Saddle vs. Treestand

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Jake Kooiman, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. Jake Kooiman

    Jake Kooiman Newb

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    Have always hunted out of a treestand. Was thinking about getting a saddle was curious if anyone here has used and if they are worth spending the money??
     
  2. parkersdad

    parkersdad Weekend Warrior

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    I have owned 12 different saddles to date. I started saddle hunting in 2006. The only two I still own are both of my JX3 Hybrids. Saddles in my opinion are good for short hunts but nothing more. The saddle itself is comfortable but my knees and feet are killing me after a few hours. I also don’t like facing the tree. It makes the weak side shot tough no matter how much you practice. I use my climber when I can and my JX3 Hybrid when I can’t use the climber


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  3. mhouck06

    mhouck06 Weekend Warrior

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    Saddle hunting took a lot of practice for me and I am still not 100% confident in my shooting abilities in different positions from the saddle. It's great for run and gun type hunting as I am sure you are aware... or if you don't want to leave much of a footprint where you are hunting. I think the more time you spend in the saddle the more your body would get used to it, but as stated above, I am pretty beat after using it for a few hours. I like to run and gun in the rut and usually when I am doing that I am out all day. I used to run with a climber, ultimate comfort once you are up in the tree... you have to really want it, to stick with the saddle IMO. Its a great tool to have, I just can't commit to fulltime use. Last year I did pair it with my lone wolf .5 set up... that seemed to be the best of both worlds. I could use the saddle aspect and then sit like a traditional hang on. Neither of them are great for all day sits, but putting them together made it manageable.
     
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  4. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    The unofficial official BHoD Saddle Thread: https://forums.bowhunting.com/threads/tree-saddle-hunting.62634/page-1

    Saddle hunting isn't a method, it's a lifestyle.

    I started in a saddle about 4 years ago and have not touched a climber or stand since. It takes time to get comfortable in them, read the thread, lot's of good back and forth in there, and you'll get plenty of help in the thread.
     
  5. Ridgerunner3

    Ridgerunner3 Grizzled Veteran

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    It's a cult!!! BEWARE!! Don't read the whole thread. It is full of useless phrases designed to subliminally alter your senses of self and self-worth!
     
  6. parkersdad

    parkersdad Weekend Warrior

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    How much time? I have used one for 16 years. I’ve owned 12 saddles, four platforms and three different sets of kneepads. Again the saddle is comfortable but my feet and knees cannot take it. Also I don’t care what anyone says the weak side shot is not too bad if you see the deer coming but if you have a thicket behind you and you look over and a deer is standing 12 yards from you and does all around you are not pulling that shot off on Southern skittish deer. Trust me, that situation cost me a deer last year. In my Treestand it would have been a slam dunk


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  7. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    simpsons-homer.gif
     
  8. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    To work out the pinch points and micro adjustments, I think it took about a month of tweaking and getting my body used to the saddle, I can't really say how many hours per day/week though. My knees do fine, but all day sits they do fatigue quite a bit. I'm sure age is a huge factor and previous motocross & Army nonsense do not help the situation.
    The weak side shots are a pain if they sneak in on you, and it's a pain if you the deer are going back in forth from weak/strong sides, much like a regular stand, but you have a bridge (tether) to cross your bow over each time.
    I tend to try and let them mill around if they are on the weak side and hope they either give me some time to move or the pass behind brush/trees.
     
  9. LittleChief

    LittleChief Administrator

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    This is exactly how I perceive you saddle hunters when you all tell me I should use one.

    Even if I wanted to switch to a saddle I couldn’t because I adamantly refuse to use the word “bruh”. :bow:
     
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  10. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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  11. Joe Soil

    Joe Soil Weekend Warrior

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    Saddle hunting is really great for hunting areas that lack decent trees for climbers and hangons, I love the maneuverability of the saddle as well being able to shoot dang near 360 degrees around the tree. Also, you’re always tied in, so I feel very safe up in it. A good pair of knee pads is needed for longer hunts but other than that it is no more strenuous than sitting in a hang on


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  12. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

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    You damn kids with your new fangled gear. I'll be here killing with my whitetail II with a sick overdraw 22" arrows around 200 grains

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  13. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    I may or may not have an Oneida with overdraw and a clutch of 2114 xx78s... Image1660391911.747877.jpg
     
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  14. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This will be my first year saddle hunting. I opted to go the one sticking route as I wanted to be as light and simple as possible. My plan is to totally replace treestands with the saddle.

    What I've learned so far.

    Saddles are NOT something you buy a couple weeks before season and just go to town in the woods. There is a learning curve and a confidence/trust curve that you will most likely go through. If you're like me, who's hunted out of treestands all his life, switching to a saddle and learning to trust the gear to hold you 20ft in the air is a bit of a leap.

    Getting setup early in the year and practicing, getting comfortable and above almost everything, getting a routine/system down on how you unpack, hook up and climb is very important. You MUST have a system down that works for you and will keep you safe so you don't forget to close a caribener, a quick link, etc. Simply your setup process, do it the same way, in the same order every time.

    Experiment at a low height with your saddle positioning, tether height, etc and get in the habit of setting it up the same way. These things are so customizable to your body that you have endless adjustments to find that sweet spot.

    For me, the saddle was 90% about trusting the gear, the ropes, etc. Once I got comfortable and realized how stout these things are I was much more comfortable in the air. Once I figured out that these ropes can pick the front of my truck off the ground and people have been repelling down the faces of cliffs with these ropes, I started to put myself at ease.. not complacent, just at ease knowing this gear is more than capable of what we're doing with it.

    As with all of this, the saddle is a tool that can be used at certain times or could be used all the time. My goal is use it exclusively and get really good at it.
     
  15. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    One sticking on your first year - that's pretty hard core my man. Let us know how it goes!

    I thought about giving one sticking a try, but with 3 Tethrd ONE sticks and a couple of aiders, I'm still under 4 lbs total weight and can get plenty high for what I do. I just didn't see the need considering I'd been carrying 10 lbs of Lone Wolf sticks for the last decade and a half. Going from 10 lbs to 4 makes a heck of a difference, and going from an 11 lb stand to a 5 lb platform (Predator XL) I've shaved off enough weight to make me happy.
     
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  16. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Ha! Dude, you have no idea. I figured since I am learning a completely new way of getting into a tree, I may as well go for the gusto. Truth be told, the learning curve isn't quite as bad I was anticipating. Its quite easy for the most part as long as you get over the trust factor in all of it. The biggest take away so far is not trying to take too big of a bite per move. When I first started doing it, I was trying to get as much distance per move as I could. I quickly learned to slow my roll and make it easy on myself. I can still get to around 17-18ft in three moves, counting the move from the ground. Repelling... yeah, thats the ONLY way to get out of a tree now! haha. Its fun and safe as you can get. I'm seeing more and more guys who are using multiple sticks repelling out and getting their sticks on the way down. Faster, easier and safer, especially in the dark.

    All in all, the one stick is a big learning curve, but its gone pretty well so far.
     
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  17. Heckler

    Heckler Grizzled Veteran

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    Two different methods for two different applications. No way am I hunting out of a saddle on priv ground where I can pre hang sets. Now if I am hunting public, especially something far off the beaten path which is typically the only way I will hunt public then it is a saddle all the way.
     
  18. Wapiti426

    Wapiti426 Newb

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    Life long "treestand only" guy, giving a Trophy Line kit a test here in a few weeks. I will report back with my 100% biased thoughts and opinions.
     
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  19. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I will say tell you this. Give it a few weeks of playing around with it. I was "ok" at first about the whole thing, but the more I practice and do it, the more comfortable I'm becoming. My issue was trusting the gear and ropes mostly. Coming from treestands, it was all "foreign" to me so it took me a bit to learn the process and get somewhat comfortable with it.

    The other thing I will say is that it takes a while to get the saddle comfortable for you. They're so adjustable and it takes a bit to get it just right for your body. Tether height bridge length also makes a huge difference in comfort so spend a lot of time at ground level trying different positions of everything until you find a sweet spot.

    I'm at the point now where I'm walking around the tree and playing with how to make the various shots as I move. This is now where I'm seeing the huge advantage of the saddle vs a treestand. Pretty cool and a lot of fun honestly.
     
  20. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    100%. I have a lot of mountains and steep ground to deal with here and am planning on hunting a great amount of public ground in these areas. I will still use mine on my private pieces too. I figure it will give me a good excuse to never hunt the same trees and spots twice. I'm going to be as unpredictable as the deer seem to be... keep em guessing... haha.
     
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