It’s Deer Season. Who Is Fred Bear And HIs Michigan Connection?
This just might be one of those questions that come along that you might want to know the answer to, but it could be you're a little embarrassed to say you don't know.
For example, I've lived here for 35 years and although I'm not a hunter, I've heard Ted Nugent's Fred Bear song since it came out in the mid 1990's.
So who was Fred Bear?
So who was Fred Bear? The name sounds Native-American, but Bear actually wasn't. If you google Fred's name, you find out he pretty much is acknowledged as one of, if not the finest, bow hunters ever.
Here's Fred in his own words.
(Bear Archery via YouTube)
According to the Bear Archery website, "Fred Bear started Bear Archery back in 1933 with the goal of making archery accessible to everyone. He was a man devoted to the outdoors that had a respect for nature and all things wild. He believed the bow and arrow were the history of mankind and that by immersing yourself in the outdoors made you a better human being."
Everywhere you look, Fred Bear is considered the father of modern bow hunting, but here's the kicker: According to wikipedia, "He didn't start bow hunting until he was 29 and did not master the skill for many years, he is widely regarded as a pioneer in the bow-hunting community. Bear was a world traveler, film producer, and the founder of Bear Archery, an outdoor company that still exists."
And there's a natural Michigan connection. Bear was born in Pennsylvania, but was a glue maker for Chrysler during the Depression, and when the plant had a fire, he managed to scraped to together enough money to start Bear Archery. Bear and his wife moved to Grayling, but lived in a tent for while as he struggled with the business for more than two decades, into the 1960's. Because of the business, he was on the road a lot, promoting the sport and the company, and this is how he ended up on television, even showing up on the Tonight Show.
Bear sold the company in 1968, and died twenty years later in Florida. His ashes were scattered over the Au Sable River in northern Michigan.