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A buddy was gifted his grandfathers Bear Whitetail Hunter bow. This thing is a bit outside my wheelhouse and it was likely slaying deer and elk before I was born. It seems to be in pretty good condition. We have ordered a new string. I did not find any fraying or other damage in the cables. I found the manual (Bear Whitetail Hunter Compound Bow Manual.pdf - Box) but still have some questions:

1) In the manual the method for changing the string involves a sort of bow stringer I have never seen before and have been unable to find. I guess it was a type used with tear drop early compounds. Is that stringer necessary, or can the bow be placed in a press (bow-a-constrictor press)?

2) Assuming it can be put in a press, is it possible to fix peep rotation per string twisting, or, due to the nature of how the string attaches, is a rubber tube necessary for manual alignment on each draw?

3) It currently has a very small aperture peep w/ rubber tube attachment arm (tube missing). I believe the smallness of the aperture would make it inappropriate for hunting vs a larger peep aperture. The other end where the tube would attach is on the top limb. I've only ever seen the tube attached to the cables on other bows... any secret on attaching, if we need to? Is it just a friction fit?

4) I haven't measured DL yet, but his grandfather said it's 31" DL and my buddy is 29" draw. In the manual (pg 15), it makes mention of cable bends and relative draw lengths -- short, med, and long -- but I have no idea what those subtend to, nor if it's something that can be accomplished without different cables, or if it's just modifying where the cables sit in the attachment points. Any idea?

5) Would it be rank heresy to attach a D loop and have him shoot with a release, or is there some wonky reason that it can only be shot w/ fingers?

6) The current pin sights are a plastic screw in/out for horizontal and allen key for up/down individual pins. The pin arms are also slightly warped and might require replacement. It also has an interesting old school range estimation plastic card on the right side. Basically, you'd hold it up to estimate range based on the deer (vertical back to belly) and then use that pin. It says Martin Archery on it.

Any idea the sort of sight that would fit on it if the pins are hosed?

7) What sort of quiver would fit?
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I realize many of would say to just hang it up for the memories and get a new bow, but it's very important to my buddy that he take an animal with his grandfather's bow before he upgrades. He's willing to modify its current set up if able (better sight, D loop add, etc.). So if we can make this work, I'd like to assist him in that effort. Thank you all for your time and any answers you can provide.
 

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Don't shoot it. Keep it for the what it is. If he shoots it and it breaks, he could be injured and then it's destined for the garbage truck.
I've heard that those bowstring teardrops that are swaged to the metal cables are prone to failure after many years of sitting around. Replacement cables have not been made in 20 years.
 

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What they said! That's an old one. 40-45yrs old at least. Retire it. You can find MUCH better bows in the classfieds for a relatively inexpensive price. A 10 yr old bow now is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the relic you now have.
 

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It's doubtful the metal riser will break and back in those days Bear limbs were advertised to be made of the same fiberglass as Corvette springs, which I don't remember ever having problem. I still have one out in the shed but don 't remember if it has the different slots on the eccentrics or not. If it does they are for draw length adjustment.
 

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hang it up...I have one too and won't risk shooting it. Get a good used bow which will be much safer and more enjoyable to shoot
 

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Don't shoot it. Keep it for the what it is. If he shoots it and it breaks, he could be injured and then it's destined for the garbage truck.
I've heard that those bowstring teardrops that are swaged to the metal cables are prone to failure after many years of sitting around. Replacement cables have not been made in 20 years.
Yes!

The tear drop blows and shooter gets hurt bad.
 

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Tell him to add it to his personal archery history museum collection. Something's gonna break, if it is shot!
 

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A buddy was gifted his grandfathers Bear Whitetail Hunter bow. This thing is a bit outside my wheelhouse and it was likely slaying deer and elk before I was born. It seems to be in pretty good condition. We have ordered a new string. I did not find any fraying or other damage in the cables. I found the manual (Bear Whitetail Hunter Compound Bow Manual.pdf - Box) but still have some questions:

1) In the manual the method for changing the string involves a sort of bow stringer I have never seen before and have been unable to find. I guess it was a type used with tear drop early compounds. Is that stringer necessary, or can the bow be placed in a press (bow-a-constrictor press)?

2) Assuming it can be put in a press, is it possible to fix peep rotation per string twisting, or, due to the nature of how the string attaches, is a rubber tube necessary for manual alignment on each draw?

3) It currently has a very small aperture peep w/ rubber tube attachment arm (tube missing). I believe the smallness of the aperture would make it inappropriate for hunting vs a larger peep aperture. The other end where the tube would attach is on the top limb. I've only ever seen the tube attached to the cables on other bows... any secret on attaching, if we need to? Is it just a friction fit?

4) I haven't measured DL yet, but his grandfather said it's 31" DL and my buddy is 29" draw. In the manual (pg 15), it makes mention of cable bends and relative draw lengths -- short, med, and long -- but I have no idea what those subtend to, nor if it's something that can be accomplished without different cables, or if it's just modifying where the cables sit in the attachment points. Any idea?

5) Would it be rank heresy to attach a D loop and have him shoot with a release, or is there some wonky reason that it can only be shot w/ fingers?

6) The current pin sights are a plastic screw in/out for horizontal and allen key for up/down individual pins. The pin arms are also slightly warped and might require replacement. It also has an interesting old school range estimation plastic card on the right side. Basically, you'd hold it up to estimate range based on the deer (vertical back to belly) and then use that pin. It says Martin Archery on it.

Any idea the sort of sight that would fit on it if the pins are hosed?

7) What sort of quiver would fit?
---
I realize many of would say to just hang it up for the memories and get a new bow, but it's very important to my buddy that he take an animal with his grandfather's bow before he upgrades. He's willing to modify its current set up if able (better sight, D loop add, etc.). So if we can make this work, I'd like to assist him in that effort. Thank you all for your time and any answers you can provide.
Here are some helpful answers:
1) In the old days, they would have one person draw the bow back and another place the replacement string on the teardrops (they were closer when drawn), then let down, draw the bow using the other string and then easily remove the now slack old string. Easy to do in the field and no press needed. However, you can use the bow press to do this too. Please note that most of the tear drops are subject to breaking apart after so many years, so have a pro shop inspect it and replace the cables with those teardrops to be safe before shooting. Alternately you can get a set of spring and cables made without those teardrops by any custom string maker.

2) You can replace the peep with an old style (circle) peep that is placed in the string horizontally (not at an angle) and has three strands surrounding it instead of two. This type of peep enables the shooter to see through it regardless of twist. See here:

3) See no. 2 above.

4) Those bows would be able to go up or down 1" using the slots in the wheels (cams). So maybe this bow is a 30" draw set at 31", or is a 32" draw set at 31". You can have the custom string maker make a shorter string set to make the draw shorter, but it is another can of worms and let off (not that it has much) is affected, and draw weight too. Using different releases, your friend maybe able to get it to his draw length comfortably. Wrist releases are good for longer DL, versus thumb releases.

5) Absolutely attach a D-loop and use a release.

6) use any sight that you like, any modern sight should work, the screw holes on the riser are standard to this day. Just make sure the scope on the sight and the peep match in circle to circle.

7) There are several types of quivers/adapters that you can use. there are quiver adapters that go on the limb bolts and then you can attach the quiver on it from either side (right or left handed). There are plastic adapters that go on the sight using attachment screws that can either have the quiver slide in or twist in. There are also two piece slide on quivers that go on each limb and have slots for arrows to hold them, very basic, you can find those in the Trad Section.

Hope this helps, good luck.
 

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It's doubtful the metal riser will break and back in those days Bear limbs were advertised to be made of the same fiberglass as Corvette springs, which I don't remember ever having problem. I still have one out in the shed but don 't remember if it has the different slots on the eccentrics or not. If it does they are for draw length adjustment.
I believe the “Corvette leaf spring” promotion was for the Delta V. It would not have applied to the Whitetail.
 

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A buddy was gifted his grandfathers Bear Whitetail Hunter bow. This thing is a bit outside my wheelhouse and it was likely slaying deer and elk before I was born. It seems to be in pretty good condition. We have ordered a new string. I did not find any fraying or other damage in the cables. I found the manual (Bear Whitetail Hunter Compound Bow Manual.pdf - Box) but still have some questions:

1) In the manual the method for changing the string involves a sort of bow stringer I have never seen before and have been unable to find. I guess it was a type used with tear drop early compounds. Is that stringer necessary, or can the bow be placed in a press (bow-a-constrictor press)?

2) Assuming it can be put in a press, is it possible to fix peep rotation per string twisting, or, due to the nature of how the string attaches, is a rubber tube necessary for manual alignment on each draw?

3) It currently has a very small aperture peep w/ rubber tube attachment arm (tube missing). I believe the smallness of the aperture would make it inappropriate for hunting vs a larger peep aperture. The other end where the tube would attach is on the top limb. I've only ever seen the tube attached to the cables on other bows... any secret on attaching, if we need to? Is it just a friction fit?

4) I haven't measured DL yet, but his grandfather said it's 31" DL and my buddy is 29" draw. In the manual (pg 15), it makes mention of cable bends and relative draw lengths -- short, med, and long -- but I have no idea what those subtend to, nor if it's something that can be accomplished without different cables, or if it's just modifying where the cables sit in the attachment points. Any idea?

5) Would it be rank heresy to attach a D loop and have him shoot with a release, or is there some wonky reason that it can only be shot w/ fingers?

6) The current pin sights are a plastic screw in/out for horizontal and allen key for up/down individual pins. The pin arms are also slightly warped and might require replacement. It also has an interesting old school range estimation plastic card on the right side. Basically, you'd hold it up to estimate range based on the deer (vertical back to belly) and then use that pin. It says Martin Archery on it.

Any idea the sort of sight that would fit on it if the pins are hosed?

7) What sort of quiver would fit?
---
I realize many of would say to just hang it up for the memories and get a new bow, but it's very important to my buddy that he take an animal with his grandfather's bow before he upgrades. He's willing to modify its current set up if able (better sight, D loop add, etc.). So if we can make this work, I'd like to assist him in that effort. Thank you all for your time and any answers you can provide.
The geometry of the limbs is problematic with modern presses that are made for parallel limbs. Limbs now bend from end to end; at that time, limb movement was more forward/back. You run a risk of doing damage with a press if you don’t have the right sort of press OR aren’t experienced pressing old-school bows.

The bow MUST use a Dacron string, which will not be as stable as a modern string. Peep rotation will be a perpetual irritation. As a result, peep sights were not as popular on hunting bows then as they are now. However, string tension was much lower at rest. You may be able to make peep adjustments without a press if you lift the cables off the riser-mounted idlers first.

You can tie off a tube peep to cables. If you use the post... yep. It’s a friction fit.

The bow does not have multiple draw length slots. Instead, the manual is discussing changing the pigtail length (cam to teardrop) by moving more/less cable through the cam. If you shorten the pigtail it shortens the string side and also lengthens the bus cable. Draw length goes down. You can effectively adjust the pigtail side, but not the cable side, by changing string length.

You can shoot the bow with a release, but if the draw is already too long and you add a d-loop, you aggravate the issue.

Releases were not very popular in those days. I probably would shoot a Whitetail with fingers off an old school stick-on rest, with a simple pin-type sight, and stick to close range... but that’s me.

Shooting a release directly off the string is possible with a Whitetail due to the long axle-to-axle length and was relatively common at the time. We didn’t know as much then as we do now, and bows weren’t designed as well for release aids! Releases weren’t very sophisticated, either.

Sight mounting holes are the same now as the, so any sight will work. One of the most popular quivers back in that era was the Kwikee, which mounted to the sight mounting holes. They are still made. You cannot use a limb-bolt mount, mentioned elsewhere on this thread, because the Whitetail hunter did not have limb bolts.

Good luck!
 

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I bought a Bear Whitetail Hunter in 1977, I believe for $49. Killed my first archery deer with it. And it hooked me on Bowhunting. Wish I had kept that bow, but I didn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some really good info in the responses, guys. I'll pass this along to him and let him decide if he wants to pursue the bow as he'd intended or if he wants to keep it as a wall hanger.
 

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You can still get tear drop cables. Lancaster used to have them in their catalog.
 

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These guys on here are full of it, i have one just like it, plus other bow brands with tear drops, from the 80s, and shoot them all the time....Never had one pop off....They sell tear drop cables on e-bay all the time...And i believe PSE, Martin still makes them, no old bow will spoil, just because it's old, their are no experation dates on old bows...And yeah you can put a D-Loop on it and shoot a release, or not use a D-Loop......As long as there are no cracks on the bow, riser or limbs, shoot the heck out of it..And kill something..
 

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These guys on here are full of it, i have one just like it, plus other bow brands with tear drops, from the 80s, and shoot them all the time....Never had one pop off....They sell tear drop cables on e-bay all the time...And i believe PSE, Martin still makes them, no old bow will spoil, just because it's old, their are no experation dates on old bows...And yeah you can put a D-Loop on it and shoot a release, or not use a D-Loop......As long as there are no cracks on the bow, riser or limbs, shoot the heck out of it..And kill something..
Yes there are new PSE teardrop cables on eBay. Not sure if they would work for an old bear.
 

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I'm getting ready to re string an old golden eagle. I think the tear drops are fine on it. Gonna fletch up some old 2114 for it .
 

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These guys on here are full of it, i have one just like it, plus other bow brands with tear drops, from the 80s, and shoot them all the time....Never had one pop off....They sell tear drop cables on e-bay all the time...And i believe PSE, Martin still makes them, no old bow will spoil, just because it's old, their are no experation dates on old bows...And yeah you can put a D-Loop on it and shoot a release, or not use a D-Loop......As long as there are no cracks on the bow, riser or limbs, shoot the heck out of it..And kill something..
Your first statement pretty much sums up about 80% of the advice you get on this site. I agree, string it up and shoot it. Reading some of the silly advice in this thread makes me want to restring my old Whitetail 2 and go shoot some hogs with it, just because they say I shouldn’t.


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