Any saddle hunters on HT?

cbang65

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Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Blissfield, Michigan
Hi all,
I know this is a mostly western hunting platform, but for you midwest guys, how many of you hunt deer out of a saddle/ tree sling? I'm seriously considering picking one up for the 2019 seasons, but I'm a little gun shy because they're expensive. Any thoughts?
Thanks.
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
380
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Welcome aboard, from a former SW Michigander! I bought one for myself this season and absolutely love it! Definitely expensive, but it's going to really mesh well with my hunting style. I went with a Tethrd setup and wild edge steps. A couple of things I've found:

- They take quite a while to ship and it's definitely not something you receive and go hunting with right away. Practice practice practice with it. It takes some time to figure out what tweaks you'll need to use for yourself. You might be able to find one on the secondary market, but they go quick. They come up often on a forum dedicated to saddle hunting (google it) and are typically priced at market value, but without the backorder waiting. Probably your best bet if wanting to get one by 10/1
- Practice going to full height and shooting, not unlike a treestand
- Figure out how to organize your gear in your pack so you're comfortable and quiet, especially helpful when climbing
- Skip the prussik and go for Ropeman. You're welcome
- I started out leaning (basically standing on the platform with my weight in the saddle and thought that would work. I was a little hesitant about hunting all day like that, worried that my legs would get tired or I'd be moving around too much. I wanted to try sitting, but my knees against the tree didn't exactly work either. Then I got kneepads. I'm definitely a sitter, and it's a gamechanger for comfort
 

beginnerhunter

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Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
789
Having watched a few vids on getting up the tree and setting up, I'm yet to see anyone do it quickly. And with the cost being a little high I'm sticking with my heavy old climber. But I'm always open to new things. If there is a video that makes it look easy and quick I'd like to see it. Thanks!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
380
Location
Apple Valley, MN
I have a climber too and used it exclusively. After some practice I'd say it's about the same speed and definitely more quiet.

We can't leave stands in the woods on most properties in MN, so climber was my best option. The saddle will allow me to hunt trees that have limbs and such, and that's what I'm most looking forward to.
 

Rzrbck918

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Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,020
Location
Bixby Oklahoma
I have a friend who uses one here in Oklahoma and loves it. He said it takes some getting used to but is more versatile than a climber with tree choice.
 

JDH

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Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
760
Location
Indiana
I've thought about it but the price has kept me out so far. I may pick a used one up after this season...I'm sure there will be plenty of guys who decided it wasn't for them.
 

cbang65

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Blissfield, Michigan
Welcome aboard, from a former SW Michigander! I bought one for myself this season and absolutely love it! Definitely expensive, but it's going to really mesh well with my hunting style. I went with a Tethrd setup and wild edge steps. A couple of things I've found:

- They take quite a while to ship and it's definitely not something you receive and go hunting with right away. Practice practice practice with it. It takes some time to figure out what tweaks you'll need to use for yourself. You might be able to find one on the secondary market, but they go quick. They come up often on a forum dedicated to saddle hunting (google it) and are typically priced at market value, but without the backorder waiting. Probably your best bet if wanting to get one by 10/1
- Practice going to full height and shooting, not unlike a treestand
- Figure out how to organize your gear in your pack so you're comfortable and quiet, especially helpful when climbing
- Skip the prussik and go for Ropeman. You're welcome
- I started out leaning (basically standing on the platform with my weight in the saddle and thought that would work. I was a little hesitant about hunting all day like that, worried that my legs would get tired or I'd be moving around too much. I wanted to try sitting, but my knees against the tree didn't exactly work either. Then I got kneepads. I'm definitely a sitter, and it's a gamechanger for comfort
Thanks for the input! I'm aware of the saddle hunting forum and have done a little snooping but felt like I should put some feelers out here as well. Is the Ropeman the carabiner type item that tethrd has on their setup? My size tends to vary seasonally between 220 and 250lbs, so I'm a little unsure of the Mantis setup from Tethrd. I was looking at the AeroHunter Kestrel saddle, it's a little beefier than the Mantis. Also, do you use the platform and the steps together? Or just the steps? My original thought was to use the Tethrd platform as my "standard" angle, and add the Wild Edge steps so I could move around the entirety of the tree.
 

cbang65

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
21
Location
Blissfield, Michigan
I've thought about it but the price has kept me out so far. I may pick a used one up after this season...I'm sure there will be plenty of guys who decided it wasn't for them.
Price has been what's kept me out of the game as well. I've been considering a saddle for a couple years now and have just recently gotten the cash to get one (if I can be convinced lol).
 

MN_Bowhunter4

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
380
Location
Apple Valley, MN
I'm 6'2" ~255 and the XL mantis fits well. I certainly don't feel unsecure in it!

The ropeman is the ascender that you hook the caribiner into. It allows one way movement, goes up but not down. It's easy to adjust single handed and is much more user friendly than the prussik that comes stock. REI also sells the ropeman for the same price. I am using one on both my lineman and tether.

I personally use the steps and platform together. I'll climb to height then place my platform to the left of my last step. I practice from a 12-14 inch diameter tree in my yard and don't have any issue shooting 360 like this. This is where practice comes into play though. I think the steps could serve as a platform, but like I said, my preference is the platform.
 

JDH

Active member
Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
760
Location
Indiana
Price has been what's kept me out of the game as well. I've been considering a saddle for a couple years now and have just recently gotten the cash to get one (if I can be convinced lol).
I had some reservations but was able to sit in the Flex and it was pretty comfy and I was able to stay steady enough to shoot from different angles. I use a climber almost exclusively and would love to be able to get into different trees with limbs and to be able to walk in lighter and more quiet. It seems that I always end up busting through briars or oaks getting to my stand. One thing that helps me is that I already own some Hawk Helium steps so I don't have to worry about buying those.
 

dmtill

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Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Messages
12
Location
Coastal Georgia
I bought one at the end of last year to hunt deer in coastal Georgia (think of the thickest nasty stuff on the planet). I set it up in my yard and couldn’t figure out a way to fall out of it (I have a aero hunter kestrel). I would buy a purpose built platform because I found that setting up a platform was the most awkward part of the whole setup. It’s a cool setup but a light weight stand with sticks wouldn’t be that much different if you didn’t have that far to go.

Disclaimer I only use one cause I convinced my wife that it was fundamentally safer than a tree stand after I fell out of a tree and it’s my only way to get back off the ground.
 

ChrisC

Active member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
190
Location
Massachusetts
Welcome aboard, from a former SW Michigander! I bought one for myself this season and absolutely love it! Definitely expensive, but it's going to really mesh well with my hunting style. I went with a Tethrd setup and wild edge steps. A couple of things I've found:

- They take quite a while to ship and it's definitely not something you receive and go hunting with right away. Practice practice practice with it. It takes some time to figure out what tweaks you'll need to use for yourself. You might be able to find one on the secondary market, but they go quick. They come up often on a forum dedicated to saddle hunting (google it) and are typically priced at market value, but without the backorder waiting. Probably your best bet if wanting to get one by 10/1
- Practice going to full height and shooting, not unlike a treestand
- Figure out how to organize your gear in your pack so you're comfortable and quiet, especially helpful when climbing
- Skip the prussik and go for Ropeman. You're welcome
- I started out leaning (basically standing on the platform with my weight in the saddle and thought that would work. I was a little hesitant about hunting all day like that, worried that my legs would get tired or I'd be moving around too much. I wanted to try sitting, but my knees against the tree didn't exactly work either. Then I got kneepads. I'm definitely a sitter, and it's a gamechanger for comfort
I got a tethrd Mantis but haven't figured out which steps to use. I was considering the wild edge ones. Are you happy with them?
 

ZBB

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Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
271
Location
Pueblo, Co
I have no experience with these things but I’ve thought about modifying an inexpensive climbing harness for this very reason. Probably wouldn’t be able to sit in it all day but before I dropped the money on some of the ones you guys are mentioning I would try that for a couple hours to see if I liked it. Seems like they would be tough on the “pills” for a whole day.
Zach
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
256
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I bought myself one for Christmas last year, it unfortunately didn’t arrive until Jan 31st the day season ended. My brother, not on HT, has been hunting from a saddle exclusively for a couple of years and won’t use anything else. With practice it can be really dang fast to get up up a tree and strap on.
The real advantage to it over a climber is tree options imo. There never seems to be a tree straight enough with no limbs where I can use a climber in the exact right spot. And when there is a good climbing tree I often feel like a gorilla hanging on the side of a pool cue! With the intense pressure our deer get in Louisiana you had better have some cover or you’ll be busted often. With a saddle you can get into all sorts of brushy limby trees that a climber won’t fit. It pretty much opens up almost any tree to hunting making moving for wind direction etc much easier.
If you have to haul your set up in and out every hunt it’s waaaay lighter and if you’re on private land and can leave stands up it ends up being cheaper than having a half dz or more different lock ons scattered around a property. Just my thoughts, good luck, I’m committed to using mine all season this year and October 1st can’t come fast enough!!
 

MN_Bowhunter4

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
380
Location
Apple Valley, MN
I got a tethrd Mantis but haven't figured out which steps to use. I was considering the wild edge ones. Are you happy with them?
I am. They take some getting used to but I’m comfortable now. The biggest reasons I went with them was portability. I can’t leave anything on the public land I hunt, and I liked that these are light and can fit into my pack with ease. I have the 5 step ladder with the aider for additional height.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Ruch, Oregon
I bagged my first ever buck this year from a saddle. I have some pretty solid rock-climbing experience from my younger days, so it was well within my comfort zone to begin with. I do not work for the company that makes the saddles (I kind of wish I did), but I end up advocating their use to every bowhunter I come across. Here are my top 5 reasons:

  • Safety. The system keeps you attached to the tree from the moment you leave the ground, until you are back on it. Treestands do not offer this kind of constant connection. You cannot fall out of your harness (I proved this at one point by having a lack of balance moment....I was gently brought back to the tree, and I resumed hunting). Tree stand harnesses catch you if you fall, saddles ensure you don't fall in the first place.
  • Low weight and bulk. You can wear the saddle in, so the weight there almost does not count. All you have to worry about is your climbing method and your platform. All in all it's a few pounds of gear.
  • 360 degree shooting. The saddle allows you to move and shoot 360 degrees around the tree. you just can't get this done in a treestand.
  • Any Tree. You can climb just about any tree that will support your weight. The tree I used had about a 25 degree lean to it (not a fun climb, and not a tree I would reccomend to a first timer, but doable) I shot a very nice buck from that tree about 8 yards away. I would have had to walk away from that tree in any climbing stand.
  • Comfort. I was in that tree for 7 and a half hours with the bucks I was hunting less than 100 yards away the whole time. I was able to, sit, lean, stand, and otherwise adjust my position slowly and quietly. You just don't have those same options in a stand. I napped in my saddle several times, it's just comfy.
I really could go on and on, but those are the biggies for me. Any saddle system will work out and I am convinced it is worth the money (if you think about your ability to run and gun any tree you want with your system it's actually cheaper than buying an equivalent amount for stands). As to my setup:

  • Tethrd Mantis
  • Tethrd Predator Platform
  • 2 to 3 Hawk Helium Climbing sticks
  • 6' webbing rope aider (honestly can't remember where I picked that up)
The following video is probably the best I have seen for a guy with a GREAT climbing system. Saddle Demo With Aider

Good luck if you get into it.
 

wayner

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Yorkshire, England
I am a hunter from the uk and made my saddle and platform to travel with as well as using my longbow, it is by far the best way for me to be able to use a set up that i can travel with and add an extra dimension to hunt with I did a kestrel clone but with one difference as i don't like the cobra buckles, i went rc climbing harness buckle It is really comfy for long sits, I use an amsteel bridge and climb using DRT which for me is the best method I only need a rope and a throw line and that's it.
after having knee surgery I feel sticks are not for me although I did try them it's extra gear and I don't feel safe, with DRT I am hooked up from the go and can do it quickly and at the end of the day just rappel down no hassles.
I would say to anyone to have a go with a good saddle and perfect your climbing method as you go along, the saddle for me is far better than a platform and can spend more time being comfy, don't be afraid to try it but it might take a few goes to get your bridge and set up dialed in,regards wayne
 

wayner

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Yorkshire, England
I have no experience with these things but I’ve thought about modifying an inexpensive climbing harness for this very reason. Probably wouldn’t be able to sit in it all day but before I dropped the money on some of the ones you guys are mentioning I would try that for a couple hours to see if I liked it. Seems like they would be tough on the “pills” for a whole day.
Zach
They are a world apart, as you say your pills take a battering but back of the legs and around the waist belt but you can make or get a sitdrag to help in the comfort department, I just had to alter mine as I knew from day one it was the best method for me, here's my alterations
69172826_391773111736225_1307386189476528128_n.jpg
 
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dragginwood

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Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
63
I'm a saddle hunter from MI and won't go back to traditional tree stands. My last 3 deer I would not have

I agree the initial setup is a bit on the expensive side, way easier to leverage one for multiple stand locations. Which to me is one of the main perks. I can setup 15 stand locations with climbing sticks and I only need one saddle. Plus, no one can sit in my spot if they stumble on it when I'm not there unless they are also a saddle hunter..
Body position is also a big plus. I get picked up WAY less in a saddle. You're behind the tree so you have more cover and your body position more akin to a natural tree limb. Not this huge blob hanging off a tree with bunch of non-natural angles.

Started with the comfort model, Guido's Web a few years back and invested in a Tethrd Mantis when they were first released to get something lighter that allowed me to still carry a pack. Hit YouTube and look at the Guido's Web videos. It is a great starter and super comfortable. If you're interested PM me, as I have one ready to go just sitting in storage that I'll dump cheap.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
Messages
292
Location
Minnesota
Okay, so question. What's to stop a guy from getting these then climbing and strapping on a platform and sitting in a saddle? Seems like it'd take away most of the setup time. Obviously not going to work for everyone as climbing trees with spikes like this requires some athleticism but that would make these saddles the most versatile things out there.
 
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