For those who hunt from saddles...

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
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Thesouthpaw
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For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Thesouthpaw » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:56 pm

I am really debating on switching to a saddle because I am growing tired of lugging around a stand. I understand there are a lot of pros, but I was wondering how comfortable they actually are since there is no back support. I feel as though I can lean for a couple of hours, but past that, it would get uncomfortable. Am I wrong with this assumption? If so, how an I wrong?


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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby clint6760 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:03 pm

You can use a back band to help in relaxing and leaning back. I think they are as comfortable as a hang on. There are just so many different positions you can utilize if one gets uncomfortable. Sitting, leaning, standing, knees on a tree sitting, sitting straddling a tree, and many more.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:04 pm

Everyone I have ever tried had back support. I find them very comfy. I also like having the tree between myself and the approaching deer. Like anything there not for everyone, but for what I do they work perfect.
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hambone
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby hambone » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:30 pm

I've been hunting from a fleece saddle. I use a padded strap from an old back pack for by back support. There is a lot of adjust-ability with the saddle system. That makes it easier to stay comfortable in the tree, if you have a bad back. With some WE Stepps and a saddle you can get after it with little bulk or weight.
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Dewey
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:41 pm

I have a really bad back and hunting in my Kestrel using my back band is about the only time I feel no pain. Very comfortable at least in my case. I hunted out of my LW Alpha tonight and my back is still hurting.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby OHBB24 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:59 pm

I've had a couple lumbar fusions and am in pain daily. I haven't hunted out of my kestrel yet but have spent some time in it and have found I have no pain. There's a curve to it and in a couple weeks I'm sure I'll be finding out if it's for me but so far I'm liking how I feel in it.

Only issue I've found is my seat slides up on me and I can't get it to sit low on my rear...
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Dewey
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Dewey » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:18 pm

OHBB24 wrote:I've had a couple lumbar fusions and am in pain daily. I haven't hunted out of my kestrel yet but have spent some time in it and have found I have no pain. There's a curve to it and in a couple weeks I'm sure I'll be finding out if it's for me but so far I'm liking how I feel in it.

Only issue I've found is my seat slides up on me and I can't get it to sit low on my rear...

Sounds like you need to make some adjustments on your waist and side straps then maybe experiment with different bridge lengths.

Leaning with a good platform is by far the best position to relieve back pain especially in the lower back. Saddles tip your pelvis forward creating a more natural curvature of the spine the we all tend to lose due to poor posture.
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Thesouthpaw
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Thesouthpaw » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:39 pm

Awesome. So is there any reason not to switch to a saddle? It seems as though my only concern is void.
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elk yinzer
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby elk yinzer » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:04 pm

I like the saddle but for me the confort is kinda meh. For one, I don't find treestands uncomfortable, so I am not coming from that perspective. With the saddle, its not that I am uncomfortable; I would say I fidget more as I shift around more frequently changing positions that are comfortable. I am only on about my tenth hunt with it though, and still learning a lot. I think its something everyone should try, but I am not so blind as to think it's going to appeal to everyone.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby pfrizelleSC » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:56 pm

I switched last year so this is my second season. I am def sold on the saddled. I have a Kestrel. Like Boogie said having the tree between you and the deer is an advantage. The back band is nice but I do not use it unless I am sitting for an extended period of time. I have a small platform and a couple screw in steps that I use at the top. I am still refining my setup every time I go. I carry the saddle in my pack, and attach my sticks to the pack. Badlands Superday and helium sticks. On some of my pre sets on private I have sticks in place so all I have to pack in is my saddle and platform. I wish I would have switched years earlier that’s for sure. I am 6’1” 175 and the Kestrel is perfect fit. I have the smaller of the two sizes.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby JakeB » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:03 pm

I’ll be the odd one out. I just sold my kestrel and predator.

Personally with my assault and sticks, my system is almost perfect for me. I’ve analyzed and over analyzed just about ever part of it and I really have it down. So maybe I was a little biased going into it.

One of the biggest things I didn’t like was having to add a backpack to carry the sticks and platform when using the saddle. I refuse to carry sticks over my shoulder and not have my hands free, might work walking down trails, but in swamps I need 1 hand on bow and the other free. The backpack also did not carry them as good as my assault does. Also need some sort of platform. I don’t think at this point in time a perfect platform is available.

By the time you add your saddle, backpack, and platform I was darn close to the weight of my 8.5# assault. And to me the saddle added a lot more steps to the process. I know it would have gotten better, but what exactly would I be gaining? I don’t buy into being able to hunt “any tree” with a saddle either. Maybe I didn’t know what I was doing, but I’d put my assault up against to anyone in a tree setup contest :lol:

Lots of times I go in blind to trees I haven’t prepped. And usually they have quite a few branch’s, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to walk around the tree to shoot when the branches are in the way? I’m also not a fan of setting up with my back to the deer. My assault sets up on the front of the tree in the direction I want to face.

Clearly the saddle works for lots of people and that’s great. But for me and the way I hunt, I’m sticking with the stand and sticks. I really liked the idea of a saddle and really wanted it to work for me, it just didn’t.
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Jonny
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Jonny » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:05 am

I use a saddle as my safety harness in my treestand. So one minute I’ll sit on the seat, and the next I’m hanging in the saddle. It’s more comfortable than my assault which isn’t saying much. But I can’t give up how well everything packs and carries on that stand. Plus having a big platform is awesome for swinging around for the shot.

Like jake said, you will struggle to get the weight down with stuff you have on hand. I only use sticks, and those don’t pack well on anything except a stand or a bigger pack. So either I spend more money on a pack or wild edge steps. Then to cut weight you start using different climbing methods and honestly some of those look pretty sketch. And I really can’t justify another climbing method after getting the beast sticks.

I think at the end of the day it only comes down to what is important for you. If you have back problems, then yeah a saddle is the way to go. Hang ons (especially the ones we use) are not comfortable. We just suck it up. But if you like Dewey and have back problems, sucking it up isn’t too smart. Back issues are no joke. Maybe you really struggle or hate a heavier load so a saddle and light platform/ring of steps and light climbing method is the way to go. But for me, I’m most comfortable with my stand as a pack frame carrying my sticks, ropes, and small pack while wearing the lightest harness imaginable in.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby Ahawk116 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:24 am

I use both, and have been for twelve years or so. It just depends on the situation which one I choose. I find I can be a little quieter with my saddle so if I’m getting really close to a bed I use the saddle. I prefer my assult on a heavy leaning tree.

If I have pre scouted I know what I’ll use. If I’m going in blind for an evening hunt I’ll use the saddle. Blind for a morning hunt I’ll use the stand because I’m typically there longer and I’m a little more comfortable in my stand. That may change if I upgraded saddles. I’m still using an old original greens tree saddle.

My hunting partner who has had a couple of back surgeries offers the saddle for comfort. Probably because of his back pain like Dewey suggested. He thinks it engages his core muscles more and helps with the natural curvature of your spine so he is t as achey afterwards.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby pesqimon » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:23 am

JakeB wrote:I’m also not a fan of setting up with my back to the deer. My assault sets up on the front of the tree in the direction I want to face.


Perhaps this is a misconception? New to saddle hunting myself, but your still setting up "facing" where you expect the deer to come. Just that the tree is in front of you.
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Re: For those who hunt from saddles...

Unread postby OZARKHUNTER88 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 am

I got a Mantis in the mail last week, my first saddle ever, and have only hunted out of it twice. Granted I still have a lot to learn, but it was more comfortable than I expected. I just watched some videos of the guys at Tethrd using it and tried to mimic them. Currently I use muddy climbing sticks, the rope ones, and I made some custom steps that I put on an OTC buckle. I stand on the top of my muddy stick and use the steps i made at roughly 9 and 3. The variety of ways you can move your weight around and spread it out is what I think makes it comfortable. The weight savings for me and less bulk packing in and out is a huge advantage. I'd been using a XOP air raid with my sticks bungeed to it. I chose not to add a pack but instead to order a strap from stapworks to carry my sticks and I just wear the saddle while walking. So I eliminated probably 13-15 lbs and a ton of bulk. When it gets colder here, I may have to incorporate a light pack to carry layers, I'll cross that bridge later.


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