Talk me into jumping in the saddle

Discussion in 'Anything saddle related' started by Derek0413, Jul 17, 2017 at 1:58 AM.

  1. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Hey everyone. I am a complete new user to this forum and wanting to acquire some information. I heard of this forum on the wired to hunt podcast when they had Eberhart as a guest. I am a very serious deer hunter that is ready to add a new tactic to the system. The more I read and listen to others, the more I notice a lot of successful hunters that are consecutively harvesting mature bucks are exclusively, or situationally using a saddle. So here I am, seeking information from you all.

    Now I did look into the the section of the forum for new users and that was helpful. I'm just wanting some opinions at what I, as a new user, should look into trying. I have absolute zero experience in using a saddle, I've never even seen one actually. I hunt almost every time out of a climber stand, or off the ground in a ghillie. I do use some hang on stands but not often. I like being mobile and having a new set every time. If it helps, I'm a small built guy, around 5'10" and 160lbs. I would appreciate any info on a correct and safe setup, and why exactly I should go through with getting a saddle, like what are all the advantages that I may be overlooking or not thinking about.

    Any info is appreciated. Thanks all
     
  2. Boudreaux

    Boudreaux Active Member

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    Welcome!
    First thing is where are you from? There are a ton of guys around that would be willing to meet with you and let you check out their saddle setup to see if you like it.

    Thanks,
    Boswell
     
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  3. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and reply! I should've known to include where I'm from. I am in south west indiana in Pike County.


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  4. red2delta

    red2delta Active Member

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    Welcome to the site. You and I have the same body type. I recently switched over to saddle hunting two years ago. I use the Aero Hunter Evolution made by New Tribe and it was worth every penny. It is great for beginners because it comes in a complete package with everything you need, minus a climbing method like climbing sticks of spikes. A saddle gives me a huge advantage over other hunters on the public land I hunt because I can move around to adjust to the deer movements caused by the pressure the other hunters cause and so far I have been very successful at getting close to deer. I also love the fact that I can wear my whole setup and not have to lug around a stand on my back.Coming to this site was the best choice you could make for saddle info. Everything I know I learned from these guys. Cheers
     
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  5. MCDM

    MCDM Active Member

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    Welcome to the site!!
    I would also second what reddelta stated. The newtribe harness is a great entry level saddle because it comes with everything minus the climbing method. The thing about saddles and all the hybrid saddles on this site is that they are all require some level of tweaking for the individual user for fit/comfort purposes. It does not take much time to adjust the straps but you will need to hang in it from ground level (is best) to find your optimal fit. I used to hunt from fixed and climbing stands but since the saddle all those have been sold. I do see more deer especially bucks. I would say its because my system is lighter and more mobile it allows me to go farther than others and allows me to hunt areas where climbers can't be used on the not straight trees. I am sure there are guys close to you that could help you. If not this site is an invaluable resource which can take you to another level. Welcome again!!!
     
  6. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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  7. noxninja

    noxninja Active Member

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    Welcome to your new obsession...
     
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  8. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Thanks all for the warm welcome and for the info.

    It looks like this is going to be a little more pricey investment than what I was figuring. Which is fine, it sounds like it will be used enough to justify, especially if I use it exclusively and sell my other stands.

    So I've got a few bigger questions that pop out to me with considering the saddle

    First, what is the most preferred method to climb? Obviously I'd want something light, easy to use, and quiet when packing together and attaching to tree. The lease that I am on doesn't allow screw in steps. Same with public. The little property I own and the other private that I hunt it's ok to use.

    Second. How comfortable are they honestly? What is going on with your feet, like is there a small platform you use? During the rut, I'm like most and like to sit all day or at least most of the day into the late afternoon.

    Third. What do you do with all your gear? I mean besides your bow. I sometimes may have rattling antlers, a small bag with extra layers if the weather calls for it, etc. Is it easy to hang tight and organized up there?

    Fourth and final. How easy is it to make sure the shot is going to happen? I mean obviously with my being right handed, I need to set up for shots to be on the left, I get that, but what about when things don't go as planned as usual. I am wondering if I need to get around the tree to make it happen, can it be done?

    Sorry if any of these come off as dumb questions. Like I said, I have zero experience with a saddle, just very interested at the moment. I have the climber tree stand hunting down and pat, so I'm comparing what I think a saddle would be compared to that, which maybe the wrong thing to do. Thanks all for the information. I could really see this being an awesome tactic.


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  9. RDGARD

    RDGARD New Member

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    The Guido's web is the most comfortable thing you have probably ever hunted out of!
    As for your feet some use Ameristeps on a strap or a small platform and you can shoot all the way around the tree with the steps and if saddle is adjusted right not to bad on the feet.
     
  10. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Thanks I'll check into that system. I've seen a little bit on it on archerytalk. Do they sell that one with everything you need besides a climbing method like they do the aero?


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  11. red2delta

    red2delta Active Member

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    I used climbing sticks. Quick and easy application to get you 20-30 feet. other options include screw in steps, Stepp Ladder steps sold by Wild Edge Inc, and many of the experienced guys on here use climbing spikes. As RDGARD said, usually spikes or some sort are used to create foothold around the tree at hunting height to allow 360 degree movement around the tree.
    I carry a backpack with my gear in it. I am currently trying to find a way to attach my climbing sticks to my backpack so I don't have to carry them this year, and instead only carry my bow.
    There are some great videos on youtube that show how to make right handed shots in a hunting saddle. There are actually 3 ways to do it easily. The idea behind a saddle is you can use the tree to hind behind, instead of sitting in front of it with a traditional stand. The saddle allows you to swing as the deer moves towards you and you hide behind the tree. Saddles are very effective for getting close to deer and is much easier to move and change locations than a climber. A saddle also allows you to climb more tree, whereas I am sure you are pretty restricted with a climber, but I wouldn't know.
     
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  12. RDGARD

    RDGARD New Member

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    I think you have to buy linesman belt separately but it's only 35 dollars.They are heavier than Aero hunter and hotter in early season that's why I still use my tree saddle.
     
  13. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    The best method I've found is Lonewolf sticks with aider modifications. See the link in my signature below for how I set mine up. It's the lightest, fastest, and quietest way (without spurs) to get to 20' hunting height.

    For a platform, there are several good options. My first choice is a Lonewolf/XOP seat platform.

    Here is how I set mine up.


    Here is an example of shooting from these platforms.


    My second choice are Ameristep plastic steps on an OCB Buckle. For a while these were the only game in town. You can find them on classified ads on here, Archery Talk, ebay, and Craigslist. It's a very simple system to use and VERY effective.

    Some of the benefits of a Saddle VS a Climber are:
    - More mobile, lighter, and quieter.
    - You can hunt any tree in the woods with a Saddle. No more hunting for a good "climber tree".
    - A MUCH SMALLER profile in the tree and the ability to use the tree as cover.

    The main CON is comfort and hunting in extreme cold. I have a Summit climber that is INCREDIBLY comfortable. Sitting all day in that thing is a breeze. That's not to say the Saddle is uncomfortable, because that's not true either. I can sit all day in my Saddle as well, but it's not the same comfort level. Heavy winter hunting is a little trickier in a Saddle when you need to add/remove layers. A climbing stand is more suited for this IMO. I have a heater body suit and can't use it in my Saddle without modifying it.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  14. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel Administrator
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    Welcome to the site!
    In your situation, probably climbing sticks are the most common. I would at least start with them.

    They can be very comfortable, you need to spend the time to get used to the system and get it dialed in. I average 10 all day sits a year (at least I did before we had a baby lol)
    I use tree steps to stand on. Either steps that are screwed in around the tree or a strap on set. The platforms are becoming popular but they are larger.

    I keep all my gear in a backpack just like if I was hunting from a regular stand. I have either a tree step or a strap with a hook on it so that my bag can hang somewhere on the opposite side of the tree from me.

    Once you learn how to use this system you will be amazed at what you can do and get away with. I have had shots where I was hanging backwards off of my tippy toes to get a shot. I've had shots where I have had to swing around after the deer passed to shoot. You just have to get comfortable and know what you can do and get away with.

    Don't be afraid to ask any more questions. The guys on here are great and always willing to help.
     
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  15. ImThere

    ImThere Active Member

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    ^^^^ this guys like a rockstar I see him in videos all the time! Good info here^^^


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  16. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Well I must say I am sold. You all have given me very well information and after watching the videos and reading what all has been said, saddle hunting is right up my alley. I went from just considering one to ok gotta have one, real quick. It looks like an exciting new way to hunt and not be so limited as to what tree to climb. I've always hated having to hunt a tree instead of hunting where I wanted to be.

    So I really like the platform idea. I am guessing all these platforms are just seats to a hang on stand right? Which one and where do I go about ordering one?

    Also, I am leaning towards using a stack of 3-4 (Idk how many I really need) climbing sticks. I've always bought just cheap ones for my fixed hang ons but those would suck for being mobile. I am guessing Lone Wolf would be the way to go here?

    Any idea about how much I'd be looking at spending for a complete setup ready to climb and hunt? I am leaning towards the aero saddle. It looks like I may have $600 or more wrapped up in this quickly.

    Thanks again all for the great info.
     
  17. Ontariofarmer

    Ontariofarmer Active Member

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    I think Hawk helium sticks or muddy pro stick would be better than lone wolf sticks. Lone wolf sticks are good but these two sticks have two steps. The muddy pros have a rope and cam that is quick and easy to attach and the helium sticks can be modified to be used with a rope.

    If you use aiders on the sticks you can get higher with less sticks too. Search aiders on this site
     
    #17 Ontariofarmer, Jul 19, 2017 at 4:24 AM
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 4:30 AM
  18. Gettin Closer

    Gettin Closer Member

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    Looks like I am late to the party but as said before welcome to the site and to your new hunting method. I was in your same shoes last year. $ was also a concern for me. There are many different types of saddles, the main ones aero hunter (lighter and more compact) the Guido' s web (more comfortable but hotter... this was a deciding against factor for me as I am in TX.) And the self built such as the sitdrag with a rock climbing harness (cheaper than the other 2 but you put it together and need to make sure to keep safety in mind and keep a backup plan.) I opted for the sitdrag with rock climbing harness as I could put it together much cheaper than buyi g one and it is light and cool when hunting! No matter what you get, give it a chance as it will take some getting used to. I shot a hog a month ago and was only 12' up and I thought it was looking at me as I swung into possition. I could not believe it didn't run as they are spooky in my area! I absolutely love my setup!

    For climbing method, I like the Stepp Ladder as I hunt in woods that have lots of branches. If you have tall naked trees with few branches, look into the sticks (although the aider with the stepp ladder is very versatile as well, it tends to take more practice). All I carry into the woods is the bow with quiver on it, stepp ladder system and a SMALL backpack with basics. The pack gets tied to the tree with a piece of paracord that also has a bow holder on it. This keeps everything in reach and out of the way until needed. As far as comfort goes, as mentioned, it takes some experimenting to get the tether height and bridge set perfect for you. I have not fallen asleep in it yet and the longest hunt I have had in it was 4 to 5 hours but it wad way more comfortable than the basic lock on stands and ladder stands I had been using.

    My wife is not a fan as she does not have the balance/patience to mess with it is all I use now. I still keep a few of the other systems for her when she hunts but for me, I love the sitdrag.

    Let us know what you do and how you like it.
     
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  19. g2outdoors

    g2outdoors Well-Known Member

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    No matter which climbing sticks you buy (Muddy, Lonewolf, Hawk, XOP) I can't recommend aiders enough. With 3 sticks and aiders you can get to over 20'. It would take you 4-5 sticks depending on how tall you are to get to the same height without aiders. There's a link in my signature that shows how I use aiders on my Lonewolf sticks.
     
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  20. Derek0413

    Derek0413 New Member

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    Man this a ton of stuff to soak in, it's almost overwhelming. I've been having a lot of conversations with my serious deer hunting friends and with my dad too, just comparing traditional setups to the saddle method. I can't find a reason why a saddle wouldn't be better so I'm still on board. It's really interesting all the different modifications and methods used to fit an individual. I like that a lot about it but there's just so much that I'm still almost lost. Probably because I overthink everything, but anyways.

    So why should I consider climbing sticks or steppladder system over spikes attached on the boots? Are the spikes just hard to get used to or something?

    And I'm sure I'll go with the climbing sticks so I'm curious on a couple things there. What material are you using and how are you making the aiders? I want safety at the forefront of using a saddle so I want to use a proven method. And how are you packing these sticks? Do they make a stick quiver that keeps them easy to carry and not banging off each other? I'm oblivious to what all is out there for anything but climbers really.

    And with the sticks, how do you bring up the sticks as you need to attach them to the tree to keep climbing up? Are they tied off to a rope and you pull them up? Seems like a lot of ropes in this system, sounds like it could be a tangled web.

    With the stepp ladder system, how do you keep them quiet when they're in the bag? Seems like in the videos I watched it was metal on metal contact and it seemed like it'd be loud setting up early in the morning. Is it easy too to pack them back in nice and organized? The design is simple and I like that but they look slow going, but maybe not once you do it a couple times. Most of the places I hunt have the straighter trees so climbing sticks would be most used. One area has a sanctuary of about 15 acres and I only hunt the edges. It's old cattle pasture and the trees are gnarly. Lot of honey locust that I'd never climb but all the other trees are small twisted messes as well. With that said I could see adding stepp ladders if I prefer using a saddle over everything else


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