To Saddle or Not?

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Camoface13
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To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Camoface13 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 5:15 am

Between THP, Ridgerunner and Eberhart podcasts I’m very intrigued by using a saddle instead of my XOP mobile setup. Can anyone who has used one and DIDNT like a saddle explain why? My main concern is movement in the tree this is the biggest negative comment I’ve heard from those who tried it and did not like it. Any advice on it would be appreciated!


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Quest1001
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Quest1001 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:51 am

I’m also interested. The main thing holding me back from pulling the trigger is cost. There is some other gear I need to upgrade first.
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby deer365 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:07 am

I tried it and it wasn't for me. I really wanted to like it and feel that I gave it a fair chance, I practiced shooting my bow out of it for about 2 1/2 months and even hunted from it a couple times before giving up on it. I didn't like all the movement in the tree. I also felt like you were constantly moving around to try and relieve some of the pressure off your feet, way more so than in a hang on or climber. The off side shot also sucks, I know there's guys that can do it and I'm gonna catch a lot of crap but I just want to shoot you straight lol. I pack in and out every sit so I was all for it and wanted to give it a fair shot but I finally had to give up on it because I felt I moved too much in it and I also felt more confident in my shots from a tree stand. If you can make it work for you that's great but I couldn't.
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby SILhunter » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:12 am

My son and I both went to saddles last year, IMO its more comfortable, lighter, quieter and safer as you should at the least have the linemans belt attached. Every person is different as far as what kind of saddle they prefer, it also makes a difference if you prefer to lean or sit. As far as movement I don't see any difference in either system, I have my bow hung on my left side which is where I expect the deer to come, grab the bow slip it of the hook and its pointing the way I need to aim, now if a deer comes on your weak side you do have to move to get in position but no difference than standing up and turning around in a tree stand. There is a learning curve to it but once you learn to use leg pressure getting around the tree should be able to be done without much movement or noise, a good platform also helps with this. I've had a few different climbers and all kinds of lockons and ladder stand and have to say I was a little skeptical of saddles till I went to a saddle demonstration a guy put on near me. Now I can't stand sitting in a stand, last year I would take my saddle and just use a ladder stand for a platform and sit above it. I'm 6'3 and 250, I have the Areo Hunter Kestrel and just got a Cruzr XC saddle, used the Kestrel all last year, haven't hunted out of the Cruzr yet but sat in it for a few hours to make sure I liked it. I would get on Saddlehunter.com and use the member map it see if anyone is close to you and see if they would let you try their saddle before you buy one, if not most companys give you 30 days to return it so your just out the shipping fee if you don't like it, good luck.
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kher
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby kher » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:39 am

I know you posted for a reply if you didn't like it but ill put my 2cents because I like the saddle.

If you do get into saddle hunting, I recommend a lot of practice and getting the proper equipment like a platform, ring of steps, saddle, etc. For me, I think my movement put me in jeopardy the most last season because I was always adjusting myself to get comfortable in a tree using just top steps of my sticks. the fix for this is the proper saddle and a platform. I notice that a Platform makes a world of a difference because you can literally stand like you would on a tree stand. Once you get the equipment right, it comes down to practice and being able to be as stealth as you can in the tree.
“The more I practice, the luckier I become.”
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Dewey
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:44 am

Yup. If you have a chance try one before buying give it a shot. Only way to know for sure is to see how it feels to you. I will warn you though that since it’s totally different than what your currently doing it will feel really different at first. In my opinion too many give up after a few sits because they never get it dialed in for their specific body. Once that’s done you will wonder how you hunted so many years without a saddle. I can’t imagine not using one anymore and my stands see very little use now. My three saddles pretty much can do everything I want with much less weight and WAY more comfort.

Add a small platform and Beast sticks and your in business.
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brancher147
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby brancher147 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:18 am

I had to try 2 brands but don’t see myself going back to a stand. I hunted last season in a mantis but just could not stay comfortable for long. I switched to a kestrel flex and was instantly more comfortable. To me I think something like the kestrel flex is the place to start and then graduate to something more minimal like a tethrd once you learn how you like to setup. But for me any saddle is way more valuable than a stand for a mobile setup because it’s lighter and easier and quicker to setup and there are more options for trees that will work for me.
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Wlog
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Wlog » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:22 am

5-10 years ago when options were limited on saddles, climbing methods and platforms to stand on there were a lot more negatives. If you are comfortable and not getting fatigued you won’t fidget much. No more than a hang on stand.

There are bad setups whether you are using a stand or a saddle. Skylit is skylit. You could have that be a problem in either one. You still have to make sure you have adequate cover around you when possible. I say when possible because you are going to end up in a bean pole tree now and then when that’s the only option to be able to get an arrow to the trail you need to shoot.

Having to turn right or left to make a shot on a stand platform isn’t any more significant amount of movement than on a saddle platform. Is so it’s very limited amount.

I did give up on it the first go around in the mid 2000’s but since going back to the saddle the last couple of years I know I won’t be giving up. The 2-3 times I hunted from my lone wolf assault this year convinced me I’m not going back full time to a stand.
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Dewey
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:36 am

brancher147 wrote:I had to try 2 brands but don’t see myself going back to a stand. I hunted last season in a mantis but just could not stay comfortable for long. I switched to a kestrel flex and was instantly more comfortable. To me I think something like the kestrel flex is the place to start and then graduate to something more minimal like a tethrd once you learn how you like to setup. But for me any saddle is way more valuable than a stand for a mobile setup because it’s lighter and easier and quicker to setup and there are more options for trees that will work for me.

I agree. My Mantis is the least comfortable of my three saddles but still better than any stand. My Kestrel is my goto saddle and the one I use the most. For extreme comfort I like my JX3 Hybrid which is perfect for all day rut sits. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. It’s great to have so many options available these days.
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Thesouthpaw » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:25 pm

I got my saddle a few weeks ago. Iv'e been spending a fair amount of time sitting in a tree in the back yard, tinkering with adjustments. Earlier in the week, I sat for 3 hours in total comfort. If you get one, keep in mind that you may have to play with it for a little bit, but trust me, it is very comfortable.
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Camoface13
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Camoface13 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:11 pm

I don’t question the comfort level of it. There’s so many new options I imagine there’s one for everybody’s comfort level. My biggest question is if there is more movement in a saddle vs a traditional mobile hang on. Obviously the initial price tag sucks. The overall bulk/weight is a huge draw but once again if I have to monkey around too much is an issue and do you guys feel like the ropes get in the way for your shot? Or could it for a beginner?
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby PK_ » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:37 pm

Camoface13 wrote:I don’t question the comfort level of it. There’s so many new options I imagine there’s one for everybody’s comfort level. My biggest question is if there is more movement in a saddle vs a traditional mobile hang on. Obviously the initial price tag sucks. The overall bulk/weight is a huge draw but once again if I have to monkey around too much is an issue and do you guys feel like the ropes get in the way for your shot? Or could it for a beginner?

You can absolutely miss opportunities when first figuring it out.

Don’t ask me how I know.

I have tried a couple different saddles over the years and simply could not like them enough to replace my lone wolf even tho I really wanted to.

I have not tried any of the newer saddles that have come out...but with all the positive reviews coming out, I would say go for it.

I would like to try again with a new model, just not sure if I want to spend the $$ right now. Plus the beast stand is coming soon soooooo...
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Jphunter
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Jphunter » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:03 pm

The saddle is another tool..I’ve used one Off and on for several seasons the comfort hasn’t been an issue. But if I had to pick between my Lone wolf assault or my saddle setup for a run and gun bow hunting setup. I would have to go with the assault. I can wedge that little stand in just about any tree and everything stays more consistent as far as setup. I don’t seem to run into as many issues as far as shooting windows and such when setting up in ceders or smaller trees with a lot of limbs.. and it seems like majority of the time that’s the type of trees I’m needing to setup in.

If I was hunting an area with good straight trees and could setup multiple saddle pre-sets I think the saddle would be my pick.
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Dewey
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Dewey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:03 pm

Camoface13 wrote:I don’t question the comfort level of it. There’s so many new options I imagine there’s one for everybody’s comfort level. My biggest question is if there is more movement in a saddle vs a traditional mobile hang on. Obviously the initial price tag sucks. The overall bulk/weight is a huge draw but once again if I have to monkey around too much is an issue and do you guys feel like the ropes get in the way for your shot? Or could it for a beginner?

There is a learning curve no doubt but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Shooting with the bridge and tree tether in front of you isn’t really a big deal. Just practice a lot in all positions before actually hunting

I actually move much more in a stand because I’m so uncomfortable with my screwed up back. Speaking of which I have zero back pain when in my saddle. As far as movement in a saddle I think I can get away with a lot more being on the backside of the tree. Having deer around me I’m constantly surprised what I get away with in a saddle.
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Mopar1169 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:37 pm

Saddles have totally changed the way I hunt. I can now hunt where I want to hunt not what I can get into. I used to use a summit climber, ladder stands and there were too many trees I could not get in. I was always in the wrong tree. Getting winded because it was the only tree I could get in. I didn't really want to get a lock on because I didn't like how much stuff they snagged while walking due to size. Plus my back does not like sitting on a straight solid surface. So I went down the saddle route. Picked up a aero flex and tethrd phantom. Both are very comfortable. Got beast sticks for getting up the tree.

It doesn't bother me now when I go out and the ground ends up being the best place to sit. Am only carrying about 12 lbs of extra gear so not a big deal.

Once the beast stand comes out I am tossing the idea around of using it as my platform. Then if a tree doesn't work out as a good saddle tree I can just use it as normal. Will see what the specs are and the size them make my decision from there.

I don't think you will regret going down the saddle route. If you don't like it. Just sell the gear and you won't lose very much of your investment. As long as you are getting something that is a quality product.


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