None of us could ever thank enough the early pioneers of the sport that through their tireless efforts put bowhunting on the calendar for all of us to enjoy.
Although with the relentless anti-hunters' threat, there is no doubt that bowhunting would cease to exist without the constant efforts of organizations like The Professional Bowhunters Society, The Pope and Young Club, The Wildlife Legislative Fund, The National Rifle Association and many other national and state organizations.
I'll bet some bowyer is making some new design right this moment that I can't live without. Lot's of questions arise, but few answers are available.
A quick way to gather information is to go to one of the larger traditional shoots that are becoming common all across the country. There are no current books on the market that can help identify even the age of most old bows.
Most of the bows made after the early 1950s are still very usable, but there are no guarantees that come with any of them.
Some common sense precautions are necessary in the purchase and intended use of any old bow.
The "coin" was Fred Bear's most recognized business trademark! The 1959 Bear catalog introduces the coin medallion as symbolic of high quality, precision performance and lasting beauty, a "symbol of the finest." Sure sums it up, right?
If only the auto manufacturers had some coin medallions!
Using the coin medallion to date these bows has been used by many knowledgeable collectors for years.Most of this finish chips off leaving a very dull gray metal underneath.By 1963 only brass and aluminum in a new stamping was used (see photo). They did not always change with a model change, but when used with other features, are still heavily used in bow dating.Taking 30 years worth of Bear bows would take a book, but for now this list will ID most Bear models almost to the year.I'm not about to cut all of this into stone, but try this out on your bows and it will work well to identify a very high percentage of them.
Im totally amazed at how good everything has become for all of us traditional bowhunters.