (its like Fords and Chevy's I guess) but Fred Bear is surly the most interesting person in American archery. Jim.

From: leftybearfan
Date: 18-Dec-09




Sort of related question: I've read a lot of stuff about the "I beam" in a Bear bow. Could someone explain what this is, please?

From: EDW22
Date: 19-Dec-09




His culinary specialty was roasted sheep ribs. He was also an avid Flyfisherman as was Chuck Kroll. Kroll wrote a couple fine books on fishing that are prized collectors items-plus he was a pretty fair archer in his own right. After Bear had one Kidney removed he developed a cyst on the remaining one and the cure was unsweetened grape juice. Fred was calvalryman in the Pennsylvania National Guard about 1920 or so. In reference to William Shatner-he was one of the original members of the Fred Bear Sports Club another celeb original: actor James Drury ( The Virginian ). Fred also knew Art Young and shot with him in Youngs's later years I have the biography written by Chuck Kroll published in 1988 . known many of these tidbits for years. good stuff and always interesting-Sipsey if you want to learn more get his Field Notes book if you haven't already-a cklassic

From: adirondackman
Date: 19-Dec-09




Does anyone know if Fred ever hunted with a gun? I know that he did at a young age, I have seen the picture of him and his first deer with a rifle.

From: jeb
Date: 19-Dec-09




Fred shot his first deer with a firearm in 1915.

1927 Fred and Art Young made archery equipment in Freds basement.

1935 Fred shot his first deer with a bow and arrow.

1962 Fred appeared on "To tell the truth" TV show.

1966 Fred appeared on the Tonight show.

1969 Fred appeared on the Mike Douglas show with the bear Gentle Ben.

1972 astronauts too a bear razorhead to the moon.

From: GLF
Date: 19-Dec-09

GLF's embedded Photo



I've posted this before but here it is again. It was a tribute to Fred Bear and his accomplishments. Hopefully most of its legible.

From: Joe Van 125
Date: 19-Dec-09




The topic is Fred Bear did you know.

I just wanted to know if he smoked, i dont understand why someone would get there panties in a wad because i wanted to know. Everyone knows all about his great contributions to archey, whats wrong with wanting to know something about his personal life.

dxray are you the post police, jeeez people are intitled to ask any guestion they want to about Fred. I just find it interesting that a man who killed so many game with a bow was a smoker. Especially with all the concern about scent proof clothing and scent killer sprays.

Maybe next time someone ask a guestion about somebody you can add some rules about what we can and cant ask.

Merry Christmas

From: jeb
Date: 19-Dec-09




GLF. living here in Michigan and shooting in Gaylord once a year at th sight of the old Museum I am fortunate enough to see some of Freds memories in person. There is Bear's Den Pizzaria in town that has placemats with Freds life history printed on it hence the above info I posted.

My dad was also a friend of Fred's and shot for Bear Archery for 3 years. Sometime ago at one of the shoots Charlie Kroll was sitting under a shade tree and my dad went over and sat and spoke with him for about an hour talking about old times. Later in the day I bought Charlie's book and had him sign it for me.

There was a very sad ending to Charlie's life a couple of years later.

I do have one of Bears static limb Bear Grizzly's 53# 62" with metal lams in the limbs. Said to have been an experimental bow but don't know for sure. This bow was given to my dad to try out for Bear Archery.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 19-Dec-09




Joe Van, I don't know if Fred smoked or not....never saw a film or photo of him doing so. Most folks did back then so it wouldn't be surprising at all. I grew up in Boiling Springs area, just eleven miles from Fred's boyhood home in Plainfield, Pa. Of course I didn't know it at the time, but Fred's father, Harry, lived in Carlisle until his passing, and was an avid sportsman. They have a shoot in his honor each year at Carlisle, called the Harry Bear Memorial.

From: Joe Van 125
Date: 19-Dec-09




Thanks George i always enjoy your post and you are always fair in everything you say. I wasnt trying to ruffle any feathers i was just curious because im sad to say i also smoke.

I just dont get these guys that jump on someone that ask a question that they dont like.

Thanks

From: Painted sticks
Date: 19-Dec-09




In 1955 when Fred made 1.5 mil my father had a mortgage and was supporting a family of 5 on his machinist pay of $45.00 per week...PR

From: jeb
Date: 19-Dec-09




Joe Van, my dad is still alive but in a nursing home. I am going to visit with him today. I will ask about Fred's smoking and see if he remembers.

From: KPBEL5
Date: 19-Dec-09




In 1955 my Dad was getting ready to come home from Korea, as for smoking, come on guys this was a generation that had fought 2 world wars and a economic depression. Smoking was not the worst thing they saw or did. imho Kurt

From: Rovingarcher
Date: 19-Dec-09




What Caliber pistol did Fred Pack...It tells you in the book? GR

From: Tom I.
Date: 19-Dec-09




Re the I-Beam....the risers of those bows were made up from three 1/2" thick or so laminates. They were constructed so that the lams were vertical and aligned so that from the belly side of the handle, all 3 were visible. The middle lam was exposed in the sight window. That was when exotic woods were introduced, and several woods were used...Bubingo, Purple Heart, Maple, and others. One of the most desirable collector bows is the '59 Kodiak with the maple sight window. Tom I.

From: manybows Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 19-Dec-09




Fred hunted with Glenn StCharles and friends on the Little Delta in 1959.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 19-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Fred broke his leg on the first ride of a new snowmobile!

He hunted with a gun as a boy.

From: RKelly
Date: 19-Dec-09




More information on Fred Bear in Robert S. Munger's book TRAILING A BEAR.

From: dxray
Date: 19-Dec-09




Joe Van...I guess I'll stand back to ponder the idea surrounding your deeply introspective thoughts on the effects of smoking on game as they relate to cover scents and the like. I'm not policing, I, like you, asked a question and you decided to be a defensive smoker and jump on me. In any case, I smoked myself for three years. You want to know how to quit...put them down and don't pick them up. You can't play around with them. Get ready to be ill for a few days, but it gets easier as you go along. No matter how long it's been since you've smoked, don't pick them up at all. Nearly all the people I know who used to smoke quit only when they did it cold turkey. Patches, gradually reducing, etc. just don't/doesn't work. My apologies, Sipsey, for detracting from the thread. Looking forward to more "did you know"....

From: Rovingarcher
Date: 19-Dec-09




Do you know if Fred smoked 420 He had to be stoned to face that Grizzly and Polar bear.GR

From: EDW22
Date: 19-Dec-09




"In 1955 when Fred made 1.5 mil my father had a mortgage and was supporting a family of 5 on his machinist pay of $45.00 per week...PR " I'd bet that number was gross sales not profits keep in mind Bear Archery had a lot of employees and other overhead.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 19-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




It was not profits, it was sales.

From: vikingbear
Date: 19-Dec-09




Fred attended several NFAA archery field championships.A friend of mine has pictures of him shooting at Fall River,Oregon in 1959. Amoung field archers Fred was known as a quantity shooter as opposed to a quality shooter. Yes he did smoke heavily but so did Howard Hill and many other great archers.

From: Grizz Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 19-Dec-09




So what size boots did Fred wear?

From: Bearbowshooter
Date: 19-Dec-09




Fred kicked William Shatner out of camp during a bear hunt -- Bear Archery partnered w/ Jennings not because of expansion into the compound bow market, but because the widow of the man (don't recall his name)who invented the compound asked Fred if there was anything he could do. She didn't think Jennings self proclaimed bow credits were appropiate. As told to me by a former Bear manager - "Fred partnered with Jennings to shut him up and to keep an eye on him".

From: Rovingarcher
Date: 19-Dec-09




I think Joe St Charles said he brought back a size 13 from the LD Cabin.He shows them in the pope and young collection.GR

From: Uncle Lijiah
Date: 19-Dec-09




In my opinion, the absolute coolest photo of Fred Bear is in the December 1977 issue of Sports Afield magazine. It's a full-page color photo of Mr. Bear at full draw with his Kodiak t/d & the Bear Razorhead is pointed right at the camera. I wish I had access to a color scanner to show you.

From: Lostnation_Larry
Date: 19-Dec-09
Lostnation_Larry is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Here is some good news for Bear fans. Escalade is now turning their attention to the traditional line. They've been speaking to people who are familiar with the current status of traditional archery and asking what changes people would like to see. I'm hardly the guru but they called and talked to me for an hour this week. In 2008 they came out with a revised compound line, in 2009 they re-invented the Trophy Ridge product line, and now they are turning their attention to traditional bows.

If you have ideas as to what you would like to see Bear do, I would write a letter (not an email, but good old fashion letter) and send it to the Escalade headquarters iin Evansville, IN. I don't know who to address it to or exactly what the address is, but now is the time.

From: traxx
Date: 19-Dec-09




Fred kicked William Shatner out of camp during a bear hunt --

Is this really true?If so,i just gained a whole new respect for Mr Bear.

From: Wolf Among Dogs
Date: 20-Dec-09




Fred wore size 14 boots...just like me !

From: Cody R
Date: 20-Dec-09

Cody R's embedded Photo



From: Cody R
Date: 20-Dec-09

Cody R's embedded Photo



From: Rovingarcher
Date: 20-Dec-09




Wolf,Fred bought some of his shoes at Dexter shoe, US made size 13.The ones he bought at Wal-Mart made in China were a 14 you were right.:)

From: Bearbowshooter
Date: 20-Dec-09




While on a bear hunt together, William Shatner (he was an original member of the Fred Bear Sportsman's Club) wounded one. When back at camp, Fred told him to get a back-up gun and go try to recover the animal. Shatner said no - he wanted his bow only and would go back in the morning. Fred kicked him out.

Fred never asked for royalties on his patents - so the archery industry could all benefit.

He considered his fiberglass patent of 1953 his greatest acheivement in his career.

From: GLF
Date: 20-Dec-09

GLF's embedded Photo



"What Caliber pistol did Fred Pack...It tells you in the book?"

It was a S&W 44 magnum. Heres a pic of it from Mooses website.

From: GLF
Date: 20-Dec-09

GLF's embedded Photo



He also had a conceal carry permit. Heres another pic from mooses site.

From: GLF
Date: 20-Dec-09




I dunno if its documented but Fred used alot of different limb woods on his bows to test em. I was talking to him at Middletown ohio one year n a dealer of his came into the tent. Fred told him "Theres those old limbs of mine I promised you in that box over there" With that the guy opened the box n took out a set of Bear td black locust limbs and a set of yew limbs, both with clear glass. The guy thanked him n Fred just smiled n said I told ya I'd take care of ya.

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 20-Dec-09




Fred picked up Jennings when Tom lost his royalties battle with Allen. Jennings never put money in escrow pending the outcome of Allen's law suit, the other companies did. Jennings lost the suit and couldn't pay so Bear took over Jennings and kept Tom, of course.

Tom Jennings was making recurves in the 1950's with S&J Archery out of California, and was a friend of Bear fairly early in the 50's. Jennings Archery would have been bankrupt without Fred's assistance at that time.

From: GilV
Date: 20-Dec-09




Imagine how much more money Fred could have made had he enforced his patent. It seems like the Archery manufactures back then were a tight bunch of guys more interested in getting people into archery than just making a buck.

Someone mentioned Bill Shatner hunting with Fred. I remember a American Sportsman episode where Shatner shot either a grizzly or borwn bear, with what I think was a Bear Kodiak magnum. I sure wish they would bring back a video collection of the American Sportdman episodes. They were great.

From: Uncle Lijiah
Date: 20-Dec-09




I remember the Jennings magazine ad slogan before they joined up with Bear. "Why wrestle a Bear when you can shoot a Jennings?"

From: traxx
Date: 20-Dec-09




To keep this topic related,thats why i have a new admiration for Papa Bear.

From: Jim Terrio
Date: 20-Dec-09




I never met the man, nor for that matter have I ever shot a Bear Bow.

BUT, this thread has me now ordering some books on Fred's life. He was, I have learned from this thread and from other comments made on this wonderful forum, one hell of a sportsman and one hell of an honest business man.

My one regret is that there isn't as much information on Damon Howatt. Apples and Oranges for sure, but I'd love to know much more about him as I shoot Damon Howatt Bows. Thanks for the wonderful information (still snowing here 25"+!!) . Jim.

From: JP Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 20-Dec-09




Fred Bear was one of the founders of "Detroit Archers", origionally located at Telegraph Rd. and Northwestern Hwy. NW of Detroit. The club was moved the Drake Rd. N. of Maple Rd. where it still a working club today. One of Fred's Polar Bear skins was kept in a showcase at the club until it was stolen a few years ago during a break-in.

From: drew a blank
Date: 20-Dec-09




At a shoot in PA, I asked Mr. Bear for an autograph " for my friend Jon, it's his 30th birthday" Fred wrote" Happy 30th TO my friend Jon, Fred Bear." Then he shook my hand and said "That's a good deal."...What a gentleman

From: Keith
Date: 20-Dec-09




I read somewhere him and his wife spent the summers living in a tent by the river. This was to save money during the companies early years.

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 20-Dec-09




Reading these posts reminds me of how much I admired Fred Bear, and how kindness was extended to him along the way, by close friends, who really were fortunate to know him. He repaid that many times over, and to the world of bowhunting tenfold. I have a clean copy of FRED BEAR, THE BIOGRAPHY OF AN OUTDOORSMEN, that I would be happy to mail to any of you here on this thread, I just ask that you mail it on to the next leatherwaller interested in reading it, at no charge to that reader. I actually was given a gift from a friend, when I retired from the NJSP, of a Fred Bear Kodiak takedown. That bow was given to my friends" uncle by Fred, as a gift commemorating their friendship. I was floored when it was given to me, not for the object itself, but for the thoughts behind it. Anyone who reads about his life will understand. I"ll send the book out media mail asap to the first responder. Merry Xmas to all.TLM

From: MOOSE Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 20-Dec-09




Fred and his new wife lived in the tent by the river till there new home was finished

From: Zipperin'
Date: 20-Dec-09




I didn't know one of his razorheads made it to the moon. His history is fascinating.

Zip'

From: wallbldr
Date: 20-Dec-09




Cliff coe of Coe archery made blank handles for Bear archery. In turn for "Bears Glass" Bear had pioneered the process of developing glass that was "bi-directional" instead of the old type of "gauze" fiberglass that we've seen on many of the older designs. Coe archery was in Flint and in Otter Lake Mi. Coe said that "Bear was wiing to share many of the innovation that he'd made to ake archery in general catch on". Ryan

From: Zbone
Date: 20-Dec-09




Paul, The Lost Mohican - Can I get on the list?

Thanx much, Gary

From: Sipsey River
Date: 21-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




In 1976, Bear produced 360,000 bows!

From: johnnyrazorhead
Date: 21-Dec-09




wallbldr- I think what you meant to say was that Fred developed "uni" directional fiberglass in stead of the bi-directional,or basketweave fiberglass as found on the early Kodiak,Polar,and Grizzly longbows of Bear as well as other bow manufacturers.I often have to stop and think a minute myself when I try to refer to the two glass types.Just wanted to clarify that. I didn't know that about Cliff Coe making blanks for Bear.I had the oportunity to meet him at his home/shop several years ago and spend the day with him.He was quite the gentleman and it was a day I'll never forget.One of the last of the "good ol' boys" from the golden age of archery.

From: Jim Davis
Date: 21-Dec-09




Wasn't it the process of making fiberglass laminations that Bear patented. He was not the first to use fiberglass. That was Frank Eicholtz.

http://www.cbhsaa.net/hallfame/bios/frankeicholtz.htm

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 21-Dec-09




Zbone-Gary send me your address on a pm and it will be sent asap. TLM

From: spikehorn
Date: 21-Dec-09




Back in the early 70s I was shooting at the outdoor range in Grayling, I turned around and kneeling down behind me watching me shoot is Fred Bear,he introduced himself to our group, what a thrill to meet the man. Talked to him many times after that through the year,s.

From: fuzzy
Date: 21-Dec-09




traxx, yep

From: jeb
Date: 21-Dec-09




Fred was at our camp fire one night and my sister in law got her Proline compound out and Fred signed it for her. She now refuses to shoot it and won't let anyone else shoot it.

From: Steve
Date: 21-Dec-09




Here's a question for you guys. Fred Bear was born in Plainfield, PA, just west of Carlisle. Carlisle Fish and Game use to have the Harry Bear memorial shoot, in memory of his father. I understand it was all bear targets. What years were these shoots held, or when did thay stop holding them?

From: Tom I.
Date: 21-Dec-09




Fred was born in Waynesboro, Pa....later moved to the Carlisle area.... Tom I.

From: Steve
Date: 21-Dec-09




Forgot that. I new he lived in Plainfield and worked at Frog and Switch.

From: Lee C.
Date: 22-Dec-09




wow!... Now I thought I knew something of the man,(Mr. Bear,that is)I never knew about the Bill Shatner thing.. I was aware ol'Cap'n Kirk was a member of the FBSC,but never knew he was a PETA member,now THOSE guys....OH MYyyyyy....they really are out there! Anyhow,this has been a great thread,very infomative.. Keep 'em coming boys! Take care! -Lee C.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 22-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




In 1976 a UAW union tried to get organized labor into the Bear factory. It is believed that this is one of the reasons the company later moved to Florida.

From: earl
Date: 22-Dec-09




What does the initial " B " stand for ? Or in other words what was Fred's middle name? Fred's shoe size was 14 according to a famous archer who knew Fred! Plus I think that Joe STjames brought back a boot that fred left at the cabin on the little delta. Was in traditional bowhunter mag some time back.That boot and some broadheads that Fred always shoot into the cabin wall before he left every year that went there are in the pope& young mueseum. If I remember correctly!

From: Sipsey River
Date: 22-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




Bear made their own fiberglass arrow shafts. I had always thought that they used Microflights and just put the Bear name on them.

From: stikbow1
Date: 22-Dec-09




I grew up a block from Earl Hoyt and spent a ton of time there as a 8 year old-he sold me a bear back quiver that had a Mo Bowhunters Patch on it-still have it. Earl and Ann had a lot of used Bear equipement in their shop. I wish I had been older to gain the info that is being passed here on this thread. Love Fred and his history

From: Van/TX
Date: 22-Dec-09




I have some Bear Micro-Flites. Are you sure Bear made some of their own?...Van

From: John Ryan
Date: 22-Dec-09




Sipsey, I read the details of the attempt to unionize the plant. It was absolutely awful. Families turned against families. It's absoulutely unbelieveable that people can turn on one another the way that those folks did. That was the main reason for the move to Florida.

Fred's middle name I think was Bernard.

From: GLF
Date: 22-Dec-09




Fred didn't invent glass or even using it on bows. He invented uni-directional glass for use in limbs. Before that everyone used glass matt. It had fibers going both ways, n since the stress is all in one direction he figured that the fibers only needed to run one direction making the glass lams only weigh half as much.

From: wallbldr
Date: 22-Dec-09




Yes Johnnyrazorhead, my mistake. Uni-directional fiberglass. Cliff told me Bears glass was sought after by bowyers and Fred shared "his glass". Coe told me he traded blanks for glass. Sure wish he was still around to tell us more. To go see him was a daytrip in itself. I cannot remember a visit that did'nt last several hours. You're right one of the best and a real gentleman.

From: rawdawg
Date: 22-Dec-09




great thread

From: howler
Date: 22-Dec-09




The first year that I hunted big game with my bow was 1970 that was also the same year Fred Bear was hunting in my neck of the woods. He was hunting Elk in the Missoui River Breaks, He had quite an entourage and my friend and I stopped by their camp one day, Did not get to see Fred. I wished I had known then that Traditional Archery would mean so much to me later on. I would have made it a point to talk to the man.

From: stagetek Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 23-Dec-09




The attempt by the UAW to organize the plant was the reason for the move to Florida. Dick Lattamer has an entire chapter in his book devoted to it. Pretty tough time for Fred.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 23-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




In the book, it says Bear made their own fiberglass shafts, it describes how they sanded them. I was surprised to learn that.

From: Zbone
Date: 25-Dec-09




Paul, The Lost Mohican - Sent you a PM, many THANX

From: wildart Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 28-Dec-09

wildart's embedded Photo



My family and I were friends of Fred and Mrs. Bear for several years before they passed away. Here's a photo of Fred giving me one of his arrows moments after he burned the feathers to shape. That photo is a little blurry; it's a still taken from an old family home movie. The other picture was taken in Michigan one year when I was asked to present Papa Bear with several awards. Great people. Fred always made you feel at home.

From: wahyeh
Date: 28-Dec-09




The B in Fred's name was Bernard.

From: wildart Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 28-Dec-09

wildart's embedded Photo



Another photo.

From: oldbow
Date: 28-Dec-09




If you read all of the books on Fred Bears life I think that you would agree that he did more for the history of modern day Bowhunting than anyone else and I don't say this to be taking anything away from the other greats who contributed to the great sport of Bowhunting.

From: chuck172
Date: 29-Dec-09




In 1982 I was involved in an auto accident.I spent two weeks in the Pocono's hospital in Pa. My roomate there asked me if I had ever heard of Fred Bear. He said Fred was his grandfather. He heard he was famous but really didn't know for sure. The guy wasn't a hunter. He remembered Fred bringing showing films to his family of hunting trips.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 29-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




WOW! It is hard to understand how Fred Bear's grandson could not understand that his grandfather was famous. That is a shame.

From: GLF
Date: 29-Dec-09




When you promote anything as hard as Fred Bear did archery, plus have to run a large company, its very hard on family life. Some family members,(especially kids) don't understand it so what Chuck said is very understandable.

From: Geauga bowman
Date: 29-Dec-09




This thread rules!

From: GLF
Date: 29-Dec-09




I got one Fred told himself while telling of his polar bear hunts. He told us he had shot 2 polar bears on 2 different hunts that had to be shot by his guide before he got one with his bow. Most already know that, but, what most don't know is he said the second one got up as he aproached it after the guide shot it n he had to use his handgun to kill it at 5 feet.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 29-Dec-09
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




I guess the grandson not understanding the importance of Fred Bear might be similar to some who now participate in this sport not knowing about Fred Bear. As time passes things are forgotten, some of the younger ones have not had "older" mentors to pass on this info,and they have had to learn trad archery on their own.

From: GLF
Date: 29-Dec-09




You'd be surprised how many compound shooters have no clue who Fred Bear is now a days.

From: EDW22
Date: 31-Dec-09




GLF-not surprising most young people know very little of any history. I'm a hockey fan and I find it amusing to hear some folks that supposedly know about the game are so ignorant of the history. Being from Michigan Fred Bear is a legend here among many archers-both trad & modern. You could say he's the patron saint of the sport here.

From: Stick
Date: 31-Dec-09




Thanks for sharing the history fellows. This may be the only way that some folks will ever learn about our past icons. I hope guys like you keep passing on the stories and experiences of Fred. He was always my archery hero and I read everything and anything that I can about him, his life and hunts. Great stuff, keep these little bits of "Fred Bear" coming.

Mike

From: John3 Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 31-Dec-09




I know Fred was right handed. He shot his shotgun right handed in one of his movies.

I was told by men that knew Fred that he was a huge proponent of the "poison pod" for extra killing power on arrows? Anyone shed any light on this? Is this true?

From: Bowman
Date: 01-Jan-10




Neat info guy's

From: McB
Date: 01-Jan-10




I went to Cabelas in Dundee about 2 years ago looking for a new bow stringer (my dog got a hold of my other one). I walked into the archery section and looked around. Didn't see any in the small trad area they have. I went to the bow counter and asked the 19 kid working there if they had any in stock. He asked me why I shot those old bows. He went on to enlighten me as to how I can kill a lot more deer with a compound and that he could set me up with one if I wanted. I just chuckled, looked down into the glass case that seperated us. In it was a signed Bear Custom Kodiak takedown with the gold riser caps on display. You know, one of the Really nice ones. I looked at it, smiled, and said so what do you think about that thing? He looked at it and said "It's a piece of junk. I'd take a compound anyday." Sad story isn't it? A buddy of mine called the Bass Pro Shop that supposedly had the majority of the Bear Museaum stuff and the lady he spoke to didn't know who Fred was or what he was talking about.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 01-Jan-10
Sipsey River is a Stickbow.com Sponsor - Website




I can remember something about his opinion of the pod from years ago, but I thought he thought it was a bad idea. But I could be wrong about it. I have not read anything about it in any of the books I have read recently.

From: GLF
Date: 01-Jan-10




The pod was legal in some southern states but I don't remember ever hearing of him speaking out for it.

From: Restless Spirit Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 01-Jan-10




In regards to the poison pod question, in M R James book 45 unforgetable bowhunters he said Fred thought it would cut down on wounding lost and wanted bowhunters to use it. Glenn St. Charles wittnesed him shooting a deer with it and the deer suffered a long time until it died.

From: Sewer Rat @home
Date: 02-Jan-10




Does anyone know his address when he was living just north of Orlando... Altamonte Springs...

Would like to know if that house is still standing, or if it was razed during the housing boom?

From: pebowbender
Date: 02-Jan-10




Never read a post this long from beginning to end. Just found it today and couldn't look away. My first bow was a Kodiac Cub. Tought a lot of people to shoot using that bow 'til one day a friend of mine was doing realy well and suddenly wanted to do something different. Thought it was odd and didn't realize 'til later that day that he had overdrawn the bow and cracked the upper limb. Still have the crippled bow....can't seem to part with it. Bear bows were the first piece of archery tackle for alot of people. It was my eighth birthday when I got that little Kodiac, I'm 42 now and still shoot year round.

From: Zbone
Date: 03-Jan-10




Paul, The Lost Mohican - Recieved the book in the mail and it arrived in fine condition. Will forward it on to Bob Hildenbrand.

Are we to all sign it as we send it along?

Thanx much,

Gary

From: Stan Aulabaugh
Date: 03-Jan-10




The thread got me to thinking that I have a a few Bits of Fred Bear memorabilia Hanging around. The first is an Old Bear Glass powered Cub Recurve in its original Box. Its the one with green and yellow limbs, light colored riser - looks new except slight stress cracks in the finish running up the limbs- The box is worn and has a postage sticker from June 12th 1968 . Its 62" 25 # From Bear Arrow Company in Grayling Mi. to Arrow Head Archery Service in Duluth Min.. Has its owner manual in the box to boot. I don't think I will ever shoot it - any estimate to its value I Also have a picture Fred supposedly signed showing him with a Big Brown Bear .It has a inset pic of him holding the Bears Paw up - that's one nice bear. Thanks, Stan

From: The Lost Mohican
Date: 03-Jan-10




Gary, Signing it would be a great idea! Paul

From: wildart Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 06-Jan-10




Fred lived in Gainesville Florida after the plant moved there. I have some letters from he and Mrs Bear with the return address on them. Last year I was staying at the Gainesville Holiday Inn Express located near the intersection of Archer Road and Fred Bear Drive (Those streets are so named, I kid you not). When I walked into the lobby to check-in there was a big poster size sign starring me in the face with my name on it and "Guest of the Day" written below it. I was awarded a discount and a free room movie rental. The last time I had been in the area it was to visit Fred . . . coincidence? Or maybe Fred's spirit told them that I was coming. I found it absolutely strange.

From: Sewer Rat in DC
Date: 06-Jan-10




Archer FL is close to Gainesville...

I am pretty sure though that he also lived in Altamonte Springs... still, would be cool to see the house in Gainesville.. see if its still standing or if it got "remodeled" like so many homes did during the housing boom down here/there (forgot I was posting from DC LOL)

From: rawdawg
Date: 06-Jan-10




ttt

From: Wolfsblood0229
Date: 06-Jan-10




Still shoot a Bear and always will! Some say the reason that the medallions on the side of the bows are hard to trace is that Fred was kinda frugal (cheap, cheap said the canary!) and if any coins were left over after a run of bows, he would have the left over coins used on the next run of bows to save some dough! Got this info from a sales rep when I was trying to trace the age of a few of my old recurves.

From: ElRod
Date: 12-Jan-10




I grew up in Grayling in the 50s and 60s, and my Dad was foreman of the bow dept at Bear Archery until he had a disagreement with Fred re: the type of glass being used in some of the bows and left the Archery.

Regarding Fred's step-grandson, Christopher Kroll - he was one of my closest friends. Chris took his own life in 1974 at rthe age of 29. He was quite an outdoorsman himself and took the world record Mountain Goat in 1962, I believe in the Canadian Rockies. I also understand the record stands to this day.

My Mom worked at the Archery also and she striped the arrows Burt Reynolds used in the film Deliverance - she nearly swooned when she met ole Burt in person at the factory.

I worked at the Archery for a short time in 1968 and found Fred to be generous and a gentlemnan, though I did not know him well.

Bear Archery employed several hundred people, and it was a sad and devastating day when the compnay moved to Gainesville, Florida.

From: reddogge
Date: 12-Jan-10




Very interesting bit of first hand history ElRod. Too bad about Christopher Kroll as I understand his dad did the same thing unless I'm mistaken.

One thing to keep in mind about the pod. It was mounted behind a standard razor sharp razorhead and if a deer was hit in the normal vital area it would die from the hemorage caused by the broadhead, not the chemical. If it were hit in a non vital area the chemical would cause the deer to suffocate and die. Probably not an easy death. The debate raged for a long time over the pod and I remember it vividly. The big negative was that it would lead unscrupulous bowhunters to take wild shots in hopes of getting a wounding shot into game so the poison would work.

From: 69 Recurve Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 12-Jan-10




I have read just about all there is in avilable print about my hero Fred Bear. I mean I just cant get enough about the man. He was just incredible.

The pod thing is just about the only thing he & I would of not had in common. He was a proponent of it for sure.

But like anything else this is a free country and he was entitled to his opinion. You cant get it right all the time so he missed once. It does not detract from ALL the good things he did. He was the man.

From: SLOWTACKTOO
Date: 12-Jan-10




I'm a Fred Bear man myself. I know about his archery skills but I'm also interested in Fred's Business skills. He was a great promoter but I would like to know what kind of guy Fred was as an employee. I work for a mid-size business and I know what it takes to make things happen. This is a good topic.

Slowtack

From: broken arrow
Date: 13-Jan-10




some interesting history there ElRod

From: reddogge
Date: 13-Jan-10




SLOWTACKTOO, do you mean "as an employer"? From what I read he was really nice to the people who worked for him. When the gentleman who worked for him who's name escapes me snuck off to do some fishing on the river Fred came by floating in a boat and fishing and they saw each other. Fred said "I won't tell if you don't tell". That takes a sense of humor.

From: Pete in Grayling Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 27-Jan-10

Pete in Grayling's embedded Photo



I have lived here in grayling since 76 and used to see Fred practically everyday. Too bad I wasnt interested in archery at the time and I never even talked to him. He used to meet what I called The knights of the roundtable downtown at the grayling restaurant. I saw them in there all the time just having coffee. That round table is stil there and thats where I sit when I do go in there for breakfast. Since about 1990 I have aquired a pretty big collection of Fred Bear memorabilia. In that time frame pretty much any of the old timers that were still alive during this time frame stopped in to see my collection, many old employees or people that met him along the way. Some of them , Frank Scott, Dick Lattimer, Charlie Kroll, John Grumley, Rich Eccelston, Wade Phillips, Jim Hatfield, Vivan Campbell, Bob Smock, Gene Hopkins. Everybody that comes in here that remembers Fred always come in with great memories and go away happy. The story is always the same on what a great guy Fred was. Along the way it has been great to meet all these people and be able to share stories with them. I had one guy stop by here who had not been to grayling since he was a young kid and was now maybe in his late 60s or 70s. He said as a kid he was walking along the river in grayling and come up on a guy camped in a tent. The guy told him that he had bought this property and was going to build a factory and make bow and arrows. Well of course it was Fred and he proceeded to shoot some arrows for this young boy. The young boy was now a grown man and never forgot his chance encounter on the banks of the Ausable River with Fred Bear. Sadly I see the popularity of Fred Bear heading downhill. Well I can see that in here he is still remembered well the rest of the world is to busy to remember or care. The old timers that knew him well are dying off and the younger generation doesnt seem to care. I have done powerpoint presentations where I speak on Freds accomplishments with almost 200 pictures of Fred going thru on a slide show in the background. A couple years ago I did it for the Frankenmuth Sportsman Club, and the Grayling Mens Club. In 2002 I put together a Fred Bear 100th birthday celebration / Bear Archery Reunion in Grayling. There were 5 collectors at it displaying their collections along with about 90 other people, and 45 of them were old Bear Archery employees, many of them who hadnt seen each other since the factory moved out in 1978. It was a fun and one time event. I also spent almost 3 and a half years with Charlie Kroll after he moved back to grayling from florida. He said everybody was gone in florida and he wanted to be back here where he loved the Ausable River and fly fishing to finish out his days. He and Fred both loved fly fishing. Charlie was a big behind the scenes guy for bear, he wrote all the scripts for all 22 movies. One day I was looking thru his binders as he was extrememly well organized and I said wow you have all these Fred Bear stories in one binder and it was a few inches thick. He told me that he wrote all them in Freds name because Fred didnt have time to write all that. I am pasting a picture of Fred that Charlie gave me doing his other favorite sport.

From: NTProf
Date: 27-Jan-10




One of the best threads I have seen! Keep in going. Makes me want to but a bear trad bow!

From: NTProf
Date: 27-Jan-10




Can anyone tell me if any of the buildings from the Bear Archery plant in Grayling are still standing? (I just assumed they have been long-since removed). Or can anyone tell me the exact location and what streets Bear Archery used to be on in Grayling? I have been to Grayling a few times as a child, but unfortunately did not pay much attention to Bear Archery at that time.

From: Weshood
Date: 29-Jan-10




I met Fred at the 1977 NFAA Nat'l in Clemson, SC. He presented my son (then 11 yrs old) with an award and hugged him. Afterwards I had a conversation (just small talk) with him. He was a very fine person.

From: Swampman
Date: 12-Jun-10




I had read that the plant was torn down in "I remember Papa Bear."

From: Steve H. Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 12-Jun-10




I didn't realize Fred was short. I thought he was something like 6' 4" not just 6' (concealed gun license).

From: AspirinBuster
Date: 12-Jun-10




Pete has a great Fred Bear collection... good to see you post Pete.

I just did an interview with Mike Steger, Fred's foster son. It will appear on www.bowhunting.net soon.

Frank

From: Riverwolf
Date: 12-Jun-10




;)

From: GLF
Date: 12-Jun-10

GLF's embedded Photo



Steve I dunno how tall he was but I'm 6'4" and standing next to Fred in this pic. He slouching some n still isn't that much shorter than me.

From: Zbone
Date: 12-Jun-10




Here is a kicker for ya… His aunts were Amish. Well, actually Mennonite (but close enough)…8^) He escorted them and attended church with them on Sundays’ first by buggy and sleigh and later my automobile.

The ironic thing while reading this biography, my grandfather was born in 1901 (nine months older than Fred) and stories coincide with tales written about Fred, such as them trapping skunks as young men. Grandpa called them polecats. Fred even caged some of his and sorta turned into a skunk farm.

My grandfather wasn’t as tall as Fred was, but freakishly looked and dressed a lot like Fred in this elder years, even down to his Fedora hat. Man I now wish I had kept some of my grandfather’s hats.

Surprising the similarities they told.

From: Bonebuster
Date: 12-Jun-10




Fred was a man that influenced alot of people.

I never met him, but I used to ride my bike to a local hardware store that sold Bear equipment, and I marvel at a cardboard cutout they had of Fred.

Because of his positive influence to so many, he will always be a part of bowhunting.

All the photo`s and stories shared by folks here and other places, are appreciated and enjoyed.

Never tire of stories about Fred Bear..."the gentlemen woodsman".

From: Grayling Merc.
Date: 05-Dec-10




My name is Dick Joseph. I grew up in Grayling and Fred Bear ( along with George Griffith, one of the founders or Trout Unlimited) was my godfather. My brother was best friends with Chris Kroll, played football with him and picked on me. We were all very sad when he died and Fred was devastated. I saw some comments asking whether Fred ever hunted with a gun. I hunted birds with Fred and my dad on several occassions. We also went fly fishing many times. On one night Fred and Henreitta (his wife, sp? sorry) came over for dinner. A reporter from the Detroit News came over and asked if he could ask Fred some questions. It was the night before deer season. He sat at our dinner table with a cowboy hat on. Fred told him to take it off in the presence of my mom and his wife. When the reproter balked, Fred told him he wouldn't talk to him and my dad made him leave. I was about 12 at the time and thought it was very cool. To this day, I hate to see folks eat with a hat on.

When I graduated, Fred gave me a lamp he made out of Bear Kodiaks. I have it next to my bed to this day. He was a great man and I remember that our store, The Grayling Mercantile, stocked sprots coats in his size 42 XL, I believe. He did have large feet and very big ears, which always fascinated me. One day at school, James Druey, of "The Virginian" came with one of the astronauts. He shot and arrow the length of our gym, then split it with a second. Also, My brother-in-law's family theater was selected to show the premiere of the movie Dileverance.

It was a very bad day for Grayling when the factory moved to FL. Union issues rocked the plant. Many folks worked their whole lives there. Imagine the craftsmanship that went into a single arrow. Grayling really never recovered. I came back after college in 1979 to run our store and the economy just never returned. I only saw Fred a few times after that and I know he was very sad about that turn of events. I would love to hear more on this site.

I do have a question. I saw something about Robert "Bob" Kelly. I lived next door to him and was best friends with his son Mike. I have not heard from in since 1975, graduation. Does anyone know of his where abouts? If so, please give him my E-mail address.

It was really fun to read all of this. I am paralyzed and can't hunt anymore. It is great that there are still folks out there having fun and using Bear bows. Keep up the good work.

From: Sipsey River
Date: 05-Dec-10




Grayling Merc- Dick Joseph- What a great post. I for one thank you for taking the time to add it. This personal first hand knowledge of Fred Bear is like water draining from a sink, it is almost gone. Thank you for making this informative post even better. I am a Bear fan, have been since about 1955, and I hope I never forget the great things that he did for archery. John Sullins

From: kanati
Date: 05-Dec-10




Has to be the reason there is a leatherwall, Thank you everyone for info.thoroughly enjoyed the read minus the smoking parts .Am presently reading Freds field notes and just finished Bows on the little delta,a must read for ALL, enjoy!

From: Stick
Date: 05-Dec-10




I wonder if there is anyone who could find the old American Sportsman shows that Fred did years ago. They were awesome and the camera work, well outstanding for the times. I would really enjoy watching them over again.

Mike

From: bowhunterfrompast
Date: 05-Dec-10




Dick...I really enjoyed your personal knowledge of Fred Bear. Would love to hear more. Rick

From: Sipsey River
Date: 05-Dec-10




I re-read BOWS ON THE LITTLE DELTA about once per year. It is a very good book. I wish I had been along on those hunts.

From: GLF
Date: 05-Dec-10




Stick ,you can get the grizzle hunt and his muley hunt he did on American Sportsman on dvd.

From: AspirinBuster
Date: 06-Dec-10

AspirinBuster's embedded Photo



Fred could tell a joke better than anyone I ever met... his big old shoulders would just rock with laughter--even at his own jokes! I miss that fella... so much. He did the words hero/friend justice.

Frank Addington

From: Stick
Date: 06-Dec-10




GLF, thanks..I have all of his videos. I remember on the Grizzly hunt that Fess Parker took a nice bear also using his .300 Mag.

From: Z-MAN
Date: 06-Dec-10




Are there any of Fred's descendants still living in Pennsylvania?

From: AWPForester
Date: 06-Dec-10




There has never been nor ever will be a company that produces a line of stock traditional bows that have been compared to as much as the bear recurves. Everybody has one or wants one. I know of no one who would not buy one if possible for nothing else but the trade potential it offers. That pretty much speaks for itself. Obviously a very good man and a pioneer of the sport.

From: LeRoy Neal
Date: 24-Dec-10




Dick Joseph - I lived next door to you when you lived in town on Park Street - I guess you're about age 53 - I'm 61. Marilyn graduated with me. I also knew your brother Bill well. I worked at Bear for a bit and my dad was once the foreman of the bow department there. Many of us were sad when Bear Archery left town and later at the death of our friend Chris Kroll. I hope you see this - my best to you and please give my best regards to your brother and sister.

From: Quiet Man
Date: 24-Dec-10




Talking with one of his bowyers, Mr Owen Jeffery, he told me the government came by one day to talk with them, seems the Bear medallon they were using was the exact same size and weight of a nickel. They were asked to change the weight so it would not show up in vending machines any more.

From: bent-stick
Date: 24-Dec-10




Thank You to each and everyone for their post. To me these post's have been one great Christmas Present.

I wish we could return to the good old days and the way of life then and the life styles.

Merry Christmas to all, Special Thanks to Stickbow and the leather Wall.

I have learned so much over the years reading the post. There alot of very special people that post great information for us to read and I want to Thank You.

My God Bless each and everyone.

From: AspirinBuster
Date: 24-Dec-10

AspirinBuster's embedded Photo



I just recieved some VINTAGE Bear family photos from Mike Stegar to be scanned and used and then returned to Mike. We are doing a really good interview with Mike and these photos will be used in that interview for our celebrity interviews for www.bowhunting.net. Some of these have never been published to my knowledge, in my lifetime I had not seen most of these. It promises to be a good project.

Thanks to people like Moose, Pete, Gene, and Ted Nugent for helping keep a good man's name and story around for future generations. I never knew a better, funnier or more down to earth hero than Fred. What a good man.

By the way, also read the two part Dick Mauch interview on bowhunting.net. Dick has an indepth knowledge of Fred and the inner workings of Bear archery. He was an early investor, salesman and retailer for Bear. He was involved in most aspects of the business and knew Fred well. He's 84 and hopefully when we get Mike's interview posted and then readers see Dick's, they will also get an accurate snapshot of Fred from these two men.

In the photo, circa 1978/79 you can see why Fred shot left handed.. his finger tip is missing.

From: AspirinBuster
Date: 24-Dec-10




Mike Steger is Fred's foster son.

From: RonP
Date: 24-Dec-10




My wife grew up about 15 miles from Grayling, and I took these photos a couple years ago when I was out for visit with family.

http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/20221966

RonP

From: Sipsey River
Date: 08-Jan-11




ttt

From: judgeb Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 08-Jan-11




Before video and dvds the Fred Bear Sports Club made 16mm films available to members. All you did was make a request and they would send the fims for you to view with members of your club.

I had my two sons and three other children beginning to hunt at our gun club and we viewed many of the films. They eventually became the dvd's you buy today. Bear archery did not charge you or require any deposit for the use of the fims. He was a true friend to us all. I am talking about the late 70s and early 80s.

From: swampwalker
Date: 08-Jan-11




Great thread! Thanks, Sips for bringing it back around.

From: Kodiak T/D
Date: 09-Jan-11




Frank Scott told me he lost his finger in a corn sheller when he was a kid!!! Fred Bear, Charlie Kroll, and Frank Scott were true gentlemen.





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