WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

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TimberlineX
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WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by TimberlineX » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:57 am

It’s interesting what attracts each of us to particular vintage bows. We may zero in on classic Bear Archery bows because of Fred. We identify with an old Black Widow because our uncle had one. We would love to find an old Staghorn because they were so racy at a time when we didn’t have near enough money to acquire one.

One old bow that draws me is the Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter.

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I will forever identity the Mercury Hunter with Jim Dougherty, poster boy for Ben Pearson Archery and really for all of bowhunting in the 1960s and ‘70s when I was just finding my feet in the sport. Jim became one of my archery idols. Young and dashing, Jim bowhunted all over the world and become one of the period’s best known spokesman for hunting with a bow.
One of the most fortunate things in my life is that through mutual friends in the archer industry, Jim Dougherty and I later became fast friends and bowhunting partners, he the mentor and me the then-young turk hanging on his every word.

I’m looking for an early, dark Rosewood Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter in 50 to 55#. The Mercury Hunter was offered from about 1968 to about 1972 by Ben Pearson. Its broad limbs drew smoothly, and although not overly fast, is always seemed a particularly forgiving and accurate bow to me. Its built-in mercury-filled stabilizing capsules also made it unique. “Mercury Recoil Cartridges” they were called. They were inserted and glued into the bow’s massive riser, one at the top of the riser and one at the bottom.

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Think of them as internal dual stabilizers. If you jiggled the bow, you could hear the mercury slosh. You could also hear it when you shot. I can only imagine the horror that today’s environmental crowd would experience to know that we once filled our bows with raw mercury.

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The Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter was made with dark, rich-looking India Rosewood and complimenting reddish-brown limb glass. I’ve owned a number of Mercury Hunters over the years, but today retain only one, a much-used 45 pounder. I wish I’d never sold or traded away all the others, particularly the 50- and 55-pound models. In fact, I wish I could find another in that weight range today.

The Mercury Hunters generally shot well for me. One of the reasons for that, I believe, was the bow’s sculpted target-style grip.

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Of course, no Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter was complete without a Ben Pearson Adjust-On Quiver.

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This was the bowquiver designed by Pearson to compete with Bear Archery’s Snap-on bowquivers. In some ways the Ben Pearson quiver was better than the Bear quivers. In some ways it was worse. It was better in that it arranged six arrows in a tight straight line, which I found less likely to cause a right-handed bow to tip to the right when shot than the 8-arrow Bear bowquiver which featured a more square-ish and bulky arrow configuration.

It was worse than the Bear quiver in that while it’s racheted slide-together attachment and adjustment system represented a valiant effort, it was often a bit of a rattletrap. I remember getting thus quiver firmly in place on my Mercury Hunters and then wrapping the adjustment stem and its spring- lock clip round and round with stretchy electrical tape to keep it quiet.

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Once set up properly, though (if adding electrical tape is proper), the combination of Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter and Ben Pearson Adjust-On Quiver made for a classy and very shootable bow-and-quiver system.

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If I may, I’ll reiterate my earlier wish…..does anyone out there possibly have a Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter in 50# to 55# for trade or for sale right now? I’d be interested.

In fact, what I’d really like to do is trade the gorgeous 45# Mercury Hunter in these photos for an identical model in 50# or preferable 55#.
Let me know if you can help or know where an old Mercurcy Hunter in, say, 55# might exist.

Bill Krenz
Colorado
If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Family is X. Work in Y. And Z is bowhunting elk.

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bowhunterfrompast
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by bowhunterfrompast » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:16 pm

Bill...beautiful bow 8-) good luck with your quest.
Rick
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Have a great hunt!

Grant Young
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by Grant Young » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:45 pm

You just nailed another of my old time favorites, Bill. I never shot one much but I kind of liked them when I did and I can still see the photos of a young Jim D. in the field with the Mercury Hunter. I'll keep an eye out; I'll be attending a couple of sizeable gayherings over the next two months and you never know what'll turn up. Good post. Grant

reddogge
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by reddogge » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:29 am

Your post and photos do bring back memories of my fledgling bowhunting days. If you have some photos of you and Jim Dougherty I'd be interested is seeing them. I always liked his stories.

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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by Bob Gulliksen » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:40 pm

Check out rmsg.com they have a couple

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TimberlineX
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by TimberlineX » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:30 am

reddogge wrote:Your post and photos do bring back memories of my fledgling bowhunting days. If you have some photos of you and Jim Dougherty I'd be interested is seeing them. I always liked his stories.
Reddogge, Jim and I have hunted together a good bit in Texas, Iowa and Nevada. Here’s a photo of Jim (left) and me (right) with a buck I shot on the Kennedy Ranch in Texas. That was the sort of arrow-flinging hunt Jim and I loved best. We both shot a buck and a doe whitetail, a couple of pigs, I think there were some javelina thrown in there as well, I know we shot jack rabbits and we chased turkeys over several counties. As I remember we were low on arrows when we left.

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I will also say this about Jim Dougherty – Jim is the best and fastest shot with a bow (any kind of bow) on game I’ve ever seen. More than just a few times I have been amazed at how he’s threaded an arrow through a hole in the brush that I couldn’t even see. And boy is he fast. I remember bowhunting pheasants with Jim once and learning just how fast and accurate he was. If I hesitated for just an instant on a flushing bird, Jim would likely have a flu-flu arrow in him. He was the same way stalking big game. I soon learned that if we were stalking anything from pigs to deer, Jim would have two accurate arrows in the air for every one of mine...and I generally shoot quite fast. "What are you waiting for," he'd kid me.
If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Family is X. Work in Y. And Z is bowhunting elk.

reddogge
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by reddogge » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Thanks Bill, that was neat. Nice buck too. It is one of the first pictures of him without his cowboy hat I've seen.

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bowhunterfrompast
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by bowhunterfrompast » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:54 pm

Hardly recognized Jim without his cowboy hat. On the other hand, it's good to put a face with your name. I remember reading your great hunting articles
Rick
Broadhead Collector
Have a great hunt!

SKINNER
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by SKINNER » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:08 pm

Bill
Make me an offer ...I have a Ben Pearson RH. Mercury Hunter 7346 AR 1218 , 60 " XX50 #28 .If you wish pictures E-mail me at gayleglen@rogers.com. I did so enjoy reading your post (A lucky Google) and have already put TRADRAG.COM into my favorites .Looking forward to more of your posts ...Great Site
Glen

guzzi2000
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Re: WANTED Ben Pearson Mercury Hunter! (photo heavy)

Post by guzzi2000 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:14 pm

I believe I saw one this past weekend at the Sparta WI shoot on a vendor's table.

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