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Old Fashioned Wood Treestands

Building an old fashioned wood treestand is a bit like building a treefort or a treehouse. You really just need a ladder and a platform to stand on.


Modern treestands (made of aluminum or various alloys) are usually designed with safety and convenience in mind. But they are also stolen easily.

You set up your hunting location, install your fancy $400 treestand in the nearby tree, you come back a week later and... someone stole it. Or lets pretend you got a super cheap $60 treestand, and someone still stole it.

Another hunter saw your fancy treestand, took a liking to it, and since it is so easy to install and takedown, and transport, they stole it and used it somewhere else.

Old fashioned treestands don't have this problem. You build them with wood, nails, screws, etc and they are literally attached to the tree. "Stealing it" would be a lot of work and thieves are lazy.

You have 7 factors to consider when building a treestand:
  1. Durability
  2. Weight
  3. Safety
  4. Cost
  5. Convenience
  6. How Hard is it to Steal
  7. Comfort

    #6 is taking care of because you are building it out of wood (usually), and it is attached to the tree at multiple points with nails. The effort of taking it down and rebuilding it just is not worth it for most people. (Especially if the would-be thief finds a fancier treestand elsewhere and decides to steal it instead.)

    Wood is durable, but in theory you could also purchase aluminum or other materials that will also be durable. You could even use aluminum siding to make a roof for your treestand, which would keep the rain / snow off of it, increase your comfort, and increase the durability of the wooden bits below.

    You will want something that is lightweight to build / transport / install. Again wood and aluminum make sense here. You will want to avoid any materials that are heavy. Large wood logs may be durable, but they are also very heavy and not needed. You are building a treestand, not a log cabin.

    Handrails are a good idea for safety. They are also convenient for hanging things on. Your platform should be durable enough that you can jump on it with full gear and there is no worry about it breaking.

    Wood and aluminum are relatively cheap. Or even free if you know where to get and recycle materials. The real cost here is the time required to build the treestand and the assumption you are handy with tools. (If you are not handy with tools maybe you should stick to ground blinds.)

    With respect to convenience you really want a design that is easy to construct, easy to install / connect to the tree, and doesn't take too much time. A minimalist approach, plus a few safety features, should suffice.

    Comfort... sitting in a treestand for hours can get really uncomfortable. So you want to be able to sit or stand and move around a bit without any worries.

    And there are lots of designs to consider. Including freestanding designs that aren't actually attached to trees, or designs where that ladder also doubles as a support structure.








    The last one is really minimalist, but takes a long time to make. ;)

    Dating a Bear Grizzly Static

    Q

    "Wondering about age and value I believe it's a 1948 from the bits and pieces I have found so far on the internet.

    Jim W.
     
    Fyi Discovered Bow in our attic in  Port Sanilac Michigan "

    27523 serial number
    53# poundage




    A

    Hey Jim!

    I have nearly the exact same bow, just the serial number is different and the pattern of the fibreglass is different, and mine has aluminum in it. Mine is from 1949 and still shoots perfectly.

    Judging by the serial number, the decal and the fibreglass pattern (no crossweave) your bow is a Circa 1952 Bear Grizzly Static. There is also no aluminum in the limbs so it could be a late 1951 model, but most likely it is from 1952.

    Value might be $150 to $200 USD. Depends on the condition of the limbs, handle, tips, etc. I would need to see about 12 to 16 photos of every part of the bow to make a detailed guess as to the value.

    Have a great day!

    Sincerely,
    Charles Moffat
    ProjectGridless.ca
     
     
     
    BACKGROUND INFO
     
    The small Running Bear decal on the left was used by Bear from 1948 until 1953, with the larger Standing Bear decal replacing it in mid-1953 and lasting until the 1955-56 model years. Beginning in 1955-56 Bear began using the silk-screened logo shown on the far.
     
    The Grayling Era bows of Bear Archery

    Beginning in 1947, Bear Archery moved into a new plant in Grayling, Michigan. Bow sales were now beginning to soar as new archers and bowhunters entered the sport in record numbers due in large part to the successful promotions of Fred Bear.

    Fred realized that he could not meet the demand which would come from these new recruits by making bows one at a time like Bear had been doing since it's inception almost 15 years earlier. So he came up with a new method of mass producing bows, finally allowing his company to meet this demand. But Nels Grumley would not accept that quality bows could be made by any other manner than one-at-a-time, so Nels left the company to go out on his own.

    Upon Nels departure, Fred moved another employee by the name of Bob Meeker over to supervise the manufacturing of the new bow lines. Even though bows were then largely the result of machine work, Bob came to be considered a fine bowyer in his own right.

    The Aluminum Laminated Bows

    The first new bow model which was introduced in 1949 after Nels’ departure was the Grizzly. The Polar and Kodiak were introduced in the following year, 1950.

    These bows of 1949, 1950 and early 1951 can be recognized by the lamination of aluminum in the limbs. This aluminum was scrapped from B-17 bomber airplanes of WWII, the purchase of which was arranged from the government by Glen St. Charles. The aluminum lamination on the Kodiak and Grizzly is found only in the inner lamination, surrounded by layers of maple and glass. However, on the Polar, the aluminum is found both under a layer of maple and glass, and on the outside lamination.

    In 1949 and 1950 Bear was using a bi-directional glass on their bows which looks somewhat like a basket weave pattern. Then in 1951 Bear began using a new Uni-Directional glass in which the glass fibers all ran lengthwise to the bow limbs. This is a good way to tell the difference between the 1949/50 and the 1951 models. The 1951 Grizzly also began production with the aluminum lamination, but very early in 1951 the aluminum was dropped due to the high reported breakage problems of these aluminum bows.

    The Kodiak was introduced in 1950 with the bi-directional glass and the aluminum lamination. Then in early 1951, just as with the Grizzly, the new uni-directional glass was introduced but the aluminum lamination was still present. This glass change apparently occurred around serial number 5000. Then in mid-1951, the aluminum lamination was dropped. So for 1951 you will find Kodiaks with aluminum and bi-directional glass, aluminum with uni-directional glass, and no-aluminum with uni-directional glass.

    This aluminum laminated caused two problems. First, the bows had quite a bit of handshock when shot, and as a result were not comfortable to shoot. Secondly, the large amount of shock contributed to a large number of bows delaminating. This warranty problem caused a substantial strain on the companies finances, but Fred insisted that all bows be replaced if returned broken.
     

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