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The rifle and the saddle….oh no

bfriendly

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Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
309
So I went on a rifle hunt and basically felt helpless in the saddle. Unless I held the gun against the tree, I couldn’t keep it steady. The tree I went up was on a slope and it leaned more than I realized so I was basically standing on my platform. I’m thinking I need to figure out how to get around the tree somehow instead of turning around like I would with my bow. I use a platform and the top of my stick to put my feet on. Maybe if I spread them out or apart further, I can get around the tree better? I want to saddle hunt with a rifle too……any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

Exhumis

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,123
Location
Northern Virginia
I use a ridge runner. The parcel I hunt has pretty good views so it allows me this approach. When I’m gun hunting I’ll use the rr to stand on but once I’ve sighted my prey, usually coyotes, I’ll get off the rr and wrap my legs around the tree. I’ll brace the stock against my tether and make sure I have good cheek weld. I do this to help manage recoil. If that doesn’t work I’ve used the side of the tree before or even a branch. I’ve also just stood on the rr with my back to the tree.
 

DB4x4

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Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
1,215
For bow season, I tend to setup in an upright standing or leaning position. This is easier for me to turn, look, and shoot all directions with limited movement.

However, for gun season, I setup in more of a sitting position. This allows me to keep my elbows in tight to my body, gun against the bridge, and preferably on the tree as well. Setting up this way will give you a much more stable shooting position with a rifle.
 

philsanchez76

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SH Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
959
Location
TN
For bow season, I tend to setup in an upright standing or leaning position. This is easier for me to turn, look, and shoot all directions with limited movement.

However, for gun season, I setup in more of a sitting position. This allows me to keep my elbows in tight to my body, gun against the bridge, and preferably on the tree as well. Setting up this way will give you a much more stable shooting position with a rifle.
^This was well said. I have learnt this accidentally over the past 3 seasons with the saddle but couldn't really put it into these words. Truth is the saddle goes with bow hunting perfectly, everything feels natural almost at any shot angle. Not so true with gun hunting. I've been trying a short barreled rifle this year to see if it's a little more comfortable. It is much more natural in the saddle, but it aint easy to aim with that short barrel. Seems I've created a whole new problem there.
 

ThePennsylvanian

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
760
Location
Western Pennsylvania
Not call anything out but it easy to get caught up in practicing with a bow in the early season. You should be putting your setup through the ringer in the 9 months we can't hunt. Not that you have to shoot a gun out of it, but just get comfortable, identify weak spots, learn and make adjustments.
 

Empostarr

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
144
Location
SE Michigan
I missed a shot at a doe yesterday, first time shooting my gun from a saddle, and first all day saddle hunt. It was hard to stay steady, and I was experiencing a bit of hunting fever, but I practiced different angles today and found out how to steady myself for different shots. Some I use the tree, some the bridge, and I'll even use the sling.
 

bfriendly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
309
I missed a shot at a doe yesterday, first time shooting my gun from a saddle, and first all day saddle hunt. It was hard to stay steady, and I was experiencing a bit of hunting fever, but I practiced different angles today and found out how to steady myself for different shots. Some I use the tree, some the bridge, and I'll even use the sling.
It was my first time with a rifle and I tried a few different positions……unless I was against the tree, I couldn’t hold the crosshairs steady. While I have practiced shooting the bow from my saddle, I certainly was unprepared for the rifle……and willing to admit it.
I think being on the high side of that tree kind of compounded the issues. Heading to a leaner this am, but gonna take the saddle and maybe climb a tree this afternoon. It’s a public land hunt so I don’t know how crazy it is gonna be……
 

Zero One Actual

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
767
Location
South Eastern United States
I purchased two of the XL bow hangers. One for each side of my gear strap. For bow hunting I only bring one. For rifle, I bring two and set them up on both sides of the tree wherever I want. I now have a super steady rifle. If the deer come in from behind you, obviously you have to come up with another game plan like tightening your sling up or practicing shots during the off season as mentioned above.

 

bfriendly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
309
I keep a short bridge and short tether so I stay tight to the tree. I use the tree to rest the rifle.
The problem arose when aiming at something out to the sides or behind me. I think I need to figure a away to get around the tree so I can use it more, if that makes sense. I’m with you gunner, I can’t hold a rifle steady free hand for nothing. I can swing a little on each side of the tree, just not much and nothing like with a bow!
 

phatkaw

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
1,581
Location
Western Pa
The problem arose when aiming at something out to the sides or behind me. I think I need to figure a away to get around the tree so I can use it more, if that makes sense. I’m with you gunner, I can’t hold a rifle steady free hand for nothing. I can swing a little on each side of the tree, just not much and nothing like with a bow!
Add a ROS to your set-up!
 

kyler1945

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
4,663
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
Hybrid and ring of steps and a high tether hook up is a great setup for shooting with rifle. Rotate on fork, use either side of tree to steady rifle. Kill deers.

if deer are close enough to see you moving around tree, you need to slow the movement down, or get better at identifying their approach.

short rifle barrels are a plus in a stand.
 

MaxJac

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
469
Location
Sandhills, NC
I'm hunting with a rifle and saddle for the last three years and never had a problem. Actually, it's the opposite. Using the tree and the bridge gives me plenty options to rest the gun. Shot a buck 4 weeks ago at my 8 o'clock position without any gun rest. As others said, practice during non-hunting season...
 

Loopwing

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SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
744
Location
Virginia
The thing I keep reading and seeing. If you were standing flat footed on the ground, would you twist yourself around to take a shot on a deer behind you, no, why would you in a tree????? The saddle is not the end all be all of hunting, it is just another tool. If you can't make an offhand 100 yard shot on the ground, what makes you think you can in a saddle. I know a lot of guys that can't make a 100 yard offhand shot, not taking digs at anyone. Find ways to lock into your bridge your tether, lock the sling around your elbow, lean into your saddle at let it hold you. Use the tree as a rest. I tried the ROS but my feet are to big. I hunt on a mission and have had no problems at all turning around to take a shot on my 6.
 

imp1295

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
2
Enough said about saddle and tether position.

One other thing is the use of a hasty or Ching sling. I use an Andy’s leather sling and it helps to lock the rifle in for off hand or only support from the bridge. Not perfect as a rest from a ladder stand. But better than just letting the for end sway around.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

bfriendly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
309
Yeah i know I need to practice. I don’t take a rifle much as my main areas are archery only. I’m also new in the saddle so the other day was my first time in the saddle with a rifle. I must have thought it’d be as easy as the bow….I’ve guessed wrong before.
 

tailgunner

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SH Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
1,412
Location
western Oregon blacktailwoods
You could also set up different with a rifle.typicaly a little farther off to the side of the intended target area to try and keep traffic in front of you so you can use the bridge as a rest.nothins perfect.but it's in the truck aint it
 

smshuntr

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SH Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
281
Location
South MS
I let my son practice with a Gamo all summer in the yard. He is a master with a rifle in the saddle. As ive seen at least two others post a seated position helps. He will spin around back against the tree and use the bridge to stabilize for the 4-8oclock shots. Uses the tree for all others. Hes not yet shot a deer from the saddle but has put some really great groups together with the pellet rifle. I will also not the weight of the pellet gun is only a couple ounces less than his hunting rifle. As for me i tried the seated thing like he does for the 4-8 and find it to be miserable. Just takes practice i suppose as everyone is different.
 
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