Saddle hunts

Okie_3

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
16
Agree with most above. I wouldn't consider myself a "saddle hunter" now, but it is a useful tool when the situation dictates. I now wear some pants with knee pads built in and comfort increased significantly.
 

shanew1668

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
57
I jumped on the saddle bandwagon a couple years ago. I've had decent luck with it, definitely helps with mobility. I know the weight is similar to a smaller stand when all is said and done but I appreciate the smaller profile on my back and not having a stand snag on branches and make noises when you are walking through dense cover. I still haven't found a very comfortable system where I don't have to occasionally adjust while in the stand. A big pro for me is tucking into trees where it would be tough to put a stand and being concealed. Very useful tool but like other have said it is nice to have the other options as well.
 

gjs4

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
209
There are guys that make it about the gear and guys that make it about the deer. I’m the latter and appreciative of the saddle as a tool in my toolbox. Nothing is the be all end all. I also use a stand and sticks, ghillie suit, ground blinds, natural ground blinds and a borrowed camping chair with zip tie repairs from an old lady is what was on my gear list for last year when I killed my target buck.

Saddles shine with smaller trees and longer pack ins as a general statement. The bane of many is there are so many with all sorts of varied techniques and gear that it’s beyond overwhelming and so hard to dip your toe in the tub per see.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

hilts

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
22
What I liked most about the saddle last year(first year), was no lower back pain or tightness on 4 consecutive all day sits.
 

stafford8788

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
15
Location
Pennsylvania
Appreciate the honest feedback fellas. Trying to make the decision myself on which mobile setup to invest in. Hunt a lot of private with lock-ons and have been moving more and more into big public land setups where hunting active sign. Had success but hate lugging around my ancient Summit climber that weights like 22 pounds.
 

Usi05

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
1,072
Location
Michigan
I went from a climber to a saddle and love it.

My motivation were tree access (hunt 98% public) and weight.

I loved the fact it all fits attached or in my pack with less weight. I typically hike in a ways on most of my hunts and the weight savings and not snagging every branch on the way have been worth it.

I can see where it can get super expensive if you go down every gear rabbit hole.

I want to try a beast stand or .5 to compare but haven’t yet.

Once I got into saddle game I then had to get rid of my heavy long sticks that caught everything. Made some minis that are super lightweight.

So far, no regrets but may change once I try a high end stand.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TexaninSconny

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
131
Eastern Woods Outdoors makes a one stick that I really like. I’m planning to pair that with a Tethrd Predator.

Have heard good things about Lone Wolf .5 and OOAL’s Hush as lightweight stand options.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

stump06

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
256
Hard to beat a saddle and spurs. I still have a m7 and a climber, no need to limit your options when you don't have to....
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
76
I have used a climber almost exclusively for the last 10 years. The one I have is no longer for sale and I'm not a big fan of the current options available. I keep coming back to the saddle setup for my mobile multi day hunts. Researching quite a bit lately and getting close to pulling the trigger. For guys that have these setups....What is one saddle accessory piece of gear you really like as well as one that was a waste to buy?
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,747
Agree with most above. I'll use a stand if I have the time and ability to hang one ahead of time and if the tree works well with one. Saddle's just work better in some trees for me and if I'm bombing around thick public without a set destination, it's nice to have less bulk on your back. I'm not near as still in a saddle.

I started with a phantom and had hip pinch that made long sits unpleasant. I got a cruzr that seems to have remedied that issue.
 

Molon Labe

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
548
I'm just going to have a negative post because I dont see any benefit in saddles....I try not to be negative in posts but it is just crazy how many people keep asking me about saddles. That must be an instagram thing or some good marketing.

Its been 20yrs since i tried a saddle and here are the reasons i wont consider it again:

The pros i hear: lighter weight, slim profile, mobile setups, comfortable, smaller trees

Weight-Saving a couple pounds on a pack in hunt for deer doesnt make sense...and the majority of setups are heavier than cut/modded lone wolfs anyway

Slim profile-if you are worried about your climber snagging onto trees/brush all the time then you are accessing your stand position wrong. You should know routes into spots and have that sort of stuff dealt with in the summer or early fall. Snagging brush etc you are just dropping a scent signature and changing the vegetation that mature deer will pick out.

Mobile-I dont like to wonder around on public land looking for a tree...if im hunting an area i have already scouted it and have several trees prescouted to put up a hang on/climber. If deer movement requires changing stands...then just take down and set up a hanger/climber in new spot.
Killing mature deer by randomly walking around and picking a tree on public is VERY difficult.
If you dont take the time to prepare for a whitetail season...its on you. Take it serious and you will kill more mature deer.

Comfort-havent found them to be more comfortable than gel seats on hangers or the new mesh seats. Maybe these saddles they make now or more comfortable than the ones from the 90s but seems like you will have pinch etc and with thicker/heavier clothing for northern whitetails i just think it will bunch/pinch too much for my taste.

Smaller trees-hunting small trees can give you too much profile/skyline anyway...great way to get pinned by a mature deer...if its so small you cant get a climber or hanger in it...im not hunting that tree anyway...i will find something else in that travel route or hunt the ground. Why waste time in a tree that you have a higher than average chance of getting pinned...

The Cons i see and remember: drawing your bow can be brutal...not comfortable...more stuff to go wrong...more complex systems...
 

aroesch

Newbie
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
8
I have a saddle, lightweight lock ons/sticks, and lightweight climbers.

I always find myself going back to the lightweight climbers and here is why

I may have not mastered the saddle completely, but i find i move entirely too much in a saddle and I always have to bring extra stuff in a saddle such as tree straps to hang a bow, find a place to put my pack, carry knee pads, etc. Saddle hunting gear consists of a lot more than just a saddle, platform, and sticks. I feel as if most people overlook the extra gear needed for saddle hunting.

My saddle hunting setup is the same weight as my climber and takes double the time to set up. I will always choose the climber if the area/opportunity presents
 

TexaninSconny

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
131
I have a saddle, lightweight lock ons/sticks, and lightweight climbers.

I always find myself going back to the lightweight climbers and here is why

I may have not mastered the saddle completely, but i find i move entirely too much in a saddle and I always have to bring extra stuff in a saddle such as tree straps to hang a bow, find a place to put my pack, carry knee pads, etc. Saddle hunting gear consists of a lot more than just a saddle, platform, and sticks. I feel as if most people overlook the extra gear needed for saddle hunting.

My saddle hunting setup is the same weight as my climber and takes double the time to set up. I will always choose the climber if the area/opportunity presents

I thought collecting gear was the goal? Are you telling me this is supposed to be about killing deer?????

I’m a weird one that pretty much only ground blind hunted before getting into saddle hunting. At some point I’ll try out some light weight stands or some climbers, but I really enjoy one-sticking.

I think it’s always good to keep an open mind and keep multiple options available.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TexaninSconny

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
131
I have used a climber almost exclusively for the last 10 years. The one I have is no longer for sale and I'm not a big fan of the current options available. I keep coming back to the saddle setup for my mobile multi day hunts. Researching quite a bit lately and getting close to pulling the trigger. For guys that have these setups....What is one saddle accessory piece of gear you really like as well as one that was a waste to buy?

Not sure what you have bought, but I think making a smaller platform work is better than lugging a bigger one around for a little more comfortability.

I have a gear hoist, but I’m sure you could get by just as well with 30-40ft of paracord.

Rick Young Outdoors harness is pretty perfect for binos and saddle hunting. Keeps them up and out of the way of your bridge.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Finch

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,053
Location
Roanoke, VA
I gave it a try last year but went back to stands. Couldn't stay comfortable, fidgeted too much, etc, I also did the one stickin' thing and the only con about that is the need to get down a tree quickly when that stomach pain hits. I'd have to wear depends if I hunted out of a saddle for long. :D
 

woods89

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
657
Location
Southern MO Ozarks
I've been saddle hunting for 6-7 years now. It wasn't cool when I started but I knew a guy who had good success with them and bought a New Tribe Aero Hunter. I haven't hunted in a stand at all since it showed up. It's become a bit of a fad since then.

Pros for me-

You stay behind the tree with your bow right in front of you. Getting into shooting position is easy with a minimum of movement.

Your silhouette is much more natural with your feet next to the trunk and body leaning away, much like a tree branch.

I use tree steps on a strap and depending on how many you want to use you can literally shoot almost all the way around the tree.

You can set up in almost any tree.

Some thoughts on their use-

It seems to hold true that smaller guys in good shape have better luck with them than bigger guys.

An all day sit will get a little uncomfortable, although arguably this is also true of treestands.

I have one stick climbed before, but the vast majority of times I just carry 3 tree sticks in. I'd say get used to the saddle and make sure it fits your hunting style before adding in 1 stick climbing.

There is a learning curve. Like anything else, what seems awkward at first will become natural after a year or two.

I shoot a 70# bow out of mine, and while you should practice out of it to see how it works for you, I only have trouble drawing if I'm in a really extreme position. Cold weather can affect this also.

Good luck!
 

loganwayne

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
33
Location
Western NC
i have a saddle and it has its place but im also not saying im just going to saddle hunt. i have a few trips planned where i will have a saddle and a lock on going with me. gives me a few options. i will generally scout into a spot with a saddle and hunt the am if i cant scout before hunt starts get down mid day and scout if i find two good spots i may put up my lock on and use saddle in another spot incase the wind changes.
 
Top