Hunting saddles

IE_88

Spike
my wife got me a tethrd phantom with lone wolf climbing sticks for Christmas. Today is my first time using it. I am new to climbing sticks and felt like that was a slow process. Hopefully with time I will become more proficient. I have also seen that I can add aiders to the steps to gain more height. I know there are members on this forum using saddles. I was wondering what set ups you are using, any tips you have, and you opinions on saddles. Thanks
 

dubbeltap69

Six Pointer
Contributor
Tagged for later..

I've been using a JX3 with lone wolf sticks but its big and heavy. I will say its comfortable. I've also attached a simple aide to SRT but not happy with the system.

Wi post more later
 

dfitzy

Eight Pointer
I think you are off to the right start. Practice, practice and practice. I used to use those sticks but switched to hawk helium 20”. I use 3 of them with an aider on each and can easily get 20+ if needed. I prefer having steps on each side unlike the lonewolf setup. There are so many options out there. Find what works for you and your wallet.
 

Loganwayne

Ten Pointer
I’ve got a tethrd saddle Thier platform and the xop short sticks with cable aiders on three of them.

it takes some time to figure out how to set the saddle up for you.

That said I still will have a lock on for longer sits. Picked up an m7 for next year, plan to use it with the saddle as needed.
 

SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Welcome to the club! One thing you’ll quickly lean, it’s all very subjective & personal. I would recommend joining saddle hunter.com, it’s probably the #1 resource for saddle hunters online.

Personally, I would either add double steps to the lone wolfs, or sell them & get something else. The API’s, Hawk’s, or Novix/XOP/Trophyline’s are all good choices.

You can easily add aiders to your sticks, with tubular webbing or just an old ratchet strap-test it first- I would recommend just 1 or 2 steps to start with. Watch some videos on using aiders, the “bury your toes into the tree” mantra is a must. And even then, if it’s a slick tree or if you get in a hurry, you still may slip around.

Whatever pack or carrying system you use, put everything in the same spot & just practice it’ll be smoother.
 

IE_88

Spike
I can see where the double step would be nice. Tonight coming down two of the steps were pulled straight up in line with the rails pretty aggravating to figure out while in the dark. I need to get something to hang bow/ gun across. I thought I could lay it across my lap but I didn’t like that too much
 

Loganwayne

Ten Pointer
I can see where the double step would be nice. Tonight coming down two of the steps were pulled straight up in line with the rails pretty aggravating to figure out while in the dark. I need to get something to hang bow/ gun across. I thought I could lay it across my lap but I didn’t like that too much
Screw in step, or any hanger from the storage isle of lowes 2-3 bucks max
 

dubbeltap69

Six Pointer
Contributor
I'm pretty sure I'm either changing out my lone wolf steps to double steps, or getting whole new steps. I really dislike the single step. And trying to balance on a thin top step is definitely out. I've already replaced the top step with a double step, but it's thin and after a while very uncomfortable.

We'll see if I upgrade to Eastern Outdoor's ultimate step. And we'll also see if I go with the Tetherd saddle.
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
There is a definite learning curve with a saddle. Practice practice practice. First several times I practiced with my set up it was taking me 25 min to get up the tree, get platform set and get saddle set up right. Now, I can do it in about 10 min, unless it’s a funky tree or there are some limbs to be trimmed.

You figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Are you a leaner? Or are you a sitter? Step distance, I platform set up, tether height all depends upon each individual person and what they are most comfortable with. Saddle hunting has its advantages and disdavantages. I enjoy mine but it’s not my exclusive way of hunting. I still use a climber or hunt from the ground. But, the saddle serves its purpose and does it well.
 

SamCo89

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I can see where the double step would be nice. Tonight coming down two of the steps were pulled straight up in line with the rails pretty aggravating to figure out while in the dark. I need to get something to hang bow/ gun across. I thought I could lay it across my lap but I didn’t like that too much
Yep, I went with a strap style gear hanger, because I don’t like screw in’s with pine trees. It’s also quicker if you’re hanging your pack. You can in a pinch, put your sling into your bridge carabiner.
 

IE_88

Spike
I didn’t time myself today, and it was my first time using the saddle, but it felt like it took forever to climb up in the tree. I’m sure like everyone has said I can cut the time down with practice. I wish I would have posted before using the lone wolf stick I would have returned them. Is anyone using a method besides climbing sticks?
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
Tagged for later..
Ok I went solely saddle or ground this year. I have also went through a large learning curve and now almost got it nailed down. I have the 20” hawk mini. Love them. Best sticks in my opinion. I have the predator platform. I wear a 13 shoe so it plenty big enough. I also use a tethrd menace because I’m a thick guy not fat just stocky and built kinda like a silverback gorilla. Like a curved back and duck butt. So anyway. It’s fits great. Great for leaning and sitting. I did have a phantom. I gots to much junk in the trunk for it. I will be moving to a cruzr xc. I sit all day in the saddle. 12 hours at a whack. It takes time. It takes adjustment and realize you may have to try other items to get dialed in. What works for me may not work for you.
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
Oh I use a screw in tree step for a bow gun hanger. I also carry 6 screw in steps for just in case. One for the gun/bow, one for my backpack and I add steps if I want to go higher or if I feel like I might need to step around the tree. Now. To add in. I might have a little bit of a cheat on my side. I’ve worked as power contractor for 20 years. I’ve climbed poles, trees blah blah so I kinda know how to move around at heights.
 

Helium

Old Mossy Horns
Went from Aerohunter and Hawke Heliums early last year to JX3 and Muddy sticks rest of last year.

Switched to 1 sticking and rappelling with the JX3 this year but soon switched saddles to the Dryad Drey and still 1 sticking and rappelling. Think I’ve found my go to saddle
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
Went from Aerohunter and Hawke Heliums early last year to JX3 and Muddy sticks rest of last year.

Switched to 1 sticking and rappelling with the JX3 this year but soon switched saddles to the Dryad Drey and still 1 sticking and rappelling. Think I’ve found my go to saddle
I tried the rappelling thing. Not for me. Lol. It’s a good practice. I was climbing up in hooks and rappelling down. Just weights more than I’m into my set up now
 

IE_88

Spike
Oh I use a screw in tree step for a bow gun hanger. I also carry 6 screw in steps for just in case. One for the gun/bow, one for my backpack and I add steps if I want to go higher or if I feel like I might need to step around the tree. Now. To add in. I might have a little bit of a cheat on my side. I’ve worked as power contractor for 20 years. I’ve climbed poles, trees blah blah so I kinda know how to move around at heights.
U mentioned being a line men. I have wondered how if anyone uses climbing spikes to climb trees.

I have a lot of training in rope rescue. Repelling seems like a good option to me. I have also thought of just throwing rope over branch and ascending rope. I know this would be be nearly impossible in the dark. I will try smaller climbing sticks with aiders, that may be the ticket.
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
U mentioned being a line men. I have wondered how if anyone uses climbing spikes to climb trees.

I have a lot of training in rope rescue. Repelling seems like a good option to me. I have also thought of just throwing rope over branch and ascending rope. I know this would be be nearly impossible in the dark. I will try smaller climbing sticks with aiders, that may be the ticket.
It’s not a good idea to try and give you a crash course via message. Might result in a time where you may not bounce. Lol. If your close I don’t mind to teach you. Won’t take just a few minutes.
 

Wirehead

Six Pointer
I have:

H2 saddle - very good saddle. Only complaint is it can make my seat area hot because the fabric is thick. A bonus on really cold days.

3 step Hawk Helium sticks - awesome stick. Very sturdy but on the heavy side. I ditched the ratchet but kept the webbing and use a loop / cinch method. I have a 1-loop aider on the top 2 sticks and a 2 loop aider on the bottom stick.

XOP platform - rock solid.

I use an ascender - cannot remember the name - in my lineman’s belt. Very handy and a great upgrade over a prusik.

I bought a cheesy tacticool pouch to store ropes and junk. Also bought some molle webbing accessories to hook my sticks and roll up my lineman’s belt. I also have modified carabiners and other little trinkets to make things easier and more efficient up in the tree. I have a pair of knee pads but have yet to use them.

all of this… is heavy. Not a problem for a walk that is hundreds of yards… maybe even a 800+ yards. Beyond that, the weight adds up really fast.

At some point soon, I will have 2 setups: one for short walks and another for long walks / hiking in + camping. The short walk setup will be for comfort and height with the long walk setup optimized for weightand likely involve a single stick + repel.

Stiffer bottom boots help with comfort, I think.

The felt-feeling silent tape is legit.

I am still not convinced that using a lineman’s belt for climbing is the safest or easiest approach. Next year, I may experiment with using the tether for climbing too. This will also reduce weight and movements to complete my setup.

I have found the key to saddle hunting is practicing and tweaking your setup until it is to your liking.

Enjoy!
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
Went from Aerohunter and Hawke Heliums early last year to JX3 and Muddy sticks rest of last year.

Switched to 1 sticking and rappelling with the JX3 this year but soon switched saddles to the Dryad Drey and still 1 sticking and rappelling. Think I’ve found my go to saddle
I have been eye balling the Dryad Drey. It looks like an awesome set up.

I started off one sticking but then went to 4 hawke helium mini sticks. I found I like them better. One sticking was nice for less weight but it was a bit of a hassle.
 

Loganwayne

Ten Pointer
U mentioned being a line men. I have wondered how if anyone uses climbing spikes to climb trees.

I have a lot of training in rope rescue. Repelling seems like a good option to me. I have also thought of just throwing rope over branch and ascending rope. I know this would be be nearly impossible in the dark. I will try smaller climbing sticks with aiders, that may be the ticket.
plenty of people use ropes to climb most go in before hand and put up a small pull rope to attach their main line to. 2 problems i see with that.

1. you are never going in blind (we started hunting alot of places scouting in and setting up with good success this year)
2. if your on public and someone wants to mess you up it takes about 5 seconds for someone to pull your preset down.
 

Loganwayne

Ten Pointer
Ok I went solely saddle or ground this year. I have also went through a large learning curve and now almost got it nailed down. I have the 20” hawk mini. Love them. Best sticks in my opinion. I have the predator platform. I wear a 13 shoe so it plenty big enough. I also use a tethrd menace because I’m a thick guy not fat just stocky and built kinda like a silverback gorilla. Like a curved back and duck butt. So anyway. It’s fits great. Great for leaning and sitting. I did have a phantom. I gots to much junk in the trunk for it. I will be moving to a cruzr xc. I sit all day in the saddle. 12 hours at a whack. It takes time. It takes adjustment and realize you may have to try other items to get dialed in. What works for me may not work for you.
id like to try that saddle out before you sell it or pass it on. if you dont mind
 

JJWise

Ten Pointer
I was using a Trophyline saddle with the Wild Edge steps. Can’t remember the name of the platform. I’ll still use it occasionally if I have an exceptionally far walk in, but most of the time I’ve gone back to my climber. It’s only a few pounds more than the whole saddle setup, and is much faster to setup on the tree (and easier to do in the dark) and pack up. I’d put comfort about equal, but it does take me more time to get everything adjusted perfectly on the saddle to be comfortable. Saddles are definitely an awesome system, but not an everyday setup for me.
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
I will share this. Since it’s been my sole means of hunting from elevation. I have used it all year. You will get very fast at it. Also. For example I am chasing a specific deer so I am leaving my platform and the top two sticks on the tree. Also stopping a hundreds yards from the tree and changing clothes and putting on my saddle. I can be up in a matter of minutes now that I am proficient with it.
 

Loganwayne

Ten Pointer
@Lowg08 where your going you could probably leave the bottom sticks up.

I have left platform and sticks up several times this year when i hunted in the afternoon and knew id be back there in the morning.

all my sticks and platform now have daisy chains on them. it takes some time to get use to setting them and getting them right but i think they are faster, lighter and quieter than a cam buckle strap. but i do always carry at least one cam strap in my pack just in case i need it. alot of people complain that they will kick out easier but ive had more problems with the cam buckles kicking out or hitting them and causing them to slide.
 

Lowg08

Eight Pointer
@Lowg08 where your going you could probably leave the bottom sticks up.

I have left platform and sticks up several times this year when i hunted in the afternoon and knew id be back there in the morning.

all my sticks and platform now have daisy chains on them. it takes some time to get use to setting them and getting them right but i think they are faster, lighter and quieter than a cam buckle strap. but i do always carry at least one cam strap in my pack just in case i need it. alot of people complain that they will kick out easier but ive had more problems with the cam buckles kicking out or hitting them and causing them to slide.
If I’m hunting the spot multiple days in a row or going to be back within 5 days I leave the whole shooting match minus saddle and ropes. If anyone finds mine where they are they can have them because they earned it lol
 

Wirehead

Six Pointer
If I’m hunting the spot multiple days in a row or going to be back within 5 days I leave the whole shooting match minus saddle and ropes. If anyone finds mine where they are they can have them because they earned it lol
Same here… even leave my tether rope in the tree.
 
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