Bear Grizzly Review

Bow Name

LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Bear Grizzly Recurve Bow

Bear Archery® Grizzly Recurve
Check Today's Price
58"~2 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
50, 55, 60 lbs.No

- Excellent for beginner and more advanced archers
- Great for both hunting and target practice
- Superb accuracy and durability, great arrow speeds
- Resistant to all types of weather
- A work of art, has been in use by thousands of archers worldwide for many years
- 100% ready for shooting out of the box – no need for additional accessories
- Best value for your money
- Couldn’t think of any cons, sorry
Also recommended: Best Bear Archery BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Boy holding bear grizzly Bear Grizzly different takes Bear Grizzly light color bear grizzly large

Best For

  • Designed for hunting, great for target practice as well
  • Beginners, intermediates, advanced archers

The Real Deal

Being one of the most respected and innovative manufacturers in the entire industry, Bear Archery‘s Grizzly simply can’t disappoint you. Granted, it’s not a bow for everyone, what with the relatively steep price. There are reasons why it costs so much though, and I’m going to go through them in this review. Actually, let me just save you some time and say this right now: if you have the funds for it, buy it. Plain and simple. OK, I really had to say that. Now, let me explain why I said it.

The Working Man’s Recurve

This title above wasn’t just made up – it is actually what the Bear Grizzly is referred to within the archery community. The bow has one of the finest custom-crafted limbs and riser ever made, and northern hardwood is what they are made from. So if you’re worried that the limbs might twist on you for some reason, you can feel perfectly safe that with this particular bow it is NOT going to happen unless you seriously mistreat the bow.

Bear Grizzly Review - a Deer Taken Down

A deer taken down by the Bear Grizzly

Standing at 58″ tall, you can use the Grizzly for both target shooting as well as hunting– it’s accurate enough to handle both equally well, while still being light enough that your arms and back will not start aching after a long session at the range.  I think that the 58″ is basically the sweet spot when it comes to providing the perfect balance between hunting and target shooting – at least where a recurve is concerned.

Design & Appearance Of The Bear Grizzly

The design of this bow is just phenomenal, you simply won’t be able to keep your eyes off of it! It is I believe the most handsome recurve bow I have ever seen, matched only by the PSE Blackhawk. BEWARE: it will likely make any recurve bows you own pale in comparison. Let’s get to the meat of this review though.

Bear Grizzly Riser, Limbs & String – a Great Combo

The Grizzly riser features a really well-balanced and positioned shelf (covered with natural Bear hair), the type that makes even the least experienced archer appear to be a pretty good shot. Most people who tried this bow report a noticeable improvement in arrow grouping (this refers to how close together the arrows land after being shot – the closer, the more consistent a bow and the shooter usually are), and I personally think that its accuracy is on par with the more advanced AND  more expensive compound bows. There’s more though.

If you aren’t sure what kind of draw weight is right for you, check out my Recurve Bow Draw Weight Chart to settle this matter.

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Something I would really like to highlight in this Grizzly review is the quality of the limbs. The finish on them is glossy and quite remarkable really – it does a great job at preventing the limbs from absorbing moisture, and reinforces the already sturdy construction even further.  During the draw phase, you can really feel the limbs at work, doing the best they can to channel as much energy into the string as possible. I realize this sounds kind of cheesy, but that’s just how I felt when holding it. The string on the Bear Grizzly deserves a mention too. Unlike most other recurve bows in this price range, which usually come with a string of such poor quality that you need to replace it immediately, the Grizzly is perfect ‘out o the box” – and that includes the string. I’ll say even more: this is the only recurve in this price range that I’ve ever owned which I didn’t feel like I had to improve upon by buying additional accessories. Everything was spot on from the moment I opened the carton.

Performance & Accuracy – What Really Matters

As I’ve already mentioned, the accuracy on the Bear Grizzly is comparable to what you would expect from a high quality compound. Also, and for a bow that is as durable as this, it is really light and weighs only 2-or-so pounds. So if you’re a beginner, worried that it might feel too heavy for you, stop worrying right now. In fact, I would say that this is a perfect recurve for you, providing of course that money isn’t an issue – if it is, then there are a few wonderful cheaper bows that I discuss on this page. I would like to take a moment to quote a fellow archer, who expressed the nature of the Grizzly beast in a few beautiful words:

My wife surprised me with a Grizzly recurve from Cabelas a couple of years ago. I had always wanted a recurve, but was a little apprehensive about shooting without sights, only having experience with compound bows. Now that I have had this bow for some time, I can say that I will probably never own another compound bow (in fact, I no longer have my compound). Learning to shoot instinctively has proven to be very easy and a lot of fun.

How Loud Is The Bear Grizzly?

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t notice any vibrations or hear any noise drawing the string and shooting. I say “surprisingly” because I was expecting a little bit of both due to the somewhat unusual curve at the tips of the limbs. Turns out though that the design is perfect, and I’m guessing it’s one of the reasons why this bow is so accurate and precise.


Isn’t it something? (click to enlarge)

Hunting With The Grizzly

It isn’t called the “Grizzly” for no reason. In fact, I’ve seen reports of people easily taking down bear and elk with this piece of equipment. The lack of vibrations / noise make it quite easy to sneak up on your prey without being noticed, and the inherent precision and reliability will make it so that you rarely miss a shot. The grizzly is also VERY small and light, making it one of the most maneuverable recurve bows on the market. Also, make sure to read: how much draw weight do you need – which explains some things a beginner needs to know. There’s one thing to remember though: If you want to hunt with this bow, pick one with a 40+ pound draw minimum. You’ll need the extra energy to pierce those targets from the 20+ yard distance. If you’re looking for cheaper bows than this, then you should check out my recurve bow comparison chart, where I list the finest bows from every price range.

Bear Grizzly Review – Summary

I may be sounding like a broken record by now, but I’ll say it again: if you can afford it, just get it. Or at least find a friend who can let you shoot it for a few minutes, as that will be more than enough for you to understand why I’m in so much love with this recurve. Feel free to check out’s current price on on the Bear Grizzly. Good luck and happy hunting / target shooting!


Add a Comment
  1. Nice review. The Grizzly is a good bow. The only problem is that the tips are made of wood so they do not accept a premium string. Therefore, it looses about 5- 8 fps. The bow shoots a 145 gn arrow at about 170 fps, so the performance is within reason, but not exceptional. The accuracy is good. The quality is also good. However, Bear’s warranty and customer service suck.

    1. The fast flight string is louder though so they can keep their 5 fps I like taking a second shot at animals if I miss not scaring them straight off the string

  2. I have had a Bear Grizzly bow since 1982. I will shoot nothing else. It is a beautiful bow even after all these years. I have owned and shoot several compound bows and always get rid of them and go back to my Grizzly.

  3. I just won my first competition with a 1972 grizzly. It has stood the test of time a’s well as remaining accurate and powerful

  4. My brother left me an older Bear recurve bow. I know nothing about it and have a friend who is interested in buying it. How do I determine the poundage and value?

    1. Hi Jody, the poundage is written on the side of the bow usually along with the bows length. You say your Brother left it to you, which leads me to advise you to hang on to it for your self your children or any other relation. Honestly what you would receive for it in a sale would pale in comparison to the gratification you’d receive knowing your Brothers bow is in good hands and whom ever is lucky enough to be spending time with that bow knows it was owned by a relative.I have recurves from my Grandfather my Mother and my Uncle, I value those all dearly.

  5. Thank you for the review, it was, as are all your reviews, very informative.
    My question is, If you had to choose between the Grizzly or the Super Grizzley, which would YOU pick?

    1. Super Grizzly because of the tips and ability to use fast flight string. $100 is a lot to pay for that and, really, that pretty much all you’re getting for your $100. It was worth it to me and it’s closer to a10 FPS increase in arrow speed, not 5, and my Super Grizzly is completely silent.

      Customer Service. I think Bear customer service is great. I bought three Brar bows from Cabela!s and their customer service is terrible. Once Bear got my damaged bow, everything went well.

  6. I know this has been up for a while. But I am shooting a Grizzly 55# and I am struggling getting arrows that shoot consistently. Just wondering what arrow you all shoot and what your specs are. I am currently shooting Gold Tip 400 uncut with 125 grain tops. Getting sporadic horizontal placement but good on the vertical

  7. Quite a late anwser, but hope it reaches you.
    The broblem with left right misses is not so much in the bow but how you shoot it.
    Could be that you shake the bow somehow when releasing the shot or that your release is somehow off. Hard to say without seeing it. Just video yourself and analyze.

  8. Very late comment, but curious if there is an option for this model of Recurve that does not have the arrow shelf on either side.

  9. Totally new to archery here. I’m comparing grizzly vs super grizzly by Bear. I want to use mine for target shooting; unlikely for hunting. I read about different strings. Is dacron string high maintenance? I can do waxing but i wouldn’t know how to precisely measure everything. I don’t know if the extra cost is worth the different string. What are your thoughts?

    Also, any input on #? I’m 5’7″, 175 lbs, could easily lift 40-50 lbs items on my own or pull objects about 150-200 # horizontally towards me without hurting myself.
    Thank you, folks

  10. I have a 1953 grizzly recurve 44# and truing to find appro arrow and string. Also general info on it would be great
    Lower limb says (i think) 5p3669; 58”;44#. Thanks!

  11. I have a Bear Grizzly 50# bow that I purchased in the early 1970s. It has been in storage for several years and I need to replace the string. Problem is the bow length. The AMO says 58 but when I measure the bow with a tape measure I get 53 inches. Am I doing something wrong? Why are the two measurements so different?

  12. I have a 1953 Grizzly that is as good as it ever was and the broken record nature of this article is a valid assessment of the satisfaction the bow will bring the novice and expert.

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