Any saddle hunters on HT?

cbang65

New member
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

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
290
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

Active member
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
668
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
290
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

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
831
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

Active member
Joined
Sep 18, 2013
Messages
692
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

Active member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
290
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
692
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

New member
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

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
171
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

Active member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
169
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

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
36
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
290
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.
 
Top