Contributors to this thread:
Tree Saddle Platform
I purchased a Trophyline Tree Saddle this summer and really like it. One thing I'm curious about is other tree saddle users platform. For the purpose of practice, I have 4 steps screwed in around the tree I practice out of. Which brings me to my question, what do you fellow saddle users have as a set-up? Opinions on screw in steps vs. strap on steps? Comfort? Please let me know what you are doing.
I'm using screw in steps, and I generally buy and use the larger style screw ins that are longer. I just think they make for a bigger area to put your feet
I do have some strap on steps for trees that I haven't pre-set, but am not a big fan as they tend to slip and move. I even put some truck-bed liner on them, and they still move on the tree more than I would like
I bought some ameristep strap on steps. I removed the hand cinch mechanism, and attached a ratchet end. I'm able to put 4 steps on one strap, and cinch it down tight enough that they don't budge. I also bought a gorilla seat that I use as my main platform. I'd also like to check out the Lone Wolf seat, and use that for a platform. The don't recommend the seats for standing on, but I figure if it can handle my weight in the seated position, it can handle it in the standing. If I want to go really light, I'll just take the one strap with the 4 steps attached.
Got a friend who made a small platform that fits on the top of the Lone Wolf sticks. I also have been playing with the idea of making something from the LW Alpha seat. I found that using just the steps hurt my feet after some time.
I've been reading and thinking about the multi-steps on a ratchet strap but isn't it to noisy? Maybe I'm over analyzing. Thanks for the feedback folks.
It does make a little noise, but the difference in sturdiness is worth the noise. I generally set up a few hours before any animals will be coming my way, so the noise is less of an issue. If you wanted to be more stealthy, I would do screw in steps, or buy the lone wolf assassin.
Serious question. I've never used the tree saddle but if you're going to combine that with a platform, wouldn't it be easier to just get a treestand? Either way you need steps or a ladder, right??
I've got the tree suit which is very similiar to the saddle. It is ok for areas where your climber won't go but I'd rather hunt the climber. It's more stuff to carry if you use sticks and takes longer to setup. If you had trees already setup with steps or sticks it would be ideal. It's good to have when you need it though.
BC- The answer to your question is yes IMO.
How do you saddle users get up the tree in the first place. As I was reading some of the above posts I thought that maybe a guy could fashion some type of deal to fit onto the top of a ladder or climbing sticks as mentioned by Dan. But by the time I messed with that I'd just as soon use a climber or hang on for that matter. MO
I'm using the LW assassin this year as my platform. In response to just using a treestand, I feel much safer in a treesaddle compare to a treestand - IMO
To my way of thinking, I've already purchased the saddle and want to use it most effectively. I have a climber as well as hang-on's and I wanted an easier way to hunt public land in MN. So the debate between climber and saddle is mute. I've been practicing with screw in steps and am going to set-up the steps and ratchet this weekend. Was just curious about what other saddle users were doing for there perch.
I use a ameristep strap on with 4 steps attached. I just chinch it tight a little above where I want to end up, then standing on the steps on oppsite sides of the tree, try to walk it down until it firms up. On a real slick bark tree you will need a step or two under the strap.
In my thinking the saddle shines from the very fact that it is a portable stand that weighs 4 lbs or less
I bought a saddle last year, and in Jan. through Mar. of this year I prepped over 20 different trees for the saddle. I put up treesteps and trimmed.
So now all I have to carry in is my 4 lb. saddle, climb right up and hunt
Way easier than my Lone Wolf Climber. Way easier than carrying my Lone Wolf Alpha and setting it up in each tree.
And WAY cheaper than buying 25 different hang on stands.
Where before I was limited to the number of "easy" stands (ie not packing in a climber or steps and a hang on) because of the cost of hangons, now I'm only limited by how many steps I can buy, and how much time I've got to put them up
I've used the saddle, as well as , LW hang ons and climbers. IMO the LW hang on is a lot easier, quicker, and quieter to hang than hooking up a saddle. It is also a heck of a lot more comfortable and you don't have to wear knee pads
I wasn't being wise, It just seems easier to hang a stand if you're going to get a platform to go with the saddle. Like I said, never used one so maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, not trying to hijack your thread, to each his own.
I have used a saddle now for four full years, shot a couple dozen deer from it I like the comfort and safety as well as being able to use the tree for cover. I definitely feel more hidden, but it has a learning curve and it's not for everyone. The best platform I have found so far is a ratchet strap with 3-4 of the plastic strap on steps attached. I used a somewhat heavyweight strap and with a little practice it's easy, quick and quiet to install. I hunt public land almost exclusively and have a system that I think works pretty slick, does no damage to the tree, but its expensive. It consists of the following
1- Double Bull wild thing pack
1- set API aluminum rapid rails
1- ratchet strap set up as described
1- Ambush tree saddle
The pack will carry the rapid rails and everything else I need no problem. I usually take a cart so I simply place everything in there until I get to where I want to park the cart then put on the pack and walk the rest of the way in. I can set up very quiet and in a wide variety of trees, I share a tree with my wife quite a bit and the saddle works really nice for coaching her through a shot or just hanging out until something shows up. We are on the same level just different sides of the tree. I never have to be concerned about her falling out of it.
BC-good question. I have always hunted portable with a LW stand and sticks. Up a tree in less than 8 minutes and quiet. My set up is only 6# heavier than the saddle. Have used both-went back to the stand.
Like I said it's not for everyone, about half of the people that I know have tried it stayed with it and the other half went back to regular stands. I used to use exactly the set up above and it was okay, but I hated either carrying my backpack in my free hand or strapping it to the stand. Plus I had to always remember my harness, multi pull ropes, bungee cords, had to buy upgraded pack straps. Nothing is perfect every set up has pluses and minuses. In my opinion its just easier for me, I know I am in the minority.
Again, appreciate the comments. I have stands have hunted stands exclusively for 20 years and am trying something new, which I feel is a convenience, and was wondering what saddle users were doing. Not trying to debate the pros/cons over a saddle vs a hang on or climber.
I'm going to give the multiple steps on a ratchet a try.
I would advise that when you get the ratchet strap take the short hook off and hook the only remaining hook on the ratchet itself. If you look closely at my picture you will see that is what I did. This will allow the steps to be more evenly placed around the tree. I set it up loose and then place the steps where I want them, then tighten the strap almost as tight as I can get it. You have to put some weight on them to get them to seat on the tree, but they won't move much. More steps are better, but the more on one strap they tend to walk down the tree more so. Keep in mind almost ever single thing with the saddle is different and it is best to try it a foot or two off the ground until you are comfortable and have confidence, especially practice shooting from it and walking around the tree.
I figured out real quick that it is always best if I put my right shoulder pointing down wind on my initial set up. The right side is the weak side to a right handed shooter.
Once I got comfortable with mine I sold all of my stands.
Good luck this season you guys. Let us know how you make out. Who knows, maybe I'll give it a try (even though I'm an old dog).
I never use a backpack with my LW set up. I always wear a turkey vest that has everything I need, all in the same pockets year after year. All I do is grab my bow and throw on the LW stand (pictured above.) I am off for a new tree set-up every time I hunt. One time in the woods, one time to a particular tree- first time is the charm.
I have taught a number of guys to hunt like this and once they do it they are changed forever. One stand, one set of sticks, a vest- and you are set for life. Very economical and efficient hunting.
I have a few guys come to hunt in ND and here in KS every year. If they hunt with me this is how they typically learn to make it work. New stand set-ups most every sit, with changes throughout the day. Deer are never educated and virtually every mature buck anyone encounters is always the first time on stand.
Dan, How do you manage xtra clothes, food/water, etc. with a vest?
Mihunt44 this is an 8 year old thread. I haven't seen Dan post on here in a while.
I've been saddlehunting since 2008. For reference I weigh 150lbs and am in good shape. I don't use a platform of any type. Some of my friends who also saddle hunt like to use the LW assassin platforms.... good luck finding one though occasionally they pop up for sale on ebay.
Stepp Ladder tree steps will also provide more surface area for your feet - I do not own any of these but they look slick.
At any rate my system is using the top of my LW or Muddy pro sticks in conjunction with (usually) 2 Cranford EZY T-steps spaced on either side of the top of the stick. Muddy pro sticks are far more comfortable to stand on then the top of a LW stick. I often shift my weight/ stance between my feet and knees to ward off fatigue. BTW if you're looking for an easy to screw in step.... try the Cranford T-steps. They can screw into Oak all day long.
Wow APauls I didn't even notice the date! Doubt he still needs the question answered...lol