Tree Saddles, Lock on and climber, I just don't get it.

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Vabowman, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Vabowman

    Vabowman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Before anyone gets upset, I am NOT down playing or criticizing anyone's choice. But I am a climber guy, have been for over 20 years. I currently use and love my 16 lbs Summit Open Shot. I can be in the tree and up 20+ feet in a matter of 2 mins. usually less, and come down even quicker. I know that there are times that a saddle and or a lock on can get you in a tree when a climber can't. for me that may be 5% of the time, and that is a risk I take. But overall, it just seems like a climber is much quicker and easier. But it seems on TV anyways, most everyone is hunting from a lock on, usually, Muddy or Lone Wolf. Have yet to see a saddle hunt. and don't recall a climber hunt either.. I don't get why more don't use a climber because IMHO, it's more practical, lighter, quicker and just overall much easier.. let me hear from you guys that do not use a climber. Why do you not?
     
  2. Old West

    Old West Weekend Warrior

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    I like climbers. I hunt small pieces though and pretty much only use fixed stands and blinds.

    The Hunting Public guys on YouTube typically use saddles when they hunt from above.

    I think the TV personalities feel more pressure to make things happen and they don't want a crooked tree to get in the way of that. I'm guessing that's a big reason why they're willing to put in the extra effort to use a hang-on stand.

    I don't care for hang-on stands at all, personally. I'm sure I'd get used to them if I tried, but I don't have any desire to do so with my current hunting properties.
     
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  3. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I used a climber for 18 years, mostly because that's all I knew. Then went to lock on stands and screw in steps and sticks for the next 6 years. And I liked that much more. I was able to get in any tree that I wanted and I felt I made less noise with that setup, but it wasn't lighter. The last 3 years I've done the saddle. It's lighter, faster, and the quietest system I have used so far. Although the climber is fast, but what if the tree you need to be in has a couple limbs? The saddle or lock on will be faster in this situation. There is never a time that I need to save 5 minutes climbing and the ability to climb any tree is what I look for in the type of hunting I do.

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  4. Vabowman

    Vabowman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I have always felt unsafe hanging the lock ons...now, that was back in the day and I was young, early to mid 90s..hell I didn't even use a safety belt back then...stupid stupid stupid...but I survived
     
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  5. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    My situation is the exact opposite of yours - maybe 5% of the trees I hunt from would work with a climber. Our trees and forests are a lot different than they are out East or down South. I would love to use a climber, and even bought one at one time, but never used it and eventually got rid of it.

    The reason you see primarily hang-on stands, ladder stands or blinds on most TV shows is b/c they're hunting private farms where everything is set up long before the season begins. There's no need for a climber if you can simply walk out and climb right into a pre-hung, pre-trimmed stand that's ready to rock. That's how all of my private farms are as well.

    Saddles are just picking up in popularity now, but mostly with the run-and-gun, public land crowd. And outside of THP and a few smaller shows, there aren't many mainstream TV personalities who do what they do. Also, most of the bigger shows out there already have a treestand company sponsoring them. And with saddle companies just getting established they don't have the deep pockets to lure those guys away.
     
  6. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    A saddle has all the advantages of a hang on setup over a climber but without the weight and bulk of a hang on. I have used all three. I am sticking with the saddle if I am hunt off the ground. Once you get used to climbing steps, the whole saddle set up is way easier and more mobile.
     
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  7. Vabowman

    Vabowman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I think you hit the nail on the head.. Muddy and Lone Wolf sponsor a lot of shows. And why not use them..they seem to make a damn good stand. I thought about getting a lone wolf climbing set.. but geez, it's like 500$!!
     
  8. Vabowman

    Vabowman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    so with the saddle, you could use spikes or sticks? and, is it strange to be facing the tree while hunting? I guess you are able to turn almost 360?
     
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  9. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    Lone Wolf doesn't sponsor many shows at all - but a lot of people like to use them b/c they're widely considered "the best" when it comes to treestands. It's all I've used for the last 13-14 years and I can't see myself changing any time soon. They're rock solid, deadly quiet and ultra-portable. But there's a lot of stand companies out there - Muddy, Hawk, Big Game, Summit, Milennium, etc.

    I'll likely try out a saddle at some point in the next year - but as a self-filmer I'm concerned about how that all works. I've been told it's doable, but is easier done from a stand.
     
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  10. Vabowman

    Vabowman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Yeh, my buddy has a Lone wolf set, it's nice. as far filming from a saddle, man that may be a job.. It looks more difficult to set up than a lock on.. I wouldn't know though.
     
  11. Kfili

    Kfili Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I need to be mobile, but defintley cant afford to shell out the $$ for multiple set ups. Ive been using a climber for 3 years and love, it dont have much of a problem getting in a tree, but occasionally I do. I have no interest in getting a hang on and sticks but would be interested in a saddle if I could try one out before shelling out the $$. My main concern is shooting form, I spend all year working like heck to have a good foundation ect, ect, Im not willing to through that away to shave a few pounds and get in more trees.
     
  12. Holt

    Holt Grizzled Veteran

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    I would suggest trying a saddle before you buy. It's not as comfortable as a climber, but close. It's just a different style of hunting. I'm kind of a hybrid saddle hunter. I have a very small platform that I stand on to take my shots from. We're more traditional saddle hunter would be hanging in the saddle while shooting. When I completely hang and try to take my shot, my form breaks down bad! I have to have my feet under me or close to it. First year in a saddle I missed 6 deer and only shot 1. It was rough trying to figure out at first, but by 2nd season it was second nature.

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  13. fred_Bump

    fred_Bump Weekend Warrior

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    I prefer climbers to hang ons. Lone wolf makes a great stand but I love my Goliath, comfort is a big deal to me. Ole man isn’t bad either. Tree saddles do interest me despite never having used one. Portability and versatility are great options, I may own a saddle some day.


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  14. 206moose

    206moose Weekend Warrior

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    Tv guys have enough to carry without hauling a couple climbing stands as well. When I lived in va all I used was a climber. Lots of straight limbless trees. Moved to Illinois and had to start using loc on with sticks due to lots of crooked trees and limbs. Now that I’m living in SC I’m considering a saddle because my only option is public land at the moment. So I’d say the situation dictates the equipment.


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  15. 206moose

    206moose Weekend Warrior

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    Check out the JX3 if you’re thinking about trying a saddle.


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  16. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I used climbers up until last year, I still have my old man climber but my saddle has taken over as my go to setup. Although, I am debating using it this weekend.
    Old Man climber: Super comfortable and when it's locked in, it's solid. The down fall of this climber was when I started going deeper into thicker woods. It is too bulky and hangs up on everything walking through tight stuff. Also, it has kept me from getting into spots due to the lack of smooth trees. I'm sure I cold probably get a slimmer lone wolf stand, but I chose to invest into the saddle fad.
    Saddle v. Lock on: Bottom line for me; why haul a lock on when I can wear my saddle. Saddle w/sticks & lock-on w/sticks are the same thing until you get to hunting height (minus weight). The benefit of the saddle is that I'm wearing it and place a 2lb platform on the tree and wrap a rope (like your safety harness tether) and I'm done. No need to haul another stand up the tree. I also like that the tree is between me and where I "think" the seer are coming, I can also back myself into cover without hindering any shot opportunities. The shoot anywhere thing is true, but the movement getting to some of those positions can be tricky; a saddle doesn't make movement invisible, you need to know how to move using your legs/core/knees, it takes practice.
     
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  17. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    You can borrow mine if you need a loner to test....after the season of course.
     
  18. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    It was only odd until after my first practice shot from it. Now that I am used to it, it feels way more natural than sitting with my back to the tree. And, yes, I can shoot a full 360 around the tree, including directly behind me. Something that cannot be done from a tree stand. It try to position myself on the tree so that offhand shots are going to occur in the least likely direction I think deer will come from. The link is to my instagram pic of practicing shooting directly behind me.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BzWKX2vFlSi/
     
  19. S.McArthur

    S.McArthur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Forgot to add: You can also use the saddle at ground height, use it like a sit/drag if you use it right.
     
  20. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    I keep considering a climber, but like Justin's area it is a rare tree that isn't loaded with limbs here in the Pacific Northwest. With a climber I would have to go out and limb out the tree(s) I wanted to use before hand to avoid all the noise on hunting day. I mainly hunt my own property for whitetail, so it's just easier to buy a ladder stand and leave it up year round.
    I like the idea of a climber available to use during some of my elk seasons, early season on wallows that are encountered or when they aren't being vocal. Still would have to scout it out and pre-trim the limbs before hand.
     

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