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Prophaniti Monday, May 21st, 2007
Period of
Field Use:
Just once
Date There: May 19th, 2007
6 months
Other Fields
in the Area:
Ft. Campbell Paintball, CC Range, Gateway Action Sports

BearClaw blows these away!
to the Field:
For the most direct route, follow the directions on their website.

DO NOT USE GOOGLE! It is way off.
Review: Having used pbreview in my research for places to try out, I'm contributing my own review already knowing what many others have said.

First, let me say that the day I played was very slow, but very rewarding. Throughout the day, there were rarely more than 6 persons to a side. As I understand it, it is a rare thing to have so few people at Bearclaw.
Of particular note is the fact that 7 Tennessee Titans NFL players were there. It was almost like a private party was being hosted...only that wasn't the case. Great guys, all...and not being a football enthusiast, I can say that this is based on personality alone, not the view of a goggle-eyed fan.

Right then...on to what will be a more typical experience:

If you've never been, here are some things to set your expectations...

If you are a SPEEDBALL player, don't bother. There are plenty of other courses around that offer speedball on a much more pleasant level for your playstyle. BearClaw does have a speedball field or two, but many of the obstacles pull double-duty as extra bits of cover in and around their woodsball fields during scenario games, so you may be limited to a single course of wooden buildings.
If you are a die-hard Speedball player, you might as well stop reading...the rest of this concerns people who are either woodsball-oriented, or are willing to give it a try.

If you are a WOODSBALL player, a 4-hour drive wouldn't be a waste just to experience what Bearclaw has to offer. Maybe not every weekend, but at least once. I myself traveled 2 hours and have zero complaints.

First off, there's the owners & staff. Mr. Robert & Miss Suzie treated me like royalty.
I got a tour of the various areas within the woods (courtesy of a golf cart ride along the varied trails made especially for Scenario Tanks) by Mr. Robert. The way his eyes lit up and the depth of description he used to talk about the history of certain areas (such as the downed airplane and the swimming pool-turned-bunker) let me know that he wasn't just a business owner...he was a true enthusiast. I got the impression that the fields are never truly "done." There's always something more in the works.
Miss Suzie made a huge impression on me. The nicest gal you'll ever meet. She truly made me feel great about spending my day at Bearclaw even with the small number of players on that particular day.

The rest of the staff ranged in both age and experience...from the first-time "paintball serfs" who were working in order to get playtime, all the way through to more mature (read: older in age, not behavior...we're all giddy kids when it comes to shooting Nerf rockets from a cannon!) scenario veterans who helped mentor the newer refs. All were knowledgeable and more than willing to facilitate the interests of the players.

Having met the people, let's go into a bit more detail on the scenery.
Some so-called Woodsball courses are basically nothing more than speedball fields with trees as obstacles with everything else bush-hogged to the dirt. Zero undergrowth, and a fairly cramped field of play.
Not so at Bearclaw! The expansiveness of the wooded area seems incalculable your first time's as if the field (and buildings, sandbagged bunkers, and other terrain) go on forever. Inbetween these obstacles and pieces of cover is the concealment factor. Yes, there are trails and pathways big enough for a golf cart...but the rest of the area is absolutely covered in undergrowth...great for concealment.

Painstaking effort has been put into not just creating a facade, but a well-bodied field of play.
It's not a Hollywood set with a singular attraction and nothing behind the scenes. There are buildings, bunkers, and bits of cover everywhere...not just enough to define a particular section as "The Fort" or "The WWII camp." The focal points of the areas are there, but the surrounding areas all have something to offer players who don't want to get bottlenecked into one particular area of the field.

By the time lunch rolled around, I was overdue for some chow. I grabbed a Chicken Finger special from their concessions and couldn't handle the amount of food I got for my money. I think even the voracious appetites of the NFL players were satisfied.

Facilities were great...covered areas to sit in the shade and eat, plenty of outdoor seating, showers & toilets...not Porta-Potties...real toilets (and two designated especially for ladies), and a Pro Shop with merchandise, cold drinks, etc.

Field paint is required. Anywhere from 45 to 55 bucks for a case of Procaps (Either X-Ball or Draxxus). I saw another reviewer griping about the cost of the paint here and frankly, I don't understand. Why complain?
It's a fact that in order to play paintball, you will spend money. Everyone knows the price ranges for a case of decent paint, so what's the problem? It's not like they're selling Brass Eagle crap at inflated prices. It's actually worth feeding into your hopper.

If you can't afford to buy the paint at the field, don't bother showing up. Would you go to a video arcade with no money and expect to enjoy yourself? Would you decide to take a cross-country road trip and not budget for gasoline?

Paintball isn't the cheapest sport out there. Not by a longshot. Most of the time though, you get what you pay for. Bearclaw was a great investment of both my time and money.

Thanks for the great experience Bearclaw...I'll be seeing you again real soon.


Tripp aka "Tree"

Review Comments
nohbody Tuesday, July 10th, 2007 | 3:45 pm PST
Actually i live in fayetteville and the paint issue. When i went to buy paint from wal mart one day, the workers told me that bear claw had bought out all of their paint. This was ok because we have our own field and everything. But i went to bearclaw to buy the paint because i figured there would probably be no difference in the price. But actually they had jacked up monster balls to be forty-five bucks instead of the thirty that wal mart sells it for.

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