By Frank Addington Jr.
Jun 8, 2006 – 10:35:00 AM
Mostof us would love to have a front seat view of some of the historic charactersfrom the sport of archery. Here is an interview with one man thatwitnessed ALOT of our sport’s history from up close— Mr. Dick Lattimer. Dick was Fred Bear’s right hand man for many years and shared hunting camps,office time and spare time with the legendary Fred Bear. Dick is also Hall of Fame Vice President.
ButLattimer is also a talented writer and has produced a number of films, photos,articles and books. In this interview you can read for yourself what itwas like to be beside of a legend and see history unfolding in front ofyou. Dick takes us there…
SoI invite you to sit back and read what Dick had to say as I interview him forour latest column here at Bowhunting.net……
Q. Dick, where were you bornand tell us about your background pre-archery.
I was born December 6, 1935 in South Bend, Indiana.My father was a photoengraver, my mother a housewife. Prior to getting marriedmy dad sailed for a number of years on an iron ore boat, The Harvester, onLakes Superior and Michigan.As a teenager my mom worked in the University of Notre Dame Dining Hall duringthe days when Knute Rockne was the coach there. My maternal grandfather, FrankHorvath, is buried on the Notre Dame campus. He died in the flu epidemic of1918.
I graduated from Washington-Clay High School.While in school I played 1st chair trumpet in the band, editor of the highschool newspaper, and student manager of all of the sports teams. If you’veever seen the movie ?Hoosiers? that is exactly what our high school and gymlooked like.
I graduated from Indiana Universityin 1957 with a degree in Marketing with a specialty in Advertising. While incollege I was the Governor (President) of my dorm unit, Dodds HouseGargoyles, President of the Advertising Club and Vice President of theMarketing Club. If you’ve seen the movie ?Breaking Away? you’re familiar withthe I.U. Little 500 bicycle race. Dodds House won the pole position for therace my senior year, but we didn’t win the race. The following year, whiledoing some graduate work I was a resident counselor in the Men’s Quad withabout 55 undergraduates in my care.
I met my wife, Alice, in college. She was two yearsbehind me. We married after I graduated, but before she did. She has bothBachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education from I.U. and taught elementaryschool for over 30 years. She was voted ?Teacher of the Year? the year sheretired. We have been married for 47 years.
No jobs were available in advertising after we leftI.U. so I took a job as the Market Analyst for the Studebaker-PackardCorporation in my hometown. I was the young fellow that kept the Board ofDirector’s sales charts up-to-date and could tell that they were going to be goingout of business, so after 3 years there I left a year before they did so. Ithen worked for advertising agencies in South Bend,Elkhart and Ft. Wayne, Indiana.It was while I was at the Ft. Wayne agency that I metFred Bear.
Q. When were you first exposedto archery?
I was first exposed to targetarchery at Boy Scout camp at about the age of 12. Shortly after that Idiscovered a bow in my Uncle Jack’s closet one evening while baby-sitting mycousins. I was fascinated with the idea that someone would hunt with the bowand arrow. This was supported when I started seeing Howard Hill shorts at thelocal movie theaters in town. I first went hunting with my Uncle Jack and mydad at the age of 13 near Baldwin, Michigan. I didn’t carry a rifle,but was with my Uncle when he shot a buck deer and I helped him drag it back toour hunting trailer, which by the way was the old mail truck at the Studebakerplant. Uncle Jack was an electrician there and he and my dad had converted itinto a small camper with fold-down cots.
My wife, Alice, got interested in archery in highschool and her folks bought her a bow set for her birthday. I later startedplaying around with her bow in the backyard even before I had met Fred Bear orknew I’d ever have anything to do with the sport. As with most kids, itfascinated me. How many of us didn’t try to make bows and arrows out ofbranches and string when we were kids?
Q. When did you first meet FredBear? What was your first impression ofthe man?
I first met Fred in the summer of1966 when Tom Blee, the president of our advertising agency, drove me up toGrayling to meet him. We were the largest advertising agency in Indiana at the time. Ihad just been hired to take over Tom’s accounts when he was promoted to Presidentof the agency and Bear Archery was one of his accounts. It was Tom who came upwith our famous ?Become a Two Season Hunter? advertising theme that I then ranwith for many decades.
I was scared spitless when I went into Fred’s officeto meet him that twilight summer evening. He had just returned from his famousPolar Bear hunt when after his third trip he finally downed a Polar Bear hecould claim with the bow and arrow. Two earlier bears had charged him after hegot an arrow into them and had to be stopped by his backup rifleman, so hecouldn’t claim them as bow and arrow trophies.
Fred immediately put me at ease and I soon felt like Iwas talking to my Grandpa. My first impression upon meeting him was how hugeand soft his hands were when we shook hands. Incidentally, he also wore size 14shoes. Yet his famous trademark Borsalino hunting hat was a lot smaller than mysize 7-1/8. He did not have a big head, in more ways than one.
I was honest with Fred that first meeting and told himthat while I had spent a lot of time fishing, camping and hiking over theyears, I had only hunted a couple of times in college with a shotgun and hadnever hunted with a bow. He seemed to like my honesty and said that he’d ?giveme a try? as his advertising man. I said ?fair enough? and we shook on it.
Q. You and Papa Bear grew closeover the years. Why so? What doyou think drew you together?
Well, for one thing, we workedclosely together almost everyday on one project or another—catalog copy, oneof his books, a press release, a film, a video, you name it. It was aneasy-going relationship. Almost everyday he’d stop in my office several timesto chew the fat and once we moved to Gainesvillewe had lunch together nearly everyday out in our lunchroom with others of ourBear Archery gang. I loved listening to his yarns and he liked to hear melaugh, so we made a good team.
I think he also was pleased with the way I steppedforward when he asked me to do so on the national scene to help insure thefuture of our sport, primarily helping to run the American Archery Council andin Washington, D.C. where I got involved on a lot of different committees andtried my best to represent not only Papa Bear’s point-of-view, but theinterests of bowhunters and archers everywhere. This while I was running theFred Bear Sports Club that I had created earlier.
I’ve always said that I went to the ?Fred Bear and BobKelly School of Archery and Bowhunting.? Over the years they pumped me full oftheir philosophies about our sport, what it brought to the conservation tableand how it helped bring healthy, productive recreation to millions of people.When you learn from the best, a lot is likely to rub off on you. For folks whodon’t know who Bob Kelly was, he was hired to be Fred’s and Glenn St. Charles’camp cook and roustabout on the Little Delta hunt in 1960 in Alaska. The two hit it off and in 1963 Kellywent to work for Fred as his Sales Manager. Eventually he moved up to becomeExecutive V.P. of the company and then President when Fred stepped down. He wasa brilliant marketing man, but he was a wild Irishman and could turn the airblue. You can read more about him in my book ?I Remember Papa Bear.? He wastruly a colorful, lovable character. And he, also, treated me like the son henever had. Alice and I spent every New Year’s Eve with Kelly and his wife,Jeanie, for many, many years.
I think another reason Fred and I grew so close wasthat he never had a son, or any children of his own, for that matter. Mrs. Bearhad a daughter, Julia, and a foster son, Mike, but they were grown when Fredmet Mrs. Bear. Mrs. B’s first husband had died before she and Fred met at Blaney Parkin the U.P. of Michigan.So when I came along and we ended up spending so much time working on projectstogether it kind of filled a hole in Fred’s life and he sort of adopted me as asurrogate ?son.? He did the same with Astronaut Joe Englewhose Dad had died, Dick Mauch who had lost his Dad, and Frank Scott. Hewas also starting to develop this sort of relationship with Ted Nugent when hedied. Ted’s approach was different from Fred’s, but Fred respected how Tedcould reach out and effectively turn on a bunch of people to our sport. AndTed’s Dad also had passed away. He had been an early supplier of materials forFred and Bear Archery in Grayling.
But in his later years, I was the one he was aroundeveryday so I sort of fell into the ?son? role, so to speak. I was very, veryfortunate to have had such a warm relationship with such a wonderful man andmentor. A great deal of life is just being in the right spot at the right time.But the fact that Fred took each of us under his wing when we were fatherlesssays a great deal about the humanity and gentleness of the man.
Q. What was the funniest anecdoteabout Fred and you that you canrecall?
While we were still in Grayling, Michiganthe in-house advertising agency that I ran with our staff for the company wasin an old house across the parking lot from the main plant. We all called itthe ?Swamp.? Bob Kelly had named it that and we had a routed sign to thateffect on the outside wall. One day I was sitting with my back to my officedoor banging away at my old Royal typewriter on some advertising copy for ourcatalog. Suddenly I heard a loud SPLAT on top of my desk. I whirled around andwhat looked like a huge rat was sitting on top of my desk looking at me!!! Ithought he had come through the ceiling of the 75 year old house. I damn nearclawed my way though the side of the building in surprise! About the time Iwhirled around in my chair there was Fred poking his head in my office,laughing his socks off, with his shoulders shaking and saying, ?You take careof this one, and I’ll go and get another!? With that he walked off, leaving meto deal with the ?rat.? Luckily, I realized what he had dropped on my desk wasa live possum that he had picked up along the road on his way back fromGrousehaven, our bowhunting camp an hour away. I later took ?Pogo? home with meand put him in my brush pile in Sherwood Forestwhere we lived out on Ole Dam Road.Fred and I exchanged some funny notes about ?Pogo? after he and Mrs. Bear wentdown to Floridathat winter.
Then there was the time he and I were out flyfishingduring a caddis hatch on the Au Sable River outside Grayling, and hegraciously, I thought, let me go ahead of him around a bend in the river. Ifigured the old man was letting me have first crack at the big brown troutlurking there. But he knew full well that there was a deep hole at that spotand with the strong current and slippery rocks I soon went swimming in mywaders with a big, old ?Bear? laughing his head off behind me. He had gotten meagain.
Q. What was it like to bethe sidekick to such a great man?Was Fred a humble man?
I’ll answer the second part of yourquestion first. There was not an egotistical bone in Fred Bear’s body. Yes, hewas proud of what he had accomplished with the bow, and in building BearArchery, our sport and our industry, but it was not in his nature to boast, oreven to draw attention to himself, unless it was in a humorous way. His mom anddad saw to that as he was growing up. Harry Bear would not have put up withanything like that from his only son, nor would his mother Florence.
I had three people I looked up to when I was growingup (outside of family members, of course). One was World War II overseascorrespondent Ernie Pyle, the second was trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and thethird was the sage Will Rogers. Ernie Pyle was a humble man of tremendoustalent. He was a native Hoosier, as am I, and had attended Indiana Universitywhere I went to school. Matter of fact, the I.U. Journalism School is named afterhim. Louis Armstrong also had terrific natural musical talent, a smile as bigas New Orleansand a warm, sunny manner about him. I was lucky enough to meet him one eveningafter he had played for a dance at I.U. He was as warm and friendly as he couldbe, and I got to see that famous smile close-up. Will Rogers was a talented showman, yet down toearth and dry-witted as they come. There was a bit of all three of my boyhoodheroes in Papa Bear. He was a talented writer and cameraman, he was a naturalin front of a camera with a homespun manner, he was a gifted storyteller, and hewas an inventive genius.
To discover over the years that I was actually workingclosely with such a man turned my professional and personal life into what thestage hands, grips and gaffers on a film crew all call ?Golden Time.? I don’tknow how I was so lucky to have fallen into such a position, but I’m sure goingto thank ?The Man Upstairs? when I see him for allowing it to happen.
Q. What do you think Fred wouldthink about today’s technology and promotingarchery? (The internet, websites, etc.)
Fred spent his career striving tokeep on the technological leading edge of archery, to always push the envelope,as our Astronaut friends liked to say. His patents and inventions speak forthemselves. He was still alive when computers came to our sport with all theybrought to the business of design and testing capabilities. I know itfascinated him. Having said that, though, I know he would not like theesthetics of our modern compound bows. You must remember, he was a craftsmanand artisan who thought in terms of wood grains, color, feel and composites. Heeven resisted our getting into the production of compound bows when they firsthit the market. And it took us a year or two to catch up with that burgeoningtrend in the early 70’s. He strongly preferred the beauty of recurves. Finally,someone he respected as a creative man, the poet and college professor, JamesDickey, reacted so strongly positive to a compound bow that was sitting inFred’s office when he came to visit, that Fred realized we had to get intotheir design and production. James Dickey, by the way, wrote the book and movie?Deliverance? that you may have seen. We provided all of the archery equipmentfor that film. And when Dickey first pulled a compound bow that day in Fred’soffice, let it down and said, ?I want one for me, one for my son, and one formy wife? it really got the old man’s attention.
Fred would have loved the internet capability forpromoting and publicizing our sport, just as I do. Right now, for example, my book?I Remember Papa Bear? is running here on Rich Walton’s Bowhunting.Net. It is afantastic tool for reaching people to grab’em and turn’em on to becomingbowhunters and target archers. I could not believe Bowhunting.Net the firsttime I discovered it. What a fantastic site! My other new book ?The JesusDigest? is for sale on Amazon.com, so that gives me appreciation for thetechnology as well.
I just wish we had such technology available to us inthe 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when I was working with Papa Bear. Back then we did nothave personal computers, video cameras, or cassette tape players. It was onlyduring his last few years that such began to come into popular use. Andwebsites would’ve blown him away.
Q. You have written or helpedwrite many books. Can you list themand tell us about each?
?All We Did Was Fly To The Moon?
by the Astronauts as told to Dick Lattimer.
Foreword by James A. Michener
(The Whispering Eagle Press, Inc. – 1985)
An illustrated history of theMercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz spaceflights. With input from28 of the Astronauts that made these historic flights. Paperback. 164 pages,356 illustrations, 85 in color. Autographed copies are available for $10.95 +$2.00 S&H from The Whispering Eagle Press, P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, Florida 32625.
Foreword by Eugene A. Cernan, the
Last Man To Walk On The Moon
By Dick Lattimer
(Stackpole Books, Inc. – 1988)
Written while the InternationalSpace Station was in the planning stages this is a fictional account of whatlife would be like for the crews who flew aboard her. Now out-of-print, but alimited number of autographed copies are available from The Whispering EaglePress, Inc. P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, Florida32625. Hardcover, illustrated. $14.95 + $2.00 S&H.
?IRemember Papa Bear?
By Dick Lattimer
(IHUNT Communications, Inc. – 2005)
The untold story of the legendaryFred Bear, including his ?Secrets of Hunting.? A sampling of the 25 chaptersinclude: The Creation of Fred Bear; Fred Bear Showed Me How; Fred’s SecretHunting Camp; Fred’s Last Alaskan Hunt; Fred’s Final Days; and much, much more.368 pages, includes 140 photos. Special Limited Edition of 500 signed andnumbered deluxe leather-bound collectible volumes are available for $84.95. Theregular hardcover edition is $24.95. Available from IHUNT Communications, 9457 Woodland Circle, Amherst Jct., WI 54407.
By Dick Lattimer
(The Whispering Eagle Press, Inc. – 2005)
What you never knew about theeveryday life of Jesus. Learn what it was like to live when he did. Learn whathis real name was. How he practiced his Jewish religion everyday. What life waslife around the Sea of Galilee. Where the townwas that Jesus and Joseph may have worked in together as carpenters. What thehouses were like when Jesus lived in Galilee.And much, much more. Autographed copies available for $14.95, plus $2 S&Hfrom The Whispering Eagle Press, P.O. Box 344, Cedar Key, FL 32625.
?HuntWith Fred Bear?
By Dick Lattimer
(Currently at a publisher, printing date not yet set-2006)
Go along on Fred Bear’s most famousbowhunts around the world-Canada, Alaska, Africa, India, South America-as hesought the world’s toughest game. Also learn what was going on behind-the-scenesat Bear Archery and in his life when he made these legendary hunts. Storiesfrom Outdoor Life, Life Magazine, True Magazine, Archery Magazine and othersources as well as some of Fred’s previously unpublished field notes.
In addition, I created, produced and/or workedon the following Fred Bear books and other special promotional material duringmy career at Bear Archery:
The Archer’s Bible
By Fred Bear
Fred Bear’s Field Notes
By Fred Bear
Fred Bear’s World of Archery
By Fred Bear
The Biography of An Outdoorsman
By Charles Kroll
Hunting With The Bow And Arrow
By Saxton Pope
With a Special Introduction by Fred Bear
(This was a reprint of a long out-of-print book that was influential in Fred Bear’s start in bowhunting)
Fred Bear’s “Secrets of Hunting” Record (With Sportscaster Curt Gowdy)
Films & Videos
Rural Route One, Grayling Michigan (A “How We Build Recurve Bows & Arrows” Film)
The Good Earth
(A Film with Fred Bear & Astronaut James A. Lovell,Commander of Apollo 13, Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 8, Mankind’s firstvoyage out to the Earth’s Moon.)
The Restless Spirit
(A film about Fred Bear, with Producer Don L. Higley)
The Fred Bear Hunting Video Series
(Conversion & editing of Fred Bear’s Hunting Films to Videos)
Fred Bear Oral History Video Series
(A series of 5 videos – 3 covering the history of Bear Archery, 2 featuring Fred and Astronaut Joe HenryEngle, Commander of the Space Shuttles Columbia & Discovery)
American Archery Council Film Series
(A series of 5 instructional films produced by our AMO/AAC Film Committee)
Bowhunting in North America
(Served as the Producer for the American Archery Council & the Archery Manufacturers Organization)
The American Outdoors Television Series (Producer Don L. Higley with Wally Taber)
Sports Afield Television Series
(Conservation segments produced for the International Association of Fish& Wildlife Agencies while I was chairman of their Television Subcommittee.Producer Glenn Lau with Selda Gibbons)
(Produced for the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Don L. Higley, Producer.)
In addition, I created, produced and wrote all ofthe Bear Archery catalogs and advertising from 1972-1989. From 1966-1971 Ihelped create and produce all of their catalogs and advertising at theiradvertising agency in conjunction with Tom Blee.
Q. Didn’t you write a book aboutSpace? How did that come about?
During World War II my uncles inthe service sent me their patches that they wore on their uniforms. The warbroke out the day after my 6th birthday, so these were pretty special to me.Fred and I got to know most of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronauts atsporting goods dealer trade shows in Houston.To many of them, Fred was their hero and they flocked to our booth to meet andtalk to him. At their invitation several of us would go out to what was thencalled the Manned Spacecraft Centersouth of Houstonfollowing these trade shows to be shown all of their Moon landing trainingequipment and to have dinner together. On one of these visits I noticed FrankBorman’s Apollo 8 spacesuit on display. He was the cousin of one of my collegedorm buddies, so it was of special interest to me. I was fascinated by thedesign of his Mission patch. Apollo 8 was ourfirst flight out to circle the Moon and included Borman, Jim Lovell and BillAnders. I would later produce a short video in Grayling with Jim Lovell andFred Bear about hunting and fishing that I titled ?The Good Earth?, a term fromsomething the Apollo 8 crew said after their Bible reading as they circled thelunar surface on Christmas Eve, 1968.
When I asked Cy Baker, the civilian administrator ofthe Astronaut Office there, where I could find more information about all oftheir Mission patches up to then, he said thatno one had ever put it together. So with Cy’s help and encouragement Icontacted all of the guys and 28 of them provided me with letters or othermaterial regarding what their Mission patchdesigns meant and why they named their spacecraft what they did.
Then I boldly asked the famous author James Michenerto provide the Foreword to the book and he agreed!
With the help of our art director, Mike Haller, we puttogether a paperback book that is still on sale at space and science centersaround the U.S.I spent many days at the NASA History Office in Washington, D.C.digging out information and photographs for use in the book. It is 164 pageslong with 356 illustrations, 85 of them in color.
Many nice things have been said of the book, but twoof my favorites are what Arthur C. Clarke, author of ?2001: A Space Odyssey?said: ?Splendid book?I’m recommending it to my friends.?
Les Gaver of NASA headquarters said: ?All you did waspublish an award-winning space book?I really think it is the best on the marketabout the U.S. Space Program!?
Q. What was Fred’s take on promotingarchery to the next generation?
Whether we’re talking a sport, achurch, or any other kind of activity, few things are more important thanfocusing on the future. And Fred always had a very strong commitment toreaching out to young people, not only in talking to them, but also inproviding inexpensive products that they could use. Those familiar with ourBear Archery product line in those days will remember the Little Bear recurvebow. This was a small version of our regular recurves scaled down for youngarms and hands to learn our sport on. We also had a less expensive line of bowsthat we called the Fox fiberglass bows. My Bear Archery catalog from 1946 showsthe Ranger bow. This was a one piece bow made of Lemonwood, five foot twoinches long, and was built for ladies and juniors in draw weights of from 20 to45 pounds.
With Fred’s encouragement I also placed a strongadvertising campaign in Boys Life magazine for many, many years directed ouryouth, in that case, primarily Boy Scouts who were already predisposed to theoutdoor life. We also did photography in Fred’s back yard in the early 70’s forsome of those ads. At that session we also took a photo of a young gal fromGrayling with Fred showing her how to shoot a bow. I was able to place this asthe cover photo on American Girl magazine to reach out to teenage girls.
In addition, we published a special catalog directedat Schools and Camps with a full offering of archery products at special pricesto reach youngsters at those exposure points.
We made films (before the days of videos) of Fredshowing young people how to shoot the bow and arrow. And we spent a ton ofmoney distributing these films to schools, camps, church groups, 4-H and otheryouth groups through Modern Talking Pictures, a film distribution house.
Fred asked me to help him put together a list of whohe should donate money to in his Last Will & Testament. Among that list wasmoney donated to the 4-H Archery Program in the name of our Astronaut archeryfriend Ellison Onizuka, who died aboard Challenger.
Q. What was Fred’s favorite hunt?Who were his favorite hunting companions?
Every hunt was special to Fred. Heliked everything about ?the hunt? and often said, ?Anticipation is oftengreater than realization.? Meaning that while you might not come home with meatfor the table, just everything involved in getting ready for the hunt wasspecial to him. I often stood and watched him waterproofing his hunting bootsat the small workbench in his house. For his more strenuous hunts he wouldbegin walking and doing physical activity many weeks or months ahead of time.And he would begin his archery practice every day in earnest leading up to thehunt. Next to his home alongside the Au Sable River in Grayling that sat behindthe Bear Archery plant he had a field course set-up of life-sized cardboard deerthat he practiced on. The fellows from the plant would make these targets forhim out of shipping cardboard that they saved up. They did not have a targetdrawn on them, they were simply a profile of a deer. He did this long before abetter known and more popular form of archery and bowhunting practice camealong known as 3-D. Again, he was a leader in this area. Even back in his dayswith the Detroit Archers in the 30’s and 40’s he had made a life-sizedmechanical deer for him and his friends to shoot at that he called ?Oscar.?
When I tried to nail him down one day about what hisfavorite trophy was he admitted that it was his World Record Stone Ram. Thiswas due to the rough mountain terrain he hunted in and the unusual shot he madeon the critter. He lobbed an arrow over a ridge and made a perfect hit on theram even though he could not see the entire animal. This was in British Columbia in1957. He said he normally would not have made such a shot, but felt compelledto do so when his Indian guide urged him to let loose an arrow at the critter.
His sidekick on most of his hunts during the 60’s and70’s was Bob Munger. Munger was the owner of a hardware/sporting goods store inCharlotte, Michigan and was a stockholder in BearArchery. Bob and Fred really enjoyed one another’s company. Munger alwaysteasingly called Fred ?Blue Eyes.? They endured many testing weather conditionsover the years together, from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of South America.
But Fred really enjoyed just about everyone he wasever in camp with and reveled in telling them the tales of his hunts during theevening cocktail hour after the day’s hunts were over. And in hearing theiradventures of that day’s hunt. Anyone who was fortunate enough to hunt with Fredat our Grousehaven camp near Rose City, Michigan will know what I mean.
Q. I want to thank you fornot running a skinny, 12 year oldkid off from the Bear booth atall those sports shows in the olddays. I appreciate it very much andhope I didn’t bug you or Papa Beartoo much?
Don’t forget, Frank, I was once askinny 12-year-old kid, too, as was Papa Bear. We both really got a kick out ofyour visits. And we both knew that with your determination and interest in oursport you would go far, whether it was in archery or some other activity. Asthe old saying goes, no one stands as tall as when they stoop to help a child.Our future depends on committed, motivated, healthy-living young people likeyou were in those days and like the fine man you have grown into.
Q. Highlight of your time inarchery?
Selfishly I’d have to say that myfavorite time in archery was when I was able to spend quality time alone withPapa Bear. Whether it was in the small two man tarpaper cabin we slept in onthe Alaska peninsula; the cabin he sometimesinvited me to share with him at Grousehaven; or on the evenings when we’dfollow one another down the Au Sable River at twilight just as the evening’scaddis hatch came on. These were the best times I ever had in our sport.
Also at the top of the list, but for a very sadreason, was the evening Jim Hatfield and I walked through the woods in ourwaders to an isolated spot next to the Au Sable River, accessible only by canoeor by foot, and placed Fred’s ashes there about two months after he died. Itwas at sunset just before the evening’s hatch.
Q. Any last minute advice fora newcomer to our great sport?
I guess the most important thingI’d tell a beginner is to develop patience with our sport. Whether it is inyour first session shooting a bow when muscles can become tired and the flightof your arrow can be affected, or whether it is in getting your first deer witha bow. Fred Bear went bowhunting for the first time in 1929 near St. Helen’s, Michigan anddid not take his first deer with a bow until 1935 at the BlaneyPark area of Michigan’sUpper Peninsula. I started bowhunting in 1966and didn’t take my first deer until 1972. That doesn’t mean that some folkscan’t down a deer on their first bowhunting outing, but more often than notthey will have to put in their time learning their woodland skills before theyscore.
So be patient, do not rush your self, whether youprefer target archery or bowhunting. My favorite saying is ?sit like a rock,think like a tree.? In other words, when bowhunting, sit still like a rock, andbe as aware of the wind and other of nature’s conditions and critters as is atree.
Cedar Key, Florida
Thankyou Dick for your time, energy and your devotion to Papa Bear & the sportof archery. You were sidekick to the greatest member of our archeryfraternity, Papa Bear.
Untilnext time, Adios & God Bless
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