Bear Encounter Review
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The 2012 Bear Encounter is a perfect for the entry level archer. You get loads of value for your dollar with its ease of use, performance, and comfort. The engineers at Bear have been making strides in recent years especially in the top end of the archery world which is now showing in the lower end of their line up with the Encounter for example. The Encounter is a new release for 2012 and is loaded with features for its price. The company really emphasizes how they listen to customers' in terms of possible improvements and developments. Although the majority of advertising and attention toward Bear is on the new Anarchy, the rest of their line is still overlooked by many. This bow is smooth, light, quiet, and easy to shoot.
FinishThe only color available on the Encounter is Realtree APG with no other options. It has a semi-gloss finish, however, it doesn't glare and seems durable. Since the bow has been released there have been no seen reports of any cracking or chipping. The one color that is available on this bow does have a good look to it.
Riser/LimbsThe Riser on the Encounter measures 30.5" axel to axel. It is easy to maneuver with it being short and weighs in at a very light 3.7 lbs. The machined aluminum riser is straight and neutral with uniform cut outs. It only has one string suppressor and it is integrated lacking the dual offset string suppressors that are on many of Bear's bows now. The stabilizer bushing is stainless steal.The Bear Flared Quad Limbs are held in place by the Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets. They fit into these pockets that connect them to the riser and can still allow them to move and pivot freely. Vibration is minimized with this system. The Encounter has a 7 3/4" brace height. It shoots well for a short bow. It is forgiving although not as much as some of the longer ATA bows that aren't as easy to get around with while hunting. There is some kick on the shot.
GripThe Encounter sports a thin two panel style grip. These side panels are simple and are found on many of the bows in Bear's line up. The geometry creates very little torque on the hand. If you are hunting in colder weather, however, it provides little for hand warmth. It has a well balanced feel.
String SuppressorsThis bow lacks the dual string suppressors that many of Bear's bows have. However, the single integrated string suppressor is still effective. It has a rubber vibration dampening boot at the string receiving end. This suppressor does great and reducing vibration.
Eccentric SystemThe cam on the Bear Encounter is not certain, and has a draw length adjustment of 27" to 32" covering a large range of sizes with .5" increments. It is available in 50, 60, and 70lb. draw weights with an 80% let off. The E2-Cam rotates on dual stainless steal ball bearings and provides a smooth draw. There are no additional modules needed or the use of a bow press to change the draw length which is extremely handy. There are dual sealed ball-bearings in the idler wheel. This is a single cam bow with an IBO speed of 310 fps. With the bow set up at 70lbs. at a 28" draw length it shot 295 fps. Although it is not a real fast bow it would still work great for hunting almost any game.
Draw Cycle/Shoot AbilityThe entire draw on this bow is smooth with a little more weight at the end. It feels fairly balanced and is easy to hold at full draw with the 80% let off. Although there is noticeable recoil at the shot the valley gives you room to work if you let up a bit too much. It has a hard back wall that isn't hard to hold. The Encounter is quiet with minimal vibration, however, a stabilizer would still increase its balance. Vibration is limited with the string suppressor and the slide type cable guard does its job well. Roller guard systems are smoother, but are usually only available on higher end bows.
Silencing PackageThis bow is pleasantly quiet and more so than most in its price range. Sound and vibration are nearly deadened with the string suppressor. There are no additional gadgets on the string to silent the shot and aren't needed. Without them they won't decrease the string speed either. Also assisting to silence the bow are the limb pockets.
|Bow||Bear Encounter||Bear Legion|
|Brace Height||7.75 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||30.5 "||30.5 "|
|Draw Length||27 " - 32 "||26 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||310 fps||318 fps|
|Weight||3.7 lbs||4.0 lbs|
|Where to buy|
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
The Bear Encounter is one notch below the Bear Legion in their line up. The largest difference between these two bows is the riser. The Encounter is a neutral machined aluminum riser with a single string suppressor and the Legion has a thicker, slightly heavier, riser with the Dual Arc Offset String Suppressors. The Encounter has a .75" longer brace height, however it is 8fps slower. Their ATAs are the same, but the Encounter is lighter by .3lbs weighing only 3.7lbs. The majority of the other features between these two bows are almost identical. The Legion costs $100 more and has a little better look with some additional speed.