As more and more hunters switch over to the tree saddle, you’re going to see more and more products geared specifically for those that saddle hunt. It can be quite easy to get caught up in all of the different gear and accessories, but what remains the same are the basic items you need to saddle hunt.
The Tree Saddle
Arguably the most important piece of equipment you will need to saddle hunt is, you guessed it, the saddle. There are a handful of different manufacturers making saddles, and it really just comes down to your preference on which one you want. I do recommend that you do lots of research on what you are purchasing, as this will be what keeps you held in safely while up in the tree. Along with your saddle, you will want an amsteel bridge to connect to your tree tether once you are at hunting height.
Lineman's Belt & Tree Tether
A lineman’s belt is what you will use when ascending and descending the tree. This rope will go around the trunk of the tree, and connect to your saddle to give you the ability to use your hands without falling as you are climbing up or down. This is especially helpful when hanging your climbing sticks or your platform.
The tree tether is used once you have reached your desired hunting height, and are ready to hunt. The tether goes around the tree aobe your head, and connects to your amsteel bridge on your saddle with a carabiner to hold you in place while hunting.
Both the lineman’s belt and the tree tether are crucial in ensuring that you have a safe hunt, and should never be overlooked if you plan to saddle hunt.
Since most people choose to saddle hunt for the lightweight mobility aspect, you will want to be attentive to the overall weight and size of your climbing sticks/ladders. As a mobile hunter, you want your overall setup to be as light as possible, so taking note of the weight of the climbing sticks you purchase is very important. If you plan to saddle hunt the same area, and don’t plan on taking your sticks down every time you hunt, then the weight might not matter as much to you. Regardless, you will need a set of climbing sticks, ladders, or screw-in steps to saddle hunt.
I have the platform last on this list because I am aware that some people do not use a platform to saddle hunt. It is possible for one to hunt from the highest climbing stick or ladder. However, from my personal experience, if you plan on hunting for longer periods of time you will want a platform. My reasoning for this is because I found out very quickly that your feet and ankles become rather uncomfortable standing on your climbing sticks.
My Personal Setup
My current setup that I use to saddle hunt is pretty simple overall.
The saddle I use is a Tethrd Phantom, and I absolutely love it. For my tether and lineman’s I use the ropes sold on Tethrd’s website. I have also added two ropeman ascenders. One is for my tether, and the other for my lineman’s. These acsenders make adjusting on the fly a breeze.
For my climbing method, I am currently using API Huntin’ Sticks, but will be upgrading to Tethrd sticks in the future.
Lastly, for my platform I have the Tethrd Predator XL, and I love it. The overall size of the platform gives me the ability to hunt from many different positions comfortably.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, there are numerous different brands, and numerous different accessories to choose from when looking to saddle hunt.
To see any of the gear I mentioned, check out https://tethrdnation.com/.