If you’re looking to elevate your hunting experience – and we mean, literally elevate – then saddle hunting is your ticket. But really, what is saddle hunting?
In a nutshell, it’s a hunting method where you use a hunting saddle and tether system to suspend yourself from a tree, much like an arborist. It’s a lightweight, flexible, and incredibly versatile way to hunt from an elevated position.
Aside from that, it offers numerous advantages to level up your quarrel with your desired hunt. Sounds fun, right?
So buckle up, and this post will embark on the adventure that awaits in the treetops with saddle hunting!
Table of Contents
How does Saddle Hunting Work?
Picture this: You’re stealthily suspended from a tree, blending seamlessly with your surroundings, eyes on your target, and heart racing with anticipation. That’s saddle hunting for you!
But let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of how it works:
Before starting your saddle-hunting journey, it’s important to have some key items on hand. These include a tree saddle, tether, lineman’s belt, a safe climbing method like climbing sticks, and proper safety equipment such as a carabiner and harness.
Again, make you have all the needed items before heading afield. You don’t want to compromise your saddle-hunting setup, right?
First, you’ll need to find a suitable tree. With saddle hunting, you have more options than a traditional stand since you can use just about any sturdy tree to bear your weight.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you’ll use any tree climbing methods you want to ascend to the tree, such as climbing sticks or a rock climbing harness. You stay tethered to the tree for safety during the entire climbing process.
Once you’ve reached your desired height, you set up your tether around the tree and connect it to the saddle’s bridge. After adjusting it to the right height, you can safely remove the lineman’s belt.
After settling into the saddle, you find a comfortable position to sit or lean. This might take a bit of trial and error initially. Heck, even saddle hunters found this difficult at first.
But with practice, you’ll find a position that allows for prolonged comfort.
From your advantageous spot, you can shoot in almost any direction, stealthily adjusting your position as your desired game species approaches.
Slowly adjust your position around the tree to keep it in your line of sight. When the time is right, take a deep breath, draw your bow or raise your firearm, and make your shot count!
This gives you a unique advantage, especially when hunting unpredictable game species like deer, elk, and wild turkeys.
Advantages of Saddle Hunting
As you leave the ground behind and ascend into the trees, saddle hunting presents a unique blend of benefits that can greatly enhance your hunting experience.
It’s a game-changer, a way to transform your relationship with nature while pursuing your quarry.
Lightweight & Portable
If you’re looking for a portable and efficient option for hunting, saddles are a great choice.
They are much lighter and more compact than traditional tree stands, so you can easily maneuver through the woods and relocate quickly if necessary.
One of the advantages of saddle tree hunting is that you can set up in almost any tree that can support your weight safely.
The tree doesn’t have to be perfectly straight or without branches, allowing you to have a wider selection of potential hunting locations.
360-Degree Shooting Range
When hunting from a saddle, you can silently rotate around the tree to aim and shoot in any direction. This full-range mobility is a game-changer, especially when hunting unpredictable game species like deer.
Safety and Stealth
Saddle hunting can be safer than hunting from a traditional tree stand. You’re tethered to the tree the entire time you’re off the ground, significantly reducing the risk of falls.
And with your body hugging the tree, you’re less likely to be detected by dangerous game species like bears. Plus, this is advantageous as being almost invisible to wildlife, making hunting pressure relatively lesser.
Tree Saddles VS. Tree Stand
When choosing your hunting platforms, tree saddle hunting and tree stand hunting have unique benefits and considerations. These methods can significantly influence your hunting experience.
But really, what makes the tree saddle method ideal from the tree stand method? Well, let’s find out.
- Mobility: Unlike a tree saddle, a tree stand is much more bulky and heavy, making moving from place to place harder.
- Versability: To set up a nice platform for tree stands hunting, you must find a more ideal tree: straight, with few lower branches.
- Stealth: Hunting using a tree stand method exposes you to different game species. Hence, adjusting your position can create more attention.
- Shooting Range: If you hunt in a tree stand, your shooting range will be more limited since it doesn’t allow 360-degree shooting.
What To Hunt Using Saddle Method?
Aside from its benefits from your hunting experience, it can also be a fantastic choice to hunt various game species, specifically for these games:
Saddle hunting is a favorite among deer hunters, especially those who use a bow. The 360-degree shooting range that a saddle provides is ideal for these quick, alert animals.
Deer are notorious for their last-minute changes in direction, and being in a saddle allows you to quickly and quietly adjust your position without the species noticing your presence.
When turkey hunting, mobility can be a major asset. Turkeys are often on the move, and the lightness of a saddle can allow you to easily relocate to a better spot if the birds aren’t cooperating.
Saddle hunting enthusiasts can find hogs to be ideal prey. These creatures tend to roam in thick and inaccessible regions, making it challenging to use a conventional tree stand.
A saddle can allow you to set up in a wider variety of trees, giving you more opportunities to get in the right position.
Although it can be more difficult due to the large size and alertness of elk, some hunters have been successful in using saddle hunting techniques to hunt them.
The key here is the mobility and versatility of the saddle, allowing you to set up in the perfect spot in various types of trees.
Tree Saddle Deer Hunting
Like I’ve said, tree saddle hunting is quickly becoming a go-to choice for deer hunters, and for a good reason!
Let’s explore further why deer hunters opt for this method to hunt deer.
Helps to Camouflage
Deer are known for their keen senses, so staying concealed is crucial.
With a tree saddle, you can position yourself on the opposite side of the tree from the approaching deer, effectively using the tree trunk as a natural barrier.
The minimal movement required to adjust your shooting angle further reduces the chances of alerting deer to your presence.
Deer are unpredictable and can change direction at a moment’s notice.
Tree saddle hunting allows you to quietly rotate around the tree, aiming and shooting in any direction without making noisy adjustments. This full-range mobility is especially beneficial for taking advantage of fleeting opportunities.
Minimal Hunting Pressure
Deer can become skittish when they detect the presence of humans in their environment.
Tree saddle hunting leaves a smaller footprint than traditional tree stands, reducing the likelihood of spooking deer away from your hunting area.
Now you know why every saddle hunter has this method in their top arsenal. It offers a dynamic, versatile, and stealthy approach to hunting, enhancing one’s chances to bag their desired game species,
Do you want to put this newly acquired knowledge to the test? Explore the hunting opportunities that suit you in our hunting-by-states guide.