FRED BEAR - REMEMBERING THE MAN AND LEGEND ON HIS BIRTHDAY
Today, we celebrate the birthday of Fred Bear, legendary bow hunter, traveler, conservationist, author, TV host, and a man with several other feathers in his cap. Born in 1902, he wouldn’t begin his true journey as a bowhunter until 1929 when he picked up his first bow. This would set him on the path for greatness. It would not take him long to become an expert in the field. After a few years of training, he began to display his craft at shows and competitions. He would go on to create immense interest in the sport, with everything from films and magazine features to his line of archery products. You will see the indelible mark he left on society if you search his name online. He was as beloved an outdoorsman as you will find, a man whose long-ago friendships remain in those who carry on his legacy. Ted Nugent, famed musician, knew Mr. Bear very well. He wrote a beautiful remembrance of his old friend and explains why we celebrate his birthday.
“Fred embodied the two ultimate compliments anyone could hope for. He was down to earth and grounded, and to this day I am inspired by his gentlemanliness. When he passed on that April day 27 years ago, a great hush enveloped the conservation world, for we had lost one of the greatest conservationists and conservation promotors the world has ever known. Hearts were broken and grown men cried like babies, saddened that no more campfires would be shared with our hero and blood brother.”
Fred Bear was the type of man with great wisdom, especially concerning the outdoors. We see that in numerous quotes attributed to him over the years.
“When a hunter is in a treestand with moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God.” “Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make your a better person.”
One quote in particular always stands out to us. It’s one that we source quite frequently in our defense of hunting and why we rally others to the cause.
“If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it.”
What that means to us, and many others, is that hunting is essential to American life. It is a set of traditions and values for which we cannot compromise. Hunting is pragmatic in its approach, as it provides our country a massive economic boost and hundreds of thousands of jobs, practices strong conservation techniques in order to maintain wildlife at healthy levels, and gives us a window into our ancestry while providing us traditions to pass on to future generations. For this and many other reasons, we owe it ourselves, our ancestors, and our descendants to fight for the industry. Fred Bear knew this as much as anyone. His accomplishments prove to us that hunting and conservation provide us a better future. So, in honor of the man and his life, we say ‘Thank You’. Thank you to him, thank you to the people that carry on his legacy, and thanks to all of you for continuing to support the great outdoors.