If reports were positive, he planned to begin mass-production of them within the next year for the general public. If your bow shows Gainesville on it then it was made after Al has studied Bear Archery for many, many years and is considered by everyone as the King of Information regarding Bear Archery collecting. Upon Nels departure, Fred moved another employee by the name of Bob Meeker over to supervise the manufacturing of the new bow lines. ALL Bear bows had leather grips until
If the ALL wood bow has a stamp that reads "Bear Products" in some form it would have been made before the early to mid 40's.
There were dozens of other bowyers who made Bear wooden bows, mostly the lower line lemonwood models such as the Ranger. Below is a each year output chart for the most favorite Bear Bows. In an effort to get catalogs into the hands of their customers, Bear actually glued covers from onto catalogs of !!!. Also known as the Compass Kodiak because of the small, round compass embedded into the riser section, this bow was another good idea which almost caused the company to go under. Charles was the West Coast distributor for Bear Archery almost since the beginning. Fred Bear sold the company to Victor Comptometer inbut remained president. Get out your old Bear catalogs from through and find the picture of this scarce item, then you will know what to look for.