Mathews Inc.
Bear Whitetail Hunter?
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
Kit 25-Mar-06
thewest 25-Mar-06
OutdoorsNole 25-Mar-06
Mohican 25-Mar-06
Ron Reddon 25-Mar-06
rattlesnake 25-Mar-06
bwrong 26-Mar-06
regnar 26-Mar-06
Kit 28-Mar-06
Kit 28-Mar-06
okla hawkeye 28-Mar-06
dustyvarmint 28-Mar-06
fuzzy 28-Mar-06
Elk Hunter 28-Mar-06
upclose 28-Mar-06
benderofwood 28-Mar-06
DECOY 28-Mar-06
mr_magoo 29-Mar-06
Kit 01-Apr-06
dustyvarmint 02-Apr-06
Milo 02-Apr-06
Bowhunter 02-Apr-06
Kit 03-Apr-06
dustyvarmint 04-Apr-06
Bogensch├╝tze 04-Apr-06
Redmist 05-Apr-06
Redmist 05-Apr-06
Tajue17 07-Apr-06
Mike in Mo. 07-Apr-06
wtsgems 23-Feb-14
TurkeyBowMaster 23-Feb-14
drycreek 23-Feb-14
greenmountain 23-Feb-14
TurkeyBowMaster 23-Feb-14
doug 23-Feb-14
Buffalo1 23-Feb-14
Rayzor 25-Feb-14
From: Kit
25-Mar-06
Hi There, I'm new to bow hunting and rather than spending a bunch of money, I thought I'ld go used, just until I decide what I really want.

So I just picked up an old bow and hoped someone could give me an idea of it's history, quality or value.

It's a Bear Whitetail Hunter, suggested by the white stamp of those words above and below an image of the head and neck of a dear in 3/4 profile, on the face of the upper limb, the number on the inside of the upper limb is WH-90306, on the lower limb is another stamp with the Bear logo and states that the Bear compound bow is licensed under Allen patent 3,486,495. It's got a cast metal riser dimpled in texture and copper in color with a silver button of the logo and word Bear in relief on the inside and brown fiberglass limbs, steel cables and 6 wheels.

It seems to have been well cared for, in that, it's only sign of wear is the string and arrow rest. But with no knowledge of bows, I would'nt even know that it's worth a new string. So any advice or info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks Kit

From: thewest
25-Mar-06
those were popular in the 70's....maybe early 80's....... from a safety standpoint....I would buy something newer....those things are relics....

From: OutdoorsNole
25-Mar-06
I bought one for $50 a couple years ago. It was my first bow and I killed deer and hogs with it. As long as it shoots and it's accurate then it'll work. I did upgrade to a new bow after that year though and man what a difference you'll see and wonder why you waited to buy a new bow. Practice with it though and try it out this season.

From: Mohican
25-Mar-06
I bought mine in 1977 in Mansfield Ohio at a place called 5 Cousins. I still have it and I got it out last year just to see how it shot. This year I plan on taking it on an early season doe hunt. I have a ton of great memories with that bow!!!

From: Ron Reddon
25-Mar-06

Ron Reddon's Link
Late 70s to early 80s. Most likely early 80s if I would hazard a guess.

I used to have a 1981 Bear Polar LTD, that was a 6-wheeler. It shot very well during its day, and I also used it when I first got back into archery after about a 15-year hiatus.

If the bow has been taken care of, I don't see why you couldn't still shoot it. I got Cat-O-Nine whipped by the buss cables when they broke on me, so go ahead and replace the buss cablese right away if you decide to shoot it. I passed my Polar LTD on to my nephew back in 2000, and he shot it some before he went off to college.

The only problem with using these model/types of bows today, is that you may have a tough time putting a center shot rest on it. These are pretty much relegated to being finger bows, due to the shallow shelf, as releases were definitely a rarity, if they even existed at that point in time.

Here is a link to a scanned image (368k JPG) of the 1981 Whitetail Hunter in the Bear archery catalog.

http://www.littlewindarchers.com/bearwhitetailhunter.jpg

From: rattlesnake
25-Mar-06
not too bust your bow im sure its fine, but i would upgrade; go too a local archery shop and just try a few entry level bows; like a PSE NOVA or somthing; i think you will see the diff. its like night and day; also try a recurve you might also like that root; ,,,, in sportsmanship ,..snake

From: bwrong
26-Mar-06

From: regnar
26-Mar-06
My dad has one that he bought the first year it came out from Kitter Trading Post in Kittery ME. Fred Bear was there and signed the bow for my dad and I got to shake his had.

To bad I had no idea of who I was meeting!!!

From: Kit
28-Mar-06
Hey, Thanks for the advice, everyone. After being quoted $60 for the new string and arrow guide, I may rethink reserecting this one. But if I do I can imagine that I will be anxious to upgrade, just as you've suggested. The truth is that it had been suggested that this one might date back to the fiftys and therefore worth more as a trophy, it'self, but I'm guessing that the fella was mistaken. Thanks again Kit

From: Kit
28-Mar-06
Hey, Ron, Yep that's it, the one on the bottom of the page. I've never been one for suffering right off the bat, and as it seems that the popular oppinion , here, is that an upgrade is in order, I may look at my options.

As Rattlesnake suggests the recurve, I've got to admit that I am a bit of a traditionalist and may enjoy a traditional bow as well. So thanks for the food for thought.

From: okla hawkeye
28-Mar-06
I shot a few deer with my old Bear Whitetail years ago then progressed to much better bows. I've had it rigged up for bow fishing for a long time now and it works great for that.

From: dustyvarmint
28-Mar-06
I bought one new in the early 90's for my first bow. Used it one season and upgraded. Great starting bow. If it works, I would use it. You can ALWAYS use a back up bow and a fish bow.

good hunting, dv

From: fuzzy
28-Mar-06
don't pay over 50 bucks, check out the tiller, strings and cables, and lube the axles, it'll serve you just fine 'til you decide you want something "better" .... they are an excellent little bow for shooting "barebow" with compound

From: Elk Hunter
28-Mar-06
I still bow fish with my Bear Whitetail. I have had it for 29 years.

From: upclose
28-Mar-06
That was my first bow. I inherited it from my dad around 1984 and hunted with it until 1987. I did kill a big doe with it the first year, but never could get it to group with any consistency. After missing a nice 8 point, from the ground along a scrapeline at 20 yards, I headed west to Colorado and purposely left it behind to force myself and get something better.

From: benderofwood
28-Mar-06
Don't pay 60 bucks for a string and rest; if you can't find one, I will be happy to send you one of each for free; I think the string is 39 inches and the rest is a simple stick-on rest; I have quite a few in my collection; PM me for addresses; great bow in it's time and STILL able to get the job done;

From: DECOY
28-Mar-06
Got mine in the 70's at a bait shop in Vinton Iowa. Couldn't get use to it so sold it and went right back to my recurve.

From: mr_magoo
29-Mar-06
My parents bought me a Whitetail Hunter when I was seventeen. I always wanted a bow and read the bowhunting section of Outdoor Life every month religiously. That was back in the early eighties. I shot whatever arrows I could find regardless of spine strength or length. Seemed that anyone selling archery stuff up here at the time knew as little as myself. I had a mounted quiver, no sight, and no stabilizer and shot Fred Bear COC broadheads.

Coons, groundhogs, and stray cats weren't safe. What a blast I had. Two falls later I shot a doe....what an incredible feeling. But it took 23 years before I managed to shoot a buck. Lots of twists and turns in life.

From: Kit
01-Apr-06
Well, I've decided to keep the whitetail as at very least a second or a fishing bow, as some of you have suggested. The fishing angle is great. I hadn't even thought about it, but friends of mine go every year, so I'll be looking into that, as well.

But taking into consideration the suggestions to look into something more current, I went out and, blindly, got a used Darton 600WX.

Note the term blindly, I really am new to this and saw this at an auctin, this morning, and got it for what I thought was fair. But the draw length seems a bit short. So I really don't know how I did.

It is quite a departure from the Bear. This one has the green laminated wood riser and wood limbs, and just two cams. Looks nice and is more comfortable to hold but seems to have only about the same let off of the bear, maybe 50%.

Maybe you folks could so kind as to teach me a little something about it, as well.

Thanks again for all the feedback it's been great to discover this community. Kit

From: dustyvarmint
02-Apr-06
Kit,

Where the "H" in Michigan are you?

I think it is time you visit a good pro shop -or- drive over here to WI and I'll help you out. You need someone to measure your draw length, mark an arrow at that mark and use it to pick out your bow.

As a very last alternative I recommend picking up a copy of Dave Holt's Balanced Bowhunting. Doesn't matter which edition.

happy hunting, stay safe, dv

From: Milo
02-Apr-06
My buddy has been using the same one and successfully since 1988. I think he paid $100 for it and he outshoots most people I know.

From: Bowhunter
02-Apr-06
Kit, Are you coming to my last class this weekend?? Missed you last weekend.. Remember I told you about Van's archery in Whitmore Lake.. pm me or come to class and we can go over some of this important stuff.. I guess I was off by about 15 years on the date of that bow, but it sure looks in fine shape. As I told you in the class, I didn't know how old it realy was and to go to this site cause they know a whole lot more about stuff like that than I do. That is why I did not want to shoot it, just in case it was worth what I told you it could be worth as a collectable.. I sure wouldn't want to fire it and have it come apart in class and watch the value go straight down.. Glad you got some good info from the site,, hope to see you in class Saturday, Bob

03-Apr-06
I still have one that I bought new the first year they came out, I believe it was 1975 or 1976. The description of yours sounds very much like mine. I killed many deer with it, but wouldn't dream of using it to hunt with nowadays with the much superior bows available. I don't believe that they have any collector value and probably aren't worth much more than $25. An archery shop probably won't touch one on a trade-in.

Mike

From: Kit
03-Apr-06
Hey Dusty Varmint, I'm in Ann Arbor, right near Cabella's. You'ld think I could have gotten a bit of help, there, but beyond being pointed to the rack, I didn't get much out of it. I'll look around for another archery shop, I think. I just hate to waist a fella's time, so I'll wait till I'm ready to plop down the cash. I will check the literature though, thanks for the tip.

And Bob, thanks for telling me about the site, you're right, there are some good folks to talk to here. I'll see you at class.

I figure it this way, I've got about $62.50 invested in two bows, whereas I could have plunked down several hundred and ended up with the wrong one, anyway.

So if these two serve no other purpose than to help me figure out what I really need, I won't feel too bad about it. Heck, it's lead me to this site and all you fine folks, I'ld say it's been well worth the money.

Thanks for taking the time Kit

From: dustyvarmint
04-Apr-06
Kit,

On the outside of things you have two nice bowfishing bows.

I don't call Cabela's a pro shop. Definitely check out the literature. Also, not included in that book, but something I have talked to Dave Holt about is the "Wingspan" measurement for checking your draw length. Do a post here with that subject for the exact procedure. With the help of your wife, girlfriend, friend or a combination of the 3 you should be able to determine your exact draw length.

happy hunting, stay safe, dv

04-Apr-06
Jeepers, you really ARE walking blind! Stop tossing money out the window; it solves nothing! Get yourself to an archery pro-shop for some much needed BASIC information.....tell'em you're brand spankin new to archery and you want an education. Keep in mind, a good archery guy will share both good and bad (whether by experience or word of mouth) as he walks you through the myriad choices you face, without forcing his own choices as absolute best. Think, "archery teacher turned archery sales representative". They're out there.....and they have loyal followings like the pied piper.

For an idea of who is best in your area (someone who loves to share knowledge), go to the Michigan site (as well as here) and ask for a shop which is specific to your area......can't hurt to ask for a name, too. Some (archery pro-shop) guys just bubble up at the prospect of imparting knowledge and experience. As well, some "customers" will wave their guy's flags as fast and furious as they'll wave their equipment flags. Find a good one and make a friend for life......you'll be set.

Good luck!

From: Redmist
05-Apr-06
Used the WhitetailII till about five years ago. Just didn't know what I was missing! The bow accounted for many whitetails. But the cables finally gave up the ghost. Had them replaced for $50.00. While waiting for the repair I tried some new Hoyts and like I said I had no idea what I was missing! Ended up with a new bow and kept the old one for bowfishing. It was a good'n but all good things must come to an end. Since then I've found there are some good bargains to be had in two or three year old bows which offer big advantages in technology over the Whitetail. It's possible to get into a much newer bow with just a little larger investment. Or maybe the same amount if you have to do much in the way of repairs to the Whitetail.

From: Redmist
05-Apr-06
Used the WhitetailII till about five years ago. Just didn't know what I was missing! The bow accounted for many whitetails. But the cables finally gave up the ghost. Had them replaced for $50.00. While waiting for the repair I tried some new Hoyts and like I said I had no idea what I was missing! Ended up with a new bow and kept the old one for bowfishing. It was a good'n but all good things must come to an end. Since then I've found there are some good bargains to be had in two or three year old bows which offer big advantages in technology over the Whitetail. It's possible to get into a much newer bow with just a little larger investment. Or maybe the same amount if you have to do much in the way of repairs to the Whitetail.

From: Tajue17
07-Apr-06
Ron Redding, I still have my 1981 Bear Polar LTD in the closet... forgot about it until you mentioned yours..

as far as the old bow question I say if the string looks good and the bow is safe and well it shoots good for you, then put some silencers on that sucka and head out to the woods cause them old bows still can do it!

From: Mike in Mo.
07-Apr-06
I was cleaning out the garage this afternoon and hung up my dad and my bear polar two`s, which were almost exactly like the whitetail hunter.

My dad passed away this winter, it was the only bow he ever owned, I bagged 19 deer with mine before it just quit shooting right.

They were a great bow in thier day, if it has been taken care of it may be still a great bow, mine just had two many miles on it and was ready to retire.

The bows made today are just so much better that the old ones, take that from a guy who has only owned three in his life, now 55, My second was a martin cougar mag, which I bought from a friend second hand and used it till my new bow a Mathews Ovation, which is the sweetest thing I ever had in my hands.

Good luck on your hunt for a bow, what ever bow you choose, just remember its not the bow but the guy using it and you will only get better with practice , remember shoot only with in your limits and please always wait for a good clean kill shot.

Good huntin Mike in Mo.

From: wtsgems
23-Feb-14
I don't suppose anyone has a user guide for the Whitetail hunter. I have one that is fairly good condition but would like to see if there might be a way to mount one of the newer sites to it.

23-Feb-14
I killed deer with that bow in 79. I know a boy who hunts with an Allen and killed deer with it. It has a wooden riser.

From: drycreek
23-Feb-14
I killed my first bow deer with a Whitetail Hunter, and my second, in 1979. Boy, it was the cat's meow then. Now, not so much. Some things change for the worse, but archery gear has sure changed for the better !

23-Feb-14
I like this bow. I got hooked on archery with one. It shot a 32" arrow through a chronograph at 169fps. Some don't know this but that is enough to shoot through a deer. Like everyone else here I upgraded to a more modern bow as soon as I knew what I wanted in a new bow. I still shoot the old Bear from time to time.

23-Feb-14
There was another whitetail hunter that came in the 90's but he is definitely describing the first one. This was the first economy compound Bear priduced. Then they came out with the Blacktail.. then the Polar LTD. I upgraded to. Grizzly II in 1980 and destroyed some deer with that thing and also killed my first turkey in 82 with it. Why I sold it I will never know.. it was like my first love.

From: doug
23-Feb-14
in the 90's used to allow 30$ for them in trade for a new bow & then give them away to people getting started.

From: Buffalo1
23-Feb-14
The Bear Whitetail bow is to Bowhunting what the 30.30 is to gun hunting.

Probably killed more deer than most other bows.

From: Rayzor
25-Feb-14
I bet a good portion of the bowhunters in their 40s and 50s had one of those in the past and would bet they took more deer at the time than any other bow. I and all my hunting buddies did. I remember selling mine to get the first cam bow I recall seeing the Bear Pronghorn Hunter. Mid- Late 80s.

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