You might be familiar with the traditional style of hunting, but there are many different methods of hunting. Saddle hunting for instance. We will elaborate on what it is, how you can do it and what are the advantages and disadvantages of saddle hunting.
What is saddle Hunting?
Saddle hunting is a method of hunting deer from a high vantage point while wearing a hunting saddle. The saddle is a supporting structure, sling, or seat that is attached to the tree and used to anchor you. A saddle is an alternative to a tree stand for those who prefer to hunt from an elevated position. The saddle, lineman’s belt, tether rope, climbing method (sticks, steps, or ladder), and a platform to stand on once you’ve mounted to your preferred hunting height are all essential items.
It has nylon straps and a mesh “seat” that wraps around your waist and upper legs, similar to a modified rock-climbing harness. When wearing a saddle, instead of sitting on a tree stand, you just clip into a sturdy rope on the tree and sit or lie back in the harness. Consider how a climber appears when they are clipped onto a secure anchor on a rock, sitting back in their harness with their feet against the wall.
Saddle hunting is not a new concept. It has been around for about the last 30 years or so. But it has just been in recent years that it is grown in popularity
Why Saddle hunting?
Now, why should you change your always trusted hunting method to this saddle Hunting? This is why:
A tree saddle is much more compatible and easier to carry than a tree stand. It is effortful to carry a heavy tree stand (minimum 15 pounds) and hike. Do you know what’s easy on load and simple to hike with? A Tree saddles. It is essentially a few slings.
A tree saddle is a secure attachment to the tree. It ensures your safety and prevents any falling. With the tree stand you might lose balance and fall while a saddle prevents it.
Hunting, sometimes, require adaptability and that is something not provided by a tree stand. You may only use the tree stand on trees that have a certain diameter and have few to no branches. The trees must also be growing almost straight with very little bending. Fixed metal stands are faced in one direction with the platform and seat facing one way. With a tree saddle, you have no missed opportunities.
I once used a bungee jumping cord on the trampoline and found it unsettling. Somehow the saddle tree reminds of that uneasiness. But you have to trust me on this one that saddle tree is a most comfortable thing almost as comfortable as sitting on a patio chair.
Saddle hunting is not difficult, it’s certainly different. Learning to saddle hunt is not rocket science and quite easy to get a hang of. Like all other things this just require practice and with practice you can easily become best at best at it.
What you need to saddle Hunt
This is the checklist of things you need:
Something to hold you in an elevated position during your hunt.
The Tether attaches you to the tree once you get to hunting height and is your main safety line during the hunt.
- Lineman belt
The Lineman Belt ensures you are connected to the tree from the ground all the way up to hunting height. It also allows you to more easily, and safely setup your climbing method while you climb.
How To Saddle Hunt?
Since you know saddle hunting is a better choice than any other let’s discuss how to even saddle hunt?
1. Climb the tree
If you are a hunter you already know there are a ton of methods to climb the tree. You may use:
- Climbing spurs
- Hand drill and bots
- Screw in steps
- Rope steps
- Climbing sticks
- inexpensive stick ladders, portable climbing sticks
Out of all the approaches you have to choose your own preference based on your liking and comfort
2. Build the set up
Now you are up the three, what to do next? Build your setup. Tie the saddle, teether and lineman belt to the tree. Make sure to tie the belts properly.
3. Shoot away
Let’s look at them from the perspective of right-handed shooters who are working their way around the tree counterclockwise. The Strong Side Shot (10 o’clock to 7 o’clock), Drop Shot (7 o’clock to 5 o’clock), Weak Side Shot (5 o’clock to 2 o’clock), and Top Shot (2 o’clock to 10 o’clock) are the four shots. It’s also worth noting that maintaining good shooting form in a saddle is simpler than in a typical tree stand. The saddle’s geometry helps to make the “T” shape more natural.
Things you should know before Saddle Hunting
It might not be for all body types
Though sitting on a saddle is quite comfy, it is not for all body types. A certain physicality is needed to saddle hunt. Just like you have to wear the shoe to make sure it is the right fit for you, you have to first test the saddle to buy it.
Shooting Hand Side
Shots to your front and off-hand sides are the simplest, while shots over your shooting hand side are a little more difficult. You’ll need to turn in your saddle or raise your bow up and over your tree rope for this shot. This can be a little challenging, but some pictures from a regular stand can be as well.
Practice Your Position
Anyone who wants to attempt a tree saddle should practise shooting from various saddle positions. When you fire from a level standing posture, your archery form, stance, and angles are all different.
Don’t be mistaken
Tree saddles aren’t suitable for everyone or in every circumstance. They’re worth a shot if you want to be a more mobile and flexible deer hunter. You’ve been avoiding saddle riding for far too long; now is the moment to finally catch up and give it a shot.
Finally, To saddle up or not?
Shooting from a saddle is a novel experience that needs careful planning, but it also offers up new opportunities. You can swing around the tree to achieve nearly any shot angle or opening you desire because you’re tied at the hips by a rope rather than your feet to a fixed platform. Saddles, in the appropriate tree, may provide nearly 360 degrees of shooting chances.