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Wondering about spurs

diuilin

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Jul 6, 2020
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30
I'm brand new to saddle hunting and thinking that spurs would be the perfect way to go: simple, lightweight, quick. So what are the pros and cons? If they were as perfect as they look like to me, no one would be using anything else. I guess one issue is restrictions on public lands, but beyond that?
 

Recurveaholic

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Dec 23, 2018
Messages
1,175
I'm brand new to saddle hunting and thinking that spurs would be the perfect way to go: simple, lightweight, quick. So what are the pros and cons? If they were as perfect as they look like to me, no one would be using anything else. I guess one issue is restrictions on public lands, but beyond that?
I use them a good bit on some properties but no public land! Alot of guys use them all the time! The worst part is taking them off when you get to the height your gonna hunt and putting them back on when done, and some people say they harm the trees but I have seen no evidence of this yet!
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
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283
The cons, you don’t buy spurs and start hunting, a normal person doesn’t anyways, they leave more damage to bark on trees than climbing sticks, whether that hurts trees or not and bothers you is your decision, more than likely depends on your land owner and how they are about stuff like that, your foot wear choice becomes more important, you shouldn’t be climbing with spurs and rubber ducky boots, climb a soft wood tree with a million limbs and let me know how comfortable you are free climbing with spurs and no linesman belt hooked up, nobody will admit it but I will its going to happen, a nice hardwood tree with a couple limbs sure use your tether as a second linesman and stay hooked up all the time, thats not gonna happen in a soft wood, coming down is the hardest if your not rappelling, I have seen muscle bound animals of men get 10 feet up and come down with there knees knocking in spurs and I am your typical paunched up dad and can squirrel around in a tree with spurs and never miss a beat, spurs are an awesome option, it really just comes down to how much practice your willing to do in preparation for season, and when I mean practice not a limbless 15” perfect straight as an arrow tree unless thats all you plan on hunting out of. Hope this helps, I’m not negative on spurs, you asked for the cons, I use them some for hunting but prefer climbing sticks for hunting, I have used spurs for work 20-25 years.
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
Messages
283
My advice is buy a used set off here and keep the stock factory supplied pads and bottom straps on them at first and give it a try on some nasty tree that nobody cares about somewheres, stay low at first and get the feel of it, it won’t take long and you will know if spurs are for you, if you get a set and have questions ask away.
 

diuilin

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Jul 6, 2020
Messages
30
Topdog, thanks for all the advice. I definitely think I should try a pair. I'll be sixty in a few months, but I still love messing around in trees. Next to shooting a buck and dragging it out, that might be my favorite part of hunting. Sticks or spurs, I'd never go up without a second linesman for getting around branches, so that doesn't seem like it would be an issue. But I won't know until I try! Do you have any tips for choosing spurs, since there must be plenty of variety in styles, manufacturers, materials, etc.?
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
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Do you want to buy a cheap pair to just try or go all in?
 

predatorhunter

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Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
236
Location
Central Virginia
I use them and also ALWAYS use a a tree squeeze. Never needed the tree squeeze but will not climb without it. To get around branches I will deploy my tether and then move the tree squeeze. Takes a little longer but a lot quicker than peeling myself off the ground.

I find it pretty easy to take them off once at height, putting them on is a little more challenging but very doable. I plan on rappelling this year so I will not need to put them back on. Once at height, I can take them off and pack them up.

My biggest grip is I have not found a method of packing them that I am 100% happy with. They are odd shaped and still a little bulky(to me). Still by far my favorite climbing method.

I bought a pair of inexpensive but heavy steel Klein spurs to make sure this was for me. I have since spent the money on some carbon Kiwi spurs.
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
Messages
283
Big and comfy for work, stripped pair for hunting to save weight, big and comfy is like pillows strapped on, the other pair will determine your pain tolerance quick! Spurs are like everything else, research how much you wana spend and compare it to how much weight you can tolerate vs the price and go from there, I have always used buckingham and bashlin, Im sure others are good thats just what I always had, your biggest decision is pole gaffs vs tree gaffs, you can see the difference in size in the pictures, tree gaffs are meant for trees with loose shaggy bark and every scenario imaginable, the down side is there long and keep your foot further away from the tree in a more unnatural position and it takes some getting used too, pole gaffs were meant for hard solid 15” power poles and hence they work really good for most hardwood trees and such, they feel better when your climbing because your foot is closer to the tree, the downside is the risk of spur kick out is greater on a tree with loose or shaggy bark, they dont have the bite tree gaffs do, my advice, probably get pole gaffs and practice on an easy straight hard tree and get the feel for things and go from there, gaffs are interchangeable on most modern spurs.82B04ABA-67F4-42E4-988C-88F929F7A777.jpeg6F3DD8BD-3AE8-4292-AFBB-86D6A4FD2C52.jpeg
 

Topdog

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Jun 5, 2020
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283
I have almost thought about taking the screw out of my spurs in the shank and carrying them in 2 pieces to make them more compact, assemble when i get there.
 

Patriot

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Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
499
I use them and also ALWAYS use a a tree squeeze. Never needed the tree squeeze but will not climb without it. To get around branches I will deploy my tether and then move the tree squeeze. Takes a little longer but a lot quicker than peeling myself off the ground.

I find it pretty easy to take them off once at height, putting them on is a little more challenging but very doable. I plan on rappelling this year so I will not need to put them back on. Once at height, I can take them off and pack them up.

My biggest grip is I have not found a method of packing them that I am 100% happy with. They are odd shaped and still a little bulky(to me). Still by far my favorite climbing method.

I bought a pair of inexpensive but heavy steel Klein spurs to make sure this was for me. I have since spent the money on some carbon Kiwi spurs.
I dont use a squeeze but I like the idea. I’ve only seen one in person once so I’m not too familiar but what if I did an Amsteel prussik onto a main line of Amsteel with a Biner at the end of the Amsteel and I had the Prussik on my LB and clipped the Biner to the other side of my LB after I hookup? Do you think that would work?
 
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predatorhunter

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Aug 14, 2018
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236
Location
Central Virginia
I dont use a squeeze but I like the idea. I’ve only seen one in person once so I’m not too familiar but what if I did an Amsteel prussik onto a main line of Amsteel with a Biner at the end of the Amsteel and I had the Prussik on my LB and clipped the Biner to the other side of my LB after I hookup? Do you think that would work?
It would be too light to "flip" up as you climb. I tried a rope version of the tree squeeze(a friction saver), but it was too light to flip. I may trying it again one day now that I have more experience and confidence. Amsteel would be way too light.
 
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Chickenhawk

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May 9, 2018
Messages
76
I am a novice tree climber, climb just enough through the year to enjoy it. I used tree gaffs for a few years, when I started using a saddle to hunt in I bought a set of pole gaffs, big change for me! I love it. Now I one stick or use spurs, then rappel down. Seems like every year I am slowly moving toward spurs more than one sticking.
Definitely listen to the advice on here, a tree squeeze would be great, pole gaffs, and rappel down, that works for me. Enjoy it and stay safe no matter which way you go.
 

Crowe

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Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
2
I own a tree business here in Ontario and have been using spurs for many years. Best advice I can give is get a local arborist to show you how to properly use them, and stay connected to the tree at all times. Myself and my climbers don't leave the ground unless connected. My feet and legs are so accustomed to spurs that a lot of times if I'm hunting I just leave them on throughout the hunt. Definitely adds another learning curve to saddle hunting.
 

Ontariofarmer

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Dec 25, 2015
Messages
4,686
I own a tree business here in Ontario and have been using spurs for many years. Best advice I can give is get a local arborist to show you how to properly use them, and stay connected to the tree at all times. Myself and my climbers don't leave the ground unless connected. My feet and legs are so accustomed to spurs that a lot of times if I'm hunting I just leave them on throughout the hunt. Definitely adds another learning curve to saddle hunting.
I tried spurs but never felt confident likely because of a lack of practice.
Spurs are illegal on much of the land I hunt and I would have to break the law to use them.
So I have worked one sticking and rappel. instead.
Spurs seemed like a great way to climb and when I did try them
I used a tree squeeze which for a novice reduces the fear of gaffing out and it was bulky but helpful.

@flinginairos has a video that I found very helpful.


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PJC

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Dec 26, 2016
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2,512
I dont use a squeeze but I like the idea. I’ve only seen one in person once so I’m not too familiar but what if I did an Amsteel prussik onto a main line of Amsteel with a Biner at the end of the Amsteel and I had the Prussik on my LB and clipped the Biner to the other side of my LB after I hookup? Do you think that would work?
Like this?



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aclawrence

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
100
I just picked up a set of Carbon Fiber Gecko spurs this last week. I got them off eBay for about $250 off the new price and they’ve only been worn twice. The same day a set of Aluminum Climb rights sold for super cheap. Spurs always get a lot of hate for damaging trees but just in just the last few weeks while I’ve been researching them I’ve seen several mentions of how good this or that stick “bites into the tree” “digs into the bark” or whatever. It just seems like the more a stick digs into the tree the more praise it gets but if you mention a spur you’ll get jumped on a little bit. I know my old API grand slam would do a pretty good number on a tree. I haven’t used the spurs yet. If I feel like the damage is too much Ill get rid of them.


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Blinginpse

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Jul 6, 2015
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1,490
I use them a good bit on some properties but no public land! Alot of guys use them all the time! The worst part is taking them off when you get to the height your gonna hunt and putting them back on when done, and some people say they harm the trees but I have seen no evidence of this yet!
I've never takin mine off, I just wear them all day.

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