Guide To Tree Saddle Hunting

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Tree saddle hunting is revolutionizing the hunt. It’s not just a method; it’s an art. Imagine ascending a tree, not to a bulky stand, but to a nimble, secure saddle.

It’s a seat, a bridge, a tether rope – your gateway to the heights, your vantage point for the perfect shot.

Forget the clunky treestand. In a tree saddle, you’re part rock climber, part hunter. You choose your tree, your height.

Lightweight sticks guide your climb. At your peak, tether with a carabiner. Secure, ready.

John Eberhart, a whitetail legend, knew this secret for over 15 years. Only recently has the world caught on.

What Is Tree Saddle Hunting?

A tree saddle is an alternative to the use of a treestand when seeking to hunt from an elevated perch. Made up of a seat, bridge, and tether rope, a hunter can ascend to whatever height that they see fit, and tie-off to the tree accordingly.

Instead of sitting in the seat of a stand, you sit in a resting position within the saddle’s mesh seat. This can be closely compared to the use of a rock-climbing harness or a lineman’s belt in each of their respective fields of use.

To use a tree saddle, you simply select your choice of tree to hunt out of and begin climbing to the desired height. Lightweight tree sticks are commonly used as a means of reaching this predetermined height.

read.. which trees do deer love the most?

Once you have completed your climb, you will tie into the tree with the assistance of your tether rope, which encompasses the diameter of the tree and is secured into the bridge of your saddle by way of a specialty carabiner.

With the carabiner clipped in place, you are securely tethered in place.

The use of a tree saddle is hardly a new concept, with recorded usage dating back some thirty-plus years. Perhaps one of the most well-known of these early tree saddle proponents was the highly accomplished whitetail hunter, John Eberhart.

Eberhart stated in 2003 that he had been hunting from a tree saddle for approximately 15 years. Although such early tree saddle usage is well documented, the technique’s rise to mainstream popularity did not come until the past few years. To get a better idea of what tree saddle hunting looks like, check out this video.

Benefits Of Using A Tree Saddle For Hunting

Mobility

It’s light, versatile. Any tree, your tree. Long hikes to remote spots? Your saddle’s an ally, not a burden.

Maneuverability

In a traditional stand, you’re fixed, limited. The tree saddle offers 360-degree freedom. Pivot, turn, face any direction. Every angle is yours.

The hunter perched in this stand faces in a particular direction is required to physically stand and lean around the tree in question if a deer does not approach within the 180-degree radius that a hunter is facing.

Using a tree saddle, you face the tree you are tethered to, allowing a far greater line of sight in every direction. You can also easily maneuver around the tree in a circular motion to access shot opportunities not available at your initial position. 

Precision

Various shot angles are also feasible when hunting out of a tree saddle. This is possible because a hunter is securely tethered to their tree. A hunter can lean to angles of approximately 45 degrees, allowing precise shot placement, even when hunting in dense brush.

Tethered at 45 degrees, you command your shots. Dense brush, tricky angles – no problem.

Stealth

Hunting from a tree saddle also offers the ultimate in stealth (read.. quality hunting face mask). Because you face the tree that you are tethered to, deer cannot easily catch the sight of a hunter’s outline as they approach.

Additionally, you can maneuver in a way that keeps the tree between you and a deer should they approach from an angle that leaves you exposed.

Blend with the tree. Deer approach, unaware. You’re a shadow, an unseen presence.

Common Concerns

Comfort Is Relative

One size does not fit all. Find your fit, find comfort. Some hunters use a platform, shifting weight and adjusting for ease. 

However, several saddle sizes exist, and by properly matching saddle size to your body type, many of these concerns can be alleviated. Many individuals also find it worthwhile to use a platform specifically built for saddle hunting.

Such a product allows a hunter to periodically shift his or her weight and readjust the saddle’s seat portion for increased comfort.

Difficulties With Shooting Form

If you have spent the bulk of your hunting career shooting from a treestand, there will likely be a learning curve involved with shooting from a tree saddle.

This stems from the fact that your body is almost exclusively positioned at a non-vertical angle, making it immensely important to consider upper body geometry to maintain proper form and posture.

It’s different, yes. Practice transforms unfamiliarity into proficiency. Shoot from your yard, mimic hunting scenarios, master your form.

Making The Most Of Tree Saddle Use

Embrace the learning curve. Harness mobility, maneuverability, precision, and stealth. Practice your shots, and know your saddle. Elevate your hunting. Rise above.

Please feel free to comment, as we always appreciate feedback from our readers.

FAQ

What Is Tree Saddle Hunting?

What is it? A tree saddle is your elevated hunting perch. A seat, a bridge, a rope – climb, tether, and hunt. Compare it to a rock-climbing harness, but in the wild, stalking your prey.

Alexander Knobloch

Hi, I'm Alex, the owner of BowAddicted. I've been shooting recurve bow since 2019 and recently got into string walking. I'm passionate about archery, the outdoors, and my kids. This journey has had its share of ups and downs, but the moments spent outside with friends and family are truly worth it. Feel free to get in touch!

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