This model is very affordable. In fact, its price is so low that I had my doubts if it could be made of a certain quality at all, to be honest. Okay, it is made by Bear Archery, but that does not mean that it must be great, right? As always, I tried to do my best to find all the available information out there concerning this product and to present it to you in an easy and informative way. I hope we can meet again at the end of this review where you should be able to decide if this one is for your kids or not. Happy shooting!
Bow Package Contents
First of all I would suggest to all parents that are new to the world of compounds to read my beginner’s guide about that topic here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
It cannot hurt to know a bit about it before buying anything.
A second critical point with this youth model specifically is the Proposition 65 warning on the package, that appears mainly on products sold in California. It says that this product could contain the threat of cancer in its materials and that you need to wash your hands after using it, which sounds pretty shocking. You need to know, though, that this warning is on a lot of products that are sold in California (Christmas lights, vacuum cleaners or cars or even parking ramps), even if there were no harmful materials used, because this way manufacturers protect themselves from being sued (because of being non-compliant with Proposition 65, mainly due to manufacturer violations, not because of harmed users).
So by the end of the day you have to decide for yourself if this warning will prevent you from buying this youth model or not.
Now back to the review. Bear recommends this one for 4 – 7 year old children. It is definitely not adjustable and it is not meant for hunting or competition. It simply is an affordable youth model to introduce very young children to shooting compounds and for testing the waters without breaking the bank completely. If your kid is already 8 years and older I would suggest you look at the Crosman Elkhorn, the Genesis, the Bear Archery Brave or the Bear Archery Cruzer. These models cost more but they are adjustable and are meant to be shot by slightly older children.
The Scout comes as an ambidextrous youth compound bow. This means it can be shot by right handed and left handed archers. But you have to switch the rest, the sight, and the strings around for getting it from right to left handed and vice versa. How to do this is written down in the manual. If you don’t have one the digital version can be found here => Manual. Just scroll down to 2010. A customer stated he bought two additional arrow rests for speeding this process up a bit, so he got the Archery Rest 2 Flipper for the right and the left side.
Apart from the sight and the arrow rest, this one comes ready to shoot out of the box. Instructions for installing those items can be found in the digital version of the manual only (a lot of parents were not amused about this fact): Manual. Scroll down to 2010.
The arrow rest of this one is made of cheap plastic and is therefore a bit flimsy. It is attached via a tape to the riser, so don’t expect too much of it. It is so small that it is hard for kids to keep the arrow on it while pulling back the string – especially kids that are on the weaker side may struggle a lot with it. Theoretically they would need to slant this youth compound a bit to prevent the arrows from falling down, but when they struggle with the poundage at the same time, that is not always easy to do.
The single pin sight is made of plastic as well. As kids at such a young age often do much better without one, a lot of parents did not install it in the first place. Apart from that, the sight is covered by the riser in parts or completely at certain positions, which makes it pretty useless. Additionally a sight makes not much sense without a served in peep sight (rear sight), so why bother at all?
You will get 2 Safetyglass arrows with the Bear Scout that are 28″ long. Those are youth arrows with glued on blunt metal tips and nocks that tend to break, according to several customers. All in all the arrows are junk, which is pretty usual in this price range. Fiberglass tends to crack and splinter when hitting hard objects, the glued on tips tend to be pulled out when pulling arrows from foam targets and the nocks tend to break. As those two will get lost rather sooner than later anyway, it is a good idea to get a bunch of additional youth arrows (take a look at the Eastin Genesis 2 or similar models). Maybe get some with feathers, as plastic vanes tend to hit the arrow rest when nocked in wrongly (the index feather needs to point outward, away from the riser), resulting in wild shots.
The hip quiver does its job as it should (if needed at all) and the included arm guard and finger tabs are crap. The arm guard is a hard piece of plastic and the finger tabs are too stiff as well. As there are finger rollers on the string you don’t need the tabs. I would suggest you get a better arm guard as it will prevent the forearm of your offspring from getting string slaps from time to time, which will happen. This is due to shooting without proper form. If you want to learn more about it, please read my article here => Proper Form For Compound Bow Shooting.
String slaps hurt a lot and leave ugly bruises, which means they can kill the motivation of your kids fast, sending them back to the TV. So better get an appropriate arm guard to prevent that from happening.
You also will get a 90 day limited warranty to the original owner, so keep your receipt safe. Usually such a warranty covers errors in materials and workmanship. They never include cables, strings and moveable parts and they get voided when misusing or modifying the product in ways it was not meant to be used or modified. For example you should never ever dry fire a compound – not even one made for children! If you don’t know what dry firing means, please read my article about it here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
As there is no target included in this set, I suggest you start with hay bales or cardboard boxes. Some parents of very young children stated that the arrows won’t stick in foam targets most of the time, so you don’t need one of those for starting out.
Noise Level / Hand Shock Of The Bear Archery Scout Youth Compound Bow
As this one is a youth model for very young kids, it is of course not dead silent.
A parent stated there was quite some hand shock for his kid, but hey, how much can that be with only 13 lbs? I assume that might have happened rather due to the hard plastic grip, that several kids complained about.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The Scout itself is a durable and sturdy youth compound that can take some beating of your kids.
The plastic grip is pretty small and feels too hard for some little ones, so a few parents wrapped tape around it.
The composite limbs seem to be durable as well, as do the cams.
The overall length of this model is 33″ (including cams), which is pretty normal for a kid’s compound.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The Scout is fairly accurate at around 5 – 10 yards. You should fix the finger rollers on the string with tape (for using them as a nocking point), though, as they tend to slide up and down all the time, making it impossible for kids to nock the arrows in at the same spot, which is really important for getting good results. It can shoot up to 30 yards at targets, but don’t except much of it concerning accuracy at that distance.
If your kid is already 8 years or older I would suggest you take a look at the Genesis or the Crosman Elkhorn.
The draw weight range is from 8 – 13 lbs – but it is definitely not adjustable. This means the poundage can be from 8 to 13 pounds depending on the draw length of your kid. For some parents – especially bowhunting dads – the 13 pounds were a bit weak. On the other hand I think it is better to teach your kids how to handle a compound bow in a responsible way with a weaker bow before giving them something with more power.
The draw length ranges from 16″ – 24″ and is not adjustable. This means that the Bear Archery Scout can be used by children who fall into this range. If your kid is already a bit older it would make sense to measure his or her draw length before buying the Scout. Please read my guide about how to do that here => How To Determine Your Draw Length.
If the draw length of your kid is longer than 24″ you need to get a different model.
Although there is no given let off by Bear Archery, a customer stated there is kinda one that kicks in at around 20″ to 24″, reducing the poundage by 50%. But theoretically there should be no let off.
Shooting Speed Of The Bear Archery Scout Youth Compound Bow
As this is a youth model there is no information about speed to be found anywhere. But it is not that fast, of course.
Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
With 13 lbs max this is not suited for hunting anything, as it would not meet the minimum requirements of every single state concerning draw weight for bowhunting.
Suitable For Bowfishing
I doubt you would be able to attach a bowfishing reel to this one. Apart from that, it is way too weak for penetrating the water and hitting the fish properly.
At around 20 or 30 bucks this set is really affordable to test if your offspring might be interested in archery at all without losing an arm and a leg – but you have to expect that you won’t get the best option out there. If having fun with your kids, showing them how to deal with a compound, building confidence and responsibility is your main focus here, then this one is for you. If you want them to hit the spot all the time, shoot up to 50 yards and hit the target with some power, then you should take a look at the Bear Archery Brave or the Bear Archery Cruzer. Maybe even the Diamond Atomic if you want to spend quite a bit.
Pros & Cons
– very affordable
– cheap accessories
– crappy arrows
If you recall, the Bear Archery Scout Youth Compound Bow is recommended for introducing children at the age of 4 – 7 years to shooting bows. With the Scout they will learn how to deal with a weapon like this without having the most powerful at hand, so that they know what to do and what not to do when the time comes for better gear. The Scout is not a toy, though. People or pets can be injured, so supervision by parents or adults is strongly required.
I found some parents that complained about the Bear Archery Scout lacking accuracy and power, so again: This one is not meant for hunting or competition. It is for very young children to have some fun together with their parents in the backyard or the local park. If you can accept this, they will learn a lot while using the Scout (responsibility, confidence, how to handle a bow etc.). Otherwise you need to invest a bit more and check out all the other models I have mentioned throughout this review.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!