Ed Bilderback: What to Know About the Man Who Fred Bear Called ‘World’s Greatest Bowhunter’

by Madison Miller

What does it take to receive the crown for world’s greatest bowhunter?

For Fred Bear the only person worthy of the title is Ed Bilderback.

Fred Bear himself is known as the “Father of Bowhunting” and has created one of the biggest bowhunting companies in the world, Bear Archery. According to Bowhunter.com, he is credited with creating patents for the razor head broadhead, the modern shooting glove, fiberglass bow backings, and the bow quiver.

So, what does it take for the “Father of Bowhunting” to give up his title?

Ed Bilderback is famous for shooting videos where he is on a bobbing deck of his fishing trawler. He shot small bottles out of the air with his .30 caliber carbine.

The revered Alaskan bear guide had a stroke and died at the age of 84.

Ed Bilderback Defies Hunting Expectations

While he had the aim and precision unlike many hunters today, he also could capture live wild Wolverines. Yes, they were alive and yes, they were wild. The task of capturing such a wild and often deadly creature is unheard of to a lot of people.

“I could go on and on about how Ed lived the ultimate rugged individual mountain man life of pure independence, how he made his own way back when Alaska was still raw and uncharted, but the best way for me to convey how Ed epitomized the quintessential outdoor lifestyle is to tell you how he captured wild Wolverines by hand to transport them live to zoos,” Ted Nugent wrote about the hunter.

Bilderback often was on Ted Nugent’s Spirit of the Wild TV show on the Outdoor Channel. Here he showed off his adventurous side and his amazing hunter abilities.

It’s no surprise that Fred Bear had a lot of respect for the late hunter. He got Bear within feet of giant Kodiak bears in Alaska.

Even Ted Nugent continues to call his friend “the greatest natural-born hunter/marksman/woodsman/naturalist that ever lived …”

That’s why the memory of hunters like Bilderback continue to burn bright in many outdoor enthusiasts’ brains.

“Some campfires never die. Spirits stay with us. Memories burn on. Life becomes fuller with time and presence.”