I’ve only ever used a tethrid mantis. I originally ordered from arrohunter but canceled due to their mindless misrepresentation of expected wait time and, the way they handled that after assuring me I’d get it in 6 weeks. Anyways, I use the mantis and love it. Extremely comfortable. Much safer then hang on as you are always connected, portable by design, and I like having the tree between me and the deer as they approach.
This was my first year And, I still use a summit climber, hang onsand such. But, I’ll never not use the saddle. And, as far as I can see, if you like that contraption you posted, you’ll love a real saddle. They don’t squish your nuts as stated unless you wear them like granny panties hiked up to your chin. And, your feet don’t get tired either as many suppose. They are just comfortable. But, it dies require a platform to achieve that level of comfort.
JTV, you must have graduated to depends since diapers aren't your thing.
Bigwoods, they require no more movement to the weak side then a conventional stand. Only difference is you are much tighter to the tree and stand a much better chance of doing it without being picked off in a saddle vs a traditional stand.
To each their own opinion. One guy who likes 'em. One who has never tried 'em. And, another that didn't like 'em. That pretty much sums up all out choices in hunting gear when discussing it on the internet. From bows to boots.
Best part of the saddle is the safety factor. Second best is portability. This is my entire setup. Saddle, steps to get me to 20', extra jacket, binoculars, etc...
I don't understand why a saddle would require any more movement than a hang on? Both have easy shots, that require little movement, and both have tougher shots that require substantial movement. With the saddle, though, after that movement you are stable, and not leaning off balanced around the tree.
Saddles are cool. I have a kestrel. They are just another tool. If I have a stand in place I will use that first but if I’m on the run and don’t have time plus a long walk that’s when saddles are handy.took it on my elk hunt. It also comes in clutch on my suburban bow hunts. I’m a lot less visible in the tree plus I leave no trace of where I’m hunting. If I’m hunting my private property there really in not a need for it as I have many stands pre hung.
I committed to one this year. Did the DIY, sit drag version. Most comfortable I've ever been in a tree. Sat in it for 10 hrs. last weekend before killing a buck. No better system out there for run and gun, public land hunting IMO.
If I was hunting private, I would leave steps up and hunt from a saddle. A saddle will give you 360 degrees shooting around the tree. A treestand won't.
I saddle hunted for the first time ever this year expecting to use it some of the time. It quickly took over the majority of my hunts other than the insanely cold Canadian sits. I’ve liked it more than I expected to.
I also can’t get over why JTV jumps on every saddle thread to disparage them with childish comments even though he doesn’t use them. Were they originally your idea and someone marketed it first? Or what’s the big deal?
To be perfectly honest I could see how they wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re the guy who likes to set up 3 stands in August and sit them all fall it prob won’t be for you. But if you do any bit of research and watch some videos you’ll have a good idea of what you’re getting into. I could see myself buying another one trying to find that perfect comfort factor but even so mine is every bit as comfy as a stand and more so once I add layers. My back definitely likes it more for long sits. Being able to hide yourself on th other side of the tree is an obvious game changer
So for you experienced saddle guys, how does it work on a crooked/leaning tree? I have some field edge sites where the trees have grown leaning in to the light at the field edge. Too much angle for a hang on.
I tried a saddle (Mantis) for the 1st time also this year. The 1st time it took about 15 minutes to relax and trust the equipment. After that, it was great! I was surprised at how quiet it was to maneuver around the tree and the shot process was easy to get the hang of. It won't replace fixed stands for me but it will open up a lot of options when you need to be mobile. I used a few steps and my own diy platform to maneuver around the tree. I also purchased a set of Hawk sticks which got me to 18'. Very pleased with the Mantis and the sticks.
I followed the saddle threads, starting with John Eberhardt, who has written a lot about them. what I can not understand, is so many use, screw in steps, which are illegal on all Federal and state land both in Wis and MI....... not many saddle users seems to use sticks?
Thanks SixLomaz...!! Pretty informative video. So saddle hunting is similar to using a climbing stand.... in that you hunt from telephone pole type trees with no limbs ? Correct ?? Or could you climb the climbing sticks on a branched tree... and then set your lineman’s belt when you get to hunting height ??
The saddle and tether don't care about branches, and can be attached to any tree, even leaning trees.
Climbing is no different than any other elevated hunting. You can use screw ins, sticks, climbing rope, etc... The lineman's belt is just a safety device used when climbing, and is not unique to a saddle. It does suck to use the lineman's when on a branched tree, but safety first for me.
I've got a Kestrel and I wish I had it on the tree I shot a nine pointer out of. I was very lucky to get the shot off since the buck was on a trail behind me and made the shot very difficult. With the saddle it would have been an easy shot.
Can use a saddle on FAR more trees than you can hang a stand on. Actually much prefer a tree with lots of limbs. Easier to climb and can use limbs as a platform. Trim as necessary.
Can prep a dozen trees in one area and hunt from any of them on a whim. Just climb and tether up. Never gets stolen. Went to them originally because we were sick of ripoff POS. And ne'er do wells can't use em when you aren't hunting, which was an issue too.
Now it's the cat's south end...... love it. Use an original Tree Saddle in mesh.
This might sound like a stupid question.... But what about the possibility of accidentally cutting the tree tether line with say a broadhead...?? If you’re leaning back in your saddle.... that one line is the only thing between you and falling 20 feet onto your back it seems....
First year hunting with a saddle. I tested the crap out of multiple setups before committing.
My take; Its not for everyone. My guess is the young guys that are thin and around a buck fifty do a lot better than older/larger guys like myself; over 60 and 6'4" 235#. I see it in a lot of the saddle commentary...the smaller, lighter younger guys like the saddles more than big guys. The saddle aggravates my hips after a couple hours.
Tricks to being comfortable include not hanging 100% of the time, instead having some sort of branch or small platform to stand on.
I tried multiple climbing techniques; SRT, DRT, sticks [Muddy and Hawk] screw in steps, Wild edge steps...the Hawk sticks are my favorite with the Rope mod- super fast and rock solid. Screw in steps would be #1 but I hunt all public ground- can't use them.
I like that I can pack this stuff a couple miles and be all in on gear at about 10#, worked great at 11,000' in the rockies getting to remote spots. IMO, on shorter packs, its no big deal to pack a tree stand when you aren't humping it a long ways in the mountains.