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List of what I need as a new Saddle Hunter?

LiverEatingJoe

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
154
Location
Western North Carolina
So I'm looking at a Mantis or Aero Saddle to buy but I don't know what else I would need. I'm sure everyone has varied opinions but if I was putting together everything I would need to head into the woods with my saddle, what other gear/accouterments would I need that are saddle-hunt specific?

- climbing sticks?
- rope? Lineman's rope?
- steps?
- tree strap (can I use the one I use for my Safety Harness in a stand?)

I'm trying to estimate what my budget would be to get into the game in the first place and maybe pull it together before this season is over (allowing time for me to do a couple of dry runs up trees, etc).
 

tam9492

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
507
Location
Central PA
Generally:

Saddle
Linemans belt
Tree tether
Climbing method
Platform ( steps or platform)
 

IkemanTX

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
3,399
I wouldn’t use the HSS rope.. I did that for my first year and a half, and they are just horrible.

If it were me,

I would get 20 feet of a rope that can be used with the Ropeman1 ascender (buy that later if it’s not in the budget), cut it in half, and put prussic on them. That gives you identical linesman belt/tethers which is what I run.

I would probably go with climbing sticks as a first climbing method.

I would go white whatever saddle fits the budget

And I would order a platform. Even if you don’t stick with a platform in the long run, I think they are best for newbies. It is a lot less awkward when you have something you can stand on easily to adjust your position or ropes.
 
Last edited:

Catskills

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Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
227
Location
Sullivan County, NY
Other additional items would be knee pads (can spend anywhere from 10-50 bucks depending on budget) and some sort of pack. For the pack people get creative so definitely do some searches on here. I've seen everything from using one of the ropes as a sling to Turkey vest to rigging whatever pack you may have already to spending $100-250. With the amount of DIY tips on here you can saddle hunt on a budget if needed

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CaptainKielbasa

New Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
13
I wouldn’t use the HSS rope.. I did that for my first year and a half, and they are just horrible.
Could you elaborate on this? I currently use the HSS rope as a lineman's belt and also as a tether (both with ropeman 1's) and they work fine for regular stand hunting, was planning on using them when I get a saddle.
 

IkemanTX

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SH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
3,399
Could you elaborate on this? I currently use the HSS rope as a lineman's belt and also as a tether (both with ropeman 1's) and they work fine for regular stand hunting, was planning on using them when I get a saddle.
My HSS ropes had much softer sheaths than a real climbing rope. Climbing ropes adjusted easier, were lighter out of the box, didn’t absorb an extra pound of water in the rain...

Wet weather functionality was probably the biggest improvement for me after the overall weight reduction.


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LiverEatingJoe

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
154
Location
Western North Carolina
I have a private lease have about 200 acres but also want to hit public land. I like the flexibility of Scouting and being able to hunt on the fly. So I don’t want to carry a butt load with me


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Allegheny Tom

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
3,482
Location
Western Pennsylvania
I have a private lease have about 200 acres but also want to hit public land. I like the flexibility of Scouting and being able to hunt on the fly. So I don’t want to carry a butt load with me


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Read some of the threads on bolts. You might like it for private land. I love them...so far. Although I am new to bolts.

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Kurt

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SH Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Messages
1,929
Location
Massachusetts
Hey all,I'm new to saddle hunting, but I've been working in the trees most of my adult life. It's easy to split hairs on gear but your HSS ropes will be just fine. Go use them for awhile and if at some point your saying to yourself , I need this,or I'd like to change that , well then I guess you could throw some money at it. My point is a lot of this stuff is personal. What works great for one person might not be your cup of tea. As we say in the business start low and slow, and keep it simple. How can you know what to change or try if you haven't got any experience using what you own. Keep in mind all the good ideas these more experienced saddlehunters have to say , but don't get jumpy, as long as what your doing is safe. I've used bolts to remove my first five steps, because I hunt exclusively the thief ridden haunts of public hunting grounds, where I've got as much invested in locks and cables as i do in treestands (not really, but you know what I'm saying). Their great for fixed sets. I never saw the need to use them all the way to the stand.
 

sad_story

Active Member
SH Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
106
Regarding Tether & Lineman's Rope. They not be used interchangeably? Or better asked, can the Tether be used as a lineman's rope by throwing a carabiner on eye loop?
 

Allegheny Tom

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
3,482
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Regarding Tether & Lineman's Rope. They not be used interchangeably? Or better asked, can the Tether be used as a lineman's rope by throwing a carabiner on eye loop?
The most important aspect of using the tether as a lineman's rope is... how its attached to the loops? A carabiner through the tether eye and attached to the lineman loops on the saddle should be fine on one side. How are you attaching to the other loop? And what method of adjustment will you use?

And I assume that your goal is not to eliminate carrying the 2 lines, right? Doing so would not be advised.

My method for safe climbing...
Climb with lineman attached from about the 2nd step until I reach an obstacle like a branch. Attach tether above the branch and then reposition the lineman rope and continue to climb. When I reach stand height, I reattach the tether (while still attached with the lineman) and I test the tether. Once I'm certain the tether is attached safely, I disconnect the lineman. I do that because I don't like the lineman being around the tree when I attach the platform, or ROS. IMO, the lineman in place during the act of setting a platform or ROS, is a pain in the rear. Being attached with the tether during that phase allows me to place the platform without straps, ropes, buckles, haul line, etc, getting tangled or in the way.
When the platform is safely set, I step onto it...all the while, throughout the entire climb and setting of the stand, I've been attached either with the lineman or the tether...that's the reason we shouldn't try to eliminate the lineman and just climb with a tether. Most of the time, we won't be able to stay attached to the tree with only one rope. Yes, climbing a tree with no branches it could be done but most of us want to be prepared to climb any tree if the situation calls for it. You need 2 lines.

Which brings up another point...I like a long tether because it allows me more mobility during the act of setting or adjusting the platform. A short tether, especially around a larger tree, doesn't always have enough tag-end to allow moving off the platform, then onto steps, and then maybe down a step or 2 in order to make an adjustment without having to reconnect the lineman...which, more often than not seems to get in my way.
 

pesqimon

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SH Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
1,947
Location
Massachusetts
An item I find indispensable is a gear hanger for pack and weapon. I’m using a modified HME gear hanger which I really like.


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LiverEatingJoe

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
154
Location
Western North Carolina
Read some of the threads on bolts. You might like it for private land. I love them...so far. Although I am new to bolts.

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Read some of the threads on bolts. You might like it for private land. I love them...so far. Although I am new to bolts.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I did a search and could not find? What are "bolts"?
 

Allegheny Tom

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
3,482
Location
Western Pennsylvania
I did a search and could not find? What are "bolts"?
Bolts are...well, bolts. Used instead of screw-in steps. Grade 8, 6"x 3/8" bolts, although some guys are using carbon rods or titanium rods.
I use a little hand powered drill that was basically made for just this purpose. It's fairly fast and super easy for the initial bore. After that, it's lightning fast to remove bolts or insert them into the predrilled holes. Some guys use 18v drills and prep dozens of trees before the season. Some guys are actually using 18v during the season. I like the hand powered drill.
Holes will grow closed which is a good thing. Boring holes isn't any more harmful to the tree than maple syrup tapping. On the other hand, trees can't be pre-bored until the growing season is over. And don't leave bolts in the tree after the season. Someday a logger will be severely injured on bolts hidden inside a tree.

Bolts are lighter and less expensive than screw-in steps so you can have many trees prepped for less money.
Bolts are much less bulky and easier to carry (and easier to silence in a pack) than screw-in steps.
And I can bore and install (or remove) a bolt much faster and easier than those piece of crap, screw-in Ameristep steps. I despise those things.
Cranford EZClimb steps are still the best screw-in steps out there but they are expensive compared to bolts.

Few public lands will allow bolts or screw-in so lots of guys still need sticks for climbing public trees.

Hand drills are in high demand right now and hard to get. EZKut makes them but it's a long wait to get one. My buddy has been waiting a couple months for his order.
There could be another brand released soon...that's the rumor. I'll believe it when I see one.
Here's a link to a lengthy thread on bolts. Bolts have been discussed in some other threads as well.

https://saddlehunter.com/community/index.php?threads/treebolts-revisited.4140/#post-53337
 
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