Bear Grizzly Recurve Review

Table of Contents

Bear Archery AFT2086150 Grizzly Recurve 50#, Brown
  • Limbs overlaid with clear maple and backed and faced with high-strength black fiberglass
  • Crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf
  • Comes with leather side plate and bear hair arrow rest

With a design that hasn’t changed since 1964, the Bear Grizzly is one of the most famous and well-known recurve bows on the market. In fact, that’s probably why you’re here. You’ve inevitably seen someone using the Grizzly, heard about it, or even had it recommended to you by another archer, and now you want to know if it lives up to the hype.

The short answer is yes. The Bear Archery Grizzly isn’t just one of our favorite recurve bows, it’s one of our favorite bows over all. In this full Bear Grizzly recurve review we’ll tell you why in detail along with specifying who can benefit from this bow.

Our Verdict

The Bear Archery Grizzly is one of the most reliable recurve bows on the market, ideal for bowhunters who love traditional archery, plan to hunt a lot, and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship in addition to power and durability.


  • Gorgeous hard maple design

  • Lifetime durability

  • Bowhunting power

  • Quiver bushings

  • Bear hair arrow rest

  • Accurate for beginners and experts

  • Large range of draw weights from 30-60 lbs

  • Quiet shot with little vibration

  • Limited lifetime warranty


  • Short draw length

  • No accessory bushings

Bear Grizzly Features and Specs

Before anything else, you need to know the raw specs of the Grizzly without any frills or qualification. This is simply what you get. If any of this doesn’t work for you, then you already have your answer. If you aren’t sure what these numbers mean for you, then it’s important to read the detailed pros and cons further down.

  • Available draw weights: 30-60 pounds

  • Draw length: 28 inches

  • AMO Length: 58 inches

  • Riser material: Hard maple wood

  • Limb material: Laminated fiberglass and maple wood

  • Handedness: Both right- and left-handed

  • Arrow rest: Bear hair arrow rest included

  • Finishes: Brown Maple or Shedua

  • Bowstring: Dacron bowstring

Bear Grizzly Pros

The Bear Archery Grizzly is a high-quality model, so it has a lot of pros. These are some of the most important ones that made this model one of our top recommendations.

It Looks Great

Okay, this might be a subjective opinion, but the Grizzly is one of the most beautiful recurves around. The design is sleek and streamlined, and the riser is a deep red maple color. The limbs feature a black fiberglass on the belly and back, and the limb ends arc forward dramatically at the top and bottom of the bow. At the end of the day, it’s more important that a bow actually work, but it sure is nice when it looks gorgeous, too.

It’s Durable and Long-Lasting

Alright, time to dive into the more important and functional features. Bear Archery designed the Grizzly to be a bow that can last you many, many years. If you take proper care of your Grizzly, you can literally have it for decades. In fact, if you peruse the pages of Archery Talk, you might find some old-timers talking about how they’re still using a Bear Grizzly that they bought in the 60s or 70s.

In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of great takedown bows enter the market, and many of them, including the Samick Sage, can be great options as well. Nevertheless, those takedown bows, by their nature, aren’t meant to last. After all, they’re designed for you to take the limbs off and replace them. What you’re really getting with those types of bows is a riser and not a bow. 

With the Grizzly, you’re getting the whole thing, and in a durable package. 

It’s Powerful Enough to Hunt With

The Bear Grizzly is definitely designed for bowhunting. It has a compact design, which is great for maneuvering in a thick brush hunting environment. 

It’s also made in a range of draw weights, so you can select the draw weight needed to take down certain game. In fact, with 60 pounds of draw weight, you can get arrow speeds up to 170 fps, blistering for a recurve. 

It Has Threading for You to Fasten a Bow Quiver

An unusual bonus for a traditional, one-piece bow, the Bear Grizzly has two accessory holes that enable you to add a side-mount quiver to hold your arrows. That can save you a lot of grief if you’re using the bow to hunt. Having to fumble around for arrows in a hip quiver or back quiver when hunting can give away your position and scare off game.

The Bear Hair Arrow Rest Improves Accuracy

The Bear Grizzly isn’t designed to be shot with a rest. In fact, there’s not really any way to attach one. Instead, you shoot off the riser shelf, which is covered with natural bear hair. The result is better accuracy, especially for beginners who haven’t mastered their shot, but also for veterans.

It’s Suitable for Archers of All Skill Levels

Because of the bear hair arrow rest and the range of draw weights, Bear Archery is a good choice for beginners. They can get a more manageable draw weight and effectively practice their form and aim.

At the same time, the pinpoint accuracy and high amounts of power mean it’s ideal for serious hunters who want to use their recurve frequently. It can take down mature bucks at a good range while still providing the traditional bowhunting experience.

It Has a Range of Draw Weights

The Bear Grizzly has a range of available draw weights, from 30 all the way to 60 pounds. That’s a great feature, not only because it gives buyers a lot of choice, but it also allows more people to explore the world of traditional archery. 

You don’t need to be a muscleman to enjoy the Grizzly. You can get one of the more manageable versions. Just keep in mind you’ll have to meet the legal requirements for bowhunting, usually 40 pounds.

It’s Surprisingly Quiet

For a recurve bow, the Bear Grizzly makes very little noise and vibrations. This is important for any bowhunter but doubly so if you’re using a traditional bow. That’s because it takes longer for the arrow to reach your quarry, so a loud shot gives it time to jerk, which could mean your shot lands off the kill zone.

Bear Archery Is a Trusted Brand

Brand name isn’t everything, but it is something. By getting a bow from a trusted brand like Bear Archery, you know that you’re likely getting the craftsmanship that has given them such a reputation and made their products so popular in the archery community. 

If you need more evidence, consider that Bear Archery provides a limited lifetime warranty with their bows. That means they stand behind their craftsmanship and are confident in their manufacturing process.

Bear Grizzly Cons

While we love the Grizzly and highly recommend it, we want to give you the full story in this Bear Grizzly recurve review. No bow is perfect, and the Grizzly does have a couple downsides.

The Draw Length Is Short

Since the Bear Grizzly is a compact bow with an AMO length of just 58 inches, its draw length is tad shorter than other production recurves at 28 inches. It’s important to use the appropriate draw length because if it’s too long for you, you won’t be able to use the full power of the bow, and if it’s too short, you will have difficulty aiming accurately at full draw.

You can get your draw weight exactly measured at an archery shop, but an easy way to estimate is to measure your wingspan and divide by 2.5. Your wingspan is the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the other with your arms outstretched like a T. 

Most people’s wingspans are similar to their height, so this makes the Bear Grizzly ideal for someone 5’10”. People a couple of inches on either side of this probably won’t have an issue, but if you’re taller than 6’0″ or shorter than 5’8″, you might need a different draw length.

In other words, the Bear Grizzly works well for the average-sized man, but tall men, short men, and most women and youth may need to consider other models.

There Aren’t Any Accessory Bushings

Accessory bushings for attaching sights, stabilizers, etc. are fairly common on takedown models but not so much on single-piece recurves like the Grizzly. In fact, it’s unique that the Grizzly has bushings for a quiver. 

Nevertheless, if you like to use accessories with a recurve bow, this might not be the model for you. Again, this reflects the fact that the Grizzly is truly for traditional archery. It’s great for people who enjoy the extra challenge of hunting with low technological help like sights.

The Bear Grizzly: Things to Keep in Mind

If the Bear Grizzly sounds like it might be the bow for you, there are a few things you should be aware of. These aren’t pros or cons but rather particular aspects of the bow that you might not know from using other models.

You Need to Use Dacron Bowstrings

Because the Bear Archery Grizzly is a traditional bow, you need to use Dacron strings on it. Dacron material is flexible and maintains its tensile strength over time. It’s resistant to stretch, so it provides a consistent shot and better accuracy even after repeated use.

Many bowstrings that manufacturers currently make can chew up the top and bottom limb ends on the Grizzly, so as a precaution, Bear Archery recommends you use Dacron strings. We recommend it too, regardless of your personal opinion on Dacron or past experiences.

You Need to Know Your Draw Weight

When you buy a one-piece bow, that’s your bow. There’s no changing the limbs so that you can make the draw weight heavier or lighter as you would on a takedown bow. The bow you get has a set draw weight, and that’s that.

As a result, you need to be sure about your draw weight, and if you’re a beginner, you probably don’t know what draw weight you can handle. In other words, you need to be careful if this is for your first bow

If that describes your situation, it may make sense to go to your local archery range and rent a couple of bows with different draw weights and see how they feel. Only then can you really have an idea of what kind of weight you can and should pull.

You Need to Know Your State’s Required Draw Weight

Every state has a requirement when it comes to the game you want to hunt. In many states, the minimum draw weight for hunting whitetail deer is 40 pounds, so if you want to hunt whitetail deer, you need a bow with at least that much.

Bear Grizzly comes in versions with draw weights ranging from 30-60 pounds. If you’re buying the Bear Grizzly to hunt, you need to buy a bow that meets your state’s draw weight requirements for different types of game. If you’re new to archery or bowhunting, that can be tricky, but you have to keep it in mind.

You also need to recognize that if you have a bow on the lower end of that range—say 40 pounds—and you hunt deer or turkey with it, you’ll need to use a bow with a heavier draw weight if you decide to move up to bigger game like elk, moose or bear. Keep all this in mind and consider your future plans before selecting a draw weight.

Who Should Use the Bear Grizzly?

We primarily recommend the Bear Archery Grizzly for serious bowhunters who are passionate about traditional archery. You don’t necessarily have to be an expert, but you should plan on hunting regularly, year after year. That’s because the Grizzly is meant to last and has a gorgeous, powerful design that’s best enjoyed by someone who has specifically chosen traditional archery. 

It’s not merely an inexpensive option for taking advantage of the longer archery season like some other models. It is specifically designed to give you a rewarding traditional archery experience.

Bear Archery AFT2086150 Grizzly Recurve 50#, Brown
  • Limbs overlaid with clear maple and backed and faced with high-strength black fiberglass
  • Crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf
  • Comes with leather side plate and bear hair arrow rest

This article is written by:

Gregory Johnson

Gregory Johnson

With almost 20 years of archery experience under his belt, Gregory founded the Complete Guide to Archery website in 2017. His purpose has been to spread knowledge about the hobby and sport to anyone willing to learn.
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