Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by mikerock85, Jun 25, 2014.
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I listened to the Wired to hunt podcast with the Tehtrd guys and Eberhart, adjusted my tehter height to neck area and holy crap what difference. I was putting my tehter at forehead height and it gave me a feeling like I was actually hanging off a rope. At neck level, I felt like I was supported rather than hanging if that makes sense.
I think I damn near have this saddle setup dialed in and even did some weak side setups. Creeped around the tree using it as cover to get a strong side shot, very cool, but I need to get another step to put on my platform strap to move around the tree.
The more time and funky positions I test, the more comfortable this thing is. I may be changing my tune about hauling a climber into the woods, I think this may completely replace my climber. Pre-set ladder stands....maybe/maybe not. I did not set any stands this year, hopefully it doesn't bite me in the butt.
@Swamp Stalker I think you would benefit from a saddle setup for your public land hunts. Also, I may have a badass lease in So. Illinois on the cheap (like cheap cheap) if you are interested for next year. I almost did it this year but I had too much going on.
The more I use my saddle, the more I am convinced that it is safer than any treestand set up, when properly worn and used. @S.McArthur check out the squirrel steps from DoubleSteps.com. I do not have any, but I tried some that a buddy has, I will be getting some in the future. They are a little pricey, but I would only need two to add to the strap of my platform.
I've looked into those but I will probably go with the cheaper Bullman steps: http://www.bullmanoutdoors.com/product/product-2/
I started the saddle hunting last yr. I own 4 Lone wolf stands. 2 climbers and 2 loc ons. None of the lone wolves made it out of the garage even once last yr. I own the Areohunter Kestral AND the Tethrd Mantis. It is my new way to hunt and Film! Oh yeah I'm leaning on the Predator platform with both saddles.
Anyone want to update their thoughts/experiences after this season?
My season is not over until the end of February, so I have a lot of time left. However, after 4 sits in it so far this season, the longest being seven hours, I am still convinced that it is the safest and most comfortable way to hunt from a tree. I started bow hunting from a Summit Climber 11 years ago, tried a lock on stand last year after my climber was stolen. I sold the lock on and switched to the saddle for this season to save weight. If I stopped saddle hunting, I would go back to the climber. A lock on is too heavy and bulky for the public land mobile hunting that I mainly do bowhunting. But, I don't see that happening.
The last two weekends I have been gun hunting with my sons from blinds on a friend's farm. Should be back in the saddle this weekend or next depending on whether or not we can go back to that farm this coming weekend.
I like my diy set up. Probably buy a real saddle for next year.
I just gave my review in the saddles, climbers and loc-on post. Nothing will ever be close to being as comfortable as my treewalker climber, but got tired of not being able to get in exactly were I needed. Ideally, private land and being able to leave a stand set up is best. But saddle is by far the most versatile.
Still have plenty of season left for me but I have enjoyed hunting out of the saddle. I have sat pretty much all day in the saddle multiple times and felt minimal discomfort. Once you get everything set up right, it's amazing how comfortable it is. My biggest issue has been my knees against the tree, I like to sit/lean(?) rather than lean or sit if that makes sense. My tether height is set so I'm kind of leaning but I'm actually sitting...I don't know how to explain that. If I do not have my setup just right, it can put a little extra pressure on one or both of my knees.
Saddles are all about micro-adjustments, but man, once you have it dialed in, it's money.
I still feel "vulnerable" in open timber, I know I can"hide" around a tree, but when they sneak in I just feel open, like I can't tuck into the tree enough. It has to be a mental thing, because I'm still kind of tucked into the tree the way I sit/lean (slean?).
I've tried the one stick climbing method, it's effective but requires some effort.
It takes time to get used to staring at a tree all day
The "cool guy" saddle shot means you probably setup wrong
I've cleared shooting lanes about 6' from the tree I was hanging in because you can move freely and will not fall out of the saddle.
Things I will change for next year:
Private land- Put up a few preset cheapo walmart sticks so do not have to use my lone wolf sticks. It's going to be hard to get back into a lock-on, I'm sold on the saddle.
Find a better way to hang my gear bag and accessories, sometimes the bag gets in the way of a 1-2 o'clock shot.
Shoot a lot more out of the saddle; it is so easy to drop your elbow rather than bend at the waist.
New sticks/modify sticks: The LW sticks are great, but at 36", they like to hang on thick crap...well everything. I need to make a rope aider as well. I cannot get as high as I'd like with 4 LW sticks alone.
There is more, but I'll have to have a few more cups of coffee.
Peeing is easy, have not tried to poop yet.
Get a daisy chain strap with a few niteize gear hooks for hanging your pack/bow/other gear you want handy. That is what I did, gives me the freedom to put the pack wherever I want. If the tree is small enough for me to reach around, I hang the pack on the opposite side from me so it does not impede my shooting lanes.
I appreciate the feedback! I'm pretty sure I'm going to be making the jump to a saddle for next season especially with the style of hunting I plan on doing.
I'm really liking the Tethrd Mantis, with their platform, just not a fan of multiple sticks. It will get me back up to the same weight.
The JX3 really seems more my style, and using the one stick method like Parkersdad recommended would cut the weight down considerably.
The only negative I see with the jx3 is the size, being bulkier to carry.
Keep in mind I'll be mountain biking into my spots, about 2-3 miles in.
You might want to look into Wild Edge Steps and using an aider. Far more compact way to climb a tree if you are worried about multiple sticks. I do not own any, but I have tried some that a buddy has. If I had the extra money, I would invest in those. I am using three Hawk Helium sticks with single step aiders off the bottom of each stick for right now.
Wow, I like those! Are they stable? Do they cam lock good?
They do if you tie the knot correctly. Like I said, I have only tried them once using some that a buddy has. I went with the Hawk Heliums because they were half the price and I was running low on funding. I will probably get some in the future.
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