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Monday, December 7, 2009

Interview with Jason Pickerill Associate Product manager at Bear Archery

I thought it would be a good idea to broaden my horizons and start scraping the surface of all there is to know about bow hunting. I got in contact with Jason Pickerill Associate Product manager at Bear Archery and interviewed him. This is what he had to say.

1. Can you explain a little about your position at Bear Archery?

I work in Product Management; Product management basically is the conduit that connects: sales, engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, marketing and management. You could say that we have our hands on a product or project from idea conception all the way to the finished product. We are also responsible for our company’s profits/losses, inventory and aide in the overall business plan for the company. It may sound like we have a lot on our plate, but we are just one part of a large group of people that keeps us going.

2. What do you like most about working at Bear Archery?

I don’t think I could pinpoint just one thing. First there are about 14 of us at our Evansville, IN office and we are all a lot alike and have a common passion and that is archery, so you get really close to these guys they become just like family. Second everyone here is very ambitious and wants to be the best they can be and we all want our products to reflect that. Third, it is very cool to work for Bear Archery, just because of the heritage or tradition that a company like Bear has. Everyone here likes the fact that we carry on and continue to make quality archery products; just the way Fred would have wanted it.

4. Have you personally had any success with the products?

Yes I am a die-hard bow hunter along with everyone else in the office. I didn’t have a lot of formal instruction when I first began shooting a bow, I was sort of self-taught for a long time, but I have learned a lot about shooting from my colleges since I started working at Bear Archery. Taking my hunting experience and combining it with improved overall shooting ability and using quality products has definitely made me more successful in the field.

5. What bow is your Favorite?

It is hard to beat all of them, but I am looking forward to shooting the new Attack, but I also really like the Assault, Both are real shooters.

6. For someone like me who has never bow hunted, but really wants to get into it what makes Bear Bows better then the competition.

Bear Archery has been making bows since 1933; our founder Fred Bear to some is the God-Father of Archery. So shooting a Bear makes you apart of that legacy, it makes you apart of something special. Much of what made Bear successful over the last 7 or 8 decades is still alive today. We got a great team of people that eat, breath and sleep archery and are completely dedicated to manufacturing the highest quality equipment at a great price.

7. What other types of products does Bear Archery offer?

We have a full line of traditional bows including long bows and recurves, traditional equipment and the largest selection of Youth Archery bows and equipment.

We also offer a whole line of accessories under the brand Trophy Ridge. Trophy Ridge has a Vertical In-line pin series (Micro Alpha V5, Alpha V5, Crazy 8 and Fire Wire V5). We also have an entire series of Horizontal Pin sights (The Judge, The Hit-Man series, The Punisher Sights).

Doesn’t matter if you want a full capture arrow rest or a drop away we have you covered with both arrow rests (A whole line of the world famous Whisker Biscuit), Quivers (Arrow Cage 1 & Arrow Cage 2, 6 Shooters and the 4-Banger), Stabilizers (The Shockstop Series), Arrows (Crush, Blast, Hailfire, and Wrath), and Broadheads (A whole line of Rocket Arrowheads). One of the nice things with Bear and Trophy Ridge you can get every thing you need to bow hunt except the stand, camo, and deer.

8. Where does Bear Archery Draw its inspiration or generate ideas when designing new products (is it a dedicated team, outside help, or a combination of the two)?

A lot of it comes from our team of design engineers, who have a great combination of education, experience and passion for the sport. There is a lot of creative energy in the office and we brainstorm together, test products, look at our personal experiences with equipment, analyze the market place and make all decisions as a team, meaning everyone may be involved on a particular project.

9. You said before that Bear also sells Traditional Recurve and long bows which one of these types of bows would you say sells the best?

It is all based on your personal preference and shooting ability, but a lot of traditional guys favorite bow is the Super Kodiak, this design has been around since 1967 and there is a reason for that.

10. The traditional bows are almost as expensive as the compound bows why is that?

They are all hand made and very labor intensive. The guys that make them are very skilled craftsmen. In fact some of the same guys that were taught by Fred are still there. In fact Neil Byce our Operations Manger moved with his family from Grayling Michigan to Gainesville, FL when Fred moved Bear Archery down there in 1978,both Neil and his father were taught by Fred Bear himself.

I hope you enjoyed all of the info from Jason. Here are my thoughts on my interview with Jason. Fist of all he was a pleasure to work with and I really enjoyed doing the interview with him. It is also nice to know the employees of Bear Archery all use their own product and actively bow hunt. I hope all of you enjoy this interview and I look forward to having a good relationship with Bear Archery, and Trophy Ridge. I'm thinking we will be hearing more from these guys.

~Ben G.


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