Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Grant Young » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:34 pm

Wade- Beautiful picture of the grain in the "Scrounger." I can certainly see why you refer to it as a '65 as opposed to the '64, but it looks more like a prototype of a '65 to me in that the nosecaps and the scallops beneath them look more pronounced and of course, there is the absence of the overlay at the shelf level. Kinda Tamerlane-like, somehow. Thanks for the great pictures of what I think is a "one-of-a-kind." I wish I had had the chance, like you and BD, to actually handle that thing. Grant
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:46 pm

Grant - Glad you like the coin side photograph.

I don't really know how much of Fred's streamlining may make the nose caps look they way they do or how much the photograph taken at the angle it is may make the look a little different then they may really be. I never really put a 1965 next to "The Happy Scrounger" to be able see the exact differences. Would almost be irreverent to put any other bow next to it.

The angled stripe and the general shape seemed closest to 1965 to my eye, that is why I called it a 1965, even though Fred wrote 1964 on it. As you suggest, it may actaully have been built on a prototype form, I'd have to do some actual comparisons before I could say for sure one way or the other and cite those actual measurable differences.

However history finally categorizes it, 1964, 1965 or prototype, "The Happy Scrounger" is still the best looking Bear Bow that I have ever seen from either of those years.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:14 am

Don't know where this 1967-1/2 Super Kodiak-ish looking bow of Fred's is today... There are several photographs of Fred with this bow or one similar. Perhaps someone has the bow or access to it and can post some images of it....
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby reddogge » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:27 am

Wade,
From the belly to the tip of the horns a '64 measures 2" and a '65 measures 2 1/2", quite a noticable difference with a more scooped out look to the front of the riser on the '65. The Happy Scrounger appears to have the wider profile and dimensions of a '65 to me. Perhaps done in late '64 on '65 forms before the model was released.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:45 am

God I love that bow..........bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:22 am

reddogge - I completely agree with your analysis of the photograph of "The Happy Scrounger". Unfortunately, I wasn't really smart enough to take measurements or get a side by side comparison photograph with a 64 or 65. Live and learn.

Doc - Yes, I love that bow too and all the stories associated with it..
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:26 pm

I wish I would have paid more attion too and taken a comparison measurment.You know Wadester maybe this spring before bear season starts in Que'bec like you me Hinkley grap 3 fatties one weekend and go to the musium and do all this stuff at once.You know maybe 2-3 days whatever ? bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:49 pm

Doc - Sounds like a good plan. You and Hink could meet here first then we could head up to the Museum.

It may take me a couple months of preparation for you guys, to make sure everything is nailed down securely. I've been looking at a new detector for the door that picks up wood and leather as well as metal... :rolf:
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Grant Young » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:41 pm

Hey Roadhogs, I might be up for that. Wade I have a copy of the same picture of the 67 1/2 and I don't know if its the first model that was for sure a proto or the later edition that was the final design that he carried for a while. Dang; I wish I had those guys working for me, LOL. In regard to the observations made earlier, I would venture to say that the nosecaps on the "Scrounger" are smaller and the scallop of the sight window area is more extremme than any Kodiak ever made, but I'd love a chance to see for myself. I'm gettin' old and a road trip to learn something is getting almost as good as hunting; besides Don, we may not be able to go on Tradgang hunts anymore, troublemaker,LOL. GY
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:30 pm

Grant - I don't know about Fred's 67 1/2 SK either. Just wish we knew who has it now so we could get some better photographs of it. Hopefully it still survives.

I understand your thoughts on the nosecaps on the "Scrounger"and the scallop of the sight window area. I'm just not sure how much the contoured riser makes is simply appear different.

Getting actual side by side profile comparison photographs and any measurable differences would have to be the final word.

Please join us for the spring 2010 road trip, it will be the idea time to get that and other things all figured out.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:37 am

I kind of know where whats left of his 1962 Kodiak is.However it is not singed by Fred but did get scrounged from the same barrel the same day.I've spent a look of time checking with collecters for that Super K.I often wonderd if the Super did not have delamination problems like 75% of them and it ended up in the chit can rather then the scrounger barrel ???? He may not have wanted a delaminated looking Super laying for people to see..bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:13 am

Doc - Your thoughts make perfect sense about Fred's 1967 Super Kodiak having delamination problems like many other 1967 SKs have been well known to have for years. Fred's reputation as a "neat-nick" lends substance to your statement that “He may not have wanted a delaminated looking Super laying for people to see.”

Hopefully the odds are with us on this one. Usually after speculative statements like this are made, reasoned out, and anointed by the others in the collecting community, the item shows up the next month on eBay…

If it takes getting a little egg on our faces to have a chance to Fred's Super K, I not only don't mind, I won't even ask for a bib.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby reddogge » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:17 am

Does this shed any light? I tried to match up angle but it does appear the Scrounger has deeper scallops. Although all '65s may not be the same shape due to having had some different shaping work done to them by different people at the factory. I don't know much about the Bear bow production methods back then.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:24 am

Wade I like to call that chumming rather then egg on my face.I use a little chum in making the statement first then we'll see what surfaces to feed.bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Grant Young » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:11 am

Hey 'Dogge- Thanks for posting that side by side. So much of all this stuff regarding experimentals and protos is guesswork,but I have been convinced for some time that Mr. B used lots of bows over the years that the public never saw. Who wouldn't, if we had the capacity to do it. As a rule, I feel he was very cautious about publicizing non-production models. I know one thing though, I'd LOVE to own a right-handed 65 pounder like the "Scrounger." Happy Thanksgiving, ALL YOU GUYS, Grant
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:34 am

reddogge - Nice side by side comparison !!! That should get the old pot stirred up a bit.

Doc - Chumming is a good word for it too.

Grant - "The Happy Scrounger" is just plain "The Coolest Bear Bow" from that era, regardless of what form it was build on...

Yes, they had to build experimental bows and use them to figure out what worked and what didn't before introducing a production bow.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:43 am

.bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:47 am

I got the next gem coming up in about 5 minutes grab a coffee and your pipe set on down we'll take some measurment off the scrounger real soon ???????? bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:09 pm

My coffee cup is empty, I don't have a pipe, and the 5 minutes elapsed long ago, I'm still waiting for the next photograph... :rolf:
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:20 pm

sorry mrs bowdoc made me go to the store....here's the pic notice any odd looking bows in this pic ? bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:32 pm

The happy scrounger kind of don't look like eather a 1964 or 1965 does it ?
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:00 pm

Doc - Nice wood !!

Have you been holding out on us ?

If so, you are probably not the only one...
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby reddogge » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:52 pm

Here are things I note on the Scrounger that are not the same as my '65 not counting the wood and Fred's grip mod.
1. The horn ends are finely shaped to a more streamlined shape looking from the front of the bow.
2. The riser overlays are a different pattern of green and white and again streamlined where it meets the horns.
3. More pronounced scallops.
4. The grip area comes more to a point at the separation of the riser overlays.
5. The area on the belly in the sight window is scalloped slightly too.

Overall there are quite a few subtle differences to my eye.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:57 pm

:o

Finally found the photographs of "The Happy Scrounger" that I took this spring... this shot was taken from a little different angle

Added a Super K and a 1967 Kodiak for comparison.

I believe this image shows Grant's comments were pretty much on target...
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:31 am

The maple riser bow is a dead nuts copy off the scrounger actually.The scrounger was used as a form to build two bows(well at least two I know of).The birdseye one I have which really belongs to my son Troy was given to him as a going away gift when he left NWA after 8 plus years service.That bows name is Bugsy 60" 51#.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby 4runr » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:26 am

Doc, that Bugsy is one sweet lookin bow! I'd have a hard time ever lettin that one out of my sight!!
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:43 am

oh yeah Kenny my son lieves Bugsy here at my place but if anything ever happen to that one.Well lets just say we'd be rolling in the mud and I'am affraid the old bowdoc would be no more.Thats a super cool bow and one of the finest pieces of birdseye ever in captivity.
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Wade Phillips » Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:04 pm

Doc - "Bugsy" is a great looking piece of birdsyee maple. Nice to see the comparison. You'll have to bring that bow with you in the spring and we'll get a photograph of it with "The Happy Scrounger"...
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby bowdoc » Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:34 pm

Hammond built a form off the scrounger and built at least 2 bows from that form.The only ????'s I have are if you look at the riser overlays on all of the bows we all posted pics of ? you see how a person could make the overlays longer or in the case of Bugsy maybe shorter and or deeper scaloping prior to adding the overlays ? The overlays were added last as they overlap the limb glass.So I was just thinking ? Did Rodg not grind enough off the back of the bow and just left that area shorter and or thicker ? check it out.They all do very a little tiny bit right on the overlays ? bd
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Re: Fred Bear’s Personal Bows

Postby Trap » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:44 pm

Okay I'm splitting hairs here and I may be way off course as well, but isnt that Spalted Maple (sp) I thought birdseye had tiny knots coming out at the surface.

Please set me straight, I'm confused. :?

In any case, the bow is gorgeous and probably worth rolling around in the mud over Doc :lol: You might have one good match left in ya Doc. I'd go for it if I were you. ;)

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