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Tree saddle and archery

cmcarter

Six Pointer
Has anyone tried tree saddles? I started dabbling with a homemade rig the end of last year but only for 2 hunts out of it.
As far as I can tell, the offside shot will be the hardest to move to. But the function of the shot shouldn’t be a problem.
Need to check into different platform options, but I just threw up a climbing stick to use.




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justhunt

Six Pointer
Contributor
I have several... Areo Hunter Kite and Evo, Guidos Web, custom Sitdrag and my newest and favorite is the JX3 Hybrid. I've used several types of platforms. I mostly hunt out of my Web but this year will be the JX3. With both of those, a few screw in steps is all the platform you need. I've been hunting out of saddles for a while now, let me know if you have any questions.
 
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pattersonj11

Old Mossy Horns
You guys are tougher than I. I would have to have a lock on as a platform. I couldn’t take the pressure of having my feet on steps or a ladder like that for long.
 

BASSFAN07

Twelve Pointer
I used to have saddle. Never felt comfortable with it and sold it


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justhunt

Six Pointer
Contributor
I'm not a huge fan of my traditional type saddles, the sitdrag and the Areo Hunters. To me they aren't very comfortable for long sits and comfort is my number 2 priority, safety being my number 1. I get some hip pinch from them plus you have to rest your knees against the tree for long periods of time ,kneepads are a must, unless you stand and lean which kills my feet. I use them for short evening hunts when I only have a couple of hours or so. I do have back bands for them that attach to my bridge. They allows me to recline a little and take the pressure off my hips which helps.

That being said, the hardest part for me hunting out of my Web or JX3 is staying awake. Both of those systems have a "fork" that extends from the bottom of the seat and holds you off the tree, no kneepads required. Most of the time I have zero pressure on my feet, they are basically just dangling, until I get ready to make a shot. The Web has a padded seat cushion and backrest, and the backrest reclines like a lazy boy. I can go from a rested, almost laying down position, to a ready to shoot position just by straightening out my legs. The new JX3 is a updated design of the Web. The back and seat is made of the same material and has the same design as a millennium stand, and it is just as comfortable. The JX3 also converts to a ground seat for turkey hunting, and a frame pack in case you have to skin, quarter and pack one out. John at JX3 Outdoors did a heck of a job designing this system.

The traditional saddles are lighter, less bulky, cooler in hot weather, easier to climb with and you put them on at the truck and when you get to the base of the tree you are ready to go. The advantages of the Web and JX3 are they cary your gear so you don't necessarily need a pack, warmer in cold weather and they are 10 times more comfortable than traditional saddles and more comfortable than 99% of the climbers and hang ons that are out there.
 

DarrinG

Six Pointer
I'd say if you're young and/or agile a saddle may be a great addition to your arsenal. But I cannot see myself sitting/standing in one of those very long. Bear in mind I've never used one, so I'm not speaking from experience. However I've watched several video's of guys reviewing and instructing on their use and believe I'll stick with my hang-ons and my climber.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
I have several... Areo Hunter Kite and Evo, Guidos Web, custom Sitdrag and my newest and favorite is the JX3 Hybrid. I've used several types of platforms. I mostly hunt out of my Web but this year will be the JX3. With both of those, a few screw in steps is all the platform you need. I've been hunting out of saddles for a while now, let me know if you have any questions.
Good to know! I'm using a rock harness and sitdrag combo. I can see knee pads being a must with this setup, but I want a couple more hunts out of it before I buy anything. I've looked into the predator platform or making something similar. Seems as if a platform will be a huge advantage while hunting
 
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cmcarter

Six Pointer
I decided to give this a try considering it was sub $100. When I first heard about saddles I was dead set on not switching from my lock-ons. To me, it didn't make sense how a saddle would be any more comfortable. It wasn't until I sat in my buddy's that I started to consider it.
I'm usually of the mindset, if it's not broke then don't fix it. However, I really liked the idea of my "stand" weighing less than a pound and having the ability to walk through brush without it getting caught on briers.

Really just curious how many people have tried them or use them. I'll have more info on likes and dislikes as the season goes on.
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
I bought one this past January and have been messing around with it ever since. Takes some experimenting and practice but I have found it to be pretty dang comfortable. You definitely need something more than the top of a climbing stick to stand on. I made a platform with a primal step and piece of plywood.

The saddle is a game changer for me. My whole set up (saddle, stick, platform) weighs less than 10lbs and is way more compact than any climber or hang on. Also, I don't have to find a perfectly straight, limbless tree to climb. I can climb almost any tree.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
I bought one this past January and have been messing around with it ever since. Takes some experimenting and practice but I have found it to be pretty dang comfortable. You definitely need something more than the top of a climbing stick to stand on. I made a platform with a primal step and piece of plywood.

The saddle is a game changer for me. My whole set up (saddle, stick, platform) weighs less than 10lbs and is way more compact than any climber or hang on. Also, I don't have to find a perfectly straight, limbless tree to climb. I can climb almost any tree.
I've been using 3 Wild Edge steps for my platform while hunting. That is a lot more comfortable than what I threw up for practice in the backyard.

What saddle did you get?
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
Aero hunter kestrel. It took some getting used to, but I found my sweet spot after playing around with different tether heights and stuff like that.

Are you using the wild edge steps to climb? I'm running a single lone wolf stick and one sticking it up the tree. I also have bolts that I may use if I can find a couple trees to pre-set.

Knee pads are great. I just use my old army ACU pants with the knee pads in.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
Aero hunter kestrel. It took some getting used to, but I found my sweet spot after playing around with different tether heights and stuff like that.

Are you using the wild edge steps to climb? I'm running a single lone wolf stick and one sticking it up the tree. I also have bolts that I may use if I can find a couple trees to pre-set.

Knee pads are great. I just use my old army ACU pants with the knee pads in.
I used wild edge steps to climb during one hunt last year. The other hunt I used muddy climbing sticks to climb and the wild edge steps as the platform.
I personally like the climbing sticks to climb. I feel like i'm a little quicker with them, simply because i've used them more.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
My sides and thighs hurt just wearing a harness with a lineman rope hanging lock ons. I cant imagine how it would feel wearing one of those and hanging from the tree. It may be more comfortable than expected but even the photos look like it would bind and apply a lot of pressure.
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
My sides and thighs hurt just wearing a harness with a lineman rope hanging lock ons. I cant imagine how it would feel wearing one of those and hanging from the tree. It may be more comfortable than expected but even the photos look like it would bind and apply a lot of pressure.
You don't hang from the saddle. You sit/lean with some of your weight supported by the saddle and some supported by your feet. The only time you hang from the saddle is when you ascending/descending the tree.

I thought the same as many for years, that there was no way a saddle could be comfortable. After trying one I realize i was way wrong.
 

Dolfan21

Ten Pointer
do you saddle guys have any issues with footwork when shooting? foot placement is always the first thing I look at when shooting, I try to be consistent as possible. How can you get consistent footing in a saddle and does your accuracy suffer in any way? Asking for a friend.........lol.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
You don't hang from the saddle. You sit/lean with some of your weight supported by the saddle and some supported by your feet. The only time you hang from the saddle is when you ascending/descending the tree.

I thought the same as many for years, that there was no way a saddle could be comfortable. After trying one I realize i was way wrong.
I'll have to try one out. Whats the biggest advantage you find compared to hunting in a lock-on?
 

Homebrewale

Old Mossy Horns
The main reason I wouldn't want to use a saddle is that you are dependent on it safely holding you in the air. With my climber, I depend on to hold me up the tree but in the event of a failure, my safety harness will prevent my fail. What prevents a fail if the saddle fails?
 

justhunt

Six Pointer
Contributor
do you saddle guys have any issues with footwork when shooting? foot placement is always the first thing I look at when shooting, I try to be consistent as possible. How can you get consistent footing in a saddle and does your accuracy suffer in any way? Asking for a friend.........lol.
I’ve never had any accuracy issues while I’m in a saddle. I’ve killed deer from 10 yards to 42 yards. The arrows always seem to hit where I rest my pin.


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justhunt

Six Pointer
Contributor
I'll have to try one out. Whats the biggest advantage you find compared to hunting in a lock-on?
There are several advantages and a few disadvantages. The advantages are 360 degree shooting, no metal so it’s quieter, you do not have to be as picky on type, size or shape of the tree you hunt out of, easier and faster to do a hang and hunt than a lock-on and it’s more safe than any other tree stand. Also, you can keep the trunk of the tree between you and the deer as they come in. I never get spotted while I’m in a saddle, even with minimal leaf cover.

As far as safety goes, as with all types of stand hunting, you should be tied in from the ground until you get to hunting height. You can do this either by using a lineman’s belt or your tether depending on you climbing method. All your equipment should be rated to handle several thousand pounds of force, from your carabiners to your rope and actual saddle/stand. These systems use technology developed by professional arborists that rely on it daily to keep them safe while they work.

Just say your in a climber or lock-on and you fall. The stand strap breaks or your climber tips to the side, but your 4pt harness catches you. It’s great you didn’t hit the ground, but now what. The safety harness on the market today are just there to keep you from falling. You only have a matter of minutes to get back onto something, a suspension strap, limb or stand, before your body weight and leg straps start cutting off the blood flow to your legs. Pretty soon you don’t have enough blood making it back to your heart and that’s not good. It’s called suspension trauma and it can kill you just as dead as a fall. If you aren’t in great shape, it’s very hard to pull yourself back up in a stand while suspended from a safety harness. Try it just above ground level, but make sure you have a spotter. It’s tough.

With a saddle, you don’t have to worry about suspension trauma if you have everything properly set up. If something goes wrong, you can sit there all night until help arrives. Just make sure you use equipment that is tested, certified and regularly checked for wear and tear. I feel 100% safe when I’m 30’ up a tree in a saddle.


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timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
The main reason I wouldn't want to use a saddle is that you are dependent on it safely holding you in the air. With my climber, I depend on to hold me up the tree but in the event of a failure, my safety harness will prevent my fail. What prevents a fail if the saddle fails?
Saddle ropes and tethers have 5000lb + breaking strength. It's just your time if that breaks. You are attached to a tree at all times with a saddle. No possibility of slippage with a saddle. I will venture to say a saddle is probably the safest method of hunting in a tree there is.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
The main reason I wouldn't want to use a saddle is that you are dependent on it safely holding you in the air. With my climber, I depend on to hold me up the tree but in the event of a failure, my safety harness will prevent my fail. What prevents a fail if the saddle fails?
It’s hard to tell, in the pictures, there are 2 prusik knots with karabiners. 1 attaches to a rope called a bridge, which supports my seat (sit drag) and the 2nd attaches to my rock harness which is my safety harness. Just like being in a climber and lock on.
I think the biggest misconception is that no pressure is applied to the rock harness when I’m sitting, that’s just like a treestand harness, it’s only there in case the tree stand, or this case, sitdrag breaks.


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cmcarter

Six Pointer
do you saddle guys have any issues with footwork when shooting? foot placement is always the first thing I look at when shooting, I try to be consistent as possible. How can you get consistent footing in a saddle and does your accuracy suffer in any way? Asking for a friend.........lol.
This is exactly why I was shooting out of the saddle that afternoon. I wanted to see if I could maintain accuracy or if it was something that I would have to continue to practice to maintain certain muscle memory.
When I practice from the ground, like you, I try to be as consistent as possible. I've very methodical about feet placement, bow form, etc. I need stability to make consistently accurate shots. While i'm on the ground, my feet placement gives me the most stability.
I am not a bow shooting expert so what I'm about to say, is only from my experience.
Specific foot placement while in my saddle has little to no effect on my shot. As long as my feet can get into a place that makes my upper body solid, my accuracy doesn't waver. IE, my feet don't have to be shoulder-width apart directly under me to give me stability, like required in a treestand.
I am surprised how fast, no matter the shot, I can find a place for my feet to make my upper body stable.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
For those curious about safety and shooting form, I'll try my best to take more pictures this afternoon and do a comparison with my saddle and my lock-on. Maybe it'll shed some insight into folks questions.
I believe safety will be subjective. Both setups will have 2 contacts to the tree and I'm comfortable in both setups.
As for form, I'm not an expert and I'm sure my form will reflect that. But my goal is to shoot deer for meat, not split hairs in a competition.
 

oldest school

Old Mossy Horns
For those curious about safety and shooting form, I'll try my best to take more pictures this afternoon and do a comparison with my saddle and my lock-on. Maybe it'll shed some insight into folks questions.
I believe safety will be subjective. Both setups will have 2 contacts to the tree and I'm comfortable in both setups.
As for form, I'm not an expert and I'm sure my form will reflect that. But my goal is to shoot deer for meat, not split hairs in a competition.
have you seen any of the Eberhart's bowhunting books touting tree saddles.
They really have all the bugs worked out on that system.
 

cmcarter

Six Pointer
have you seen any of the Eberhart's bowhunting books touting tree saddles.
They really have all the bugs worked out on that system.
I'm vaguely familiar with John and his setup. I've seen one of his setups through a video but that's it. He was working out kinks in the saddle system before I was even thought about being born ?
 
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