Fred Bear is well-known among hunters. Those that don't are probably new at this sport. The "Father of Modern Bow Hunting" built on Art Young and Saxton Temple Pope's foundations.

Most people identify Bear with his hunting excursions for grizzly bears, polar bears, lions, and tigers. But, many forget Bear Archery's inventions advanced conventional archery. These advancements let hunters kill deer and other big game more efficiently.

Let's see how Bear influenced contemporary bow hunting.

Initially, Fred Bear Was a Gun Hunter

Fred Bear was born in 1902, in Pennsylvania, but he did not start bow hunting until 1929.

Bear told Mike Avery in a 1985 interview, "My dad was a rifle hunter." Bear described shooting a huge deer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 1933 as "too simple." So, Bear wanted a challenge.

Additionally, the Art Young's "Alaskan Adventure" film stimulated Bear's interest in archery. Indeed, Young mentored Bear on archery equipment. But, Bear took years to make his first archery harvest, even with Young's guidance.

He became a skilled archer. In 1934, 1937, and 1939, he was Michigan's state champion. Eventually, Bear harvested a deer with a bow in 1935, and his career took off. He perfected his hunting skills via trial and error.

How Bear Archery Was Born

In the 1920s, Bear moved to Detroit, Michigan, and worked for Chrysler and Ford. He was a “glue maker” and “wood carver”. Ultimately, he used his expertise to make traditional bows. In 1933, his plant caught fire, leaving him unemployed.

He founded Bear Archery, formerly named Bear Products Company. Originally, the group focused on advertising, not archery.

After losing his job, Bear formed a new firm with its friend and co-worker Charles Piper. Besides, Bear engaged bowyer Nels Grumley in 1938 to make their first bespoke bows.

In 1940, he moved his company's attention to archery hunting equipment. But, custom bows were time-consuming to make.

Bear's car sector connections remained strong, and he took advantage of it. So, a revolution was approaching.

Bear Archery Revolutionizes Bow Manufacturing

Archery equipment was not mass-produced then. However, in the 1940s, a New York glass industry salesman brought Bear a sample of fiberglass fabric.

"I had never seen or heard of it, and I was very surprised that glass could be flexible like it was," Bear said in a 1986 interview. "I had not had any great interest in it until he mentioned it was elastic."

But Bear realized he could use this material to make a stronger bow than the wooden recurves and longbows in use at the time.

Bear received more samples after returning home.
Additionally, he requested a Chrysler chemical to bind rubber and aluminum. The auto industry had recently invented a glue that could withstand motor vibration, which was ideal for bow limbs.

Too strong bows resulted from this experiment. Still, they tweaked it. The firm eventually used fiberglass thread, which aligned the fibers, correcting the cloth's difficulties.

Therefore, Bear Archery could mass-produce economical, durable recurves and longbows. Moreover, Bear designed bow sights, bow quivers, grips, takedown versions, and shooting gloves.

The Marketing of Bear Archery Products

In 1947, Bear moved its production to Grayling, Michigan. Fred and his wife still had trouble producing enough money.
Thus, instead of a house, they lived in a tent by a river. But Bear's frugal lifestyle helped him establish his company.

Then, Bear started hunting throughout the world as a way of marketing his product.

He related how the media was interested in archery hunting stories. Likewise, more states opened archery seasons. Bear began investing his money on hunting trips throughout the world to seek elk, moose, brown bears, lions, and tigers.

And that worked! The stories about Bear's adventures spread quickly, and even he broke six big-game world records. Many hunters nowadays were inspired by Bear's early short videos.

Bear's company was not profitable until the 1960s. He sold the firm in 1968 but remained chairman until his 1988 death in Gainesville, Florida. By then, bow hunting had become a popular sport.

Bear was not the first to create a bow or record a bow hunt, but he perfected both.

Without Bear's struggles and inventiveness, hunting would not be as popular as it is now.

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Oklahoma Landsource has been dealing with home improvement contractors for decades. Take advantage of or past mistakes to save you money and heartache with your next home improvement project.