Tree saddle hunting...

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by mikerock85, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I do not have any experience with the specific saddles that you mentioned. I use a saddle from Aerohunter. The parent company, New Tribe, has been in business making saddles for arborists for over 30 years. All of those hunting specific companies you mentioned are new companies within the last few years. Not saying their products are not as good, simply not as experienced. If you are not interested in a platform, I think you should consider using a climber base or top like @Swamp Stalker does. I use a platform, but, from what I hear, the platforms that bolt to the top of a climbing stick are small and not comfortable for long sits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  2. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    If I were to buy a platform right now, o would get the Mission platform. The extra space is worth the weight to me. For saddles I've only used 1 brand. Aerohunter. I just got the new Merlin and absolutely is a great saddle. I hear it's just like the cruzr Xc. Sizing can be tricky, I find a slightly larger saddle is more comfortable.

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  3. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    As the only person here who owns and has hunted from a Hawk saddle - I would say they are not bad at all. A few of our other team members have hunted from them and had zero issues as well. I know there's a lot of talk from the Saddle Bruhs about how they wouldn't use one, but again, we've seen zero quality issues or had any problems with them. Saddle Bruh FB groups are an interesting place.

    Having said that, I've hunted from the Hawk, two AeroHunters (Kestrel Flex & Merlin) and the Tethrd Phantom. Each one has it's pros and cons, but they all do the same thing and, to me, feel very similar when you're hunting from them. If someone blindfolded me and put me in a saddle on the side of a tree, I'm not sure I could tell you which one I was using without looking at it.

    Here's what I can say having used these different models
    - You can tell the Hawk is a budget-friendly model. It doesn't have all the bells & whistles that the others have, but it does the job just fine. It's not a bad option for people looking to get into the saddle game on a budget.
    - I do like having an adjustable bridge. To me, that's an important feature for the comfort of hunting from a saddle. The Aero Hunter saddles I have use a webbing bridge with a metal buckle that's tough to adjust while you're in the tree. The Tethrd uses a prusik knot, which I prefer. The Hawk has a fixed bridge.
    - The AeroHunter is the highest quality of the bunch. Their products are made in the USA and feel overbuilt. The straps and buckles could probably be used to tow my truck out of the mud if I get stuck. If you want a product that makes you feel safe and is built to last a lifetime, this is it.
    - I like the Tethrd leg straps/clips the best. Very lightweight and easy to use. The leg straps don't hold any real weight so the buckles on the Aero are probably unnecessary, and I'm not a fan of fishing the straps through the buckles on the Hawk. Think of a Muddy safety harness leg buckle - it's the same thing. Tethrd has this figured out the best, IMO.
    - The Tethrd SysHauler bags are amazing. Having your ropes easily accessible when you need them makes a big difference in ease of use. Regardless of what saddle you use, I would invest in these or something similar. They're awesome.
    - I really like the Ropeman ascender, but it's not entirely necessary. Using the included prusik knot is just fine. If you want to save some money, skip that and add it later.
    - If you already have a lineman's belt/rope, skip that as well. I used my HSS lineman's strap most of the time and it worked just fine. I would leave it attached to the left side of my saddle and then store it in my left cargo pocket while I was hunting. Worked fine in place of a Sys Hauler type bag.
    - A platform is a must-have. I've tried standing on sticks or steps and I hate it. The Tethrd platform is very nice, and so is the OOAL Ridge Runner (once you learn how to cam it properly). The Trophyline Mission platform is awesome for long sits as it's the biggest of the bunch and the most comfortable, but also the most cumbersome to pack in.
    - Keep it simple. The saddle community loves to modify things, try new methods of climbing, and do all sorts of crazy stuff. That's part of the intrigue of the whole thing. However, most of that is completely unnecessary and can be done in time as you tweak your setup. You don't need aiders and swaiders (not even sure what these are) or daisy chains and amsteeel rope mods. Grab a set of Lone Wolf climbing sticks, a small platform and get in the woods. All that other crap can come later. I spent 2 hours researching the best knee pads to use for saddle hunting, only to find out I don't like the sitting position and have no need for them.
     
  4. Oly44

    Oly44 Grizzled Veteran

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    I havent bought anything yet but I’m close to pulling the trigger. I plan on getting the latitude method saddle. I have LW sticks already. So I plan on doing a couple mods to them. Like getting rid of the buckle. Maybe adding a couple double steps. But as far as platforms go. I am going to get a OOAL scout. It attaches right to the top of the LW stick. It’s not a very large platform but I think for what I want this whole setup to be I’ll like it.

    Possibly moding my sticks similar to this [​IMG]


    The adding this to the very top of one stick as my platform

    [​IMG]


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  5. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    One of my issues with the Tethrd Mantis, I need an adjustable bridge. I'm aware I can make a new one, but I've already been eyeing the aero saddles.
    This an issue on mine, they do not like to stay hooked in and now they are poking through the loops on the saddle. Not a huge issue, just a minor thing I believe could have been developed better.
    These two sum up what it should be about, I use my setup as Tethrd sent it to me, it works fine, and I have very little to complain about. It really isn't as complicated as the forums make it out to be. (One of the reason I don't visit a certain site.) There is a ton of good info, but there are a lot of solutions to problems that didn't exist.
    I carry 4 LW sticks and the predator platform and it does perfect. If I want to get higher, I take out a cheap tree stand strap and make an extra step at the bottom; being tall is beneficial as well.
     
  6. Tink-a-Link

    Tink-a-Link Weekend Warrior

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    Lots of great info coming in the last week. I (and I'm guessing a number of others like me) really appreciate the discussions. Unfortunately for me, it looks like my saddle purchase is going to be put off until next year.
    Someone who thought they needed a few of my things more than me, broke into my garage and burgled three items from me over the weekend... either Friday or Saturday night.
    I went out to sit in my ground blind yesterday morning and upon getting there, I noticed that my binoculars and laser range finder weren't where I normally keep them (in my truck). No big deal as I've ranged my shooting lanes quite extensively and would be able to judge the distances fairly accurately without it. Not having the binos was the part I was more disappointed about. However, that too was a mere inconvenience. When I got home and checked the logical spots where they might be, I noticed that my computer that I purchased at the beggining of the pandemic to create a golf simulator, was also gone. It was at that moment I realized what had happened. I live in a neighborhood where few people lock their garages and I am among them. It's a terrible lesson learned but the good news is that the launch monitor, the projector, the TV on the wall, and my golf clubs which are all certainly more expensive than what they took, were all left behind.
    Criminals are not, usually, very smart.

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  7. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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    One other thing I wonder about is since I'm a member of that evil, devil-worshipping crossbow shooting clan, is it more difficult to shoot a crossbow from a saddle? Maybe someone who has done that will chime in.

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  8. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I do not see any reason why there would be any issues, it may even work as a rest for the crossbow. Many are rifle hunting out of saddles, you should be fine.
     
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  9. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I have not done it, but I own a crossbow for my kids. I can try to take some shots out of it over the long weekend. It is dark every evening by the time I get home.
     
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  10. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I don't see why it wouldn't work. The biggest problem would be a lack of a rest to set on. May have times when you need to hold that thing up for awhile. Obviously any thing behind the tree will be more difficult, but with a saddle you have the option to swing to the side of tree, then take the shot.

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  11. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I see that you got the Merlin also. I got mine a couple weeks ago and I'm loving it. My question for you is what size did you get? I think I remember you saying you got size 2 on flex. Did you get size 1 on Merlin?

    I got size 2 because I found on previous models the extra material made it more comfortable. This model is much larger over all. I completely bottomed out the waist belt on mine and can't cinch it any more. Wondering if I should have went to size 1.

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  12. muzzyman88

    muzzyman88 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Ive been reading a ton on the Cruzr saddles lately. Seems they are about as confortable as you can get for all day type sites, etc. I'm still on the fence to be honest with the whole thing.

    I want super simple. If I give this a go, I'm leaning toward 3 full size sticks with an aider on the first stick. Not sure about platforms as that just seems counter intuitive to me if you're a saddle hunter. If I need a platform... i may as well hang the darn lone wolf. The strap on ring of steps seems pretty nice. Minimal weight and fuss once up in the tree.

    The big test for me is doing this in the dark and manuevering around limbs and such without falling the heck out of the tree unhooking and hooking stuff up.
     
  13. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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    After more research, I have it narrowed down to the cruzr or the kestrel. They are very similar and both look well made. The only thing that steers me away from the kestrel is it has a strap bridge as opposed to a rope, although I think you can get the rope bridge as an option. I too am going to use hawk sticks, since I already own two sets. I would also like to add an aider. I'm also like you when it comes to a platform. I kinda hate to keep adding things but I did notice that @Swamp Stalker said that his feet became fatigued. So I think some sort of even foot support is neccessary. I'm not positive I'm going to go this route but I sure do have alot of time invested in research now. One good thing about all this research is that I have found things along the way that I can use with my current setups, whether I go with a saddle setup or not.

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  14. Oly44

    Oly44 Grizzled Veteran

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    I’m in the same boat. I want to be minimal so having a extra platform to setup doesn’t seem like the way to go for me. I’m going to try a smaller platform that attaches to top of my LW stick. As for setting up around limbs. I’ve seen videos where you use a combination of your linesman and tether so that you’re always hooked to the tree before you move. I hope to have everything in the spring and summer time to get a bunch of practice in.


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  15. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I run full length Hawk sticks with a single step aider off the bottom of each step. I made my aiders out of milspec climbing straps. Each one hangs about 18” from the bottom of the step. I can get 20’ easy with this set up. The Kestrel does come with a rope option which you specify if you order a new one from the company.
     
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  16. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    For anyone asking, the artic shield boot covers did just fine in the saddle. They are bulky but a little cautious moving and they are not loud. I’ve only used them once so I do not know how they will hold up long term. I have not found a boot that keeps my toes warm, it was 20 and if I did not have these, my hunt would have over much sooner. 34DDC496-CEE5-4F90-AC59-6E2AD60152DF.jpeg
     
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  17. Oly44

    Oly44 Grizzled Veteran

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    I always struggle with cold feet. I needed some new rubber boots so I picked up some lacrosse alpha burly pro 1600G. They are a little heavy but I was surprised how warm they kept my feet with just regular socks on during my last hunt. It was mid 20s out. I’ll have a better idea on them after couple more hunts and ice fishing this year. But I think they will do just fine.


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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  18. Swamp Stalker

    Swamp Stalker Legendary Woodsman

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  19. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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  20. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    [​IMG]
     
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