If you are an advanced hunter, perhaps you have experimented with saddle hunting or know someone who has. What started years back is now getting more recognition as hunters realize the high chances of success when saddle hunting.
Hunting is an evolving concept, and each day on the hunt is a lesson that presents hunters with new and innovative ways to make the process easy. One of the few proven methods that can make hunting less bothersome is increasing mobility. And this is where saddle hunting comes in.
Hunting is a game of tactics and practice, and saddle hunting helps you to become good at both. It is not a new invention, but some specific aspects have been introduced to increase its safety and make it more mobile.
If you are interested in tree saddle hunting, this article will clarify all the concerns you might have and everything else you should know. Though it might seem complicated considering the combination of gears, it is no more complicated than learning how to ride a bicycle.
Introduction to Saddle Hunting
A tree saddle uses a combination of gears to enable the hunter to climb any tree and to whatever height they desire. It comprises of
- Tether rope
- And a bridge
Using a hunting saddle is as simple as choosing a tree and climbing to the top. It uses the concept of rock climbing, where the most emphasis lies in the use of a lineman’s belt.
The market has tree-sticks that can make the climbing and descending process simpler. When you reach your desired height, you must secure yourself using the tether rope. A unique carabiner makes the connection easy.
Essential Saddle Hunting Gear You Must Have
Your saddle hunting experience is directly correlated to the gear you will use. Besides the saddle hat you sit on, you need kits to make you comfortable and safe when perched high up a tree.
When choosing a saddle, you must consider your size and ensure there is enough room for you and other hunting accessories you may need. There are many materials to choose from, including breathable and waterproof, among different designs.
A Tether and Lineman’s Belt
A lineman’s belt is useful to all hunters for climbing up the tree as it ensures your safety. It is especially helpful because it has provisions to attach other gears to secure yourself to the tree once you reach your preferred height.
The tether attaches to the tree, and the harness secures your body firmly using the connecting ropes. When setting up, you must strictly follow the steps as any fault compromises your safety and hunt.
The ropes must be firm but lightweight for mobility. Consider using strong carabiners when connecting the ropes to the saddle, tree, and your lineman’s belt to attach and detach easily.
Platforms and Feet Spikes
After the climb, you realize you cannot stay suspended in the air without resting your feet. It helps to take away some of the weight off the saddle as it enhances your comfort. Saddle hunting platforms are also helpful when shifting your position to make a 360-degrees turn when making a shot.
Most saddle hunting accidents come from the transition of the climb to the platform. It would be best if you only stepped on the saddle hunting platform after securing your tether firmly to the tree.
Advantages of Using a Hunting Tree Saddle
Tree saddle hunting is not the same as a tree stand hunting. It is the main reason why there are so many advantages of using a hunting tree saddle. They include
When we discuss the mobility of a hunting saddle, its primary advantage is total freedom of movement. There are no restrictions as to your size or the size of the tree. Neither the tree nor its shape will not limit your shot placement.
Also, mobility means that the system is lightweight and beneficial for hunters who prefer walking to different shooting locations that may be far apart. A hunting saddle is mere pounds, and the additional weight is not straining even when carried over long distances.
Unlike a tree stand that can be limited to the tree’s particular size and shape, a hunting saddle is flexible and usable on a variety of trees and brushes.
A tree saddle offers a 360-degree shot radius, meaning that you can shoot deer if it comes from any direction when perched up the tree. Compared to a tree stand that only offers a 180-degrees radius shot, this is quite an advantage.
Maneuverability is also helpful when you need to hide from the line of sight that the target is approaching. You can make a circular motion on any tree because of this advantage, making you get better shooting positions and increasing your camouflage.
When using a hunting saddle, you do not have a fixed position like a tree stand. Therefore, you can access a variety of shooting angles. You will find that you can lean to 45-degree angles making your shots more precise and accurate.
Shot placements when hunting in dense brushes are not easy to get, but you will get lots of shooting opportunities with a hunting saddle. It’s because you are suspended in the air, where deer is less likely to see you.
Also, the limited risk of falling from your hunting position makes you have decent shot opportunities as you focus on shooting and not safety.
Hunting is all about stealth. Ask any experienced hunter, and they will tell you how important it is to be swift and silent. When hunting from a tree saddle, you have the advantage of stealth and swiftness as movement can be slow and out of sight.
A hunting saddle keeps the tree between you and the dee from whichever direction you want. If the deer cannot catch your posterior, you are in the clear, and you can use camouflage to get entirely out of sight.
Even when deer approaches from any side that leaves you exposed, you can shift until you are out of sight. All it takes is some hip movement and little effort to swing around the tree.
However, it is impossible to have stealth when using a tree stand. The hunting platform protrudes horizontally from the tree, and deer can easily spot you if it approaches from your exposed side.
Typical Concerns When Using a Hunting Saddle
Even though the hunting saddle is better than using a tree stand in so many ways. It is not without fault. There are some drawbacks that most beginner hunters will experience. Here are some concerns about using a hunting saddle.
Comfort Is a Relative Concept
How comfortable you are on the hunting saddle depends entirely on an individual. Even though the saddle can be adjusted to fit almost every person regardless of gender or size, some find it quite uncomfortable. People with a larger frame of the body find that using a saddle is not as comfortable as people with a small frame.
But all hope is not lost, as there are a variety of different sizes in the market, and all you have to do is take time and find the perfect saddle for your size.
Everything that you do not understand seems complex before trying. But like everything else, practice always makes a perfect score. When using a hunting saddle for the first time, be keen on selecting the one that fits well and is easy to use.
Unlike a tree stand, a hunting saddle needs more athleticism and some level of fitness and coordination. It can be a challenge for many people who may opt for other hunting methods that are less tasking.
Shooting from a tree saddle is not as easy as it may appear. There are lots of new and exciting shooting angles that you should learn. Shooting from a suspended position in mid-air is a game-changer. The geometry required when shooting from a hunting saddle is more of the upper body than the lower body. Therefore, the correct posture determines your accuracy and precision.
However, everything about saddle hunting boils down to how much time you spend shooting in one. Before you go for a deer hunt, you may consider taking practice shots if you have a tree in your compound. You will be able to practice shots that you will find useful in the field.
How to Choose a Tree Saddle
A tree saddle is a simple mechanism that does not require a lot of maintenance. Its simple function makes it require very few things to consider when buying a new hunting saddle. They include the following listed features.
- Lightweight and compact
If you want to improve your hunting experience and success, then using a tree hunting saddle is among the gear you need. It has many advantages over both ground and tree stand hunting, thereby making it a modern hunting method. The innovativeness is top-notch, making hunting an efficient experience. Hunters are getting the best experience while ensuring their safety and mobility.