Saddle Hunting

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Andy Newell, Jul 21, 2019.

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  1. Andy Newell

    Andy Newell Member

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    Have been thinking long and hard about trying out a saddle set up this season, I am pretty much a public land hunter or only have permission to hunt where others hunt. Wondering if anyone on here hunts in a saddle and what the thoughts are of it for a beginner. I will be getting everything ready in the next few weeks to get out and shoot prior to the season. Any tips or brand recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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  3. Muskrat24

    Muskrat24 Active Member

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    John Eberhart has couple decent books that discusses his use of saddles.
     
  4. Bill-M

    Bill-M Member

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    Saddlehunter.com would probably have the answer to every question you might have and some you don't. Thinking about making one myself to use on a couple specific trees to be able to hide behind them for cover.
     
  5. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any specifics on the new brands, I'm using one called The Tree Suit that was made 20-25 years ago. My brother and I are both using them and we love it. All day sits in them are awesome. There is some learning to them on what works best but it's not too difficult, just like anything else practice makes a huge difference. Best parts about them are we can now hunt in a lot of spots we weren't able to in the past, trees a stand didn't work in these will. Also deer seem oblivious to us in the trees. They'll look up from time to time but never spook. They're also super convenient for quick sets, just a handful of screw in steps and you're good to go, could us LW or Muddy sticks on public land and a few strap on steps at the top of the set to stand on.
     
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  6. loewmd

    loewmd Member

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    Saddle hunting isn't for everyone. Some find it more comfortable while others prefer the platform of a traditional stand. I have both and think they both have their place. I don't think you will be able to beat the comfort of a JX3 hybrid saddle. I have an older Guidos Web and think it's the most comfortable stand I own period. If you're looking for lightweight I'd go with either Tethrd Mantis or Aerohunter. Lots of options available to saddle hunters currently and I agree Saddlehunter.com has a lot of info for people interested in giving it a try. The good news if you don't like hunting from a saddle you could probably resell it and not lose much on giving it a try.
     
  7. Deep South Bowhunter

    Deep South Bowhunter New Member

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    I have a Aero Hunter Flex on order that should arrive by Aug 9th. I recently purchased a Predator Platform and a Ridge Runner Platform to try out. I have never used or even seen a saddle in person but will be giving it a try this season. It won't be my main method as some folks are doing. I see it as just another tool to add to the arsenal. I have some spots that are deep in the timber where i think i can put it to use, time will tell.
     
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  8. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    I'm about to get into the saddle game too. I'm gonna go the diy route and modify a sitdrag though. $200-250 for just a saddle is just crazy imo. I've researched guys using a rock climbing harness with a sitdrag and making an amsteel bridge, then adding a ropeman 1 to their tether; I already have a rock climbing harness, so it seemed like the cheapest way to try it. I'm still undecided on what to do for a platform, but I see lonewolf/novix is probably re-releasing their assault platform in a couple weeks. The Hunting Public won me over onto saddle hunting; they use it almost exclusively now, so it must have some advantages.

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  9. sep0667

    sep0667 Land of the Whitetail

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    Ive been interested after watching The Hunting Public. It looks a little complicated and dangerous to me. I didn't think it looks very comfortable either. I didn't realize this was really a thing until last fall watching them. It seems to really be taking off now.

    I tried out a Thetherd Phanton a few weeks ago that a buddy has. Just went up one stick on a tree and sat in it and different positions. I was shocked at how incredibly comfortable it is. I probably sat in it for half an hour and was so comfortable it was nuts. There are a lot of ways you can sit in it or adjust things for your comfort level. I saw how quickly you can be so mobile with this and how easy it really is to use. If you are a mobile hunter I think this is the ticket.

    It will take a little bit of practice just going up and down some trees, but should get the hang of it quick. I ordered my other Theterd Phanton and just got my Hawk Helium sticks yesterday in the mail. Really looking forward to getting mine set up and practicing with it and taking some shots from it.
     
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  10. Tim Henrich

    Tim Henrich New Member

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    I've never tried one but see how it could help for hunting public. We use hang-ons and climbers on our lease. I have a lone wolf with sticks for "hand and hunts.". Works great for me and there is no tree under 3ft in diameter that I can't climb.....good luck out there!
     
  11. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Member

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    I have an H2 on order. Waiting patiently... making sure I have as many options as possible for our trip out to the hills this fall. Hang-on, saddle, climber. already had hawk helium 20" for the hang-on, so only other thing i had to buy was a platform, and i bought the Out on a limb ridge runner.
     
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  12. 203ntyp

    203ntyp PMA Member

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    I had a "Tree Sling" I used for a couple years over 35 years ago, not sure if they even make them anymore? It was comfortable and not hard to maneuver in, not for an old guy like me anymore though. Any tree with limbs low enough to climb up made for a sneaky set up. They were not real expensive back than, under $60 for sure.
     
  13. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    Juuuust to kick the hornet's nest... 20200710_145448.jpg
     
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  14. Central Iowa

    Central Iowa Administrator

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    Muddy........ lol
     
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  15. Blake 01

    Blake 01 PMA Member

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    That could be one of the best posts I’ve seen in a long time. Lol.

    as far as saddle hunting goes, I too was in a unique spot last season and wanted to try it. So I did. Bought a used aero hunter off Craigslist that a guy didn’t care for, made a ring of steps from the squirrel steps, loaded all my crap in my truck and drove to Iowa. Hunted public land learned how to use my saddle on the fly while scouting out there. I was successful on day 7. Scouted for 5 days. The saddle is comfortable and I believe very safe. Also this fall I intend to try it in Michigan.. the deer in my area are very aware and despite scent control following Eberhardts methods they still peg and move around treestands that are set up in advance. So I agree with the above comment about just being another tool that works really well in the whitetail woods.
     
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  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Well-Known Member

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    I've done enough arborist work in my life to know I would not enjoy saddle hunting. Unless the harness technology is out of this world different and better than what I've used, there's no way I could remain comfortable for more than 10 to 20 minutes max. Keep your eye out for great deals on slightly used and highly discounted saddle hunting hardware in the next few months.
     
  17. sep0667

    sep0667 Land of the Whitetail

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    I just practiced climbing and setting up in my new Thethd Phanton Monday evening. Don't knock it until you try one.
     
  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Well-Known Member

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    Okay. I just watched a few videos on this specific product, and it didn't change my mind any. Standing would be fine, but sitting in the harness for a prolonged period of time would certainly cut off circulaiton and cause discomfort in the thigh and testical region, just like other harnesses. Not for me, but an interesting new spin on tree hunting. Enjoy hunting it.
     
  19. sep0667

    sep0667 Land of the Whitetail

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    Okay, have a nice day.
     
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  20. Falldreams

    Falldreams Member

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    Saddle hunting is definitely not for everyone who pursues whitetails out of a tree. I personally have been a %100 saddle hunter since 2008. A hunting buddy of mine and I bought a couple Trophyline Ambush saddles back then because we seen the numerous advantages it could provide a bow hunter and especially a hunter who is pursuing older bucks. We had nobody to teach us the ropes let alone the basics of saddle hunting. The first several days were extremely frustrating looking back. But once again saddle hunting wasn't very popular back then and we were on our own more or less to figure this saddle thing out. After about a month of being very dedicated to playing around with it and using it we both became proficient enough to start hunting out of it later that fall.

    A hunters style of hunting will be a big part of determining if saddle hunting is something of value for them. There are so many advantages to saddle hunting that I never went back to tree stand hunting. Saddle hunting changed my world and success on not only older deer sightings/kills but also just seeing more deer more often. I learned a very long time ago that the element of surprise is a deer hunters best ally. My style of hunting is run and gun and very mobile as I believe this puts me in much better positions to see older bucks during daylight shooting hours. Saddle hunting allows for the ultimate in mobility and speed of set up for someone who wants to hunt this style. My saddle system with 3 climbing sticks with aiders and squirrel ring of steps weighs in at only 6lbs. It packs up very quick and easy and with how light it is and I can hike into some seriously hard to get to places. With this set up I can get to a hunting position of 14'-18' feet quick and easy. I have tried all the other stuff as in methods of getting up the tree and the lightest tree stands. Without any doubt there is nothing on the market that offers a lighter and faster way to hunt out of a tree. It just don't exist.

    Other advantages I have learned over the years of hardcore saddle hunting is that deer even older mamma does do not pay nowhere near as much attention to a saddle hunter up in a tree as compared to how older and even young deer will often take notice of you sitting in a tree stand right away unless you have fantastic coverage behind you and/or a perfect set up. Lets face it, the reality is that more often than not that phenomenal kill spot we find in our scouting missions doesn't have a good or even great tree for your climber or hang on stand. As a saddle hunter I can make almost any spot work due to the versatility of the saddle and I do not have to rely on nose bleed heights to avoid being seen. I have had countless encounters with deer and older deer at ultra close range at much lower heights than required by hunting out of a tree stand. Once someone learns saddle hunting in and out you really understand its full scope of possibilities and advantages. To say its a game changer in the deer woods would be an understatement. But once again saddle hunting will not be something thats a great fit for all deer hunters. I believe it really does depend on your hunting style and goals out in the deer woods as there is no one best way for everyone.
     
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  21. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    Great explanation. I can see where if a guy had his own property to himself, where he could manage and setup like he wanted, then it may not be the best option. But if you're a hang and hunt public land hunter, then it's a game changer.
    Personally, I hang and hunt for 95% of my hunts and hunt a lot of public land, so if I can ditch a 14-16lb stand then I'm all for it. Situation dictates gear, so definitely nice to have multiple options, whether it be a stand, blind or saddle; the more tools in the arsenal the better.

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