To Saddle or Not?

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
BuffaloBill
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby BuffaloBill » Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:35 am

I bought an H2 saddle right before deer season last year. Didn't practice beforehand and found it to be really awkward. But that's probably mostly my fault for not practicing before season. I tried the Artisan mini platform and it killed my feet. Also found it hard to make adjustments with the small profile. The appeal was the cheap price and the fact that it attached to the top of my sticks. I picked up a Ridge Runner platform on Black Friday that I should help with comfort. It's crossed my mind to just sell it all and use my hang on. But I don't think I gave it a fair chance. I only used it on a handful of hunts. I see it being used on public spots where I'm going in blind. A sit drag is a pretty cheap way to try saddle hunting. You can use the rock climbing harness in your hang on if you end up not liking it. At the worst you buy a saddle, not like it, and get the majority of your money back if you sell it. It's okay to not like it as well.


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Boogieman1
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:26 am

For me personally and I wouldn’t say it never worked out. I killed a lot of deer out of a saddle. It was a matter of all day comfort, confidence, and mishaps.

First off let’s cut the crap and say the whole 360 degree thing is bs. I get the same 360 with the same amount of movement in a hang on turning around leaning to either side. Don’t believe the weight savings that sounds so great is really a player. By the time u figure in same amount of sticks, ropes, buckles, beaners, platform, etc.... the weight savings seemed equal to the keys in my pocket.

Now the great benefit is reduced bulk. Can’t deny that. But for me personally it’s like most things in Bowhunting which come down to personal preference. What works great for me might suck back tit for u.

A hang on just offers me more personal versatility and a easier shot. By versatility I mean if I’m worried about being caught sitting I often remove the seat for short hunts. With the saddle I’ve always been constantly pivoting around looking for comfort.

Would honestly say if a guy is struggling to kill deer from a hang on, climber, ladder or isn’t even seeing big bucks at all a saddle isn’t gonna change anything for ya. If u suck at golf a new set of clubs isn’t likely to be a game changer. Just saying...
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dannyboy
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby dannyboy » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:29 pm

Been using a trophyline on and off since 2007 but it took me to long to get set up. Upgraded to a Phantom this year and have been practicing in the yard and getting much more efficient. Can't wait for the Fall
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Twenty Up
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Twenty Up » Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:26 am

I tried like heck to enjoy saddle hunting, just not for me. The “system” I got into packing and hanging treestands got engraved into my brain :lol:
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Ridgerunner7
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Ridgerunner7 » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:43 pm

I use both, but probably 80% or more saddle. It just fits my style a little better. I really enjoy the reduced footprint and bulk when carrying in my hunting set up. One of my favorite things about the saddle is hunting extremely low and on the backside of the tree using it as cover. More and more of my run and gun set ups are like this. Especially in areas where it might be a little too sensitive to climb up high in the tree or in areas where the canopy or excessive branches would need to be trimmed in order to hunt effectively. I will set up nearly at ground level behind a good size tree and can just lean out slightly to make the shot. Works great in the big woods too where you encounter a lot of bean pole trees with no cover. I see the positives and negatives of both hang on and saddle. The positives far out weigh the negatives for me with the saddle.
tim
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby tim » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:30 pm

Maybe the odd man out or just don’t like change but I love a stand and have no reason to change. Been working for me all these years I’m not changing.
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J Gilbert
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby J Gilbert » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:49 am

I'm fairly new to mobile hunting in general, having started two seasons ago with an XOP Air Raid and some Hawk sticks. I built a DIY saddle last summer and used both it and my stand setup through the season, however I found myself using the stand less and less by the end of the year.

I will agree with the poster that said the weight savings is minimal- once you factor in carrying the same climbing method, a platform to stand on (which is a must in my opinion), and the saddle itself with everything needed, the savings is nothing to write home about. What I found between my saddle and stand was that the saddle was much more comfortable for longer hunts, and I was often standing most of the hunt in the XOP anyway because it wasn't particularly comfortable. I also found the saddle easier to set up with and to develop a "system" with for me personally- I wasn't nearly as tired/hot/sweaty when hang-and-hunting from my saddle versus the stand, which is a big deal when hunting in the Georgia heat for half the season. I also found being on the back side of the tree, hiding from the deer with the tree as cover, to be a huge improvement for me in several situations last year.

Fast forward to now- I've recently invested in a commercial saddle with dump pouches, for the purpose of fine-tuning a "system" over my strap saddle last year, that had no molle loops and often had me sticking ropes into pants pockets. I now feel I can carry everything I need on my person and have it be extremely accessible and be super efficient with every movement I make in the woods. I have also changed my climbing method and will be using spurs to climb and rappelling down this season, which means every piece of gear I need for the whole hunt can also fit in my backpack that has less bulk and slightly less weight than my stand setup.

I think that if you've got a solid system in place for hanging a regular stand, it might not make sense to make the change unless it's for the comfort factor, which was the biggest change-driver for me. I still own and will use the XOP when the situation dictates, but it will likely be in a more semi-permanent role where it stays in place for a few days or weeks at a time, instead of in and out daily.
druski
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby druski » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:11 am

Dewey wrote:
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.



Dewey are you referring to the Areo model that was out prior to the flex
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Dewey
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:48 am

druski wrote:
Dewey wrote:
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.



Dewey are you referring to the Areo model that was out prior to the flex

The original Kestrel.

https://aerohunter.us/store/index.php?r ... duct_id=76

I would expect the Kite to be just as good but lighter. I haven’t tried the Flex.
tundra@1
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby tundra@1 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:52 am

I was able to try it, in a barn over the winter, and the guy was also a climber, so it was good instruction. The most comfortable was a simple rock climbing harness, he had. But he also had 2 other name brands. My analysis of this was, still too much stuff for me to haul around...... I have really no body issues, other than my heart which is now fixed well.......

When its all said and down, I just walk into the woods and hunt, its really that simple for me. I carry literally nothing except my bow and few incidentals. I like to carry a pad, to either sit or kneel on. I truly cover a lot of ground. That is how I find the majic spots. You can never spend enough time scouting, and to me in season scouting, is 90 percent of what I do. But I hunt big country, so it makes a difference......
parkersdad
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Re: To Saddle or Not?

Unread postby parkersdad » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:05 am

I carry a JX3 Hybrid saddle and one or two sticks. I am saddle hunting with the comfort of a Summit Viper. :dance:


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