BowmanMike

Who hunts out of a saddle?

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This is my 12th season of saddle hunting. Currently using an Aero Hunter Kestrel or one of the 2 DIY saddles I made. I love to tinker and DIY where I can and have tried a ton of different saddle options, platforms and climbing methods.

For those that don’t know, the forums on saddlehunter.com are very active with good discussion on options, tips and tricks and safety. One thing is certain, there’s no one perfect system as everyone has different preferences.

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I tried one of a friend's, it's nice no doubt and easier to get set up than I originally thought. The price to get into a good one seems high but maybe I'm wrong, in the future I could see myself doing it. Honestly the worst part is how he constantly talks about how awesome it is and how I'm dumb for not making the switch. 

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16 minutes ago, BigVal said:

I tried one of a friend's, it's nice no doubt and easier to get set up than I originally thought. The price to get into a good one seems high but maybe I'm wrong, in the future I could see myself doing it. Honestly the worst part is how he constantly talks about how awesome it is and how I'm dumb for not making the switch. 

It is high, but the good thing is if you dont like it, all the stuff is very easy to sell. Usually people buy it quick and for what you're asking for

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I tried to add up all the things you need and it seems for a good setup your talking $750 or more for gear. What have you guys spent on your total gear. And are most of you carrying 3-4 sections of sticks and a platform as well?


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1 hour ago, Fletch said:

I tried to add up all the things you need and it seems for a good setup your talking $750 or more for gear. What have you guys spent on your total gear. And are most of you carrying 3-4 sections of sticks and a platform as well?


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that is about right. I use my platform as a one stick to climb,and also bought rope for DRT climbing. It wasnt cheap but i wont need another ladder stand or climber or safety harness.

You can get away a little cheaper if buying used.

The predator platform is awesome. There also are platforms that attach to a stick.

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I spoke to someone who is trying a saddle for the first time this year. He likes it for the obvious “climb any tree” reason and then I said “that and it’s so much lighter carrying than your climber?”
He said he weighed his climber versus his saddle gear (platforms, ropes, climbing sticks, etc) and the difference was not tremendously different. I was surprised by that. What’s he doing “wrong” there to have similar weight to a climber?


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I spoke to someone who is trying a saddle for the first time this year. He likes it for the obvious “climb any tree” reason and then I said “that and it’s so much lighter carrying than your climber?”
He said he weighed his climber versus his saddle gear (platforms, ropes, climbing sticks, etc) and the difference was not tremendously different. I was surprised by that. What’s he doing “wrong” there to have similar weight to a climber?


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He needs to get into an aider or something similar. I get 20 feet with 4 wild edge steps each 1 pound. My tree walker was 18 pounds. So I dropped 14 lbs, definitely noticeable for me.

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On 10/10/2020 at 8:39 PM, ATbuckhunter said:

I have an H2 saddle that I hunted out of opening weekend. I didnt get any hip pinch, but I had a hard time getting comfortable with out knee pads. I now have knee pads and plan to head back to state land this week to harvest a doe

Do you have a platform you use ?

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9 hours ago, crappyice said:

I spoke to someone who is trying a saddle for the first time this year. He likes it for the obvious “climb any tree” reason and then I said “that and it’s so much lighter carrying than your climber?”
He said he weighed his climber versus his saddle gear (platforms, ropes, climbing sticks, etc) and the difference was not tremendously different. I was surprised by that. What’s he doing “wrong” there to have similar weight to a climber?


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I never thought about the weight thing as a reason to use one unlike the guys on tv constantly driving the weight differences. I’d say it’s more of a pick any tree to hunt out of is the main reasons. Also the higher profile of a climber strapped to your back can make it difficult to maneuver through some thicker stuff.  I just never liked a climber long before I knew about saddles. Before that I would carry sticks and stand and do sets that way. 

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He needs to get into an aider or something similar. I get 20 feet with 4 wild edge steps each 1 pound. My tree walker was 18 pounds. So I dropped 14 lbs, definitely noticeable for me.

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But what does your complete harness and all gear weigh is what he was asking. Not just your sticks. (Ropes and all)

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My buddy likes to pretend he's going on a photo shoot for Cabela's every time he hunts so I'm sure he'll end up in a saddle. I'd like to watch the ease and process in person and Try it for myself, because honestly, it looks like a PITA and nowhere near as comfortable as a climber. I'd like updated reports on saddles when the weather gets super cold and snowy also.

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There is good Utube video of a guy that climbs the same tree and times it from the minute he takes off his gear, though set up, then up the tree, down the tree and repacking everything. He splits the screen so he does a hang on with sticks, saddle set up, climber with hand climber, climber with sit and climb, all at the same time. The results are quite surprising.

For me in the northeast with the amount of straight trees we have I think a lone wolf climber is hard to beat. However in the mid west, which I have hunted at least a week or two every year for last 18 plus years....a hang on set with sticks is better because of the differences in the tree species and forest types.

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The shooting concerns me more than anything, but stats don't lie. Sodfather has never hunted in his saddle and not killed a deer!


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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But what does your complete harness and all gear weigh is what he was asking. Not just your sticks. (Ropes and all)

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Gotcha, idk know, now I got to weigh it all out.

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My buddy likes to pretend he's going on a photo shoot for Cabela's every time he hunts so I'm sure he'll end up in a saddle. I'd like to watch the ease and process in person and Try it for myself, because honestly, it looks like a PITA and nowhere near as comfortable as a climber. I'd like updated reports on saddles when the weather gets super cold and snowy also.

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Tethrd has training days all over the country so people can try for themselves. This years schedule got messed up a bit obviously. Check their site for ones potentially near you or near where you maybe going.

Your concerns are common for those that have never been in one. For some it’s another tool in the arsenal for other some they are all in and others are “meh” about it.

For me, I know I’m safe as I’m attached (with my climbing method) to the tree 100% of the time. I have some rock climbing experience from my youth so it just made sense to me. On the comfort side: it generally takes some time to figure out what adjustments to make to dial in your personal comfort setup but once you do (for me) it’s like sitting in a hammock. You generally have shots from almost every angle around the tree. Also what I find helpful to me is being able to move around the trunk easy, using the trunk to hide my movements.


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I did my first set out of one on Saturday. This is what I found so far
1. I needed a better strap for hanging my bow and pack.
2. I should camoform tape by caribiners
3 It was an effortless walk in the two miles I did.
4 Despite being in the 50s I didn't really break a sweat.
5. When I got in my tree I felt very conceled I even had a hawk buzz me.
6. I need a knee mat or pads

I guess it really comes down to where you hunt. I hunt alot of public lands and if I'm gonna get a decent deer ya gotta go deep. I have had hang stands on private land on field edges. Pull up in the truck walk to your stand and boom all done. That's nice not gonna lie, just not my situation right now. But for public big wood lands a saddle is hard to beat. I did love my tree walker and was sad to sell it.

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Tethrd has training days all over the country so people can try for themselves. This years schedule got messed up a bit obviously. Check their site for ones potentially near you or near where you maybe going.

Your concerns are common for those that have never been in one. For some it’s another tool in the arsenal for other some they are all in and others are “meh” about it.

For me, I know I’m safe as I’m attached (with my climbing method) to the tree 100% of the time. I have some rock climbing experience from my youth so it just made sense to me. On the comfort side: it generally takes some time to figure out what adjustments to make to dial in your personal comfort setup but once you do (for me) it’s like sitting in a hammock. You generally have shots from almost every angle around the tree. Also what I find helpful to me is being able to move around the trunk easy, using the trunk to hide my movements.


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That would certainly be the way to go if I were truly interested. Maybe in a few years when the fad dies down a bit the price will drop too. I'm not cheap by any means (I just paid $600 for a rod and reel) but $700-$1000 for some ropes and a harness seems pretty high. I hunt out of my climber 90% of the time and quite honestly love it, so it's going to take something truly eye opening to get me out of it.

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53 minutes ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

The shooting concerns me more than anything, but stats don't lie. Sodfather has never hunted in his saddle and not killed a deer!


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Shooting is easier from a saddle because your feet are planted and you lean against the rope,three points of contact vs two as in your feet. Makes you very steady. Being able to shoot 360° around the tree is nice and being able to hide behind a tree and draw is as well. 

My whole setup probably weighs around 12# total,but that is two different climbing methods which let me get into any tree and 3 to 4 pounds are on my hips since i wear the saddle on my way in. 

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That would certainly be the way to go if I were truly interested. Maybe in a few years when the fad dies down a bit the price will drop too. I'm not cheap by any means (I just paid $600 for a rod and reel) but $700-$1000 for some ropes and a harness seems pretty high. I hunt out of my climber 90% of the time and quite honestly love it, so it's going to take something truly eye opening to get me out of it.

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I definitely wasn’t in that price range but I do have the advantage of being able to use Veteran discounts. If you are ever in NYC (where I live) or Long Island ( where I’ve hunted) and you want to try one out I happy to help.

If you got a method that works for you and you feel safe then you’re all set.


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1 hour ago, The_Real_TCIII said:

The shooting concerns me more than anything, but stats don't lie. Sodfather has never hunted in his saddle and not killed a deer!


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Its actually easier than you think. The first few shots i took were like shooting from the ground

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12 hours ago, crappyice said:

I spoke to someone who is trying a saddle for the first time this year. He likes it for the obvious “climb any tree” reason and then I said “that and it’s so much lighter carrying than your climber?”
He said he weighed his climber versus his saddle gear (platforms, ropes, climbing sticks, etc) and the difference was not tremendously different. I was surprised by that. What’s he doing “wrong” there to have similar weight to a climber?


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I dont think its too much of a weight savings with the sticks and the ropes (ropes and up wighing a lot). Its mostly the bulk for me. My climber was a pain in the ass to haul more than half a mile

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