Summit Treestands
Saddle Vs LW & Sticks...
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Will 12-Sep-19
Lost Arra 12-Sep-19
fisherick 12-Sep-19
GED 12-Sep-19
JTV 12-Sep-19
APauls 12-Sep-19
Bou'bound 12-Sep-19
JTV 12-Sep-19
IdyllwildArcher 12-Sep-19
Will 12-Sep-19
badguybuster 12-Sep-19
ground hunter 12-Sep-19
TODDY 12-Sep-19
IdyllwildArcher 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
BC 13-Sep-19
Rgiesey 13-Sep-19
Rgiesey 13-Sep-19
12yards 13-Sep-19
TODDY 13-Sep-19
Will 13-Sep-19
SaddleReaper 13-Sep-19
APauls 13-Sep-19
APauls 13-Sep-19
Bigwoods 13-Sep-19
Bake 13-Sep-19
Mint 13-Sep-19
TD 13-Sep-19
Will 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
Single bevel 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 13-Sep-19
Scooby-doo 13-Sep-19
TODDY 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
Two Feathers 13-Sep-19
weekender21 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 13-Sep-19
weekender21 13-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 13-Sep-19
JTV 13-Sep-19
Will 13-Sep-19
weekender21 14-Sep-19
APauls 14-Sep-19
Fuzz 14-Sep-19
Will 14-Sep-19
Fuzz 14-Sep-19
weekender21 14-Sep-19
Single bevel 14-Sep-19
Single bevel 14-Sep-19
Single bevel 14-Sep-19
JTV 14-Sep-19
JTV 14-Sep-19
peterk1234 15-Sep-19
HDBOW 15-Sep-19
Bill in MI 16-Sep-19
Will 16-Sep-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 16-Sep-19
From: Will
12-Sep-19
I'm wrestling with this and am curious what the "board" has to say. I'm not a fan of heights, and love my summit bushmaster climber. But I would love something that I can carry in, and could get into a hemlock or branchy pine etc. This has had me wrestling with a saddle or a lighter fixed stand and sticks... as of now, the one I'm focused on is the Lone Wolf - as I like the "deal" for the stand and sticks combo.

My issue, is that while I love the light weight aspect of the saddle, it seems like it requires more of a learning curve and ultimately like it's almost more a style of hunting, thus more to learn compared to just using a light weight fixed stand and sticks (Which I used to use a lot, and once in a while still use - just not a light "mobile hunting option" like LW or similar).

I have a few bud's with saddles I've been trying to connect with to try them - I bet at least one see's this as chastises me ha ha ha! My schedule just has not made it work, and with the season starting Monday in CT and here in MA in about 5 weeks, I'm just not sure I could adapt to and acclimate to the saddle hunting style.

So... I'd love to hear from those of you who have used the lighter weight hang on's like LW with sticks, who have also hunted out of a saddle.

How'd you feel about the learning curve with the saddle? Did you feel safe/comfortable in the saddle? Do you feel like, at times, you wish you were still using the fixed stand OR the saddle more, if you moved from one to the other?

Appreciate any thoughts... I'm wrestling to much with this!

From: Lost Arra
12-Sep-19
I tried and tried with a saddle and really wanted to like it but it just never worked for me and I ended up selling it. Maybe if I started with it when I was much younger it would have helped. My rationale for abandoning it was: With a saddle I still had to have sticks or steps to get up the tree, I shot better from a hang-on, I've never been really uncomfortable in a hang-on. I can't say anything bad about the saddle except it didn't work for me.

From: fisherick
12-Sep-19
I have always been a hang on stand and sticks type of guy and now moving more to ladder stands. I have used a climber (summit open shot 16#) and found them comfortable but tough trying to find the right tree w/cover. My roaming stand is a old Loc-On Limit stand (8#) and 3 Leverage double step sticks with rope mods (7 1/2#) and when combined with a safety rope the package weighs 16 1/2#. This setup can tuck into any tree. I attended the saddle get together last spring, but I am not sold on getting this old body up a tree in a saddle.

From: GED
12-Sep-19
Tree saddle. 3 lone wolf sticks held together by 1 muddy stick. The LW stack inside the muddy, and the muddy can be your top platform.

I also have a few lone wolf assassin platforms.

From: JTV
12-Sep-19
LW Alpha II and sticks all day long.. literally !! .. I do dawn to dark sits in mine during peak rut... my ass would fall off in a darn saddle thingy trying that .. to much limitation in those saddle things ...

From: APauls
12-Sep-19
Well Will, I guess I'm about a month ahead of you. I've been a mobile hunter out of a LW alpha and 3 sticks for about 8 years now. Hang and hunt every hunt. Just this year I ordered a Tethrd Mantis saddle. (Guys over there are great btw) Anyways, I don't really get what the great concern is about learning curve, or maybe I'm a speedy learner.

I think maybe it is a large learning curve for people that are used to hunting pre-hung stands every sit, to going mobile. THAT is a far bigger learning curve than mobile hunting with a stand to mobile hunting with a saddle. Reasons I went to a saddle was mainly for being able to hide from the deer in small poplars, and shootability. Being able to shoot 420 degrees vs 270. I had absolutely no issues shooting out of it in all the weird angles with compound or recurve. Accuracy no problem. I still need to carry 3 LW sticks with me, but the difference is the stand is way smaller going in as I bought the Tethrd predator platform. So I downsized on the platform like crazy. On Saturday I went in to hunt and because of the wind and bedding areas had to "bushwhack" 160 yards through bush. I was able to do it very silently as there was no wind to hide the sounds thanks to my "stand and sticks" being a very thin profile behind my back. A regular stand I would have sounded like I was swinging a golf club going through the bush.

It was an EXTREMELY quiet night with zero wind. I mean zero. In that situation I might give the edge to a regular hang on for sound as far as movement to make a shot. Although the noisiest part of the whole cycle would still be the drawing motion which needs to happen in either scenario. I had several deer come by that I felt would have busted me in a hang on, but I was able to be on the backside of a smaller tree so I didn't get busted.

Now I am also in the "learning curve" time frame of the saddle but I definitely see some advantages. One thing though is I shied away from trees with a ton of branches thinking I need to swing freely, that I would have had no problems hanging in with a hang on. I presume as I get more comfortable with the saddle I will learn where the limitations are that way. If I was to go hang in a pine with a lot of branches my preference (today) would be a hang on. But that may change as I become more comfortable with the saddle.

Hope my experience helps you. One thing is nice, is I never wear a harness on a hang and hunt, but now I am strapped in with the saddle. So that is a plus as well. Ask me in November again and I'll have more of an update for you. In a nut shell I think the hard part for people is getting used to hanging in the dark or spur of the moment vs pre-set areas if I had to guess. I found the saddle itself very easy.

From: Bou'bound
12-Sep-19
that saddle is an ass buster

From: JTV
12-Sep-19
Apauls, try 12 hours in that thing, then get back to us ........

12-Sep-19
Also tried and tried with a saddle as I was attracted to the weight and figured it was the answer to back country hunting with a tree stand.

They're so uncomfortable after a few hours. I like to do all-day sits and it's just not possible in one - at least for me.

From: Will
12-Sep-19
Good point JTV - I think I asked you about this last year at some point, you have a great method going with the sticks for sure!

Ike, is it the saddle proper - IE, the glutes and upper hammy's sitting in there for a long time... or say your back/knees/feet etc due to balancing or bracing?

APauls, interesting stuff... You are making me feel like waiting a while and just shooting you a PM in about 6 weeks. Seriously. I mean, as much as I like the addition of a lighter hang on or saddle to my arsenal, I've got over a decade of using a climber and a lot of hang on time prior, so if I go a little longer without this option in the arsenal, Ill be ok. The biggest reason to do this, for me, is to be able to hang and hunt in branchy trees. It's frustrating to hike in a mile, and there are no safe trees, or trees I can use (due to branches etc) with the climber. I may just stay patient here after reading your comments and as noted, circle back and see how you're liking it in a bit...

GED - I didnt realize you used a saddle - or completely forgot. Did you go to saddlepalooza that Peterk put on last or this year? Did you use LW stands prior to the saddle? How do you feel in the saddle in branchy trees, like a hemlock, pine, spruce, larch, or an old scragly maple or oak etc...?

Keep the ideas coming folks, they are much appreciated!

From: badguybuster
12-Sep-19
My wife and I both saddle hunt and use rock harnesses for safety. We use the "single rope" technique for climbing. We can be 30' up in about 1 minute and hunting in under 5. The whole set up weights about 6 pounds between rope, carabiners etc. The down side is there are a lot of metal parts to make noise but some duct tape quiets them pretty well. A throw bag is a must if you hunt areas where the trees have no low branches. It takes some practice to get comfy .

12-Sep-19
a lot of this is where you hunt, your environment etc,,,, one of the problems with any set up is MOVEMENT,,,, at my age of 70, and I in good shape, what I did not like about the system is MOVEMENT,,, but if you like it, and sit quiet, it is a very affective system

I hunt hill country along the Mississippi River, for me its not how high you are, but how you set up... I use a 6lb hang on and one stick, and at 6 feet tall, that takes me about 10 feet for what I need in my area...

the point is all areas are different, no one system works for all, so you have to adapt to your area,,,, its not rocket science,,,,, most TV hunting is so different, even with myself as a private land owner, with the average real life hunter, that is most of a waste of time to watch....

adapt your system, to where you hunt, not how I hunt, or others, but where you hunt

truth be known, a lot of areas need no tree stands. just get at it

From: TODDY
12-Sep-19
I sit dark to dark in mine, all is good on the tush..... I can see not for everyone and a little learning curve to correctly use and fit it to you but when setup, all good... But it's light, quiet and extremely safe. Lots of maneuvering ability as well. Also, no clanging metal walking through the woods like a regular stand as I put it in my pack. Only downside I have is wanting to use a Heater Bodysuit with my saddle and I don't see that possible. TODDY

13-Sep-19
Will, they squish your balls. You also get tired of standing and the only alternative is to sit which means you’re leaning back and that’s killing your feet and quads. Or else you’re hugging the tree which means bark in your face and all your weight on your pubic bone while your ass, twig, and berries are slowly turned into diamond by compression from all sides.

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
couldnt pay me to use a saddle ... I like the availability to stand as sit as I please ... I can sit, cross my legs, stretch out so to speak to loosen up/relax, I can stand straight, seat folded up against the tree ready to strike ... I still hike in a mile or more on my hunts, or move again after the AM hunt another mile or so to another location ... once you get your method of setting the sticks and stand, I'm up and settled in 15-20 minutes and I dont like to rush, I want to be safe too .... depending on location, I'm usually 18-21ft at stand height ... I can do it blind folded ...

From: BC
13-Sep-19
I don’t get it but then again I’ve never tried one. Old school, I guess. If you’re going to put up sticks and hang a tiny platform anyway, why not just put up a light weight stand? More comfortable.

From: Rgiesey
13-Sep-19
Tried a saddle bear hunting for a bit. Not good and that wasn’t for long sits. Used LW since he first started making them. Now I tend to buy XOP but haven’t bought his sticks yet. Always hang and hunt.

From: Rgiesey
13-Sep-19
Tried a saddle bear hunting for a bit. Not good and that wasn’t for long sits. Used LW since he first started making them. Now I tend to buy XOP but haven’t bought his sticks yet. Always hang and hunt.

From: 12yards
13-Sep-19
"Will, they squish your balls. You also get tired of standing and the only alternative is to sit which means you’re leaning back and that’s killing your feet and quads. Or else you’re hugging the tree which means bark in your face and all your weight on your pubic bone while your ass, twig, and berries are slowly turned into diamond by compression from all sides."

LMAO!

From: TODDY
13-Sep-19
I will add to my original post that all saddles are NOT the same. I do own a New Tribe Aero Hunter, which was pricey, but has a lot of extra padding and adjustments for comfort. Many want to get by on the cheap and just use a basic climbing harness and then regret it. I would have had a bad experience with those as well. Ouch! I can easily lower myself to sitting position and then raise up to standing or even somewhere in between. Most of the time I would say I have 80% of my weight on my rear and 20% on my feet. I use 4-6 screw in tree steps around the diameter of the tree for a base and for maneuvering (carried into the field in my pack so it's quiet). One final thought I had was the size tree you can hunt out of. A lot is talked about how big of a tree you can hunt in. But how small of a tree can you hunt out of? I shot one of my biggest whitetails six years ago and the only tree that was available was 4" in diameter at the stand height. That would not have happened in my other stands. Again, to each their own. To the OP: The learning curve isn't that big, it's more or less just figuring out how you should move to quietly maneuver 360 degrees around your tree for all shot opportunities. I took it out and practiced some shooting for about a half hour out of it and was comfortable going afield at that point. Pretty easy.... TODDY

From: Will
13-Sep-19
Thanks folks, this is helpful!

From: SaddleReaper
13-Sep-19
Apauls,

Those guys over at tethrd are great people, doing a huge service to the market, but they missed a very important mark with the mantis - in my (experienced) opinion. They made the mantis too small for the advertised size ranges, and too minimalistic to the point at which weight distribution and ultimately comfort are hindered. They made it how it suited them - not the masses. I bet you anything the next saddle they produce wont be lighter..... because they'll have to address the comfort issues.

Sure the mantis leads in being the most packable, the lightest, and the smallest.... but why on earth would you sacrifice a few ounces of material for those attributes whilst sacrificing comfort. The tethrd leg humpers/ pro staff will swear each user needs to try playing with tether height, length, and bridge to find what suits the users style- but in reality the saddle simply isn't designed in a way that lends itself to being comfortable for long duration's (2+ hours). Don't believe me? Try a Trophy Line... Try a Kestrel flex.

The difference is night and day. A kestrel flex blows a mantis out of the water. It has far more support and structure to distribute the load/ pressure better. The waist line's molle and straps provide better structure for hanging loaded pouches off of, or sticks, and its all around build quality is just more robust.

A (well designed) saddle will be extremely comfortable and supportive, take it from me, I've got a stress fracture in my L5 vertebrae. A saddle in general is superior to a hang on with climbing sticks when it comes to versatility, no contest. It takes some getting used to for sure, but once you're used to a saddle you can dial it to suit your hunting style. A hang on and sticks will always have more limitations, and disadvantages no matter how you spin it, and there is very little you can modify from the original design.

From: APauls
13-Sep-19
OK guys, there are some funny posts on here. Anyone who has done any research at all into saddles and visited places like saddlehunter.com before purchasing knows there are a lot of options for saddles. Because they wrap the body, you've got a bunch of different fits etc.

"They squeeze your balls" well mine sure doesn't and my balls are bigger than your balls. JK, but in all honesty sounds like you've either got a crappy saddle or a crappy fitting saddle. One of the reasons I bought the one I did was because of the different adjustment options. I felt like I'd have the best chance of a good fit buying this saddle

"Try 12 hours in it and tell me what you think". Well obviously I haven't yet. I do generally do all day sits in the fall so I am sure that time will come. So far I've done 3 hours with no prob whatsoever. A HUGE thing as well, is what are guys using to rest their feet? My platform is a mini stand so to speak, so if I want to I am able to stand normally for a bit if I feel so inclined. Like TODDY, there are many people that actually enjoy very long sits in the saddle. I know several guys prefer the comfort to a tree stand. So there is a large variability in making it fit you.

Like JTV, I've used a LW hang on and sticks for many years and it's a darn good system. I can do it in my sleep as well, and if there is wind I can be ready to hunt in 12 minutes from reaching the tree. If it's dead quiet it takes longer as movements need to be so slow. If I knew I was going to a thick pine with a ton of branches I would go with my hang on and no steps. Just use the branches.

I also didn't go to a saddle thinking it was my new "cure all solution." My expectation, is that with a few sits it would becomes my early season set up until I sit all day. I didn't want to expect to move EVERYTHING over to saddle hunting. How will it be with a ton of clothing? Not sure yet. But what I can say is this: So far, I would imagine it will take over the majority of my hunting for these reasons AND in this order: I can hide from deer better, I can shoot to more places, it is less to pack in. Personally I could care less about the extra 10 pounds to carry an alpha in vs the predator platform, because that is about the weight difference on the setup. But large trees where a person can really hide are few and far between here, and staying hidden is a real concern.

From: APauls
13-Sep-19
Saddlereaper, my budget is blown so I'll have to wait on another saddle ;)

From: Bigwoods
13-Sep-19
Definitely the LW and Sticks. I hunted out of a saddle for 2 years-tried three different versions. They are junk IMO. Uncomfortable and require excessive movement to shoot to the weak side. Unless you hunt VERY high, you will get picked off trying to shoot to the weak side.

From: Bake
13-Sep-19
I did the saddle thing for a few years. I'm too young to be a wuss, but I guess I am. It put a lot of pressure on knees on the tree, feet on the platform or steps, also was kinda squishy on my parts. Couldn't wear a belt knife, or anything on belt, as it squished it against you. Can't add or subtract upper layers easily, and can't add or subtract bottom layers at all.

I did all day sits in mine, and it was not comfortable at all for me. Latent back issues gave me a lot of muscle spasms and muscle tightness using a saddle, some of which I still deal with in a regular hang on as well.

The good news is they are light, and you look more a part of a tree. Doesn't matter so much with deer I don't think (at least where I hunt), but made a difference with predators and turkeys picking me off.

From: Mint
13-Sep-19
I picked up a saddle last year and did around ten sits. With a small platform as a leaner I was very comfortable. I also hunted with my Chippewa Wedgelock and my trail hawk stands. Neither one of them is very comfortable for long sits. I plan to hunt with all three in the fall. I hunt Long island and to hunt with a climber you need to be very high and I can't tell you how many guys I have helped track one lung hit deer. I like getting in the branches so I don't get picked off but shooting with my recurve can be a pain. I plan to use the saddle and sticks on a bunch of one sit hunts where I sneak into the little suburban woodlots quietly and set up quickly for a three or four hour sit. Some of these areas are very thick and bringing a stand in would be a nightmare. My friend consistently days all day sits with his saddle but I'm not there yet.

From: TD
13-Sep-19
Pack in and hang a stand..... each and every hunt? Saddle kicks that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. We have areas were were have a dozen or more trees prepped. Pick a tree to the conditions, climb it tie in and hunt it in literally seconds. Nobody's stealing it, nobody sitting it when you aren't there. Honestly IMO, easier to shoot out of than a stand, you can lean way out into the shot. (But in fairness those using rock climbing harness as a safety likely can too.) Have even used the straps at times as a very effective "rest" for my bow arm. If you've ever shot your bow off a "rest" you know what I mean WRT accuracy. Like shooting from a stand.... a bit of practice from one in the back yard and it gets comfortable pretty quick.

The main learning curve I see is set up. Most folks setting up still use a stand mentality as too position, they set up too much "in front" like they would with a stand. Movement? You're not stuck out like a sore thumb, you're part of the tree, basically hiding behind the tree. And if set up and prepped right you can shoot from near 360. If it's too uncomfortable you aren't wearing it or it isn't adjusted right. I fall asleep in mine all the time. I have the old school Trophyline(?) mesh seat that hasn't been made for a good number of years. Only real adjustments on the saddle itself is it's size, small medium and large. My buddy has an Aero Hunter with dozens more adjustments. Bridge is adjustable as well as the tether, legs, waist, etc.

By far the most important aspect IMO is your platform for your feet. A tree with lots of limbs really helps and makes it easy. You may only need a screw in step or two. I also like and use the Wild Edge steps a good deal for platforms, they work well. Knee pads can help too. Not just the right size saddle and adjusted correctly is important, but the right height to tie off on each tree makes a huge difference, is it leaning to you? Away from you? I have Lone Wolf sticks and use them now and then, but normally a few screw in pins and the right limbs and we can get up in most of our trees. Allready to go, hard part is finding them in the dark.... Half of them, you'd be hard pressed to put a stand in, they are not remotely straight/vertical. Very few trees cannot be "saddled".....

It's not for everyone. They are certainly a bit more "physical" but I'm in my 60's.... it's not too bad. They aren't perfect..... as stands are not either.... I'm not hunting in zero degree temps. (likely won't either..... ever) I can do 4 or 5 hours in my sleep (literally) I can't imagine sitting in one place for 12-14 hours a day can be "comfortable" in anything,.... mentally or physically. Hard enough in a recliner in front of a tv. =D

If interested, what they said above. Go check out the Saddlehunter forums and do your research from guys who use them all the time. This is like listening to a bunch of Trad shooters tell you how to tune and shoot your compound..... heheheheh.....

From: Will
13-Sep-19
TD, that's hilarious. This is 1.) making me feel like I should be patient and 2.) making me realize I NEED to figure how to make the time to meet my friend who's very into the saddle thing and test it out.

I like the simplicity of hiking in with less, but because I come from a stand hunting background, setting up a fixed stand off sticks feels simpler in function. That may not be the case.

The biggest thing I'm taking so far is that it's ok to be patient in this choice, that it's likely a love or hate deal - not a situation with a lot of middle ground, that both systems can work - so this is really a decision of which system do I like better... And that Ike may have smaller berries than Apauls. Hopefully they dont do a photo contest for us on that though... We will just take your words there guys ha ha ha!

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
Yep TD, I pack in and hang a stand every hunt ... I dont have a problem doing that ..... sometimes twice a day .... that is what the LW and sticks are made for ...... and I use 'em to the best I can and they have never let me down with their versatility .... I just got back in from scouting stand locations, still have about 12 more to check on .. got my ass beat by yellow jackets (again), happens at least once every scouting season (I hate those damn things !!) ... once again, I'll have about 40 locations I'll be able to get into for this season using 1 stand and 4 sticks ... like I said, I couldnt be paid to do all dayers in those ass slings ....

From: Single bevel
13-Sep-19
I just don't understand how someone WOULDN'T like a new generation saddle. Learning curve?? Yeah, about 1 day. I did own a Trophy Line for a few years and it did kinda suck. I bought a Kestrel and a Predator platform last year and I love them. Dawn to dusk is my normal day...no sweat. ANY STAND will beat you up over the course of 11 hours but I feel a lot better after a full day in the saddle than I did on a platform. 360 shooting and can hunt out more variety of trees...trees that could never accommodate a hang on. Better concealment, too.

And, hands down...there is no better harness system for actually setting hang on stands. After hanging one conventional stand while wearing a saddle, you will throw your linemans belt/harness in the garbage where it belongs.

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
Any stand will beat you up ?? ... WTF ?? ... I can sit or stand comfortably from am to pm in my LW w/ sticks.... I have a full range of movement or I can relax (hell, I'll doze if needed) and I feel very secure , as for the stand diapers, I'll pass ................. IMO ..

13-Sep-19
Will, most of these reply's can be summed up like most people who say hammocks are uncomfortable or, you will freeze in them. People simply never spend the time or money to get it right but, won't admit that. Instead they blame the product. So, take that into account when sorting through the responses.

From: Scooby-doo
13-Sep-19
I gave a saddle and honest try and I never could get used to it. Seemed way more work than my 4 LW sticks and my Chippewa Wedge Loc stands. I do not hang and hunt very often around home but when I am out of state I do a lot of them. I thought the saddle was a PIA way more so than my sticks and stand. I guess if I did it for a couple years I may of got used to it but hard to teach and old dog new tricks! Shawn

From: TODDY
13-Sep-19
Single bevel, how do you like the Predator platform? Can you compare it to a simple tree step platform for overall comfort? Do you use a combination of both? TODDY

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
Tell me, can you tree diaper guys go up trees 30-35+ inches in diameter and attach to a tree that is 30+ inches at 20 ft ?? ..... adding or taking off clothing, pissing, leaning trees, pine trees, shifting weight to stay comfortable, cant screw in anything on state land, etc. ..... seems they are not for every one ....... I'll stick with my LW and Sticks, they have worked for me for 6 years flawlessly ....

From: Two Feathers
13-Sep-19
Anyone using spurs instead of sticks with their saddle?

From: weekender21
13-Sep-19
Climbing method aside, you couldn't pay me to haul a tree stand in after hunting a full season in a saddle. Lighter, safer, more comfortable, can use it in just about any tree. WAY too many advantages with a saddle to consider a stand.

For climbing method, I've used SRT, bolts and drill, and sticks. They all work great but I find myself using SRT more than anything else at the moment. Ultra light, simple and safe.

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
couldnt pay me to use a tree diaper .... LW and sticks, simple, safe easy to use, comfortable, able to shoot strong or weak side, change clothes in/take clothes off, etc. ... I'm out .. have fun what ever you use ...

13-Sep-19
Gheez JTV, nobody here can do what you do. You make sure to tell everyone that on a regular basis. From your MILE hike in, to your setting up in 15 minutes. you are the baddest bowhunter on bowsite. But, to answer your question, many saddle hunters use the same climbing equipment you use. Minus the 12 pound tree stand. If your gear will climb it and hang, a saddle hunter can too.

Not everything is a pissing match bud. There is a place for all types of equipment. And, they all have their pluses and minuses. No one asked you to change anything. Do you and let people do them.

From: weekender21
13-Sep-19
JTV, your opinion appears in this thread multiple times. Not sure why you feel the need to use terms like "tree diaper". Does that make you feel like a bad azz? The OP asked a serious question and has received many great answers from guys who have used both. I'd include your feedback in the quality column as well, albeit a little childish.

And for what it's worth, most of my saddle hunts last season I used LW sticks but a saddle instead of a stand. Really doesn't matter how you get to hunting height and sticks are a great public land option. Not as safe as some other methods but great none the less.

13-Sep-19

WV Mountaineer's Link
Will, I know you been thinking about this for a while. Hearing so many people recite things they have heard or assumed is confusing. Check out the video in the link. At 14 minutes in, they address the weak and strong side shot. Plus demonstrate how easy it is to move around in the tree with one. Good luck with whatever you decide.

From: JTV
13-Sep-19
lol ..... thats what they look like, a diaper/depends .. call 'em what one wishes ..... I just dont think they are superior to a good light weight stand/stick system, some do, I dont... as I said, use what you wish ....

From: Will
13-Sep-19
WV - that's awesome! Thanks for finding that and posting it man! This has been really helpful guys, for me... and for those in a similar spot wrestling with this.

From: weekender21
14-Sep-19
"lol ..... thats what they look like, a diaper/depends .. call 'em what one wishes ..... I just dont think they are superior to a good light weight stand/stick system, some do, I dont... as I said, use what you wish ...."

JTV-Please enlighten the forum at least once more. We're not really sure where you stand.

14-Sep-19
Will,

Never used a saddle so cannot help you there.

I am 60, and in decent shape, mostly round...lol.

I have both LW and XOP sticks and stands. Like JTV, I hang most hunts. I like the XOP sticks better as the step pads are slightly longer.

I echo what Jeff says about the benefits of a stand, but I will just say it one time;)

Good luck!

From: APauls
14-Sep-19
Just to give an example of how people are individuals though, I’ll say this. I’ve bought LW hang ons, a climber, and a saddle. I know I can do the hang on deal and love it, tried to love the climber and hated it, tried the saddle so far and like it. Some guys swear by climbers but I absolutely hated it. I just keep forgetting to post it for sale.

From: Fuzz
14-Sep-19
WILL, I'm with you on this. Waiting patiently on my saddle order from Tethrd. I've done a lot of hang and hunts every year. I feel like a "nut squishing tree diaper", will open up a lot more options with crooked trees, especially in Kansas.

My biggest/only concern is when it's right about daybreak and I get that 1st dreadful "gurgle" from way down in my bowels... you know that literal "oh shit" moment!! That frickin happens way way too much! :-(

Sincerely, Turd from Above

From: Will
14-Sep-19
Fuzz - wholly crap man... As a card carrying member of the "20 foot poop" club, that, is a very interesting point. Oh, on my one such occasion - in a climber, I rattled in a nice 8pt, he got down wind and I never got a shot... He looked more offended than usual though...

From: Fuzz
14-Sep-19
Will,

I hear ya!

I believe all my saddle hunts will be afternoon affairs since that is usually after "business" hours.

The Brown Bomber

From: weekender21
14-Sep-19
The struggle is real :)

I've hurried down the tree way too many times to take care of business. I'd much rather quickly descend the tree and take care of business at ground level...John Eberhart swears you can safely take care of business at 30 feet from a saddle, I've never had the pleasure. I always feel like the spot is ruined if I can't perform a proper burial.

From: Single bevel
14-Sep-19
"Single bevel, how do you like the Predator platform? Can you compare it to a simple tree step platform for overall comfort? Do you use a combination of both? TODDY "

I absolutely love the Predator. I have 3 of them. I don't always take it down each time if I think I may want to return to that tree within a few days, but I didn't want to leave my one and only predator in the tree so I bought 2 more. I do put 1 Ameristep on the strap on my strong side. My weak side is the top step of my climbing system...usually a bolt. For short hunts, tree step platforms are okay but it takes 2 or 3 of them to accomplish what one predator (plus a step) can do and I can stay in the tree from dawn till dark with a Kestrel and a predator. This will be my 50th season. I've spent many thousands of hour in hang on stands during those years. I'm not a greenhorn. I can say without a doubt that my current set up is by far, the safest, the most comfortable, and the most effective method I've ever used. I will never hunt another way.

From: Single bevel
14-Sep-19
JTV: "Any stand will beat you up ?? ... WTF ?? ... I can sit or stand comfortably from am to pm in my LW w/ sticks.... I have a full range of movement or I can relax (hell, I'll doze if needed) and I feel very secure , as for the stand diapers, I'll pass ................. IMO .. " If I sit in a Lazy Boy recliner for 11 hours I get uncomfortable. Any seat gets uncomfortable when sat in for 11 hours straight. "Full range of movement"? Bull Sh*+. Lets see you shoot a deer at the 12 o'clock position from a hang on stand (bow and arrow). And yes I can sleep in a tree in a hang-on. In fact, falling asleep in the tree was becoming an issue for me. I would be out cold, snoring, dream state and drooling type of sleep. I knew it would just be a matter of time until I fell off the platform...saved by my harness, but nobody wants to fall even 6 inches off the platform. I switched to the saddle because you can't fall with one...not even an inch. I sleep in my saddle, too.

From: Single bevel
14-Sep-19
JTV:"Tell me, can you tree diaper guys go up trees 30-35+ inches in diameter and attach to a tree that is 30+ inches at 20 ft ?? ..... adding or taking off clothing, pissing, leaning trees, pine trees, shifting weight to stay comfortable, cant screw in anything on state land, etc. ..... seems they are not for every one ....... I'll stick with my LW and Sticks, they have worked for me for 6 years flawlessly .... " Please, oh please, post a video of you climbing and installing sticks on a 35 inch diameter tree. I gotta see this. It's obvious that you know nothing about saddle use.

From: JTV
14-Sep-19
What ever ... if one uses a harness correctly, you will NEVER fall from LW or any stand either ... large diameter trees 30"+ are a breeze for me ... wake me when a deer comes by ........................

From: JTV
14-Sep-19
go ahead and use what you like, I'll use what I like

From: peterk1234
15-Sep-19
Will, Will, Will. Get off the internet and get your ass to my house. I know where you hunt and how you hunt. The saddle is calling your name :)

Only you can figure out if it is for you. I started using a saddle at age 51. I sit in it and stand/lean with it. I have done all day sits. I have fallen asleep in it. I find it way more comfortable than a hang on. My movements are much more subtle and quieter than a hang on. I am much safer in my saddle than a hang on. I shot a deer last year out of one. I like it a lot.

The learning curve is one day. Really the only thing you need to get used to is leaning out. It is a bit weird, but after a half hour you get used to it and realize you are just locked in. You will spend more time figuring out the most effective way to climb. Your setup is so light that you will insist on doing the same for getting up a tree. Five wild edge steps for me get me over twenty feet and provide two steps for my platform. Pete

From: HDBOW
15-Sep-19
I’m all saddle all the time, hawk helium sticks and a small lonewolf seat made into a platform. I love it have loved it for 2 ish years and wouldn’t go back. Yes, I sit all day through the rut. Yes I am as comfortable as in a stand, but it does take some getting used to. Most guys don’t set them up properly for comfort from the start. Lots of info out there, I work with a saddle company if you want more info PM me

From: Bill in MI
16-Sep-19
"Tree diaper" lol. They have a minimalist back country version coming out as a thong. I tried one and never could get comfortable with it. A buddy had one for a stint and said he hadn't had that much ass action since he did his nickle at the WV state penitentiary (which is a 4.7 star rated prison by the way).

From: Will
16-Sep-19
Ha, I wondered when you would see this and chastise me Pete :)! I almost called you with a "Hey, it's 3 saturday, you got an hour right now..." I'm hopefully hunting CT (no worries guys, no plans on a live hunt :)) this afternoon... Kids have a half day wednesday, but maybe Friday? Ill txt you.

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
16-Sep-19
peterk1234 sounds like I will be following in your footsteps....I'm 51 and going with the saddle for the first time this year. I bought the Kestrel Flex, 10 Wild Edge steps, the Perch and an aider. Really looking forward to using this set up.

  • Sitka Gear