"Caribou"...Richard, your a lucky man indeed!...and a Good Friend too!
A several years back I was bidding on one, #5 I think, at a Pope & Young Club Convention live auction! I stopped around $3,500 (when I had some money) and 2 guys batteled it out furiously....it went for $10,000!
That bow, the story was Fred gave it to one of his business associates....(which he did with many of them)...it was in a Presentation Case and very beautiful.........anyway, the man he gave it to, later on that mans son was in a bad car accident and needed extensive dental work......so a friend of his bought it from him to help him with the dental costs(he wasn't a bow hunter) and he just stored it away in a closet!....forgoten thru time....after his death his wife found it in the closet and inquired about what to do with it from some other people. They advised her to donate it to The Pope & Young Club for Auction at their convention.....to further promote Archery and Bow Hunting!....so that is what she did! (story as I know it anyway)
Glenn Hisey at The Pope & Young Club, or Glenn or sons Jay or Joe St.Charles, or Wade Phillips in Nebraska, can all give you a idea on VALUE....if that is trully what you are looking for!....The Pope & Young Club MUSEUM in Chatfield, Minnesota may be interested in it (possibly) but since they have all The Glenn St.Charles Collection they probably have one or 2 there already!......as a Tax Write Off....it could be donated? If you choose to do that!
Or you can sell it to a Private Collector and pocket the money (don't invest money----it'd be gone....lol) Buy GOLD!
Richard, you know as well as I, there are just some things money can't buy! A Treasure to You...may be a Treasure to someone else! Money just can't replace a Treasure! (some are just interested in the 'turn around' money value/profit).
You have many fine memories Richard and I do envy you for that! I think (tell me if I'm wrong) Fred would be 105 now.....you were fortunate to have spent some quality time with Fred hunting and able to have a business relationship with him also.....I kick myself even today for not taking the time to meet 'The Man' and talk to him. We crossed paths several times and I just never did....I regret all of that now! His son-n-law passed away a few years ago....I was planning on spending some time talking to Charlie about Fred and The Old Days....but he passed before we could meet again!....."The Good Old Days" are slipping by us all! We lived the Good Years I think Richard!
Good Luck on your venture....but I would call a few of them I listed above. Dick Mauch (you probably already know) was a good friend of Fred's and him and Carol got married in Fred's office down in Florida with Fred as Witness/Best Man! Dick is in Nebraska also! (Corn Huskers Bowstrings was their company and made strings for Bear Archery). Fred hunted at Dick and Carol's Ranch quite a few times also there in Nebraska. Bill Krenz, was the Manager at Bear Archery after Fred passed away too....now owns and runs INSIDE ARCHERY Magazine....he'd probably know a PRICE/VALUE and/or a buyer!
I wish you well my friend! Spring is here so get out and enjoy life!.........Herm-}}}}}}}----------->
I remember someone that knew Fred well telling me Fred examined/inspected each and every signature bow as it was done! (Quality Control)....if he found a flaw in any part...it was scrapped and a new part made (limb, riser...whatever) All hand inspected by Fred himself!
Here's a little know fact (some might dispute...but true I think as was told to me by someone close to Fred)....Fred had a 'few people' at The Plant....hand picked by Fred....to do his signature on items also! So Fred wasn't the only one signing Fred Bear on ALL the bear items....but Fred did sign these bows HIMSELF!
Fred Eichler worked at Bear Archery in Florida too, I bet he could tell some stories even though he's a young'n! Bill Krenz told me when he went to run Bear Archery sometime after Fred passed away, there were all kinds of Bear Memorabalia laying around the plant....some used for door stoppers and such....he salvaged a lot of those items for prosperity in the name of Fred Bear Archery! Also, after Fred passed away, his office was left AS WAS....and locked, just the way Fred Left Everything in it! We were invited to come down to Florida and the office was going to be opened for us....to share in 'The Spirit' kind of...we never got to make that trip!
Escalade Sports out of Evansville,Indiana (old Indian Archery and then X-I Archery...and now Bear Archery Headquarters) and I doubt Escalade Sports knows much of The Fred Bear History and incidentals....Things change...and life goes on....but not always for the better!
Like Bass Pro buying and owning Fred Bears Mounts/Museum!....I think that is a down right shame.....jmho! I wish Cabela's would of bought them!