Straight Talk – Dick Mauch Pt 1
|First Cape Buffalo, Mozambique July 1965 (taken day after Fred killed his Lion) similar picture used in Super mag bow ad.|
FA: When and where were you born?
I was born at home in Bassett, Nebraska, Oct 22, 1926. in the house first built by my father when he married. My sister preceded me to arrive there 11 months earlier than I, (Nov 19, 1925). We were so close together that people often wondered if we were twins, and our adventures and misdeeds were usually joint affairs, so we shared mutual punishments during our pre-teen years.
FA: Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bassett and attended Grade School, District #74, in the old School Building, a 2-1/2 Story affair with a Basement Gymnasium in the east side half. The building had originally housed both grade and high schools and my father graduated from the county high school there. The basketball games we played would not allow a very high arching shot without hitting the ceiling. This was the same gym, unchanged from the time, where my Father played high school basketball. They won the State championship in their Division. Without Basketball, my Dad would likely have quit school because he was already a young struggling business owner, having purchased the lumberyard from his Father while still in High School.
We played on the grounds in summer all the boys had a pocketknife, at least 3 blades and never very sharp from dulling in the dirt at Mumbly Peg game. In spring, it was marbles, played for keeps and we coveted our good bull’s eye agate shooters with which we knocked the marbles out of the dirt ring to claim them.
In winter, we sledded or tobogganed on the slopes adjacent the schools. A good highway was gravel covered clay base, no pavements in our part of the country until later 1930’s era. We had no swimming pools, so we made do with a meadow pothole west of town and used the Millpond behind the power-generating dam at Long Pine to better our swimming ability.
To answer such a general question about life in my growing up days would require me to write a large book. I’ll just say it was the worst of times but the best of times. Family was all-important. Dad’s worked (if they could find a job) and mom’s cooked and cared for the household. Money was scarce, as were jobs. It was not only the great depression but great drought and dust bowl days which had driven many into extreme poverty when crops were planted and got no rain to make them grow. Being in cattle, hay, and grass country, folks here fared better than areas, which totally had dirt, farm economy. The best and most accurate account of what growing up in the 1930’s and during this great depression is detailed in a fine book, “We had everything but money”.
I have a copy, (or had one which appears to have been loaned and like most books I loan, never get returned).
My father worked long hours to make his business successful. His hay brokerage and shipping business, tied to international harvester dealership and lumber, coal, hardware and ranch supply provided me with a lath for making swords, stick horses, toy miniature slide hay stackers, and a chance to earn some money when a rail carload of lumber, posts, bricks, or coal was on track and to be hauled and stacked in the lumber sheds.
I had an obsession with flying very early in my life. I spent my allowance and most of my earnings for balsa wood kit rubber band flying model airplanes. In those times, they generally cost from 10 to 25 cents at the five and dime store.
We listened to radio programs for entertainment and Bassett also had a movie theater. The best feature of the week ran Sunday Matinee and evening and same movie program on Monday night. In addition to the feature, movies usually had a cartoon, Movie Tone news, and a short program. Every Saturday night, a favorite radio program sponsored by LUCKY STRIKE cigarettes was THE HIT PARADE., the top 10 song records of the week. A really popular record would stay #1 for several weeks. Movies often ran a short, which featured popular big bands. Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Bennie Goodman, Guy Lombardo, Artie Shaw, Vaughn Monroe, Jimmy Dorsey, Cab Callaway, Phil Harris, were a few I remember watching, and hearing on Radio. I remember seeing Howard Hill demonstrating archery on one of these movie short reels.
There were no movies on Tuesday or Thursday, but Friday night, Saturday matinee and evening were always double feature horse opera or cowboys- indians, western and the serial shorts to keep you coming back each week. The movies are long gone now, even the old Pineview drive in of the 1950’s and 1960’s stands ghostly and mostly a victim of Daylight savings time. Admission price for kids under high school was 10 cents. Popcorn was 5 cents.
FA: What made you decide to get into the Archery business? Where was your business located?
Following the successful first deer hunt, I wanted to get involved in the Nebraska State organized Archery Club, Nebraska Prairie Bowmen. History of this early organization is also covered in the John Fararr article Nebraskaland, Nov. 2006 issue. With other new bowhunting and archery enthusiasts in the area, Seth and Evelyn Fritzler, Dean Deweese family, Dick Turpin, Boyd Larson and I formed the Long Pine Archery club and constructed a 14 target animal NFAA field round out west of Long Pine. Winters, we shot in the long inside drive way (unheated but enclosed fully) in my Lumber Yard. With a club started, interest naturally grew and others wanted to take up bowhunting and recreational archery. What was needed was a local Archery Dealership and members urged me to start carrying some accessories so I called Bear Archery about being a dealer. Gene Jones was the area Rep at that time, and came over to check us out. He evidently liked what he saw and wrote a pretty good order for several model Bear bows, a representative line of arrows, accessories, bowstrings, quivers, armguards, tabs, gloves, and replacement Razorheads and other points. We were in the Archery business at Farmers Lumber and Supply Company (displayed in our Hardware dept).
It wasn’t very long before we had expanded our inventory considerably. Bear closeouts were used to promote sales for second bows and when I began attending State meets, indoor and outdoor shoots, Field and Target events, Word got around that Farmers Lumber & Supply at Bassett had a nice selection of equipment. I advertised in the State Prairie Bowmen news publication, “If it’s for Archery, we either have it or have tried it and it isn’t worth having?” This ad carried a picture of Archery dept on our floor with never less than 3 dozen bows on the racks.
The down side was that whenever there was a state shoot or a club shoot, I was called ahead of date by archers planning to attend with interest in wanting to try a new bow, so I always had a trunk full of equipment and lots of trading was done before the shoot, during warm up ranges practices, or after awards. I didn’t often get to complete a full field round, so I was never a champion field or target archer. I just went to enjoy the fun, the socializing, and flinging some arrows and making new friends. Was not long before I was active on the board, was elected Vice President of Hunting of the State assoc., and set up the first “Prairie Antlers” State Archery Records program, under B &C and Pope and Young scoring system.
In those days, Nebraska also had a small band of Fallow deer, located along the Cedar River south of Elgin. Fallow were legal only for bowhunting, but we didn’t have a scoring system. I made one up, similar to North American Caribou system. I didn’t know about Rolland Wards Hunting records system in those days. Nebraska Fallow herd was eventually a problem for Neb. Game dept, so they just opened full season on them for firearms and shot them out. The herd had originally been a park herd that overpopulated and inbreeding probably had much to do with their demise.
When our local Long Pine Club had our shoot, I was usually Tournament Chairman and had a multitude of tasks to look after. I also started the first Nebraska Bowhunters Jamboree, which we held at Lexington field range. I introduced the then new Hank Maraviov targets on which we narrowed the score areas. (There were no 3D, only paper targets in those times) and we also had a couple aerial shots with flu flu arrows.
Our Long Pine club grew considerably when the Bureau of Reclamation set up headquarters at Ainsworth and began design and construction of the Ainsworth Irrigation Project, Dam on the Snake River for Merritt Reservoir construction, plus lined canals. Several of the engineers and project dept. chiefs stationed and lived in Long Pine, took up the bows and set up an indoor range in the old bowling alley in Ainsworth. We had an unheated indoor range in the old Chevy garage building on Main Street in Bassett. This added to my growing business with considerable new market, both for target and hunting bows and arrows.
Our club bid for and won the site and sponsorship of the first five State Midwestern NFAA field Championships. We build 3 new 28-target field courses at Long Pine Hidden Paradise, 1 each hunter, field, and big game animal rounds. Also, we had our regular Club courses located on my farm between Long Pine and Bassett. There we had 28 field, 14 hunter, 14 animal target rounds, plus target ranges, American, York, flight, Archery golf on the local golf course just a mile away, park round and instinctive rounds set up. The park round and Instinctive rounds were used for the indoor shoot of the First Colt/Sahara Archery tourney in Las Vegas at the Sahara hotel, NFAA sponsored events. Yes, I attended, flew my Comanche out. I met Howard Hill and Dale Marcy at that event, also met and shot along side, Bill Neve and Lon Stanton. Lon was a Missouri national champion.
FA:: What brands were popular when you first started?
There were a number of solid fiber glass bows around when I first started. Ply Flex and Pearson had solid fiberglass take down 2 piece models. Look at the Archery magazine ads in the mid 1950’s and note that not a lot has changed in traditional bow designs from then to the present, except that the take down technology had not progressed back then.
Ben Pearson bows were the most prevalent, mostly because hardware and sporting goods jobbers sold them. There was also a franchised Ben Pearson line of bows, the top of the target model known as the Palomino, so named because of the blond lamination of handle and light color limbs. Bear had the Kodiak Special, and Hoyt the Pro Medalist, which was the first to add stabilizers out front. Owen Jeffrey was Earl Hoyt’s bowyer at that time. Bill Jackson’s Robin Hood Archery Co, in Montclair, New Jersey was the largest Dealer/Distributor of Hoyt bows. And the little lady who was the force driving sales at Robin Hood, International Target Champion, Ann Weber later became Mrs. Earl Hoyt. I sold a couple Hoyt Medalists, the owners of which both won some State Championships with those bows. I bought a lot of accessory archery from Robin Hood Archery, really the main distributor of everything not available from Bear or other companies. Saunders also was up and coming at that time.
Our No. 1 line was Bear. Bear’s problems with glass, bows replaced under warranty and later discounted and sold as no warranted close outs were a huge plus to my archery business. Beginners could get better quality bow for less. Bowhunters with only a hunting bow became customers for a special lighter weight target, field or indoor bow, and archers whose only bow was a longer target model in heavier weights were prime for a close out hunting bow and usually a lighter target model as well. I always made my own guarantee on these Bear closeouts, would replace if any failed except cases of abuse and improper stringing use. I never had to replace any and sold several hundred of them.
When our club was hosting the NFAA first Midwestern tournament, Bob Rhode was one of the top archers in the country, check his book on Archery Champions. Bob lived in Minneapolis and was the area Sales rep for Ben Pearson franchised line. I called him to urge him to come to the Midwestern field championship tourney. He replied to me that it would be difficult to justify on his expense account because he had no dealerships in north central or western Nebraska. So I replied,” OK, Bob, how many bows do I hafta buy to get you here” and that was how I also got a Ben Pearson Franchise to add to the Bear line.
Clarence, Irma, and Don Love made Fleetwood Bows in Denver. Fleetwood Archery Co also made fiber glass arrows. As I recall, a fellow who had been with Shakespeare Archery, Whitey Gillespie (I think it was) bought out Fleetwood in the mid 60’s. I still have a Fleetwood Archery Golf set; probably will offer it to National Museum if they want it there. Stemmler Archery was a major supplier of archery kits to wholesale hardware companies. York bows were made in a suburb of Kansas City and quite popular in the Midwest. York was a Cornhusker bowstring customer so I tried shooting a wood riser York compound with a sight installed on an ’84 caribou hunt. My only attempt ever at shooting with a sight, and I underestimated the range on a pair of bedded bulls I had crawled on for an hour and the larger of which could have challenged Carol’s world record taken just a couple hours before. Arrow went just over his back. I removed the sight within the hour. Norm Taylor of Stemmler Archery was on the AMO board when I was elected president in 1985 and he just closed down the company when he decided to retire. Browning bows came on the scene around 1962. I gave my brother’s son, Mark, his first bow, a Browning Apache 48″ model, 10# draw weight. He still has it. The 48″ Little Bear bow came into being after Mark was urged to show his bow to Fred when we were dining at my brothers home one evening during Fred’s first Nebraska hunt. At age 6, Mark was embarrassed that his bow was not a Bear Bow.
|Polaroid color shot 1967 taken by Don Love,Denver Archery Center titled “How a good Bear Rep called on his dealer”. Not a posed picture, Don captured it as I was entering the front door.|
For a less expensive line we sold a few United States Archery Co recurve bows. Their Rep distributor was Paul Wills at DesMoines, Iowa. They were good looking bows, around 25% lower priced, but really stacked in comparison to the top known brands.
Larry Layer had American Archery Co in Clarindon Hills, Ill and he made very nice bows, quite a few showed up in our state as well. Jack Joseph had an American Top line target bow. Damon Howatt, Wilson Brothers Black Widow, and, Bob Lee’s Wing bow line were also front run competition for Bear. Ernie Root came on about that era, too and was; I think the first to produce a metal riser bow, removable limb model. As I recall, Bob Bitner shot a Root bow in Las Vegas, first or second to score a perfect 300 round and won the first big cash prize. My memory could be fuzzy on some of these details and I didn’t take time to research my files and look this up for accuracy. Old Archery magazine issues 1958 – 66 carry the ads of the production bows of the era I was retailing archery equipment.
FA Where did you meet that tall lanky fellow, Fred Bear?
My first actual meeting Fred was during the 1961 NSGA show at Palmer House in Chicago in the Bear display and Dealers hospitality room. This was also the second Annual Gathering of Pope and Young early members and directors, and was my first meeting. At that time, while eligible for Regular Membership, (had a Wyoming Moose recorded and 2nd in first awards program), a Mule deer buck, and a whitetail doe to qualify for 3 species, one in P&Y records, I told Glenn St. Charles that I would not apply for Regular status with a whitetail doe as my third species animal. I was one of the early measurers and an associate in the club, which at that time numbered 67; there were 25 regular members.
That was the event where I also first personally met Glenn St. Charles, Charley Kroll, Don Schram, Dick and Rick (Margaret) Cooley, and Bear Sales and Marketing staffs.
I don’t recall all who were in attendance at the dinner that evening, but I do remember that half of them are no longer with us. Glenn, the Cooleys, and I have outlasted younger members of that 1961 Pope and Young Group.
My next meeting with Fred was April 10, 1961 at his home in Grayling, with a factory tour following. I had flown from Ainsworth to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, fueled and on to Chicago O’Hare. My first Comanche, was a 1960, 250 HP. N6524P which carried 60 gal fuel, 30 in each wing tank. The O’Hare stop was to pick up Gene Jones and his friend from Omaha, Marv Miller.
|Fred Bear with Carol Mauch’s great dog, Mouton. Picture was shown, page 11, in 92 Bear Archery Catalog.|
Gene was my Bear sales rep and we were contemplating a flight to Alaska to hunt sheep at the Little Delta in August. Gene or I had advised Fred of our planned visit to ask for some advice about the hunt we were planning for that fall season. Fred delivered us from Grayling Airport to a Motel and invited us to his home that evening where he was showing some Alaska Hunt films. He had been meeting with NFAA Pres. Dick Freeman and NAA Pres, Bear Rep. Clayton Shenk and Michigan NFAA officer, Karl Palmatier.
I flew from Grayling to Gaylord to fuel for return flight on morning 4/11 then back to Grayling to meet with Fred for breakfast. I recall that I made an emergency landing at Cedar Rapids, Iowa on the return trip. Gene’s friend was occupying the rear seat behind Gene riding copilot. The Comanche had a 30-gallon fuel tank in each wing, and a tank selector valve between front seats which rear seat passenger crossed to access entry. Marv had unknowingly stepped on this selector lever getting in and it had jammed it down so that it would not turn to change tanks. It was always my policy to fly an hour on one tank, switch to the other, run that one down to quarter, but never to run a tank dry. We had flown from Grayling back to O’Hare to deposit Gene Jones and on to DeKalb, Ill where I filled the tanks. Taking Miller back to Omaha I was an hour out when I unsuccessfully tried to switch tanks. The selector wouldn’t budge, jammed up tight, Cedar Rapids airport had a Piper dealer/distributor service and I elected not to push on to Omaha, but to land and get the problem handled. Had I not had these safer routine flight habits and done as some do, run a tank dry before switching, we would have had some experience with dead stick landing in a pasture.
I should add that two months later, June 20th I upgraded to a new 1961 model 250 Comanche, N7274P that had an additional 15-gallon aux tank in each wing for 90 gallons, better design panel and avionics for instrument flying. When I quit flying and parted with that beloved airplane, it was the lowest time, original owner Comanche in existence. The Michigan dentist who flew to Omaha to claim it got a real clean gem. I often wonder now if N7274P is still flying and who might have it.
FA: What was most memorable hunt you shared with Fred?
All of them. The first in September of 1961 when he invited me to join the Kispioux reservation in British Columbia. Fred had learned that Gene Jones had canceled the trip we contemplated that fall. As I recall, Gene’s wife had a surprise addition to the family which altered his hunting plans. Fred called me in July said Ken Knickerbocker would not be able to make it and asked if I would like to fill in. Hunt for Moose, Grizzly and Black Bear with Jack Lee & Bill Love. Fred, Knick, and Charley Kroll had hunted there the previous year and this was a return match for Fred with a great Grizzly working the headwaters, Stephens Lake area. I immediately responded, “Yes, Fred. Count me in, I’ll go”. Fred replied, “That’s the quickest answer I ever got for a hunt” and I replied, “That’s cause I didn’t have to ask a wife”.
Hunters were Fred, Charley Kroll, Bob Munger and I. Dick Bolding was along on the first segment as Photographer, which duty Chuck Kroll also handled quite well. Munger’s book has this one covered but is rife with errors. Bob was not with us when Fred killed the Grizzly which his book indicates he was present and witnessed. Dick Bolding, Rob Roy and I had discovered this inlet to Stephens Lake Dick Bolding and I led Fred and Jack Lee to the ambush site where the grizzly was catching spawning salmon. I have a copy of the 16mm movie which Bolding filmed, but which Fred chose not to release because of the fluorescent feathered, crested arrow killing shot having hit in the side of the head. The bear made it to the opposite bank went unconscious on his back and had to be dispatched by Fred shooting another arrow into its chest. A willow stem between him and the bear deflected Fred’s first shot, which was at 30′ away. It hit the bear in the flank, scrotal area and the bear reared and turned his head to the wound, then started to retreat to the other side. Fred had another arrow nocked and released with in about 3 seconds, which was the head shot. Bob Munger’s book stated this hunt occurred in 1962 but it was Sept 1961.
Bob mentions Charles Crowell, which I would assume he just mis-spelled Kroll. Bob Munger’s version might not be quite as mine, but close. Bob had confusion on several of the time frame of his adventures. He reported the Nebraska 1964 hunt when Bilderbach came as 1966, 2 years off. I described following. Bob also had his Buffalo hunt with Fred in Brazil wrong. It was 1968. He and Fred were there while I was in Mozambique. Both Fred and I had the prototype takedown bows to shoot on our respective hunts. Parties he got confused in 1963 Nebraska hunt with Cooleys and Art LaHa, were Art’s wife, Ruth, and her sister, Marj Engle (who was the lady skilled at tracking wounded deer.) In references to Mike Steger, he is Fred and Henrietta’s foster son, not son in law. Charley Kroll was Mrs. Bears son in law, husband of Julia and stepfather to Hannah and Chris. Bob’s manuscript wasn’t edited before publication after he passed away and the children published it from its original form. In defense of my corrections, I have a very complete time record in my flight log books, year, day and even down to hours on many of these trips and events. I was ferrying with my Comanche, to and from Omaha Epply airport, Grayling to Bassett, Charlotte, Ann Arbor, etc. With all of the adventures and memories Bob Munger had stored up in his head, it is easy to understand getting all of them placed into proper time frames. I find myself having the same problems and without my log books and field notes, Bear Company files and correspondence to check, I would and probably do have many errors.
|Photo taken in the man lounge of lodge at Zinhave Lake by Dick Mauch. Standing L to R. Zoli Vidor (N.Y photographer accompanying assistant Halmi movie films), Mr. Kroeger and 2 Safarilandia staff in from Lourenco Marques came with supply truck, names not recorded, George Dedick (PH brown jacket & scarf), Peixe (Fish), Rui Quadros, and Safarilandia staff man, I don’t recall name. Seated around the table from Left Ken Knickerbocker, Bibla Von Alvenslaben; Fred Bear, Spiros SKouras. Werner Von alvenslaben, Mrs. Barbara Skouras, Walter Johnson, Jr, William Wright, and Wally Johnson.|
Perhaps topping the most memorable would be the 1965 Trip to Mozambique, Portuguese East Africa. This was from boarding the plane in Omaha to join the group in New York until my return to Omaha about 7 weeks later, like a dream. I had to pinch myself every day that all this was real. The reservations Fred had made the previous year after his hunt with Arthur Godfrey were for himself with Wally Johnson, and 3 other bow hunters, He figured Knickerbocker, Munger, and I would fill out the bowhunting group. Bill Wright was alternate if one of us declined to go. Fred announced this forthcoming hunt when I was hosting the November 64 Nebraska group B. Munger, Knickerbocker, Ed Bilderbach, Mike Steger, Dr. Judd Grindell, & Bob Kelly. I didn’t jump right on because at that time I was focused on North American and Pope and Young qualifying animals, particularly the species of sheep. When I told Fred I was more interested in North American game, his reply was simply. “Dick, There will be hunting in North America for more than the next 50 years, but Africa and Mozambique likely won’t last 10″. How prophetic he was!
|Dick Mauch, Bill Wright, Wally Johnson, Fred Bear and Walter Johnson, Jr. Photo by Robert Halmi. This was the Cape Buffalo that Fred got on film shooting. Walter Jr, Bill Wright, and Dick herded or pushed them into the open area in front of where Fred, Wally, and Halmi were situated hoping for a shot.|
Munger and I didn’t affirm our spot until January and a disappointed Bill Wright, who had said he would take the spot if we declined, was now to be eliminated I didn’t think that was fair. I knew Bill Wright. I had a memorable couple days with him doing Pope & Young research and background work in San Francisco the previous summer when I went out on assignment to help hospitalized Doug Walker. Bill Wright and Viking Sporting Goods was the first dealer Doug asked me to call on. Bill agreed that we could hunt together sharing 1 PH. Bob Munger heard of the arrangement and said he too would like to double up some of his hunting time with me, Bill, Bob, or all 3 of us with 2 Prof. Hunters. Our hunter was Wally’s son, Walter Johnson, Jr. The reservation was for 3 weeks with option to stay 4 (which every one did), except Fred and I stayed on a 5th. The first couple weeks, we also had Jim Crowe from Detroit News along covering daily feature stories back to the paper in Michigan. He was with Bill and me the first week hunting Elephants. I looked into an old file box which has been gathering dust for 35 years to recall dates and events more accurately from my 48 page typewritten copy of my field notes of my first Safarilandia hunt. We arrived main Camp Zinhave Lake, June 1st and Fred and I flew out on July 4th. Fred took his Lion on June 30th. I got my first Cape buffalo that hunt on July 2nd.
|First Sable Antelope, Mozambique, July 1, 1965. This mount one on loan to Fred Bear Museum, sign reading, Sable Antelope courtesy Dick Mauch. No longer displayed in museum, I guess in storage Springfield now.|
Bill Wright had Elephant as top of his African hunt. He had ordered 3 Kodiak 60″ bows to be made for him at 80, 90, and 100 pounds. Plan was- shoot the 80 to build for 90 and the 90 to build to the 100, which would use for the Elephant hunt. My workspace was a table in Fred’s office, and I recall when Fred got that order from Bill Wright. He called Bill Stewart in, said build 3- 60″ Kodiak bows for Bill Wright, Make them 70, 80, and 90 pounds and mark them 80, 90, and 100.
|Leopard, Mozambique, 2nd trip November 1968. The bow is prototype takedown which was eventually adopted for production hardware, some modifications. 3 prototypes were built, Fred used a left hand model for his Asiatic Water Buffalo hunt in South America (he and Bob Munger were jointly on that hunt while I was on my return to Mozambique). I’m not certain about the other proto type except I think it stayed in Grayling with Bob Kelly, sales manager at that time. Kelly never did bring it along on any later hunts to Nebraska, however.|
Fred had Zoli Vidor and Bob Halmi for photographers, his emphasis to get a Cape buffalo film together. For this hunt, I had asked Bill Stewart, Bear Bowyer to make me a shorter bow than the 52″ Kodiak Magnums. Bill made 3 bows, 48″ long, two with the black “Formica” handles and one with a Bubinga Handle. They were 63, 65, 68 pound range. Bob Munger also liked Short Bows, so I had Bill Stewart make one for him, it weighed at 60# and I sent it down to Charlotte to him to try before departure. Bob also took a 52″ Kodiak Magnum along but this 48″ prototype Super Mag. was the bow he used. I shot the 63# black Super Mag 48 and before the hunt ended, Bill Wright had laid his 60″ Kodiaks aside in favor of the 48″ model with Bubinga handle. Bob Munger in his book reported Bill Wright as shooting a 125# bow for elephant. Fred would have been amused at this bit of misinformation and I think Bill would have laughed with gusto. We didn’t name him Jolly Bill Wright without cause.
Our group all met in New York city for a fine get acquainted evening dinner hosted by Barbara and Spyros Skouras at their Park Avenue apartment. They were also going to be hunting with Safarilandia; Fred’s hunter from his 64 trip, “Fish” to be their PH, and Bob Halmi had arranged their trip for them. Although they did not travel with us, they were somewhat a part of our group, but not bowhunters.
|The leopard and baboon mount (postcard picture) in Fred Bear Museum, courtesy of Dick Mauch.|
Because Fred, Knick, Munger and I represented about 85% of the ownership of Bear Archery, it was decided that we should not all fly on the same airplane. Knick, Bill Wright and I were on a different flight from New York to Rome than Fred, Munger, Halmi, and Zoli Vidor. Ours routed us via Heathrow in London for a change of planes, then cross France and the Alps for a later arrival in Rome. The next flight leg provided no protection for Bear Archery however because from Rome on there was only one scheduled flight 3 times per week, via Athens to Salisbury.
|Bear ad, Dec, 1965 back cover Archery Magazine, inside cover TAM magazine, Archery World, others. Announcement ad for the new Super Magnum 48″ bow at your Bear Dealers in Jan. 1966 which came out before 1967 as listed in Fred’s biography. Some of the critters which Munger and I bagged with the prototypes Bill Stewart made for me.|
The December 1965 Bear ads back cover of Archery and inside front cover of TAM, magazines featured the new 48″ bow with pictures of Munger and me, top trophies we got with them and was the announcement ad for the Super Magnum 48, to be opened at Your Bear Dealers on Jan 1st. The 1966 Bear Catalog inside cover featured it, “Now-The Bow That Only Bear Would Dare to Build.”. The production bows were never changed from the 3 original black Formica handle models. We didn’t consider keepsake value back then and I didn’t keep even one of these original 3 bows. Neither did I keep any of the new experimental first X-7 interchangeable screw on heads hunting arrows, which Fred had arranged to be provided and which all of us used on this Safari trip. I gave the 65# bow to Walter Johnson, Jr., My PH the first 4 weeks of our hunt. I gave the Bubinga bow to Zoli Vidor, photographer and the Black handle 63# one I had used for all my animals went to Rui Quadros, the PH with whom I hunted the final week for my best trophies, Sable and Buffalo. The Super Mag 48″ is still in the Bear Line today. In giving bows to Walter and Rui for a gratuity, I eliminated all the paperwork, declarations customs, and shipping or extra baggage expense. Fred and I had scheduled a couple days in Nairobi and a layover in Rome in route to Madrid to Join Mrs. Bear, Julia and Hannah Kroll, (Henrietta’s Daughter and Grand-daughter). We chose to eliminate our easily replaced bowhunting items in favor of Native & African mementos and of course, original art for the Bear Museum.
FA: What was your Favorite Big Game Hunt and Why?
I didn’t have a hunt that wasn’t memorable but, among my most memorable hunts, I would have to include my solo return to Mozambique in November 1968. It was ending dry season, starting winter and rainy season when I finished the hunt. I was the lone hunter in the Safarilandia concession and had Rui Quadros for my PH. Rui has only one speed, and it’s all out. Lion with a bow was my top priority. We had close encounters (too many lions) and had to back off from best opportunity. I did, however, luck into a fine Leopard, (in the Roland Wards book) 7’4″ and skull measured 10-1/8 and 6, 16-1/8 total. Mounted with one of my big Baboons by Steve Horn of Mt. Vernon, New York and on loan to Fred Bear Museum, but no longer being displayed by Bass Pro in Springfield.
I have not been contacted concerning the items on loan to the museum, so might be bringing them home to Bassett. In the old museum at Grayling and later in Florida, the loaned mounts were identified, as Courtesy of. Dick Mauch. Fred wanted them in the original museum at Bear Mountain Ski Park because as he said, there was a lot of empty wall space, which needed covering. The head mounts I loaned were species, which Fred had not taken himself and he wanted, represented. Fred had Canada and Alaska moose, wanted my Wyoming Shiras Moose taken 1959 for display so all moose sub species were represented. Also No longer displayed, and in storage are Head mounts of my Mozambique animals from our 65 trip 39″ Sable antelope, Hartebeest, Eland, Grey Duiker, and Reedbuck. Also loaned was my Zebra skin rug on padded felt back and one of my elephants ears cemented to plywood to be a table top which rests on feet of Hippo. Fred thought the company should pay the taxidermy work for the full life mount of my Leopard with one of my baboons, which were from my1968 return trip to Mozambique. I declined because I did not wish to relinquish title to my trophies.
|Mozambique, July 1965, Dick extending Congratulations to Fred Bear for successful and exciting evening with lions.|
Fred was disturbed about the future for the museum when the move was made to Florida and no museum building was budgeted by Victor. Everything was put into storage in Ocala, Florida. Fred wanted to document my title to these loaners, and he prepared an inventory sheet. It said simply the following described were on loan to Fred Bear Museum by Dick Mauch, signed Agreed by Fred, June 24, 1976 and subscribed and sworn before Notary Public. Shirley A. Bonamie. My zebra skin didn’t survive the changed humidity and Frank Scott reported it was valueless.
FA: Who shared hunting camps with you and Fred Bear in the Early Days?
Africa and B.C. hunts have been covered. In that November 1964 Hunt that I hosted here in Bassett, hunting guests were Mike Steger, Bob Munger, Bob Kelly, Ed Bilderbach, Dr. Judd Grindell, and Fred. Local bowhunting friends, ranch folks, helped to guide and hunted with us. Joe Leonard, Dick Sangar, Dennis Arrowsmith, and Ed Hall filled in to help me.
Winston and Murray Burnham from Marble Falls, Texas came to hunt with Fred and Me. Gene Hornbeck working a Nebraskaland article was also following us around. Mrs. Bear came with Fred for the last week of the 1963 archery deer season. The Bears stayed with me and Henrietta taught me how to make candied orange peels, which were a favorite of Fred’s when made from big naval oranges. The Bears had been in California for the opening of West Coast Engineering Indoor lanes prior to visiting me. They traveled on the Union Pacific Challenger and brought the oranges with them. I met the train at North Platte. Mrs. Bear did not like to fly; hence the travel was by train.
Fred endured some miserable cold on that hunt and did not get an opportunity for a decent shot on the big whitetail we had targeted.
We welcomed in the new year and on Jan 2, 1964, I loaded Mrs. Henrietta Bear into the left rear seat of my Comanche, behind me so Fred could have more leg room in the front Right and I gave the apprehensive Mrs. Bear her first ride in a small single engine airplane, non stop to Denver. We had one of those great mornings, clear air, visibility unlimited and no bumps along the way. My log book says time en route from Ainsworth Airport to Stapleton 2 hrs. 12 minutes.
In Denver, we visited the new West Coast Engineering 24 lane indoor Archery complex in Alameda Shopping center. There was also an indoor small clay target trap range, which was shot with 22-rifle bird shot cartridges. Gene Jones, My former Bear Rep was co managing the facility with Hal Carmichael who had an archery shop off West Colfax in Denver. I left Fred and “Hank”:with their foster son, Mike Steger and his family at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where Mike was teaching. We traveled that leg by Hertz rental and I flew back to Nebr on Jan 4th1964.
My logbooks shows that I picked up Bob Munger and Jerry Anderson in Omaha on Jan 16th for a go at Nebraska Pheasants. Jerry Anderson had a cottage next door to Mungers on Duffeys Point on Gunn Lake, near Hastings, Michigan. Munger tried to beat a wounded coyote into submission with his shotgun, hence he gained the new nickname of “Bent Barrel” Story details in his book, I could embellish them more.
Others who hunted here with Fred, were Knickerbockers son in law, Gordon Ford; Dr. David Strider, a Charlottesville, Va., orthopedic Surgeon who Knick and I got started into bowhunting. Bob Kelly, Dick Lattimer, Bob Munger, and Judd Grindell. All were more than one time guests. All these except Dick Lattimer are deceased. I have not heard from the Burnham Brothers in over 30 years, so I do not know if they are still living. I keep e- mail contact with Mike & Barbara Steger and look forward to a reunion with them again at 2009 Pope & Young Gathering at Denver.
Dick Turpin was a local bowhunter who shared hunts, (now most famous with his Turpin Tips, a mentoring Neb. Game & Parks original program of many things I taught him for which he never gives me any credit. Other Nebraska & Local friends who shared a Turkey hunt with Fred were Kay Davis, Dr. Gene Snyder , Dennis Arrowsmith, & Ed Hall. Kay Davis passed away last year from Cancer. Dr. Gene Snyder has ranching interests and Dental Practice at Rushville, Nebr.; Dennis Arrowsmith lives near Fremont, Nebr. It is now believed that he suffered a bite from a Brown Recluse Spider. This caused serious mobility problems and he hasn’t bowhunted of recent years. These 5 friends all shared toasting & congratulations on the “Surprise 80th Birthday” Carol sprung on me 2 Octobers past.
FA: What method did you use to shoot?
I have always shot right hand bows, off the shelf. I modify the grip so that my arrows are almost touching my knuckle. I often kant the bow when I shoot because this was my first shooting style with my early attempts using an off the knuckle long bow. I have never used a release device and prefer 3-finger glove to a tab. I do not use sights and I just try to concentrate on my target. Early on, we used Bear Carpet rests with leather side plates. But when compounds came along, I had difficulty using metal riser handles. My first compound bow was a Bear Polar. Then Glenn sent me St. Charles Buckskin, a wood riser bow, with advice from Glenn to whittle the handle, as I needed and to shoot off a sheepskin rest with sheepskin forming the side plate really solved it for me. I prefer 4 feathers fletching, but can still shoot plastic vanes off this arrangement if necessary.
Bill Stewart came up with the first wood riser very short overall length 34″ cam compound and turned the prototype over to me at Las Vegas AMO meeting/ Tropicana tournament (back when? 1986?) It has Wood Laminated Limbs and my wife Carol shoots an identical model in left hand.
We also both have wood riser Brown Bear Compounds and St. Charles Buckskin Compounds in earlier model 35% and 50% let-off bows. I have adapted the 8 arrow Bear Bow quivers to the short Stewart bows to enable us to shoot sitting on the ground and our 29″ draw hunting arrows do not extend beyond the cams of our bows.
In 1984 prior to 2nd Quebec Caribou hunt, I set up a York wood handle compound bow with a sight. Big mistake for me. After the best crawling stalk I ever made on 2 humongous caribou bulls, with the smaller (only around a 350 PY size) standing broadside between me and the bull with the monster rack, I misjudged the distance and put my arrow just over the back of the bigun. All hunting is full of ‘shouldadone’ regrets. What I ‘shouldadone’ was plugged the big bull which was standing between me and P&Y top 2%er first, then shot the big one. I got a second shot at Mr big when they moved out to about 45 or 50 yards. Ignored the damned sight, both bulls broadside, the smaller just a bit downhill and rearward of the giant. On the release, the lower bull jumped the string, and the lesser caribou intercepted the arrow at the base of his antlers as it was flying perfectly toward the rib cage of the big bull. It appeared he had an extra shovel spike as they disappeared over the tundra. I removed and pitched the sight within the next immediate hour.
It is interesting to me to observe the recent popularity of the new short compound hunting bows. Bill Stewart (and I) was well ahead of this game.
FA: Do you Still Shoot?
I have had accidents, which required shoulder surgeries on both shoulders. The first on the right shoulder was needed after being swiped off a limb when preparing a tree stand. I will relate the details in hope than another bow hunter might read this and not make the same stupid blunder that I once did. I was standing on a limb about 6 feet above ground and using a chain saw to cut away a large limb at my eye level. When I cut it, I did not make a cut on the underside first, but sawed top down. The out end of the green pine limb went down to touch the ground with the limb still attached to the trunk of the tree. I stupidly cut the holding strip and the limb, free of the tree, out end resting on the ground, came right back into my face. I knew I was going off, managed to shut off the saw and heaved it forward and I landed on my right side, had braced my fall with my arm and elbow, and jammed the shoulder rotary cuff. The fall had been in October, but with bowhunting friends, Jay, Glenn, and Margaret St. Charles coming from Seattle and Christian and Gabrielle Forquet coming from Paris, France, I postponed surgery until after a scheduled January pheasant/quail hunt with Mike Hayden in Kansas.
By the following November, I had just started to shoot my bow again when. I was run over & stepped on by a couple bulls I had improperly loaded into my 16′ cattle trailer. My guardian Angel must have directed the bull to land on my shoulder and not my neck or spine, else? However that little rodeo got my left shoulder rotor and more serious patching surgery. Recovery was slow with 3 months left arm tied immobile and then 6 weeks of visits to therapy for ‘grit yer teeth stretching’. I can pull the bowstring ok with my left hand, thus, my bowhunting now is best done shooting left hand with minimum legal weight bows at turkey and small game only. I can still shoot my old 41# recurve, but might not always reach full draw.
FA: I understand your cabin has a famous shower curtain. Can you explain that?
Yes, and it’s not a shower curtain, but several privacy curtains, each made from blue denim and hems and eyelets for hanging sewed by Carol. I designed the cabin around 1979 or 80 around a plan to build the walls from spruce logs sawed square on 3 sides to 8″x8″x8″. to be obtained from Hall’s House Log company at Walden, Colorado. The Walden area had been infected with the spruce beetle blight, which killed the trees and left them standing, but salvageable for construction logs or lumber. I had seen some of these logs incorporated into the walls for a new home built by Tom Dearmont at their ranch. (Of interest for Fred Bear family history, it was with Dearmont ranch that I had arranged a summer job for Chris Kroll in the summer of 1964, but that’s not part of this story.)
|Nebraska Bowhunters, Craig L. Schoneberg (membership chairman Neb Bhntrs Assn), Joel Klammer, Bowhunter education Chairman, and Kyle Klammer, my assistant forrester, fencer, summer help. The Spirit of Fred Bear at Plum Creek remains alive.|
I drew my plans up on my drafting table, ?” scale to foot, floor plan, side elevations, and details and included some timbers and dimension materials, rough boards and moldings and made up a material list. I had talked with Mr. Hall during the planning and delivered him a copy of my blueprints and material list order, passing through Walden en route to the annual September AMO meeting at Lake Mancos ranch. I liked the lumber because it was naturally dried standing and rough sawed in appearance. My cabin has sleeping quarters, 2 bunk beds each side of the John and shower along the north wall, with a 3rd bedroom area optional use. I have harnessed a spring up canyon of the cabin so we have a constant supply of fresh running water. A flush toilet with a backup camo painted outhouse for the necessaries. The large denim “Privacy curtains” idea was borrowed from the old Railroad Pullman sleeping car days and are hung on a horizontal rod with regular shower curtain hooks. The cabin wiring was supervised by Dr. Gene Snyder and requires a gasoline generator if electric appliances or lights are needed. Propane fueled Humphrey Gas Lights. Propane refrigerator and stove are run by 24 gal bottles, which we refill, and haul.
When we hunted Mozambique, clients to record their having hunted in the concession, had inscribed the walls of the main lodge area of Safarilandia. Read Fred Bear’s field notes or Bob Mungers accounts on some of these sketches made, etc. I borrowed on the idea to use my curtains since I didn’t have suitable walls to write on.
I gathered an assortment of permanent ink marking pens, made them available to guests who had overnighted in these bunk ‘suites’ and directed they sign in and decorate the curtains to create a guest hunters diary. Time goes by so swiftly and already for so many recorded there, “Death, the collector,” has made the inevitable call.
The first guests to sign in were Dick Lattimer, Glenn St. Charles, and Fred Bear on a May 1982 spring Turkey hunt. Glenn had occupied the East Side Lower with Lattimer in the bunk above and Fred had the center bunk room, so acquired the names of the Glenn St. Charles and Fred Bear Suites. There is an early color picture of the cabin at that time in the St. Charles book, Bows on the Little Delta. The Jon Farrar Nebraskaland feature article “Fred Bear Hunts Nebraska”, Dec 2006, page 20 has a picture of the portion of a curtain, which Fred signed and recorded his May and Oct 1982 hunts with us.
FA: Who all has hunted out of your cabin?
Eight distinguished friends, now members of the Archery Hall have signed the curtains, Fred Bear, Glenn St. Charles, Dick Lattimer, Earl Hoyt, Ann Hoyt, Frank Scott, Ann Clark, and George Gardner. Chuck Saunders and our Bowhunters Who Care Board were too hurried at the end of hunt to draw and sign the BWC insignia, so just put their names and dates on an entry door trim. Bob Kelly hunted plum Creek with us twice before the cabin was built when I had my little Forester trailer camper in use. Kelly had a planned hunt with the White Hat Gang, Dick and Glenn but had to cancel because of recurring illness.
|K. K.Knickerbocker and Dick Mauch after a successful bird apiece sharptail grouse walk.|
Other friends who have shared the camp and decorated these now famous curtains, Ben Rogers Lee, World Champion and greatest turkey caller ever, also my partner in the Lee Turkey Call Company which I had helped Ben to acquire. Earl Groves and Rob Keck had numerous spring hunts from the cabin. Include LSU fan Sunny Gilbert and wife Dee among Nat’l Wild Turkey Fed. Legends adding to our history.
I first met Mike Hayden, former Governor of Kansas who was at the time, the active first Under Secty of Interior in George H. Bush administration when I was a board member of the Nebraska Chapter of The Nature Conservancy Niobrara Preserve. Mike, and two of his former teacher Presidents of Fort Hays College, Dr. Gerry Tomanick and Dr. Bill Jellison, (both renowned Grassland specialists) had come to the Conservancy’s Ibarra preserve to advise and consult with Neb. Director Vince Shay. It was also during grouse and chicken open season, so a hunt was scheduled on the conservancy for grouse, but a different area needed for greater Prairie chicken hunting. My south Rock/ Loup County pastures and adjacent CRP grounds had good populations, so I was enlisted. We had a great day with Bills’ Springer, Dutchess, and my 2 Vizlas, “Sheeza and Duke”, and each filled his own limit of 3 birds by early afternoon. New friendships formed, and Merriam Turkey hunts planned. During a hunt with our new friends in Kansas, we met Bob “HeDog” Henderson and he became a regular with Mike and Gerry. Bob Henderson was instrumental in discovery and recovery of near extinct Black Footed Ferret. Bill has suffered a stroke, which ended his hunting activity, and Gerry Tomanick died in 06. Mike was Exec Director American Sports Fishing Assn following the service with Interior Dept., and then became Director of Game and Fish for State of Kansas, a position he continues to work. I should add, he is one fine turkey caller using a wing bone call of his own make and design.
A Frog Crossing sign south of the cabin was placed in memory of Margaret St. Charles. Jay and Joe St. Charles have signed in, Fall Turkey and deer hunting with Ben Lee, Dan and Gail Martin and Glenn following the Fort Robinson Antelope you read about in Little Delta book. Another of the original Pope & Young Board was George Moerlein. Fond memory of George serenading the coyotes one moonlit evening, marching in front of the cabin while playing his bag pipes.
Cliff Hollestelle, master bird carver, sculptor artist did some drawing on a curtain. Larry Porter, Outdoor editor of Omaha World Herald was mentored by Dick Turpin and me in Flint Lock Muzzle loader deer hunting, and drew a nice typewriter to commemorate the events.
|Dick Mauch and Art LaHa, Arts 1963 visit.|
Two ladies turkey hunters shot flint muzzle loading shotguns. Phyllis Speer, who does or did a cooking TV show for Arkansas Outdoors, and Zoe Caywood came on a hunt arranged for them with Dick Turpin. Zoe had successfully taken all the species of turkey toward a Slam with flintlock muzzle loading shotgun except the Merriam. She completed it on her hunt as our guest. Rain created a tough challenge for keeping powder dry. Zoe completed her slam when weather finally cleared to become the first to accomplish it using a flint lock black powder shotgun. Phyllis also used a flinter to get her long beard Merriam. She hunted from Turpins Home created Burlap turkey blind, and the flash of ignited powder at her shot set his blind on fire.
Another lady hunter who got her Merriam to complete the slam was Susan Brewster, wife of congressman Bill. She had come to our place with Cindy Marlanee, wife of ex Congressman Ron for this turkey hunt, which had been arranged by two Nebraska Safari club Sables, Gloria Erickson, and De Carlson. Except for Turkeys, Gloria has had great hunting success. Read her story in previously mentioned book ‘Thrill of the Chase’,
Seven Lady Diana Bowhunters signing a curtain within the drawing of their emblem were Marilyn Bentz, Judy Kovar, Susan Smith, Marilyn Nicholas, Kathy Bytler, Ann Hoyt, and Ann Clark. Earl Hoyt, George Gardner, and Bob Bytler accompanied them. We moved my old Forester camper trailer down for added quarters. The newly enclosed room on the north side of the cabin got new denim curtains across the center to create two bedrooms. The game went very nocturnal and although the group hunted hard, no one took a deer. Judy and Carol might have taken does, but were trophy seekers, passed on shooting which may not have played well with the others who had hoped for an added success story for Diana history. Judy Kovar is a lady who gives back to teaching in schools and seminars all over the country. I strongly urge that every nature lover and hunter should read her story in her newly just released book ‘Bowhuntin Spirits, Woods N’ Waters press.
|Tailgate mid morning coffee/cookies. 1963 . l.to r. are Bob Munger, Rick Munger, Dick Mauch, Art LaHa (behind seated tail gate), Dick Turpin, Marj Engle and Ruth LaHa, partly hidden by “Rick” Margaret Cooley.|
Ted Nugent teamed with me for a Nebraska Public TV fundraiser auctioning an opening day firearm season hunt with Ted at our place. Ed Jukes purchased it for his son. Ed’s business is manufacturing metal signs; most of his customers are government, city and county. He was the provider of the Frog Crossing Sign, which is posted on the old willow tree in memory of Margaret St.Charles. Ed and his son also had their traditional opening weekend hunting permits in the Pine Ridge area west of ours, so they hunted only the first few hours with Ted. Wayne Westcott, a neighbor and his lady were great fans of Ted’s music. They shared Sat. evening dinner at the cabin with us. Ted sat where Fred had been sitting with our Vizsla, Mouton holding his favorite turkey leg. Ted played his guitar. He sang ‘Fred Bear’. It was so moving that Fred’s Spirit really came alive and yes, Ted’s, mine, and Carols eyes all welled with tears.
FA: Who are some folks that stand out from your years in the archery business?
It probably sounds like name-dropping to begin to name them all and they are so legendary in my time. You can’t have been involved in Archery and Bowhunting for over 50 years as I have without having met, dealt, hunted, shot arrows, socialized, been involved with Indoor commercial lanes, early AMO boards, Standards committees, and other planned programs to grow our sport, without having developed friendships with the giants of the Industry.
|November Bear Archery sales meeting 1962.. Standing, l to r. Dick Mauch, Al Dawson, Roger Thompson, Glenn St. Charles, Doug Walker, Bill Tutt, John Downey,Ralph McCoy, and Bob Winquist. Seated in front, L to R. Clayton Shenk, Ed Marker, Bill Stewart, Fred Bear, Charley Kroll, and Don Koch.|
Bear had a group of Sales Reps to which I proudly belonged and I recall a fine Compliment I heard given to Fred about the entire group by Margaret “Rick” Cooley. We were all a great family, and it was not work, it was fun being a part of Bear with the likes of Doug Walker, Glenn St. Charles, Howard Valentine, Bill Sparks, Bob Blair, Ralph McCoy, Bob Winquist, Bob Kelly, Charley Kroll, Roger “Tommy” Thompson, Al Dawson, Bob Ellis, Doug Morgan, Ed Marker, Frank Scott, Clayton Shenk, Hugh “Hoss” Blackburn, Dale Marcy, Jim Pickering, and Sherwood Schoch. Backing us at the factory in Grayling were very capable friends, Don Sherwin, Plant manager who supervised the construction of a redesigned much improved new razorhead machine. Howie Hatfield, Service dept. manager handled warrantys & repairs; Bob Smock, purchasing dept. I spent considerable time and learned much from our bowyers, first Bill Stewart and later Owen Jeffrey. Bear department heads were Ken Reed, arrows; Tete Hansen, Leather; Tom Peterson, the big punch card accounting machine; Marion (fox’y) Fox, all around maintenance, and his wife, Mildred in the arrow dept. fletched the best arrows; Fred’s, Secretary Miss Lillian Hill, “Gabe” Gabler, Roy (credit manager, Scrooge) Roper, & Don Koch, Comptroller. These were Dept. Heads and just a few of the people I worked closely with. Having a senior moment, trying to remember the name of the dear gal who ran the Telephone switchboard. She died too young with a fast moving cancer.
I met Howard Hill during an evening dinner meal in the Hotel dining room following his shooting demonstration at the First Las Vegas NFAA Colt Sahara tournament, March 16-20, 1962. Dale Marcy was Howard’s thrower that day. Dale, Roy Bryan and I hunted together from the Little Delta Cabin in August 1964. That trip would fill a chapter if I ever wrote a book.
Fred introduced me to William (Bill) Folberth during the 1963 NSGA McCormick place show, Bill held a number of patents, one of his first being the Automobile windshield wipers. He also had patented the center shot bow. He told me Fred Bear was the only manufacturer who ever paid his royalties to use that patent. If my memory is correct, Gene Jones won his first NFAA national shooting a Folberth center shot bow. Bill invited Fred and me to his room at the hotel to view a detailed working model of a Wankel fully rotary engine and we discussed how much more efficient it was that what was presently powering my airplane and automobiles. Bill Folberths bow with a slot directly in the middle is pictured in the article by L.A. Quayle, titled ‘Another Archery Paradox’, September 1939 issue of Ye Sylvan Archer.
I met Roy I. Case and Roy Hoff at that Chicago NSGA show at old McCormick place when they stopped by the Bear Booth to visit with Fred. Until that meeting, I had not known Roy Case was an early pioneer bowhunter. In addition to bowhunting, we talked about antique tractors and that my father had been an implement dealer for early McCormick Deering and International Harvester. I believe it was 1964, the year we had the Pope and Young display and the awards banquet during the NSGA. AMO had paid for the booth; I built the backdrops and planned with the chefs for the banquet arrangements.
Roy Hoff donated a supply of January 64 Archery Magazines with the picture of the big Yellowstone elk on the cover and the pictures and listing of Pope and Young animals inside. We gave them to the sporting goods dealers/distributors, NSGA members from the Pope & Young Club display at the show. It is a highly prized edition today because it was the third publication of the records, sort of the 3rd book.
Fred Bear presented the awards after the banquet, including the new record Mountain Goat to his step grand son, Chris Kroll. Chris modestly remarked that he wouldn’t have had the opportunity if PB, (Papa Bear), his Grandpa hadn’t broken his rib from a fall over the tailgate of the pickup carrying them up a mountain trail. A highlight on the program was when Glenn St. Charles in a special surprise presented Fred the NFAA Compton Medal of Honor. Another major event was the presentation of the first evening was the presentation of the first ISHI award to Del Austin for non typical whitetail record, nicknamed Old Mossy Horns.
I should also mention that we feasted on Nebraska venison that evening, courtesy of a whitetail doe taken by Doug Walker and my P&Y whitetail buck, hunt recorded in Mungers book. The Chefs praised the beautiful venison I delivered to their kitchens, and they went all out to prepare it into a variety of delicious menu forms.
The lady I escorted to that awards Banquet was Carolyn Siebrasse, later to become Mrs. George Zanoni. I met Carolyn when I had detoured to Quincy, Ill. on a flight back to Nebraska from Grayling. Harv Ebers and I measured her first Pope & Young entry, a big non-typical whitetail. Carolyn also had formerly accompanied Rick and Dick Cooley on a bowhunt with me around Bassett, Long Pine and Niobrara canyons. She has long been a senior member of Pope & Young and her story is also in the aforementioned book, ‘Thrill of the Chase’ by Susan Reneau and Kathy Eppling.
I had not used my plane but had come to the Chicago meetings in my station wagon. I carried home as many of the left over Archery Magazines as I could locate. I gave them to other Nebraska Archers and later, to dealers I called on in my Bear Sales territory. Of the very few left, I have doled them sparingly to Pope & Young Convention auctions, and Roy Hoff would be smiling to know the auction values today.
An historic reorganization meeting of the Nat’l Field Archery Assn followed the 1964 NSGA. I was the Nebraska delegate to the meeting, made many new friends representing their State Organizations and Clubs. Al Henderson was an Arizona delegate and we hit it off like Bingo from our first introduction to each other. I still have Al’s letter with complimentary message for my participation, his follow up to cement a new friendship.
Stay tuned for Dick Mauch continued… Part II