We Solemnly Swear:
Each Bear bow, no matter how large or small, will be utterly reliable. Intensely lethal. And above all else, capable of following an ethical shot with the nobility of a quick, moral kill. This promise will never change. It’s been our benchmark for more than 80 years, and the guiding principle behind the creation, perfection, and constant refinement of methods and techniques known only within the Bear tribe. No other bow feels, functions or finishes quite like a Bear. Nothing fulfills your highest expectations in quite the same way, and that’s a satisfaction you’ll only discover by actually shooting one of our latest offerings. One arrow and you’ll know Bear is back. That we promise, too.
The Legendary Fred Bear
Fred Bear was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, on March 5, 1902. He left the family farm at age 21 to pursue opportunities in Detroit’s growing auto industry. A documentary on the bow hunting adventures of Art Young ignited a fire in Fred’s imagination. Soon he was learning to craft his own bows, arrows, and bowstrings under the tutelage of Young himself.
In 1933, Fred joined a partnership that produced advertising materials for the automobile industry. During off hours, he crafted archery equipment for a growing circle of friends who appreciated his workmanship. Within six years, the archery business demanded Fred’s fulltime attention and he launched Bear Archery Company.
Archery was a life-long passion. Fred was instrumental in promoting a bow-hunting season in Michigan (1936). An expert marksman, he won the state’s target archery championship in 1934, 1937 and 1939. He was a regular on the sports show circuit, inspiring experienced bowmen and novices alike with his natural shooting skills.
In 1942, Fred and Detroit Free Press Editor Jack Van Coevering journeyed to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to produce the first of several films featuring Fred’s bow-hunting exploits in the wild. These films, along with features in outdoor magazines and Fred’s grassroots kinship with other bow hunters, fueled an interest in the sport and in Bear Archery products. Fred was instantly recognizable for his distinctively weathered face and trademark felt Borsalino hat.
Bear Archery production moved to Grayling, Michigan, in 1947. Over the next two decades, Fred traveled the world on bow-hunting and filmmaking expeditions. On one outing, radio and television personality Arthur Godfrey witnessed Fred down an African bull elephant. Godfrey later recounted the experience for his international radio audience. Such publicity, as well as a feature in Life Magazine, enhanced Fred Bear’s international stature.
Fred remained active in designing products and promoting bow hunting until his death in 1988. He will be remembered always for his tremendous personal contribution to the sport he loved and a legacy of products that perform well above price.