Mastering the Art: Fred Bear’s 10 Commandments of Bow Hunting

Mastering the Art: Fred Bear's 10 Commandments of Bow Hunting

Bow hunting is a time-honored tradition that combines skill, patience, and a deep connection with nature. To excel in this challenging pursuit, it’s essential to draw inspiration from the legends who have shaped the sport. One such luminary is Fred Bear, a pioneer in archery and bow hunting. His wisdom and experience are encapsulated in “Fred Bear’s 10 Commandments of Bow Hunting,” a set of guiding principles that continue to resonate with hunters worldwide. In this article, we’ll explore these commandments, shedding light on the timeless wisdom they offer to both novice and seasoned bow hunters.

1. Know the Game:

Fred Bear’s first commandment emphasizes the importance of understanding your prey. Successful bow hunters must study the habits, behaviors, and habitats of the animals they seek. By becoming a student of the game, you increase your chances of a successful hunt.

2. Be Patient:

Patience is a virtue in bow hunting. Fred Bear knew that waiting for the right moment was often the key to success. He advised hunters to remain still and vigilant, allowing the game to come to them.

3. Pick the Right Spot:

Commandment three underscores the significance of choosing the perfect hunting location. Factors like wind direction, terrain, and animal activity patterns should all be considered when selecting your spot.

4. Stay Alert:

Being alert is paramount. The slightest sound or movement can alert your prey to your presence. Fred Bear urged hunters to be in tune with their surroundings and maintain the utmost vigilance.

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5. Use the Wind:

Wind direction can make or break a hunt. Bear recommended that hunters use the wind to their advantage, positioning themselves downwind of their prey to avoid detection.

6. Study Your Equipment:

Knowing your bow and arrows inside out is crucial. Fred Bear’s sixth commandment advises hunters to be intimately familiar with their equipment, ensuring it’s in optimal condition.

7. Practice Regularly:

There’s no substitute for practice. Commandment seven stresses the importance of regular target practice to hone your shooting skills and build muscle memory.

8. Be Ethical:

Ethical hunting is at the core of Fred Bear’s philosophy. Respect for wildlife, adherence to hunting regulations, and humane practices are all essential components of ethical bow hunting.

9. Know When to Draw:

Knowing when to draw your bow is a delicate balance. The ninth commandment cautions hunters against drawing too early and risking detection, or too late and missing the opportunity.

10. Enjoy the Hunt:

Perhaps the most important commandment of all is to relish the hunt itself. Fred Bear believed that bow hunting was about more than just the kill; it was about the experience and the connection with nature.


Fred Bear’s 10 Commandments of Bow Hunting are more than just guidelines; they represent a legacy of wisdom passed down through generations of bow hunters. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these commandments provide a blueprint for success and a reminder of the profound connection between hunters and the natural world. So, the next time you head into the woods with your bow in hand, take a moment to reflect on Fred Bear’s timeless advice and savor the journey as much as the destination. Happy hunting!