Bear Instinct Review

Bear Instinct

Average user rating

out of 5 user reviews
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  from $149.99


  • Very shootable rig
  • Quick and quiet
  • Value price tag


  • String isn't prestretched
  • Not very compatible with peeps without rubber tubing


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Editors' review

The Instinct is a short axle to axle bow that has great maneuverability for many hunting situations. It has many features that make it a very good choice for the bow hunter with a value price tag. It has the "ready to shoot" option as well which gives you all the accessories already attached to the bow.


This rig has a quality and durable finish that with the proper care will last you as long as you own the bow. It comes in the Realtree hardwoods green camouflage with green components (limb pockets and cams).


The riser on the Instinct is a rugged riser constructed out of machined aluminum. With the parallel limb design of this bow it allows for a longer riser of 22" which adds strength and speed. It also has nine cut outs along the length of the riser which reduces the overall weight of the bow to 4.1 pounds.

Limbs/Limb Pockets

The Instinct's limbs are compression molded quad limbs and with their design have very little travel with little to no vibration. These limbs are very rigid and durable as well. The limb pockets on this rig are pivoting pockets that encase the ends of the limbs. They have a tight limb to riser fit with the addition of vibration dampening components inside to pockets to make the bow even quieter.


The Instinct comes outfitted with a two piece laminated wood grip. In addition to the wood side plates, there is a rubber non skid component between the grip plates to assure your hand doesn't slip. This is a comfortable grip that isn't too fat and isn't too skinny making it very comfortable.

Eccentric System

The Instinct comes equipped with a perimeter weighted single cam and idler wheel system. The weighted cam increases your strings speed which in turn increases the speed of your arrow and kinetic energy. The draw weight range of this system is from 40 to 70 pounds and has a comfortable 75% let off. This rig also has a draw length range of 23" to 30" that can be adjusted with interchangeable modules. A bow press is needed when changing out the modules. This system also boasts a 306 fps IBO speed.

Ready to shoot package and vibration dampening

The Instinct also comes with the a RTS "ready to shoot" package that includes a whisker biscuit rest, 3 pin fiber optic sight, camo quiver, self aligning peep sight, stabilizer and wrist strap. Also every Instinct comes outfitted with Sims limbsavers and string leeches that help cancel noise and vibration.


The draw cycle of the Instinct is very smooth from start to finish with a smooth transition from a very easy valley to full draw. Once at full draw there is a solid back wall that does not move any further. Add in the fact that there is 75% let off and a 7.5" brace height; it makes this a very comfortable and forgiving draw cycle. Once shot this bow is dead in your hand with little to no vibration or hand shock.

Instinct vs. Element

BowBear InstinctBear Element
Version 20072007
PictureBear InstinctBear Element
Brace Height7.5 "7.75 "
AtA Length30 "32 "
Draw Length23 " - 30 "24 " - 31 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed302 fps - 306 fps300 fps - 304 fps
Weight4.1 lbs4.1 lbs
Let-Off75% 75%
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The Element comes in at around $100 less than the Instinct but you give up some speed and components with that drop in price. The Bear Element also has a single cam system but without the perimeter weight which drops the speed a few fps. Also the Instinct has a vibration dampening package and the Element does not. The Element has a slightly longer 32" axle to axle length as well.


This rig was designed for the hunter in mind. With the short axle to axle length of the Instinct, it will be well suited in a tree stand or ground blind. Also with a 75% let off this bow can be held comfortably on stubborn game for a good duration of time. While being a very shootable bow, this rig could also be used in a recreational shooting scenario as well.


To conclude, the Bear Instinct is a very good choice at very reasonable price point. The Instinct is quick, smooth, forgiving and has little to no vibration or hand shock which makes it a very shootable bow. For the bow hunter this will be a very value conscience and reliable choice. The addition of a prestretched string might be a good choice if you prefer a peep without rubber tubing attached. This rig will do well in many hunting situations and overall is a steal at $399 msrp.

User Reviews

  • 5 reviews
  • ( out of 5 reviews for all versions)
Great bow

Version: 2007 Bear Instinct


Pros: Accurate, relatively quiet, dependable, super smooth draw, solid bow all around.

Cons: Grip is a tad bulky and by today’s standards, a bit slow at ~302 FPS. Still fast and quiet enough to dependably get the job done at <40 yards.

Full review:

One of the most underrated bows of the last 15 years. Great quality for the price. Shot it for 12 years and still have it as a backup. If the new bow falters, I’ll quickly go back to the Instinct. “Upgraded” to a new bow although I still love this bow. It will be tough to replace its dependability and accuracy.

Great Bow for the money.

Version: 2007 Bear Instinct


Pros: Easy to shoot. Quiet.

Cons: The string will stretch on this bow over time and you will need to adjust your string loop occasionally. Cant adjust draw length without buying new cam insert for each length.

Full review:

I shot this bow for 5 years from Texas to Montana. Killed several deer and 3 elk. Bow is easy to carry and even easier to shoot. Also I found this bow to be very accurate for its size. Had 2 shots over forty five yards and it put the arrow right on the money. Buying another one for a back up bow. That's another story.

12 years and still on same string

Version: 2007 Bear Instinct


Pros: Long lasting components
Wide range of adjustability
Balances well in hand
Quickly and easily tuned
Forgiving with accuracy

Cons: Heavy
Grip is a bit wide
Need now press to adjust

Full review:

I've been hunting with this bow for 12 years now and have yet to change the string or fix anything, and the finish is still in perfect shape, incredible durability! Tuned very quickly in a just a few shots and shoots quite accurately.

Super quiet and quick, and easy to shoot for hours

Version: 2007 Bear Instinct


Pros: Comfortable, quick, quiet, super smooth, able to be shot for hours upon hours

Cons: The only con I have is the grip gets rough spots and the screw in the grip is too long so it sticks into you palm. Just used a Dremel to knock it down a bit

Full review:

I love this bow.

Version: 2007 Bear Instinct


Pros: little to no vibration, very smooth draw, light able to hold on target with little fatige

Cons: would hav like to have had string damperners. arrow quiver is not the best. on the RTH package.

Full review:

I have used this bow 5 years now and it has not let me down. the price was right and needed to only change a few things out to fit my likings. I like the short axle to axle length it woks well from a double stand to a single stand.

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