The following was taken from Dick Lattimer’s book, Hunt with Fred Bear.
Too many hunters today place too big an emphasis on the kill. When you read the stories, the emphasis is too much on the kill - instead of being in natures great outdoors.
"Too many people are uncomfortable in the woods. They do not feel at home when actually they should be. The woods is a friendly place. Yes, the woods is a big place to get lost in, or to get into trouble in, but the main thing when outdoors is to use good judgment, stay out of trouble and have a good time.
"A downed animal is most certainly the object of a hunting trip, but it becomes an anti-climax when compared to the many pleasures of the hunt. A period of remorse is in order. Perhaps a few words of forgiveness for having taken a life. After this there is a self-satisfaction for having accomplished a successful stalk and made a good shot.
"But a hunt based only on trophies taken falls short of what the ultimate goal should be. I have known many hunters who, returning empty-handed, have had nothing to say of the enjoyment of time spent in natures outdoors.
"I like to think that an expedition should be looked upon, whether it be an evening hunt nearby or a prolonged trip to some far-off place, as a venture into an unspoiled area. With time to commune with your inner soul as you share the outdoors with the birds, animals and fish that live there.
"And, in another vein, if it is a lengthy trip, select your companions well. A hunting trip is a great place to test the mettle of your friends.
"I feel like one of God's chosen people, having had the experiences I have had in His great outdoors."—Fred Bear
The following is taken from the last chapter, Hunt with Fred Bear, by Dick Lattimer
Fred and I also worked on converting all of his bowhunting films to video tapes and made more videos of his recollections of the early days of Bear Archery and bowhunting.
Fred's last years were also filled with honors from contemporaries around the country, including being inducted in the first class, into the Archery Hall of Fame in 1972 and the following year he was inducted into the "Hunting Hall of Fame,"
In 1976 he was the recipient of Winchester-Westerns "Outdoorsman of the Year" award. Baseball legend Ted Williams attended that ceremony and I had the opportunity to meet him. Fred was a lifelong baseball fan, especially of the Detroit Tigers. Also that year he received the National Sporting Goods Association "Lifetime Career Award," and a "Regents Citation" from the University
1977 saw Fred awarded the prestigious "Maurice Thompson Medal of Honor" by the National Archery Association.
Following his active career around the world he began making more television appearances promoting our sport on such venues as "The Tonight Show," the "Mike Douglas Show" and "To Tell The Truth." Whenever and wherever he could talk to people about archery in general, and bowhunting in particular, he would go whenever his schedule and health permitted.
And that latter subject began to weigh heavily upon him as he neared the end of his life. He suffered from emphysema and had to roll an oxygen tank around behind him the last couple of years. And he did not let this keep him from making public appearances. He loved people, and they him.
Fred died on April 27,1988, and on July 8 of that same year Jim Hatfield, an old Bear Archery employee, and I put on our waders, picked up our fly rods, and headed cross country through the Grayling, Michigan, area forest and spread Fred's ashes alongside the South Branch of the Au Sable River where we all liked to fly fish. The evening hatch was just coming on. Papa Bear was "back home."
Notes of Interest
The Father of Modern Bowhunting” Popularized the Sport in Films, Books and Television Appearances During the 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Founder of Bear Archery, 1933; Arrowed First Deer in 1935
Holder of Numerous Archery Related Patents, Including the Shooting Glove, Bow Quiver, Intregral Bowsight, Interchangeable Grip, 2-piece and 3-Piece Take-Down Bow, and More
Bowhunted Worldwide Collecting African Lion and Elephant, Indian Tiger, and a Variety of North American Big Game Including Several World’s Records
Recipient, NFAA’s Compton Medal of Honor, 1964
Recipient NAA’s Thompson Medal of Honor, 1977
Safari Club International Hunting Hall of Fame, 1987
Poem written by Billy Ellis
read at the Fred Bear statue unveiling
Archery Hall of Fame Induction,
September 21st, 2007
Wonders of Wildlife
Click on poem to enlarge