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Brand New to saddle hunting: Climbing up!

Ashlee22

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
5
Hi all,

I am a saddle hunting newbie, and also dealing with a fear of heights. The saddle hunting method makes me feel the most comfortable, so I'm giving it a try this year.

I'm trying to decide between purchasing the Muddy Stagger Steps and the Rivers Edge Grip Sticks. These are in the price range I'm hoping to spend... I know these aren't the lightest option in the world, but I probably won't be hiking more than a couple miles in this year and want an option that feels natural and secure so I don't get too freaked out my first year. Do any of you have any experience with climbing sticks like these - especially with a linemans rope?

It says the need a tree that is at least 9 inches in diameter, which I think shouldn't be an issue, but any of your opinions are appreciated. I hunt in Utah, so a lot of aspens.

Thanks!
 

fbwguy

Moderator
Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
2,151
Location
Cato Arkansas
Welcome to saddle hunting and also the forum. As a beginner with a fear of heights, you need to be confident and comfortable with your equipment. That being said, saddle hunting is a very personalized style of hunting. Height, weight, shape and conditioning very so much from person to person, that sometimes advice from others works and sometimes it does not. Check the saddle hunter member map to see if anyone is near enough to you that perhaps they could let you try some gear. It takes time but you will definitely dial in your style. Platform or ring of steps, steps or sticks, high or low tether height, leaner or sitter. Just take your time, and be safe. Again welcome to a wealth of knowledge and good hunting friendships
 

Gumbymedic

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2017
Messages
451
Location
Toledo, Ohio
Welcome from Toledo, Ohio!
I used Stagger Steps before they were called Stagger Steps. In fact, I still have a set. They work fine but they're a hassle to carry in and out. I ended up just using one as the "top stick" on my preset stands. I would then just carry my set of 3 Hawk Heliums and climb those up to the Stagger Step and then into my stand. Once you've used climbing sticks like the Heliums (or others) I think you won't want to use the Stagger Steps much.
 

michigandrake

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
133
Location
Whitehall, Michigan
I have a couple sets of Field and Stream sticks that are almost identical to those Grip sticks. There is a reason they are so cheap ..... don't stack, make noise, carry like crap, make more noise, awkward, hard to install and yah they make noise. I put a ratchet on them for fixed position sets but I would have thrown them out after the first hunt if I used them for a mobile set of sticks. Save your money on those if you are thinking mobile.
 

EricS

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
4,453
Location
Georgia
Helium sticks are about as cheap as I would go for a mobile setup. There are better sticks but nothing as good as cheap.
 

Westdesign03

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
481
Helium sticks are about as cheap as I would go for a mobile setup. There are better sticks but nothing as good as cheap.
Second. Putting a little money into the climbing method is HUGE in my opinion. Especially if you’re hiking in. I have a set of those muddy stagger steps but they’re from another brand. Can’t remember which. But there’s no way I would carry those in anywhere a couple miles. If you can manage to save up for a good climbing method, I think you’ll be much happier you did when you get out there and actually walk and climb with them. Like others have said, hawk heliums are probably the best bang for the buck out there right now in my opinion too. There are others that are better for sure but you’ll pay for it in most cases.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Westdesign03

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
481
Welcome from Toledo, Ohio!
I used Stagger Steps before they were called Stagger Steps. In fact, I still have a set. They work fine but they're a hassle to carry in and out. I ended up just using one as the "top stick" on my preset stands. I would then just carry my set of 3 Hawk Heliums and climb those up to the Stagger Step and then into my stand. Once you've used climbing sticks like the Heliums (or others) I think you won't want to use the Stagger Steps much.
I’m pretty close to you. Down in the findlay area. Nice to run into a neighbor around here!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

WannaBMonkey

Active Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
156
Welcome! Last season was my first and I started late because I was a little nervous about my abilities with new method. One thing that calms me down is having my tether on from ground up in addition to lineman's rope. Yeah it adds a few seconds to each step up to keep advancing the tether as high as you can, but it really doesn't add that much time to the climb or descent. Well worth it for the peace of mind. I started doing this right after a little scare I had. I was only about two steps up and accidentally opened my ropeman on lineman's to adjust. Like a dummy, I did it while the lineman's was supporting me. Rookie mistake took me back to the ground in a hurry! Tether on from ground ever since! Do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe. Oh, and I use Wild Edge Stepps. Compact and easy to carry.
 

Hunter260

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
136
I own and have used the muddy stagger Steps many times. I would definitely save up and get hawk heliums. I can promise you that you won’t be missing that 30-40 dollars you save when you’re carrying them in.
 

Ashlee22

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
5
Wow. Thanks so much for the feedback guys! Maybe I will just invest in a more packable option. Does anyone have an experience using the hawk heliums on smoother barked trees like aspens? Wondering if they are still pretty steady and get a good grip.
 

DanO

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
1,738
Location
Michigan
Welcome from Michigan! Sorry, no aspens where I hunt but in my experience the Heliums gripped pretty well and never had a kickout. Biggest thing is to make sure there are two points of contact on each of the standoffs.
 

Hunter260

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
136
Wow. Thanks so much for the feedback guys! Maybe I will just invest in a more packable option. Does anyone have an experience using the hawk heliums on smoother barked trees like aspens? Wondering if they are still pretty steady and get a good grip.
I climbed up a telephone pole one time with mine
 

bowhunthard88

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
205
Location
Dingmans Ferry, PA
Hi all,

I am a saddle hunting newbie, and also dealing with a fear of heights. The saddle hunting method makes me feel the most comfortable, so I'm giving it a try this year.

I'm trying to decide between purchasing the Muddy Stagger Steps and the Rivers Edge Grip Sticks. These are in the price range I'm hoping to spend... I know these aren't the lightest option in the world, but I probably won't be hiking more than a couple miles in this year and want an option that feels natural and secure so I don't get too freaked out my first year. Do any of you have any experience with climbing sticks like these - especially with a linemans rope?

It says the need a tree that is at least 9 inches in diameter, which I think shouldn't be an issue, but any of your opinions are appreciated. I hunt in Utah, so a lot of aspens.

Thanks!
Check online and see if you can find a set of the X-Stand Mantis sticks somewhere (about 2.5 lbs. per 3-step section). They are the most stable stick that I have used to date, although definitely not the lightest. They also made them in steel, as well, if I remember correctly, but I do not remember the model name of those...
 

ofor

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
443
Welcome to the obsession. I’d like to say save up your money and buy the hawks as a lifetime investment but if you have spent any time on the forum, you will quickly realize that this is an obsession and we can’t help ourself when something new and shiny comes out. With that said, I have used the 30” hawk helium’s for the past 2 seasons and think they are some of the best sticks out there dollar for dollar.

Now... I need to get back to hanging in my new CRUZR XC that just arrived today that I really didn’t need but just had to have. Man this thing is comfy.
 

Exhumis

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
975
Location
Northern Virginia
Welcome from Northern Virginia. As others have echoed, save a bit and get quality sticks or steps. I tried it once with my older hawk sticks that don't stack thinking I could make it work. Got halfway to my tree and muttered fornicate this doodoo and bought heliums while I was sitting in the tree. The whole concept of saddle hunting is mobility and if you've gotta fight with your kit on the way in that not exactly mobile.
 

raisins

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
598
Hi all,

I am a saddle hunting newbie, and also dealing with a fear of heights. The saddle hunting method makes me feel the most comfortable, so I'm giving it a try this year.

I'm trying to decide between purchasing the Muddy Stagger Steps and the Rivers Edge Grip Sticks. These are in the price range I'm hoping to spend... I know these aren't the lightest option in the world, but I probably won't be hiking more than a couple miles in this year and want an option that feels natural and secure so I don't get too freaked out my first year. Do any of you have any experience with climbing sticks like these - especially with a linemans rope?

It says the need a tree that is at least 9 inches in diameter, which I think shouldn't be an issue, but any of your opinions are appreciated. I hunt in Utah, so a lot of aspens.

Thanks!
If you have a fear of heights, then practice a lot at lower heights, but also I'd recommend keep your tether on the tree as you climb, so that it backs up your lineman's lanyard. I have no fear of heights, only of falling!, and I always have the tether on the tree. I use a screw link to go around branches.

Also, I second a common sentiment that the shortie Hawk Heliums will likely work well for you. Your climbing method is hugely important. Back when I only hunted from a tree stand, I considered the climbing method more important than the stand itself. Carrying steel clumsy sticks a few miles might not seem like a big deal until you do it. It really decreases the quality of your hunts and you aren't as good of a hunter (tired, half mad, making noise, etc).
 
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