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Ravin R26, Garmin X1i
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been interested In lightening my load from my Summit Viper tree stand. Which, in my option is the most comfortable tree stands you can buy however, heavy to tote for a older fella. That brings me to my question, hunting from a saddle. It looks like a very mobile and light weight option. Does anyone have any experience with saddle hunting and am I barking up the wrong tree? Thanks
 

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Personally ... it looks like a young man's game to me. You might be better off moving to a game cart or JetSled and pull your heavier gear in to where you setup.
 

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I am 67 and healthy. The saddle can be very comfortable and easy to use, if you can climb the tree you can saddle hunt! But, when your going to figure the weight of saddle,pack, knee pads and climbing method, not sure there is lots of weight savings, but it carries well and very mobil....I like it. The viper is bulky but very comfortable, so you prob should try a friend's first, you do have to practice!
 

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I am 67 and healthy. The saddle can be very comfortable and easy to use, if you can climb the tree you can saddle hunt! But, when your going to figure the weight of saddle,pack, knee pads and climbing method, not sure there is lots of weight savings, but it carries well and very mobil....I like it. The viper is bulky but very comfortable, so you prob should try a friend's first, you do have to practice!
Frankly ... I don't see it. The Summit has a shooting rail which is about the most stable shooting position short of a bench & sandbags. It's infinitely safer, HAS to be more comfortable with a solid backrest and big foot platform, faster & easier up & down and a far more stable shooting position for all 360°. I still do the lineman's belt routine putting up 35' high hang-ons and I have no issue with hanging from, and trusting ropes; but the saddle doesn't strike me as being anything more than "fun" for those who like a little adventure now and then. "Maybe" in super special situations it might be better than other available options.
 

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Frankly ... I don't see it. The Summit has a shooting rail which is about the most stable shooting position short of a bench & sandbags. It's infinitely safer, HAS to be more comfortable with a solid backrest and big foot platform, faster & easier up & down and a far more stable shooting position for all 360°. I still do the lineman's belt routine putting up 35' high hang-ons and I have no issue with hanging from, and trusting ropes; but the saddle doesn't strike me as being anything more than "fun" for those who like a little adventure now and then. "Maybe" in super special situations it might be better than other available options.
That's because you have never used one before. And to be honest, neither have I. So I can only look at it from the same prospective as you. Which has always been similar to your views.
But the fact is dang near every person that I have ever conversed with that uses a saddle, and have hunted both ways, have told me that given all the advantages (in their experiences) of saddle hunting over using a climbing stand that they would never go back to a climber or hanging stand. Most that I know that use them are in their 60s.

My BIL law is one of them. He claims they are far safer and more advantageous than a climbing or loc-on stand. Everything from weight and packing ease, to increasing the availability of trees that you can utilize in any given area, to 360 degree concealment behind the trunk on approaching or moving animals from ANY direction. He also tells me that he sleeps in his saddle all the time, he just hangs up his crossbow and relaxes hanging there like a sack of potatoes. He loves them.

But like I said, I have never taken the time to use one either. If I had of, from what I have gathered from the folks that do use them. I would probably wished I had started using one a long time ago. But having never been there, my climbers and loc-ons have always served me well.
With that said, I am well aware of their shortcomings that the saddle guys seem to not have to deal with. I can't shoot 360 degrees out of my climber. I tried shooting around the tree one time and ended up hanging by my safety harness! I ain't doing that again!!
 

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My Cruzr Xc should be in this week but I’m out of town. Can’t wait to start practicing in it before the fall opener. I was kinda getting sick of looking for the perfect tree to use my summit in and it was a pain to hike in a couple of miles. I’ll leave a review once I get some time in it.
 

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That's because you have never used one before. And to be honest, neither have I. So I can only look at it from the same prospective as you. Which has always been similar to your views.
But the fact is dang near every person that I have ever conversed with that uses a saddle, and have hunted both ways, have told me that given all the advantages (in their experiences) of saddle hunting over using a climbing stand that they would never go back to a climber or hanging stand. Most that I know that use them are in their 60s.

My BIL law is one of them. He claims they are far safer and more advantageous than a climbing or loc-on stand. Everything from weight and packing ease, to increasing the availability of trees that you can utilize in any given area, to 360 degree concealment behind the trunk on approaching or moving animals from ANY direction. He also tells me that he sleeps in his saddle all the time, he just hangs up his crossbow and relaxes hanging there like a sack of potatoes. He loves them.

But like I said, I have never taken the time to use one either. If I had of, from what I have gathered from the folks that do use them. I would probably wished I had started using one a long time ago. But having never been there, my climbers and loc-ons have always served me well.
With that said, I am well aware of their shortcomings that the saddle guys seem to not have to deal with. I can't shoot 360 degrees out of my climber. I tried shooting around the tree one time and ended up hanging by my safety harness! I ain't doing that again!!
Well I'll fall ... back on my old common sense philosophy that I fall back on in a lot of cases: "If they're that great, why isn't everyone using them?" The market is sort of like evolution. Species grow, expand and gain in numbers when their characteristics are optimized for the current environment. They go extinct when there are better competitors vying for the same resources. There's probably a hundred thousand climbers for every tree saddle out there. ;)
 
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I started saddle hunting last year. Mostly for the public land pursuits. I love it, and it has quickly become my preferred method. I'm mid-30's so can't speak to older ages, but I definitely enjoy my beer and chicken wings and don't find much time for the gym these days. My chubby butt can scoot up that tree and hang from a tether just fine. My point being that you don't have to be a fit 20-year-old to do it. Not even close. That seems to be a common misconception. If you can climb a regular ladder stand, then you can also saddle hunt.
 
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Semi saddle hunt with a saddle and a lock on tree stand. Very versatile being able to swing a little bit. I do wear 2 linemans belts with the saddle thought....safety is paramount....and there is always a safety line.
 
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Ravin R26, Garmin X1i
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate everyone’s thoughts on saddle hunting. All have valid points both for and against. I am going to give it a try. I have been researching equipment and will be purchasing Tethrd. I suspect that I should be able to reduce carry weight by half of the viper stand and less bulk.
 

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I appreciate everyone’s thoughts on saddle hunting. All have valid points both for and against. I am going to give it a try. I have been researching equipment and will be purchasing Tethrd. I suspect that I should be able to reduce carry weight by half of the viper stand and less bulk.
I'd recommend avoiding a Tethrd saddle. They have a reputation for being among the least comfortable saddles available. I've owned them in the past, so also speaking from experience. The Cruzr XC is a good option at the same price point for a very comfortable saddle for someone looking to get into saddle hunting. There are many others these days, but you can't go wrong with that one. Not knocking Tethrd, I do still use some of their other gear. Just my thoughts.
 

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I appreciate that tip. I will check out Cruzr XC. Any experience with tethrd one sticks? Looking at beast gear sticks also.
I haven't tried either one. But have heard both good and bad about both. You probably can't go wrong with either starting out. The Beast sticks have been on sale the past couple weeks. The Tethrd One sticks just came back in stock this past week after being out of stock for probably a year or so. They're pricey :oops:
 

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This will be my 3rd year in a saddle and I will never go back to a traditional tree stand. I know a lot of people don’t realize this, but people have been hunting out of a saddle since the 70’s. It’s just until recently that several companies have came out and started making them commercially. I have hunted out of most major tree stand climber brands and have never been as comfortable as I have in the saddle, but that is just me and only me I speak for. I can’t speak for anyone else. I own a Tethrd Mantis and this year will be hunting out of a Custom Gear Modifications Cobra. If you can possibly try one before you buy one, I’d say do that. You’ll know in about 10 minutes weather or not the saddle is for you. LOL.
 
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