Contributors to this thread:
Defense against tree climbers
Just thinking and planning for spring. I am trying to justify buying a tree saddle and was thinking to myself that I could use if for new bear sites before dragging in a ladder stand. Or would allow me to get deeper into the bush.
But, that also got me thinking about how often bears come up the trees at me when I am in my ladder stands. I live in a place where bears don't see humans very much, and can be either highly curious or highly aggressive with people.
Now, I feel pretty dang safe against bears in a ladder stand as I am away from the tree and the bear, and can manipulate myself to easily stay out of harms way.
Pair that with the fact that they are usually curious and no necessarily aggressive, I am not overly afraid. However, I don't want to be stupid either. I have had bears charge out of aggression and I have had a friend get his ankle swiped. He started carrying a slug gun after that.
I am thinking that with a saddle I am a bit more vulnerable to a climbing, aggressive bear. So, I was thinking what the best defense method would be. I don't want to necessarily carry a gun and a bow. I was thinking an axe could be handy to bonk on the head if need be, but maybe that is just playing with fire. Maybe a slug gun would be the ultimate insurance.
I feel less vulnerable in a saddle since i can move around the tree more freely plus if I choose I can descend rapildly and would not be restricted to whatever climber or ladder im using.
No way I would be in a saddle with a bear in tree, with that said I have zero experience hunting bears.
Picture a tether ball. I’ve always used a high pitched scream to keep them out of my tree.
I had a bear come up a tree that I was in. I had both pepper spray and water. When he was most of the way up I poured water in it's face. That stopped the bear and as some as I stopped pouring it backed down. If that did not work I was going to use the spray.
Don't want to carry a gun and a bow but your cool with carrying bow and an axe? That is funny.
Axe is often with me. It just has a sling and goes around my shoulder. I do line cutting and an axe is near to part of my hand. An axe is light and virtually nonexistent, also don't have to worry about banging it around.
Guns are cumbersome and heavy. if scoped one needs to be careful of it being bumped and banged.
Canada being an enlightened country y’all probably can’t carry handguns ? If you can, that’s what I’d do.
I have zero experience with bears. But back when I used a Saddle to hunt, I had a personal theory that I got away with more out of a saddle. Seems like deer and turkeys both let me get away with bloody murder in a saddle. My theory was that at the angle I sat, I appeared to be more a part of the tree than in a hang on or ladder.
Now if that is true, I don't know if that would pique a bear's curiosity more less?
just saddle the bear and ride that sucker down the tree!
Bear spray would work - sling shot if you have one would also work.
Millie and I have hunted bears from ladder stands, tripods and permanent blinds. I've had curious bears climb up the ladders and tripods.
Each time the bear stopped climbing when we tapped lightly on the side of the stand with our bow or foot.
I'm afraid I'd feel like a human pinata if I were to try it from a tree saddle.
Well... I nap a lot in stands, not so much in the saddle. If a bear comes up the tree, either way you're disadvantaged. Being aware of what's going on is key. A black bear does not discriminate regardless of your defense posture. Be ready. Be aware. Put an arrow in it. Stab it. Kick it. Stay alive. Scream. Fear is your worst enemy. Your mind is your greatest asset and defense mechanism.
Also in a saddle, you should incorporate the ability to descend rapidly. AKA repel... Tie you bow to you. This should give you an advantage in an emergency as long as you can exit SAFELY. Some people hunt with a short tether... It should reach the ground. This can help in a myriad of situations.
I'd think bear spray would do the job nicely. You could just blast away and the bear would head down - hopefully...
The saddle is pretty sweet. I dont think it's ideal for all, nor the panacea many do... But I say that having not used my climber since a late September hunt last season - all saddle after that, and it worked great.
I think if I hunted where bears are really plentiful, I’d go pepper spray. Probably one of the little pistols for convenience/rapid deployment.
It’s not “bear strength”, I know… But if that fails, I would still have a bow and a quiver full of arrows at my disposal, and I would have one of them nocked already anyway.
milnrick and I have hunted in New Brunswick for black bear. As Rick has said, a little tapping on the ladder or a squirt of water, MOST of the time gets them to back down.
That said, having hunted there 7 years, and once in Idaho and once in Saskatoon, no two bears are alike.
Not that a ladder is safer than a saddle with a pissed off sow, no movement is paramount when those little cubbies come in. Never hunted from a saddle, so I don’t know about the movement in one, but if you don’t have to move all, when the little ones have to eat, you may be good, but when momma circles while they are eating...... probably spray or a slug gun, but you have to be quick, can that happen in a saddle, with a bow in hand I think is the question.
Best of luck and be safe
Gheez brother, you are really thinking this out.
I’d say you should carry a pistol but, it sounds like you are from Canada, where they aren’t allowed.
In Canada self defense is illegal for the most part . Cannot use handguns for hunting at all. I use a hunting sword since they made it illegal to use a spear. I tested it on a deer head and had no problem splitting the skull , and tested it on a (just killed with a gun) coyote and hit the back splitting it in two. Would it kill a bear, maybe? but at least it kind of even out the odds just in case. Is not heavy and I carry it on my belt.
Been face to face with a bear 2 times. One came into a rattling set-up and ran when he smelled or sensed something he didn't like. I was about 5 paces away on the other side of a tree. Biggest bear I ever saw in my life (camp ripley).
Second time was when I was on the ground getting ready to set a stand along what I thought was a great deer trail coming out of a swamp. Seems it was a bear trail. He came right up to me while I was standing there. A couple bluff charges and up the tree he went when I growled and spread my jacket and arms out wide to look bigger. I didn't want to have to shoot him but could have, put the bow down and took dozens of photos instead. Snapping his jaws in the tree he wasn't too pleased but after a while settled down. I left and hunted someplace else that night.
Maybe 2 lucky outcomes maybe not. Thinking of hunting them again on purpose in 2021.
Carry a can of bear spray on your belt and read the instructions for how to use if needed. Problem solved.
I love it when government dictates it’s illegal to protect yourself
Based on your question and follow up thoughts, you may not be ready to hunt the elusive black bear. They’re awfully scary from a ground blind, I cannot imagine them from a tree saddle!
Rut Nut's Link
Please set up a GoPro on the ground aimed up in the tree, the video should prove not only informative but also humorous after your encounter with da bear while in a tree saddle.
Tip2: Honey up your boots once you settled in.
Rut Nut's Link
Tree saddle in bear country? Might look something like this! ;-)
SORRY! WRONG video! Try this one.........................
LOL...that tether ball is like the pinata; only difference being that the bears won't leave until the "candy's all gone"
This will get your attention.
Nick Muche - I've been hunting bears seriously for 20 years. I'm quite cavalier with them, and often just walk into baits with them on them and scare the buggers away. However, I am also very aware of what I'm doing. Ive had many encounters with them being docile and curious. But me and my buddies have also had enough scary moments to cause us to respect the animals and consider all outcomes. Because if a `100lb bear wanted to, it could mess you up good.
Milnrick- a pinata is definitely more appropriate.................but couldn’t find any videos of that! ;-)
I've had good luck convincing bears to climb back down out of my tree by just hosing them with aerosol bug spray.
Cheaper than bear spray and doesn't cause YOU to have to find your way out of the tree and back to the truck with your eyes closed if the wind is wrong.
LMFAO, a pinata was the first thought that came into my head when I read this also!!!!
All the guys talking about tether balls have likely never hunted from a saddle. I can use a descender and be out of the tree faster than you can turn around in your stand. I hunt a lot of bear and no way am i going to be trapped in a stand. Fortunately we can carry handguns for personal defense, so its kind of a moot point
Just curious and always wondered...would you rather have slugs or 00 Buck in your back up shotgun?
Alternate buckshot and slugs, buckshot first
Buckshot is devasting at close range. Had a big 400+ lb bear livershot by client get up and turn my way at about 20 feet while tracking. Slug behind the shoulder turned him away; second barrel 00 in the ass running straight away flattened him in his tracks. Found six pellets under the hide in front of chest when I skinned him. I think its cheatin’ to take a gun in stand if you’re bowhunting; half the fun is the pucker factor. :) Tracking is a different story; have had several rodeos over the years.
"would you rather have slugs or 00 Buck in your back up shotgun?"
Number 4 buckshot...
Hey Rob, 00 buck penetrated the full length of a 400 pound bear?
Yup at about 10-12 yards. Pellets were under the hide in front in a roughly 10 inch circle. 12 ga side by side. I was surprised that it did penetrate that much and will never forget how fast it flattened that bear.
Way cool Rob, thanks for sharing...
OO buck is 33 caliber balls. Traveling at about 1100 FPS with 1.5 ounce load. It is indeed serious medicine.