Southern Oregon Archery, LLC is proud to be a dealer for Bear Archery in Central Point, OR. This long-lasting brand develops compound and traditional equipment that is popular with many archers whether they are just starting out or have been bow hunting for 30 years. It also comes with a rich story that explains the company’s commitment to quality even today. Continue reading to learn more about this iconic brand.
Growth into a passion
The interesting part of the Bear Archery story was that its founder, Fred Bear, did not start bow hunting seriously until he was 29. Born March 5, 1902, his first career ambition was to take advantage of Detroit’s auto industry. But after he watched a documentary on Art Young’s bow hunting adventures, he found a new passion.
His change in trade evolved as his interest developed. The first Bear enterprise was Bear Products Company in Detroit, started in 1933. Its focus was on silk-screening and advertising work for automobile companies. Six years later, he started to plan business models around his favorite hobby. In 1938, he hired Nels Grumley to produce hand-made bows. Just two years after that decision, Bear Products Company sold its advertising services section and became Bear Archery.
Fred Bear becomes famous
Bear was not just a business man. He became one of the preeminent bow hunters in the United States, if not the world. His efforts produced a bow hunting season in Michigan in 1936 and he won the state target archery championship in 1934, 1937 and 1939.
To add to his appeal, Bear was considered an approachable, down-to-Earth person. He was active on the sports show circuit and always available to teach and give demonstrations. Detroit Free Press editor Jack Van Coevering produced documentary films starring Fred Bear in 1942. Exposing his hunting exploits, these films opened up more opportunities for Bear as he wrote for Archery Magazine and Outdoor Life. He soon became an icon in outdoor ruggedness and adventure.
As Fred Bear’s success grew, so did that of his company. In 1947, his bow making operations moved to Grayling, Michigan. He traveled the world in the next two decades and even downed a bull elephant with a traditional bow.
Bear Archery today
The company underwent several mergers, leadership changes and acquisitions, but remains a top name in archery products today. It produces both compound and traditional equipment alike, having entered the modern market in 1968 after being purchased by Victor Comptometer. Fred Bear remained active in design and promotion until he died in 1988.
The company now operates in Gainesville, Florida, its location since 1978. Fred Bear’s films and books remain available today for those wishing to learn the legacy of this company and its fine creations.
If you seek your first bow or are looking for an upgrade, Southern Oregon Archery, LLC offers several quality options, including the line from Bear Archery, in Central Point, OR. Visit us today to see our inventory and find your perfect bow.