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A tool ... agreed. But so is a jackhammer ...lol A jackhammer is a tool that does a very limited certain thing well, but it's not something that any sane guy falls in love with. :p ;) I'm not trying to just hammer saddle lovers. Frankly if that's their thing, more power to them. They're pretty cool and hanging off a tree trusting ropes is pretty cool to. I have a bit of a rope fetish myself ...lol I shoot with pros who all love shooting out of the old TreeLounge treestands, and I HATE them, so I getit that they can work for the next guy. We set them up as a hang-on using removable tree steps and lags. Trying to shoot out the sides and you're turning into a contortionist trying to get into a stable shooting position. Particularly on your weak side. I'm just giving the other side of the saddle debate for the sake of the newbies or guys that can get all testosteroned up, run out and buy one, then find out the saddle is a disaster for them. Just getting people to "think" about it and project into their future.
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No, I hear you. Those treelounges were reliners on a tree I slept way to much in mine years ago....
Now, on the topic of tools. . . . All this talk of love and fetishes is out of place here, keep you private stuff private, and let the folks who have the experience give the advice about the topics they're experienced in. I say let folks get as much experience in life as possible, try new things, hell try as many new things as possible, it'll help you figure out what exactly works for you and in turn help you accomplish your goals. Not trying something because someone said they didn't like it yet has never done is, well, asinine. . . . .
 

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No, I hear you. Those treelounges were reliners on a tree I slept way to much in mine years ago....
Now, on the topic of tools. . . . All this talk of love and fetishes is out of place here, keep you private stuff private, and let the folks who have the experience give the advice about the topics they're experienced in. I say let folks get as much experience in life as possible, try new things, hell try as many new things as possible, it'll help you figure out what exactly works for you and in turn help you accomplish your goals. Not trying something because someone said they didn't like it yet has never done is, well, asinine. . . . .
I guess ... we should just disregard those millions of reviews we read on everything from smart TVs to who makes the best wool socks as asinine then. Or we should only read the reviews from those who give 5 star ratings. We can't decide that a Makita electric chainsaw isn't for us and that we'll go with a Husqvarna gas job even though we don't own either one yet? That it's asinine to decide to stick with our 1/2" drill instead of spending for a Bosch rotohammer to drill holes in block walls? I've probably jettisoned a hundred purchases after I read something from people pointing out shortcomings that I didn't think of myself. I'm just as interested in the drawbacks of a product as I am of it's advantages, perhaps more so. And, I'm grateful to those who point those drawbacks out to save me the time, money and heartaches of finding out myself after a purchase. I don't need experience in a saddle to see how unsuitable it is for the vast majority of hunters. Probably 99.9% of hunters.
 
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I guess ... we should just disregard those millions of reviews we read on everything from smart TVs to who makes the best wool socks as asinine then. Or we should only read the reviews from those who give 5 star ratings. We can't decide that a Makita electric chainsaw isn't for us and that we'll go with a Husqvarna gas job even though we don't own either one yet? That it's asinine to decide to stick with our 1/2" drill instead of spending for a Bosch rotohammer to drill holes in block walls? I've probably jettisoned a hundred purchases after I read something from people pointing out shortcomings that I didn't think of myself. I'm just as interested in the drawbacks of a product as I am of it's advantages, perhaps more so. And, I'm grateful to those who point those drawbacks out to save me the time, money and heartaches of finding out myself after a purchase. I don't need experience in a saddle to see how unsuitable it is for the vast majority of hunters. Probably 99.9% of hunters.
Reviews are exactly that, reviews of the product they experienced. People don't write a review on an item they have never tried, or they would call it opinions with star ratings. Show me a review that says, this chainsaw looks like it won't be a good fit for yard work, ive never used this one but if I were going to buy one I would not buy this one. . .
You have an opinion and that's ok. You just don't know what you are talking about when it comes to this subject is all I am trying to convey.
 

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Amen ... What about all the little stuff? Changing gloves, clothing adjustments for cold, wind, rain - taking a leak, eating & drinking, using your thermal or binoculars, rangefinding a deer, changing positions when you're stiff, the list of common every hunt things you do become a task. Leg cramps anyone?...lol Not to mention you're strung-up fully visible in plain view. I have a skirt on all my stands that allow me a lot of movement that's hidden from the deer's view. I just don't see a saddle as an enjoyable hunting experience; "quality of the experience" beyond killing the deer. Looks more like Captain Ahab complete with tangled ropes on the side of the white whale to me...lol
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It’s different that’s for sure. I think a lot of the saddle resurgence is hype, but I bit and after a year of doing it I like it. Climbing up with a saddle and a climber bottom is different. Is climbing with that setup enjoyable? Not the first time - my abs were sore the next day. It’s much easier to climb sitting on the shooting rail of a summit than it is with the saddle/climber bottom. It takes some getting used to and it definitely helps if your in shape. Even if you think you are, it’ll be interesting when you do it the first time. Is it night and day faster? I dunno I can climb up a tree pretty fast with a summit climber top and bottom. Took three hunts to actually trust the setup and lean back against the saddle with confidence. I definitely tend to move more in a saddle than a climber. Fidgeting and moving side to side, even the slightest bit is easy to do in a saddle. Have I alerted/scared away deer that I wouldnt of if I was in a climber or lock on? Probably. I tend to sit down and straddle the tree with legs on either side for most of the hunt. Then stand and lean when it gets closer to prime time. Obviously it’s important to attach a rope to the climber bottom so it doesn’t get away from you. It can be enjoyable when you get used to it just like anything else. But im not gonna lie it is more physical. Now if you’ve got steps already setup w/ a platform or somebody that you can get to do it for you then it’s much more convenient and enjoyable compared to the saddle climber platform combo, or even the run and gun saddle/stick combo
 

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My current setup is 5-6 wild edge steps, a aerohunter kite saddle, and for my platform I use a ridge runner, or a perch. I also have a little bit of a hybrid setup where I use my summit featherweight switch, gonna use this on all day or longer sits this year alot more. I'm quite smooth with this setup after years of tweaking and finding my own setup.
 

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Mountain Man have you thought about switching to the Mini-Viper? I hunted out of a mini-viper for 15 years and had the opportunity pick up a Viper SD cheap from a friend they had won one in a raffle. I sold my Mini and hunted out of the Viper SD for 1 season. I couldn’t sell the Viper fast enough. There is a noticeable difference in bulk and weight between the viper and mini-viper. I bought a new Mini-Viper and won’t make that mistake again. I feel it is a little more snug but I like that in case I doze off. It still has a 300 pound weight rating as well. Just a thought……
 

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Me and my friends hunt out of saddles, 67,67,66 yrs old, so age is not an issue. Most that "can't see" the saddle, haven't used one, that was me 2 years ago (just like you Duke!) That being said, hang on and climbers work great. If I hunted all day I may actually prefer a comfortable climber. I feel the saddle is very comfortable andI'm since most of my hunting is never in the same spot, it is easier for me to be mobile and easier to carry, that's why I sold my loan wolf sit and climb. Happy with your stand or climber...keep using it,but the saddle is very safe and easy to use with a little practice
 

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Good read, I see eye to eye with this fella. I feel I was saying the same things he did.
Strikes me ... that saddle hunting almost looks like it lends itself better to vertical bow hunting than shoulder fired weapon hunting. I've hung out of TreeLounges with 11lb rifles, and it was awkward as heck. Whereas swinging a vertical bow into odd positions seems more natural. Plus the vertical is much lighter.
 

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Strikes me ... that saddle hunting almost looks like it lends itself better to vertical bow hunting than shoulder fired weapon hunting. I've hung out of TreeLounges with 11lb rifles, and it was awkward as heck. Whereas swinging a vertical bow into odd positions seems more natural. Plus the vertical is much lighter.
That is accurate, that's not to say that it's more difficult or impossible in any way. It's just that the very nature of shooting a vertical bow is very well suited in a saddle. I've killed a handful of deer with a rifle out of the saddle, and a single boar hog w/ the xbow out of the saddle. It 100% takes getting comfortable and familiar with. I used a stabilizer stick that you rest in you hip pocket and it acts like a shooting stick. Pretty stable too. It's called the hip shot by truglo.
 

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Do you guys that saddle hunt have trees set up to climb in advance with tree steps or tree ladders in place already? I keep seeing y'all say you can set up as fast or faster than you can using a climber and I will bet that if you have to start from scratch in the dark I will be in my climber 25 feet up a tree in my climber before you have your steps screwed in place or your ladder attached to the tree safely and I am 72 with bad rotator cuffs in both shoulders. I hardly ever climb the same tree twice in a week or so and rarely even hunt on the same ridge twice in a row.
 

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I can only speak for me, so no I set up and tear down every single time. My theory is slow is smooth smooth is fast. . . Cleche sure, but absolutely true. I apply that to all my setups no matter the gear. IMHO speed is not the key, especially in the ways I hunt. I need simplicity, stealth, and speed equally. It also really depends on thw gear you use, i use wild edge rope on steps, I put my first one a belly button height and the next on as high above my head as I can reach and secure it. I then pull myself up and clip into the second step with a beaer on my riggers belt and repeat I place the next step as high above my head as I can reach and secure it, I get about 4-4.5' in between steps. I typically don't need to go higher but I can get to 24' with 6 steps. That's well under 10 minutes. I don't need to be faster than that, it's about as fast as I feel safe and not forgetting something.
 

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Me and my friends hunt out of saddles, 67,67,66 yrs old, so age is not an issue. Most that "can't see" the saddle, haven't used one, that was me 2 years ago (just like you Duke!) That being said, hang on and climbers work great. If I hunted all day I may actually prefer a comfortable climber. I feel the saddle is very comfortable andI'm since most of my hunting is never in the same spot, it is easier for me to be mobile and easier to carry, that's why I sold my loan wolf sit and climb. Happy with your stand or climber...keep using it,but the saddle is very safe and easy to use with a little practice
I sold ... my Lone Wolf too...LOL Kept my Summit Viper instead. :p ;)
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When I use my saddle it's set up and take down each set, I also sit on the ground when it makes sense. Don't doubt you may be able to get into a tree with climber faster, but only straight trees with no limbs! I use an excalibur micro, easily. I don't hear anyone talk about this but with a low teather in the leaning position, I can literally shoot 360 just standing on my platform(learn to shoot with both hands and it's very easy). But, I will say that other than being more versatile and easier to carry, I wouldn't say the saddle makes a good climber obsolete
 

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Well, I bit the bullet and ordered a Cruzr saddle, Beast gear sticks and all the fixings from tethrd. This is a expensive experiment but in my almost 60 years I have wasted money on a lot worst. After all my research and great comments from the nation I have to try it. My three sons think I’m crazy but all we ever hunted from was summit vipers, that’s all they know and that’s how I taught the to bow hunt. I will be sure to update my progress when I receive my new gear. Practice will be the key to making this a enjoyable hunting experience.
 

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Well, I bit the bullet and ordered a Cruzr saddle, Beast gear sticks and all the fixings from tethrd. This is a expensive experiment but in my almost 60 years I have wasted money on a lot worst. After all my research and great comments from the nation I have to try it. My three sons think I’m crazy but all we ever hunted from was summit vipers, that’s all they know and that’s how I taught the to bow hunt. I will be sure to update my progress when I receive my new gear. Practice will be the key to making this a enjoyable hunting experience.
did u order the tethrd predator platform? if so, regular or XL?

your set up is close to my first setup -- I got hawk helium sticks (they were on sale).

I am a size 12.5 shoe -- and although the predator xl fits -- I wonder if the regular would have worked (I am always looking to lighten the load).

Good luck -- and practice in your backyard if you can -- to get comfortable with the system.

Jerry
 

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Mountain Man have you thought about switching to the Mini-Viper? I hunted out of a mini-viper for 15 years and had the opportunity pick up a Viper SD cheap from a friend they had won one in a raffle. I sold my Mini and hunted out of the Viper SD for 1 season. I couldn’t sell the Viper fast enough. There is a noticeable difference in bulk and weight between the viper and mini-viper. I bought a new Mini-Viper and won’t make that mistake again. I feel it is a little more snug but I like that in case I doze off. It still has a 300 pound weight rating as well. Just a thought……
Glad you like the Mini Viper.

Like Iron Duke, I also tried a Lone Wolf, but sold that and kept my Viper.

Yes, the standard size aluminum Viper is 4” longer on both the top and bottom pieces, which adds the bulk you are referring to. Both the standard aluminum and mini are the same width. There are pros and cons to the standard size, IMHO. With the standard size, you can use a Hazmore net seat (which importantly, sits higher than factory seat). The Hazmore seat allows you to sit with your feet/knees/legs in a comfortable position WHILE ALSO having the top climber piece lower. In other words, the rail is still there to support your body and legs, YET it is now lower allowing a vertical bow more clearance and added leg stability. For me this was an improvement to the Summit Open Shot for vertical bows (for those that don’t know, the Open Shot is essentially a rail-less Viper). The con to the roomy standard size Viper is that, yes, it’s bulkier for someone my size (5’7”) to carry. I make it work, but it comes closer to bumping my head and I occasionally catch my legs/heels and have even tripped before. It’s also two pounds heavier.

I plan to try the Mini Viper this year where I go in a little further and still want to use a climber. I use the vertical bow less the past five years, so I find the standard size less necessary. My plan is NOT to use a Hazmore net seat that sits higher on the Mini because I want to have the upper climber piece higher with there being 4 less inches of leg room and the fact that I won’t be using a vertical bow out of it. I think I will cut the back area of the seat off because I only need the underportion and do not want to add another strap around the tree to deal with. I will definitely use Third Hand Archery straps on it, too. They are a must have, IMHO, for stability and safety.
 
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