Are you looking to take your hunting to the next level? Saddle hunting is the perfect way to do that. It’s a great way to challenge yourself, connect with nature, and achieve freedom.
You don’t have to be an expert to get started; you just need the right saddle-hunting gear and an understanding of how to saddle hunt.
In this article, we’ll provide everything you need to know before you begin saddle hunting. From essential gear to safety tips, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!
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Saddle Hunting 101
Saddle hunting is a mobile and flexible way of hunting that provides numerous benefits. It’s lighter and quieter than other elevated hunting methods. Plus, it offers the hunter more shooting positions than a traditional tree stand.
The saddle hunting kit includes a saddle, platform, and climbing sticks. Accessories such as a climbing belt, knee pads, a back band, and mechanical ascenders can make the hunt easier and more enjoyable.
Beginner saddle hunters may be intimidated by the process, but the transition can be smooth and safe with the right tools and knowledge. With its safety features, lightweight nature, and mobility, saddle hunting is worth trying and is one of the most satisfying hunting styles.
How to Saddle Hunt
Saddle hunting has become increasingly popular, with 75% of public land hunters now using the style due to its light weight and mobility. This makes it a great way to hunt in a variety of environments.
It can take some time to get used to saddle hunting and to figure out the right gear setup and positioning for success. But with patience and practice, you’ll soon find yourself taking advantage of the mobility and accuracy this hunting style offers.
It’s important always to stay connected to the tree when saddle hunting and use safety harnesses and lifelines for added protection. You’ll also want to keep in mind the clearance of the limbs and trunk of the tree when shooting.
For a successful saddle hunting experience, it’s important to have the proper equipment, including a tree saddle, linesman rope, tree tether, climbing method, and platform.
Saddle hunting allows for easy navigation through the forest and the ability to switch trees quickly to remain hidden, making for a satisfying hunting experience.
Essential Gear for Saddle Hunting
Saddle hunting is an exciting way to hunt, but you’ll need a few essential pieces of gear to get started.
You’ll need a tree saddle, tether, lineman belt, tree straps, and carabiners.
A platform can make the hunt more comfortable, and you shouldn’t forget your safety equipment.
Note that these are saddle hunting gear basics. These items are necessary for a successful and safe hunt, so ensure you have all the gear before you head out.
You’ll need your own tree saddle to start saddle hunting. Remember, tons of tree saddles are in the market, so find the one that fits you comfortably. Finding the right tree saddle can make all the difference in your saddle-hunting experience.
A proper-fitting tree saddle should be snug without discomfort and have straps that hold it in place while you move about. Look for a tree saddle that is lightweight and durable, and made of high-quality materials.
Try on different saddles to find the one that works best for you. Once you’ve found the perfect tree saddle, you can make your saddle-hunting dreams come true.
Tether and lineman belt
You’ll need a lineman belt and tether to saddle hunt safely. It’s important to ensure your tether is long enough to take full advantage of the mobility saddle hunting provides.
On average, a lineman belt and tether should be at least 15 feet long to ensure safety. This will allow you to move around the tree and get into the perfect position for a shot.
Double-check that your tether is secure before climbing and that the lineman belt fits securely around your waist. With the right tools and proper safety measures, saddle hunting can be a safe and fun way.
Tree straps and carabiners
To make your tree saddle hunting experience even safer, you’ll need tree straps and carabiners to attach your tether to the tree securely.
Tree straps are designed to wrap around a tree trunk and create a loop to attach a carabiner. The carabiner then connects the tether to the tree strap.
Tree straps are available in various lengths and are adjustable, making it easy to fit around any tree. This is important as it will ensure that your tether is securely attached and will not come undone while hunting.
Carabiners are also essential as they are strong, easy to attach, and can have a locking mechanism to ensure your tether stays in place.
Having the right tree straps and carabiners can give you peace of mind that you are hunting safely and securely while maximizing your freedom and mobility.
Now that you’ve got the basics of saddle hunting down, it’s time to look into this gear to make your experience even more comfortable.
One of the most important pieces of equipment is the platform. This lightweight platform attaches to your saddle and gives you a place to rest your feet. It can provide extra cushioning and make it easier to get in and out of the saddle.
When selecting a platform, ensure it fits your saddle correctly and is lightweight and sturdy. Platforms come in various sizes and materials, so you can find the one that best suits your needs.
No matter where you hunt, you must be equipped with the right safety gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
When saddle hunting, you must always be connected to the tree with a safety harness and lifeline, which act as the lifelines to your hunting adventure. A safety harness keeps you safe and secure while in the saddle, and the lifeline attaches to your harness and provides an extra layer of safety.
Inspect all your gear before hunting, and always wear your safety harness and lifeline when saddle hunting. With the right safety equipment, you can enjoy the freedom of saddle hunting and the adventure that comes with it.
Safety Tips for Saddle Hunters
If you take the proper precautions, saddle hunting is a safe and enjoyable way to hunt. Always use high-quality gear, choose the right tree, and practice proper technique. You’ll also need patience and practice to become an expert, but the rewards are worth it.
So take your time, and have fun learning the ropes of this thrilling and unique way to hunt.
Always use high-quality gear
When saddle hunting, it’s important to always use high-quality gear for safety and comfort. By investing in the best equipment, you can ensure the best experience possible.
The right gear can make all the difference in a successful, enjoyable hunting trip. Quality saddles, tree tethers, and climbing sticks are essential for a safe and comfortable hunting experience. Ensuring your gear is up-to-date and in good condition is also important.
Failure to use quality gear can lead to accidents or a less enjoyable experience. Quality gear can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment in the long run. Investing in reliable, high-quality gear will ensure a pleasant and safe hunting experience.
Choose the right tree
Now that you’ve chosen the right gear for saddle hunting, the next step is to find the right tree. Selecting the right tree is essential for a successful hunt.
It’s important to find a sturdy tree to support your weight and has enough branches and limbs to provide support and stability. Look for trees with a diameter of at least 8-10 inches and no signs of rot or decay, as these can be dangerous.
Ensure the tree trunk is straight and the branches evenly spaced for easy climbing. Also, keep in mind the tree’s height to the ground and the surrounding area to ensure you’ll have a clear view of your target.
Practice proper technique
Practice proper techniques to ensure a successful saddle hunt. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the ropes and straps to ensure you’re comfortable and secure.
Position yourself in a way that allows maximum comfort and mobility, whether you choose to lean or sit. It’s important to remember that you must always be connected to the tree, either through a tether or lifeline.
Before you start your hunt, practice getting in and out of the saddle. With a little practice, you’ll be able to easily maneuver in and out of the saddle, giving you the freedom to make the most of your hunting experience.
Stay alert and mindful of your environment while hunting from the saddle; be aware of any potential risks and take the necessary precautions.
Before setting up your saddle, pay attention to the ground below you and ensure nothing has changed since you scouted the area. As you climb the tree, note any branches that could move and cause you to fall.
In the saddle, keep your ears open for any wildlife nearby and scan the area before you for any movement. Finally, check your gear to ensure everything is secure and you’re connected to the tree 100% of the time.
Choosing the right tree
Every saddle hunter knows this: the right tree selection is very crucial. There are several factors to consider, including the size and health of the tree, the amount of foliage and branches for cover, the angle of the trunk, and the availability of clear shooting lanes.
However, selecting the wrong tree can lead to potential hazards, such as branches that are too thin and can break, or trees with dead limbs that could cause injury. So, it’s important to take the time to find the right tree for your hunt.
Factors to consider for tree selection
When selecting a tree for saddle hunting, consider the height and stability of the tree, as well as the surrounding environment. Be sure to pick a tree that is tall enough to provide a good view of the area but not too tall that it becomes unstable.
Here are some other important factors to consider when selecting your tree for saddle hunting:
- Check the tree for any dead branches that could break off and fall on you while you’re hunting.
- Ensure the tree is not in a heavily trafficked area or near a road.
- Evaluate the terrain around the tree to ensure the ground is stable enough to support the tree and your weight.
- Examine the tree for any signs of disease or pests that could cause the tree to become unsafe to climb.
- Ensure the tree is not in a location that violates any hunting regulations.
In conclusion, learning how to saddle hunt can be overwhelming initially because of many factors to consider. But I’m telling you, once you’ve mastered it, your next hunt can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Do you want to experience your first saddle-hunting season? You might find our hunt-by-state guide useful when looking for your next hunting destination.