Yeti

Tree Saddles. Thoughts, Tips, Stories?

JFish

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Mar 10, 2019
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219
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Pennsylvania
My new two panel ESS saddle came in and I’m excited to give saddle hunting another shot. I’m more excited to not have to carry or deal with the climber. It seems very comfortable but holy moly did that thing have a lot of metal clanking pieces. I spent an hour and a roll of stealth strips making it quiet. I even had the wife sew some foam beer coozies around the gigantic metal D rings. Pretty quiet now. I will put it through its paces this week and decide if I should sell it and take out a loan for one of those new super light-weight expensive hang ons stands.
 

Shangobango

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Aug 5, 2019
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Louisiana
The more I use my Phantom the more I like it. I am not selling my climbers or hang on stands because I think they will still have there uses, but for a lot of the public I hunt where I need to get in over a mile and pack my kill and gear back out, I think the saddle is going to be the answer.
 

JDH

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Sep 18, 2013
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Indiana
I've realized something. Most people I know who hate saddles, have actually never tried one or hunted from one.

It seems like most the haters use climber stands and they're upset because their stands only work well for climbing telephone poles!

10lbs of gear, and I can hunt any tree, anywhere, and be fully setup in under 10 mins. I guess it has its downsides.. . Like being able to shoot 360 degrees around the tree, or having the ability to keep yourself behind the tree and out of sight of the animal. See? There's quite a few other downsides... If you're a deer.
By the time I haul all my crap in, I'm still at about 36 lbs of stuff, including 3 original Hawk sticks with 0 modifications. I think this offseason I will try and shave a few pounds off of that.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
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Minnesota
By the time I haul all my crap in, I'm still at about 36 lbs of stuff, including 3 original Hawk sticks with 0 modifications. I think this offseason I will try and shave a few pounds off of that.
Interesting. The Hawk sticks I bought are the 20" ones. They come in a 4 pack and have the daisy chain strap that came with them. A lot lighter than the cam buckle that they used to come with. 2.4lbs each with the top steps removed on one and the platform that weighs like 1.4lbs. So lets just say 11lbs of sticks. I'm not counting the weight of other items I have/wear that I'd normally wear. The 11 lbs is in the sticks and platform alone.

If you'd add in the weight of the phantom saddle (1.5lbs) and lineman and tree tether I'm probably around 15lbs for the setup. Switch to the 1 stick method and I know guys that are down to like 6lbs. Just more things to buy to get to that point.

What else are you hauling in with you that gets you up to 36lbs???
 

EYJONAS!

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Holy shit this thread gives me anxiety for how much work all of this shit sounds like.

No wonder you flatlanders wanna just come out and drive 2 tracks all day and shoot bucks off the road.

I don't even put this much effort in to kill an ul ram let alone shooting a whitey. Good lord.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
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Minnesota
Holy shit this thread gives me anxiety for how much work all of this shit sounds like.

No wonder you flatlanders wanna just come out and drive 2 tracks all day and shoot bucks off the road.

I don't even put this much effort in to kill an ul ram let alone shooting a whitey. Good lord.
Step 1. Get climbing sticks or some way to get up to the height you want to hunt at.
Step 2. Get a saddle to sit in, along with a couple ropes so you can connect yourself to the tree...
Step 3. You're done and hunting.

It's really simple. Like everything else though, there's more to it!
 
G

Guest member 25165

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When you guys harvest an animal using saddles, do you pack the animal out in the field, drag it back to the truck, what is your method of getting the meat back? Looking at the Cruzr saddles and since I lost my private hunting spot, I'm thinking about giving public a shot with saddles.
 

Shangobango

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Aug 5, 2019
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1,602
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Louisiana
When you guys harvest an animal using saddles, do you pack the animal out in the field, drag it back to the truck, what is your method of getting the meat back? Looking at the Cruzr saddles and since I lost my private hunting spot, I'm thinking about giving public a shot with saddles.
Right now, my set up is my saddle and all my gear, grub, water, game bags, etc. in my Metcalf. 3- 30 inch Hawk Helium steps strapped to the left side. I have a 2 step and a 1 step aider. I can get up to 25 feet foot level no problem. I put what I need up in the tree into the lid and pull it up along with my weapon. Hang weapon and daypack lid with possibles on the HYS strap with a hero clip and S-biners. I should be able to quarter a deer and haul it in the meat shelf along with everything I took in, in theory. Can’t wait to kill out of it and see how it works in practice.
 

rjthehunter

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Oct 23, 2019
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Minnesota
Right now, my set up is my saddle and all my gear, grub, water, game bags, etc. in my Metcalf. 3- 30 inch Hawk Helium steps strapped to the left side. I have a 2 step and a 1 step aider. I can get up to 25 feet foot level no problem. I put what I need up in the tree into the lid and pull it up along with my weapon. Hang weapon and daypack lid with possibles on the HYS strap with a hero clip and S-biners. I should be able to quarter a deer and haul it in the meat shelf along with everything I took in, in theory. Can’t wait to kill out of it and see how it works in practice.
I have a similar setup. But I'm using a kuiu 2200 bag/frame and am using 4 of the 20" sticks. Did you make your aiders? I need to get a couple to help get up higher in some trees. I also keep my pack on as I go up the tree so the only thing I haul up is my bow/gun! I haven't needed to pack a deer out yet. But I'm looking forward to giving it a shot!

Did the gutless method this past weekend on a smaller deer and man it was quick and easy. Gonna have to do that all the time going forward!
 

Shangobango

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I have a similar setup. But I'm using a kuiu 2200 bag/frame and am using 4 of the 20" sticks. Did you make your aiders? I need to get a couple to help get up higher in some trees. I also keep my pack on as I go up the tree so the only thing I haul up is my bow/gun! I haven't needed to pack a deer out yet. But I'm looking forward to giving it a shot!

Did the gutless method this past weekend on a smaller deer and man it was quick and easy. Gonna have to do that all the time going forward!
I ordered the aiders from customamsteel products. They are the ones with the tubing on the rungs. I may end up buying one more one step to get me a little higher when needed.

I couldn’t find the 20 inch sticks when I was looking. I think it worked out fine though. Haven’t had an issue with 30 inchers as long as I get them positioned right on the pack to where they aren’t too high when packing.
 

JFish

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Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
219
Location
Pennsylvania
Right now, my set up is my saddle and all my gear, grub, water, game bags, etc. in my Metcalf. 3- 30 inch Hawk Helium steps strapped to the left side. I have a 2 step and a 1 step aider. I can get up to 25 feet foot level no problem. I put what I need up in the tree into the lid and pull it up along with my weapon. Hang weapon and daypack lid with possibles on the HYS strap with a hero clip and S-biners. I should be able to quarter a deer and haul it in the meat shelf along with everything I took in, in theory. Can’t wait to kill out of it and see how it works in practice.
I use a metcalf as well without the lid and have been busted several times by it hanging off the tree. Dunno why I never thought of using just the lid in the tree. Great idea.
 

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
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Colorado
I ordered the aiders from customamsteel products. They are the ones with the tubing on the rungs. I may end up buying one more one step to get me a little higher when needed.

I couldn’t find the 20 inch sticks when I was looking. I think it worked out fine though. Haven’t had an issue with 30 inchers as long as I get them positioned right on the pack to where they aren’t too high when packing.
Oh man, I need to get into that! I splice climbing line regularly for work. Splicing Amsteel is like child’s play compared to splicing rope.
 

JDH

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Sep 18, 2013
Messages
1,081
Location
Indiana
When you guys harvest an animal using saddles, do you pack the animal out in the field, drag it back to the truck, what is your method of getting the meat back? Looking at the Cruzr saddles and since I lost my private hunting spot, I'm thinking about giving public a shot with saddles.
Depends on terrain and distance for me. Short distance, flat terrain=drag. short/medium distance, hilly=cart. long distance, flat/hilly=quarter it up
 

JDH

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Sep 18, 2013
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Location
Indiana
Interesting. The Hawk sticks I bought are the 20" ones. They come in a 4 pack and have the daisy chain strap that came with them. A lot lighter than the cam buckle that they used to come with. 2.4lbs each with the top steps removed on one and the platform that weighs like 1.4lbs. So lets just say 11lbs of sticks. I'm not counting the weight of other items I have/wear that I'd normally wear. The 11 lbs is in the sticks and platform alone.

If you'd add in the weight of the phantom saddle (1.5lbs) and lineman and tree tether I'm probably around 15lbs for the setup. Switch to the 1 stick method and I know guys that are down to like 6lbs. Just more things to buy to get to that point.

What else are you hauling in with you that gets you up to 36lbs???
I need to weigh everything but I probably take too much. small saw, pruners, binos, thermacell if early season, rangefinder, water, snacks, headlamp, extra batteries, platform, 3 original hawk heliums with the buckle(majority of the weight), cable aiders on 2 sticks, a 2 step aider on one stick. I typically pack my saddle in also, figure it's less wear and tear on it. I never wear my jacket while walking in so that's in there also.
 
Last edited:

wllm

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Dec 9, 2015
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14,652
Location
Boston
When you guys harvest an animal using saddles, do you pack the animal out in the field, drag it back to the truck, what is your method of getting the meat back? Looking at the Cruzr saddles and since I lost my private hunting spot, I'm thinking about giving public a shot with saddles.
Not sure about the rest of the east but New England likes to make deer hunting as stupid as possible, gotta come out whole...
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Feb 19, 2021
Messages
296
I love my saddle; used a couple of them. Super lightweight (comparatively), can get into almost any tree or structure and hang out of sight. I slide it in my pack and go.

There are tons of methods to get up the tree. I personally (currently), use steps and aiders to get up. I keep thinking about switching to DRT or SRT because it may end up being lighter weight, quiet and more versatile. I tend to find myself scouting and exploring in places that most folks wouldn't and always want to hang from a tree in an amazing place, but don't want to carry heavy gear.



 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Feb 19, 2021
Messages
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The saddle is the new 6.5 CM. By that I mean tons of people making fun of them now and calling the current owners names will own one in 5 years.
I've owned one for about 15 + years. The first treeline saddle was kind of diffulcult to use but worked. Now they are all great.
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Feb 19, 2021
Messages
296
When you guys harvest an animal using saddles, do you pack the animal out in the field, drag it back to the truck, what is your method of getting the meat back? Looking at the Cruzr saddles and since I lost my private hunting spot, I'm thinking about giving public a shot with saddles.
It depends,

If I’m by myself and the vehicle is a bit of a walk away – I find it easier to cut it up in primal cuts and pack it out.

If you want the meat to recover from rigamortus appropriately, do not debone the meat until the process is complete – so primal cuts or whole only unless absolutly nessasary.

If you have been invited to a traditional Northeast or Midwest “Deer Camp”; you may want to drag the animal out whole. The old men get uptight when they don’t have something to hang on the meat pole. I almost got uninvited from a friend’s family Deer Camp, because I didn’t enter the local townships big buck contest. To me, I don't need the recognition. But to the group, it’s a big deal to represent the Deer Camp (it’s not your buck, it’s the Camps buck).

If you have access and want to age the meat whole in a walk-in cooler – drag it out whole.
 

Shangobango

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Aug 5, 2019
Messages
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Location
Louisiana
Not sure about the rest of the east but New England likes to make deer hunting as stupid as possible, gotta come out whole...
Here you don't have to come out whole except for specific hunts on some of the WMA's and NWR's where they want to weigh and age the deer at a check station. Same with Arkansas.
 

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
296
Interesting. The Hawk sticks I bought are the 20" ones. They come in a 4 pack and have the daisy chain strap that came with them. A lot lighter than the cam buckle that they used to come with. 2.4lbs each with the top steps removed on one and the platform that weighs like 1.4lbs. So lets just say 11lbs of sticks. I'm not counting the weight of other items I have/wear that I'd normally wear. The 11 lbs is in the sticks and platform alone.

If you'd add in the weight of the phantom saddle (1.5lbs) and lineman and tree tether I'm probably around 15lbs for the setup. Switch to the 1 stick method and I know guys that are down to like 6lbs. Just more things to buy to get to that point.

What else are you hauling in with you that gets you up to 36lbs???
This will lighten the weight - you have to decide if it's safe enough for you. If you replace both your limans belt and tether with this kevlar rope you'll save a significant amount of bulk and weight.

 
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