Hey everybody! It's Dalton Vaughn with Better Outdoors and in this review we've got the new 2017 Bear Wild. Now this bow is a really sharp hunting bow; it's definitely aimed at the adult bow part of the market for the entry-level side of things and I think it does it really well. It's got a really comfortable grip, the finish on it is pretty good. There's a few spots that it's not covered 100% but it looks pretty good, it stays on well. You've got black limbs so that kind of adds a little bit of flavor there, makes it a little different. You've got black cams, got a nice few little Bear accents through the bow there. But a really nice, really affordable bow and that's what I know a lot of you guys are looking for.
They tune up fairly easy. They're a single cam bow, nothing just real extravagant there. They've got a cast aluminum riser so nothing just too crazy there. Just like we would see on basically everybody's entry-level bow.
But it does have what they call the S7 single cam, and it's adjustable in the cam for draw length so no extra modules just move the module in the cam, video for that later. But moving in the cam, so that's good you've got a one single cable stop which does give this bow a good backwall that we'll see later. We've also got a string stop, they call this the Rockstop Offset string stop that you can move the rubber to make it wherever it needs to be and push the bar in and out, the string stop can get it where you need to be as well, a little bit extra.
They've got the Bear Trap limb pocket, and this limb pocket is metal, surprisingly. And they've got these small flared limbs, and I kind of like how this looks, it's really wide in here, really interesting look. The limb decals I thought were really cool, I like how it shows the wild and the bear in there, it's a pretty cool set-up. I think Fred Bear would be pleased with this one especially for the diehard hunters out there that just need a bow to go and shoot stuff with, and this will do it for sure.
We've also got the Bear OD green and black strings and I'll say on their stock strings though, they're not just the greatest thing I've ever seen but they do stay together, they do actually wear pretty decent, but you do get a touch of peep twist from time to time, the only complaint I've got really.
But this particular bow has their RTH package on it which is surprisingly good for this kind of money. You've got a 3-pin sight which is basically a Trophy Ridge Joker but with three pins and without a light. It's polymer on the sight base but the rest of it is aluminum. So pretty good sight for entry level.
You've got their 5-arrow quiver which I like it as well. It's got dual grippers which y'all know that I really like the dual grippers, you can hang it from that, pretty good there. The Whisker Biscuit rest, definitely glad that they have that, that's another Trophy Ridge item as well as the small stabilizer and wrist sling, and which the wrist sling has Bear Archery on it, so that's a pretty cool little addition, too. And it's the stiff type as well, I really like the stiff wrist slings. To me really big for a hunting bow to have. And of course you've got a wheel peep sight and a D-Loop.
But that's pretty much all the technology wrapped into this bow and all the interesting features that it has. It's very adjustable for weight I would say. You've got a 10-pound range, pretty much the norm I suppose but you do have some range to play there.
So now let's move on to the technical specs of this bow.
2017 Bear Wild Technical Specs
Now to move on to the specs for the Bear Wild, we've got a 7 1/4" brace height, a 32 1/4" axle-to-axle, which I do like. I wasn't expecting many of the bows in this price range to start heading toward a little bit longer axle-to-axle, but they are. And this bow has a fairly long riser so it does point well and shoot well, surprisingly, especially for this price point.
You've got a 310 IBO so it's not smoking fast but if you look at a lot of bows in this category that are of good quality, you're going to be around the 310-315 mark regardless. So not bad on speed, I like that. Advertises at 80% letoff and this bow ready to hunt just like it sits in my hand right now is 5.58 lbs which is fairly light. I was not expecting this bow to weigh that much, really. It felt heavier in hand at first, but I compared it with some others after the scale and said well I guess it does weight 5.5. So pretty good weight there, it's not real heavy.
Out of box specs, we had 69.3 lbs on 70 lbs limbs. Now this bow was available in a 60-70 lbs and in a 50-60 lbs so a 10-pound weight adjustment, nothing major there different. Just like a lot of manufacturers do.
Something that does make this bow move a little bit more than others is a 24-31" draw length range, so you've got a lot of room to play there. I like being able to have a bow at this price that can go to 31" draw, but which you'll find out soon is that it can go a little farther.
To get back to our out of box specs, this being a 70 lbs limb bow, we did back it down for our review to keep it on par with everything else that we've videoed over, it was on 69.3 lbs out of the box and was measuring 30" of draw, AMO standard on a 29" module setting.
So we also had 15.5 lbs of holding weight which equated to around 77% letoff so it was just a little bit down on letoff there but just a little bit of shooting that I believe you can get this tuned right where it needs to be but 77% I'm not going to complain with what we've got, honestly.
But for the video however like I said, we did move it down to 60 lbs and we moved it down to a 28" setting on the module to actually draw a true 29". So keep in mind with these bows you're going to run about an inch long on draw length, so if you get this set up or give us a call to order one, keep that in mind.
Now this bow is really affordable, we'll get back to that. This is $299.99 bare which is really a steal and ready to hunt is $399.99 and you can get this in black or Realtree XTRA green which I really like this Realtree, it looks really high def honestly, really cool pattern and black's really sharp too.
We do offer this bow in our own ready to shoot, ready to hunt package, and it's going to come with everything you need - arrows, release, broadheads, the whole shooting match there - for one low price, which you'll find that over on betteroutdoors.net where we'll ship it, we'll make sure it's tuned, we'll make sure it's set up right, fitted, and it's going to ship straight to your door.
Now it's time however, to go shoot it. So we'll see how the Wild performs.
2017 Bear Wild Shooting Test
Now guys, for the shooting portion of our test we're going to shoot this bow, get an idea of draw cycle and the grip and the valley, the letoff, the backwall, the balance, and how it acts after the shot, things like that to try to portray this bow as accurately and honestly as possible so when you do order this bow you know what you're getting. We don't want to juice this bow up any, nor do we want to talk it down any.
So let's take a few shots with it.
Now we're set at a 29" draw on the 28" part of setting on the module and we're set at 60 lbs turned down from 70 lbs limbs. The first thing I want to notice is the grip. I do like the grip, though I'm not crazy about this particular cutout. I mean personally it does give you a great place to put your first knuckle though but I personally am not crazy about that, but the rest of it does feel really good.
It's a little round, it's a little small, it's about medium-sized I'd say, maybe on the medium side of things. It's got a nice place for your thumb to rest up in, so that's good. It makes it repeatable, that's something I feel like is often overlooked. Alright, pretty comfortable there, pretty happy with that.
Got weight here, weight here, pretty much at peak weight here, starting to ease off a little, easing, easing, and it's back there and when it comes back it feels like it locks in pretty decent. Pretty sweet. Gonna go ahead and shoot this.
At the shot, it's got just a touch of feedback, not much honestly. Feels really good in that department, it does want to swing back to you, the top wheels come back to you but part of that is due to having the quiver still on it which is often what we do in our reviews, and you need a little bit more stabilizer. This one doesn't do just a whole lot in that department.
Let's give it another shot. Set up again. Actually got a pretty good draw cycle, pretty smooth. I hate to use smooth, but it is pretty smooth. It doesn't just pull, pull, pull, it's none of that. You can see I've held it for a little while now. You can tell it's not got just a ton of letoff but you can tell that it's definitely not where it's tough to hold back. You've probably got 1.5" of valley there to play with before it just wants to jump on you, which when it jumps isn't bad, you can control that. That's good. Backwall, it's not 100% solid, but for one single cable stop on this kind of a single cam, pretty good, I can't complain.
Shoot it again. I can't complain so far on how it shoots. It's definitely competitive in its price point, I do like that part about it.
Let's do the get lazy test on it now. Anchor off, big old buck, oh even better big old nanny down under the stand, that's what I'm talking about! Let's relax, relax, so you can get pretty much just about length with this bow, don't have to pull that hard into it to keep it drawn. A good feature for an entry-level hunting bow, definitely.
So you guys that are just starting out or wanting to upgrade bows from an old bow, here you go. Pretty nice in that department, so you'll like that. Very cool. One more shot and then it's time to move over to the sound test and then to the chrono.
Pretty pleased with the draw cycle, cannot complain. Absolutely cannot. It draws a lot like a older single cam Mathews or maybe an old single cam Bowtech possibly, but single cam technology has definitely came a long way. Uh-oh, I need to quit tearing arrows up in videos! So it's very comparable, PSE's got some great offerings that compete with this bow directly and really it just kind of depends on what your flavor is. I can't say either of them is a bad one especially after playing with this bow some and selling some of these. Really nice shooting bow.
Now however it's time to get back to the numbers and see what the sound test shows.
For our sound test we're going to be shooting three 450-grain arrows past the decibel meter which is set at 5 feet away from us. We're going to record the result live, so here we go.
Now with our sound test complete, it's time to move on to the speed test.
Hey guys, it's on with our speed test. As always, we're going to be a 350, 400, and 450-grain arrows. We're going to be set at a 29" draw with this bow, 59.5 lbs after all of our shooting in the previous segments. So, starting off with the 350-grain arrow, here we go.
268 fps with a 350-grain arrow. Bit slow, but then again this is a 310 IBO bow so I'm not expecting blazing numbers. Now, 400-grain arrow. 251 fps. Not terrible, by any means. Now for our 450-grain arrow. 240 fps with a 450-grain arrow.
So the speeds aren't blazing fast but we've not got a drag racer of a bow and it does shoot really easy, so there's some trade-offs to be had there.
But now guys it's on to my final thoughts on the Bear Wild.
Well guys, the Bear Wild it has definitely surprised me. I was not expecting this bow to shoot as well as it does for this price point and we've really had a lot of discussion about Bear in the past, of them just being a little bit behind in a lot of categories. But I will say out of all their bows, the bows that I feel like they make best are the $400-$500-$600 setups and this bow for its category I feel like is probably one of the top 3. It's right there with the Stinger X and right there with the PSE Infinity which you guys have seen reviews on those so you know that this bow stacks up well with them, do a little price shopping there.
But the quality of the string is not quite as good as those bows, that's something that I will knock against this bow. I like everything else is good in my opinion, but that is something that I will knock about it. That and the finish could be a little better in a few spots but not a dealbreaker. But what we did notice through this review is that when we knocked the arrow for the final shot I noticed that the D-Loops actually moved up. Which it obviously hasn't moved on the string, but the string and cable set have stretched. So this bow stretched a little bit more than normal. We didn't see that with some of the other single cam bows we've reviewed. But I feel like if you just order a real good string set out of the gate for this bow you'll be a lot more pleased with it over the long term than with the stock string, but that said once you've got the stock string settled in , it's not bad. So do keep that in mind.
Now for our test results however, to go over that, on our speed test we're still set at 29" and we were at 59.5 lbs but our speed test with a 350-grain arrow with those specs was 268 fps. The 400-grain was at 251 fps and the 450-grain arrow was 240 fps. So this bow is no screamer and you can tell it in the way it draws, it's really easy to draw and handle honestly. It's got plenty of backwall, plenty of letoff, plenty of valley and everything, to keep it to where it's fun to shoot, it won't beat you down too bad, so really pleased in that category.
We did check the real world IBO on this bow using our calculator program and this bow come out to a 301 IBO, so it's about 9 ft/second off of its IBO rating, which I did expect it to come in a little bit slower but I will say in its defense we do have a peep, we do have a D-Loop, and we do have a Whisker Biscuit and if you guys know archery very much they typically test IBO with the least amount of drag and the least amount of weight on the string they can get away with. So production bow to be 8-9 ft/second down, this one was 301 so 9 ft/second down, really not too concerned with. The dropaway will pick you up some feet per second there. So if you're concerned with all that.
But speed of course isn't the name of this bow's game. This is an affordable bow that shoots good, it holds good, everything about it feels good, but the only knocks of course I had were string quality and a few spots on the finish were a little left untouched. But other than that, I'm really happy with the Bear Wild.
Now our sound test results however, they were 87.1, which was a bit of a fluke, a 74.3, and a 76 decibels on my meter. So fairly quiet bow, a little bit louder than some of its competitors, it's the only place else I guess that I can really knock it. But like I said it's a really nice shooting bow honestly. Really really impressed with it. Was not expecting this bow to shoot this well, really wasn't. But it surprised me.
So if you're in that category looking for an entry-level bow, something that won't break the bank, something that's comfortable to shoot, something like that, maybe getting back into archery, that sort of the thing, the Bear Wild is definitely on the list. It definitely is a contender in my opinion.
The bows are all made in America. Some of the accessories are made in China, but unfortunately most of your RTS and RTH accessories from about any brand from the factory they're going to be made in China. I know it kind of sucks, but the bow is made in the US, they're made in Gainesville, Florida and have been for a long time but I think if Fred Bear was around today, I think he would like this bow, I don't think he would complain a lot. He'd probably say it has training wheels but hey some of us like the training wheels, I happen to myself.
But anyway guys, don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, Better Outdoors Archery & Bowhunting on Facebook and we're Better Outdoors Archery on Instagram. That's where you'll see some of the cool stuff, the spur of the moment stuff, live videos, cool stuff like that, special deals and offers. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can stay up on videos like this coming out. And as well if you'd like to order, maybe call in a question, maybe you've already got one of these and want to tell us about it, maybe tell us how it's acting, maybe make it better, or if you just want to tell us how our video was, give us a call at 870-475-3337. But to order and for some other cool tech tips and things like that and where we offer our ready-to-hunt packages that are fully tuned, fitted, and ready and shipped to your door, visit betteroutdoors.net
I'm Dalton Vaughn, we're Better Outdoors, we appreciate y'all watching. Thanks everybody!