tree saddles

Have you ever fallen? Share your story ... it might save someone else's life!
WidoeMaker
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby WidoeMaker » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:09 pm

I will give ya'all some tips about make the treesaddle comfortable. And trust me, when you figure it out, you will absolutly love it!!! First of all, Deano, sorry my friend, but you went about it all wrong.  This piece of equipment needs A LOT of practice.  It is unlike anything you ever hunted out of, so you need to get use to it.  Nobody is going to master it in a day.  Dont give up on it.  Here are some tips:
-Platform: I like to use ameristep strap on steps.  I cut the straps off about 3-4 steps and put them all on one ratchet strap.  I then space the steps around the tree however I want to. The strap-on steps are wider than standard steps and a lot more comfortable.  Another platform I use is a treeseat.  You can get a steel treeseat for $20.  I have a gorilla steel and I have the aluminum.  The steel was $20 and the aluminum $40.  I like the aluminum for long treks.  I will use the treeseat the rest my feet on and put a couple more steps around the tree to get 360 degree shooting.
 
-make sure the thing fits you.  The only time the treesaddle gets uncomfortable is when it rides up your back.  I tell most people to buy a size down.  The saddles run pretty true.  If you are a shorter guy, I would deffinitly buy a size down.  I am 6'2 230 38in waist and I were a large.  My buddy is 210 and only 5'11 and he weres a medium.  I would try to buy it at cabelas or somewhere with good customer service so you can exchange the size if you need to.  Try it on, if you can not tighten the stap around your waist, it is too big.  When you get the right size and figure out how to set up properly, it will be the most comfortable stand you own.
-Which one? The Roadtrips is most comfortable because it is leather and it molds to you. the ambush is the least comfortable, but that is the one I use and I can sit in it all day.
-Position: I am in almost a complete sitting position most of the time.  My knees will not quit be at 90 degrees.  If your butt gets tired, just stand up and stretch.  you can ajdust your drap with the lead strap to various positions.  I recommend the kneepads for early season hunts when you have on light clothing.  You dont need theirs.  I got $5 ones from Wally World.
-lead strap: the video shows attaching the lead strap way above your head.  I find this way, the angle is too sharp and the stap can get in your way.  I like the lead stap hook just above my face. 
-I dont wear the shoulder straps and chest strap.  I just let em hang down.  My firends cut theirs off.  I wear binoculars with a harness and I found the shoulder straps got in my way.  They are not nessessary when in the tree, but I do use them when I hike in wearing my saddle. 
-practice,practice,practice,practice You need to practice shooting from this thing.  Have a buddy help you and put targets in various postions.  Make sure you wear all your gear.  Dont practice in blue jeans and a tee shirt.  you need to practice walking around a tree and getting shooting various angles.  It doesnt take much to master, but you cant do it in a day.  depending on your skill level, you can be pretty comfortable with it in a weeks time.  You will learn little pieces everytime you go out that will help you.
If you think you will like a product like this: GET IT!!!!! You will love it.  IF you are worried, buy it from Cabelas and you can returen it if you dont like it.  I gaurnteed once you master it, all your other stands will be obsulete.  This will create more opertunities. Your stands will never get stolen, you can tree hop to adjuct to changing deer movements.
 
one of my favorite things about it is hunting destinations spots.  How many of you spend all that time putting in food plots and have a big mature doe bust you before "bubba" shows up.  Everybody I know has the doe busting my story.  I like the saddle because I will keep the tree between me and the deer. Sometimes I have 20 deer on my food plot and they never bust my because the tree is in front of me.  When a shooter comes in the plot, I just take one step and get a shot.  It is leathal.  I feel like a "Tree Ninja"
 
Do yourself a favor and try it.  You wont regret it.

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:49 am

Hey Widoemaker, welcome to the forums and thanks for your feedback.  Some really great ideas...espcially the one about using the ameristeps with a rachet for the platform...that will take care of one of the issues I was having.  I have not by any stretch given up on the saddle...far from it and as problematic as my first experience was, when i finally got situated I found the saddle to be very comfortable.  As i said, my season was coming to close that day, so I pushed the envelope and decided to hunt it that day...a fire by baptism of sorts and as you said not the recommended approach.  Your comments are spot on about the sizing, I think mine might be slightly larger than i needed..I am able to cinch the waist belt as tight as it will go and it still feels a little loose and the leg straps are completely loose..of course I did not have all my garb on so it may be ok once put on everything.  Unfortunately i purchaed mine on Ebay so returning it is not an option, but I think I will be ok...a medium probably would have fit me better, I'm 5'8" and a 34" waist.
Also spot on are your comments regarding the height of the lead strap...placing it as far above your head as you can reach cuts down the angle and if your hanging on an especially thick tree it only amplifies the issue.  I will try at face level and i think that should fix the other problem I was having.  As I've said before my biggest issue seems to be getting up the tree in the first place.  I've been using the screw in steps and while others seem to have little issue with it for me it was labor intensive and exhasting at times.  I'm sure I could use ladders or climbing sticks but quite honestly i wanted to avoid having to lug that stuff into the woods with me...that was part of the appeal in getting the saddle...it was lightweight, self contained system that would allow me to quickly and quietly get up a tree, hook-in and hunt as you said "ninja" style.  perhaps i need more practice with the screw in steps or maybe I just need to by a bunch of ameristeps with ratchet straps and that will solve the problem.  Eitherway the appeal of being able to hunt from just about any tree, and do so quickly and quietly with the saddle makes it all worthwhile and I'll be practicing a lot with for the upcoming season.  Any more tips or feedback is certainly appreciated...keep'em coming I know there are others here who are curious as well...Turkey Guys has been extremely helpful as well...thanks!

WidoeMaker
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby WidoeMaker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:47 am

Deano-A medium would definitly fit you better.  If you find the large to be a problem, you can sell it on archerytalk easily.  The treesaddle is pretty popular on that fourm.

I just seen the ameristep strap-on steps on gaundermountain.com for $16 for a three pack.  That is not bad, for a lot of places want $10 a step.  My favorite platform by far is the tree seat.  The aluminum one is only 3 pounds, so it is easy to haul in and out of the woods.   As for as getting up the tree, I dont know about packing in an entire set-up.  I hunt mostly private land, so most of my trees are already set up with screw in steps.  The only thing I will haul in is my treeseat.  I have hauled 5 ameristep rapid rails when hunting Shiawassee Refuge here in Michigan, but I used a mountain bike and a little trailer I made that I pulled with the bike. 

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:52 pm

Thanks widoemaker I'll definately check Gander mountain and for now I think I'll be ok with the ameristeps for a platform, I'd just assume not have to worry about carrying in anything else other than my bow, steps,. and saddle.  At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot I'd be interested to here more about your screw in steps...how far do you space them going up the tree...and again i know this sounds ridiculous but I had such a hard time screwin them in while I was climbing. I wish i could say it was because my upper body strength just wan't there but thats not the case...i'm in pretty good shape and workout regularly.  I use the waist harness that comes with the saddle while I'm going up the tree...but still ti was difficult, maybe I'm doing somethign wrong?  i dunno, maybe I'm making a bigger issue out of it than need be and I just need to suck it up and get used to the process.  Also, what do you do with your pack and your quiver?  Do you hang your bow on a screw in hanger?

WidoeMaker
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby WidoeMaker » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:02 am

That does not sound ridiculous.  Screwing in steps is very hard when your hanging in a tree.  To help your step problem, I would just pre-pick your trees well before season begins.  I am scouting and preping trees right now.  You dont have to leave your steps in the tree, but when you set your trees early, you can just put your steps in the same holes.  You should have a bunch of trees preped well before season.  That is one of the best things about this great tool: you can have a ton of spots ready to go with one stand. I will have up to 50 spots cleared and ready to go well before season.  I will never hunt that many different spots, but if one heats up, I am ready to go.  Of course, not all these spots have steps in them, but the lanes are cleared and the tree is preped.  I will shimmy up the tree, my buddy will clear lanes, then I will climb down taking the steps out as I decend.  All I have to do then is put my steps in the same holes as when I preped the tree.  I do this with secondary spots.  I will have my primary spots ready to go with steps and all, but if they are not working out, I have a plan B.  As far as roaming and picking a spot during season, do not do it the same day you want to hunt.  Hunt a mounring stand you already have preped, then after your hunt, do some light scouting.  What I mean by light, is dont go thrashing through bedding areas in season.  If you see a spot you want to hunt, put your steps up and clear some lanes LIGHTLY.  You do not want to clear too many lanes during season.  Deer WILL notice!!!!  Once that spot is preped, hunt it another day.  Trying to scout, prep a spot, and hunt it all at once is very hard.  It can be done, but it is much better to have your spots ready to go well before season.  Get out now!!!!  This is an awsome time to scout.  Go through those bedding areas and spots you would not go to during season because you were afraid of bumping deer.  I like to scout before green up because I can see all the previous years rut sign.  That is what I am interested in.  Not nessesarly huge runways(because most runways look huge this time of year), but BUCK sign.  I want to know where them multiple scrape sights and big rubs are.  Rut sign is perinnial unless the layout of the land changes.  So if you find big scrapes and rubs, most likely they will be in the same area the following season. 

As far as my pack and quiver: I use a catquiver by Rancho Safari, so my pack and quiver are one piece.  you can google it if you dont know what I am talking about.  I think mine is the Catquiver III. I like to shoot with my quiver off my bow.  I have one hook on the left side of the tree for my bow(I am right handed) and I have one hook on the right side for my pack.  My pack and quiver are one, so I dont have to worry about finding a place to put two seperate things.  I wear a harness for my binoculars( that is why I dont wear the shoulder staps of the saddle, I just let em hang down).  I have several buddies that dont use a catquiver, they just took a quikey quiver and zip tied it to their pack.  

Hope this helps.  Keep the questions comming.     

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:19 am

Thanks again widoemaker....I am in fact scouting right now, looking for good sign and setting up trees accordingly.  I had thought about predrilling and pulling the steps but was afraid the holes might close.  Seems like thats not an issue for you...do you screw them in by hand, use a drill or some other device?  I've seen these hand -crankers out there that allow you the leverage to crank them in.  I was hoping I could run and gun and that was part of the appeal of the saddle but as you said and based on the one time I went out..trying to set up a tree from scratch and hunt it the same day is probably a bridge too far.  Got it on how you hang your bow and pack...I'll zip tie a kwikee clip to my pack.  One more question...do you mount any scre-in steps above the platform ones?  I found once I got to platform height I needed at least a step or two above that to pull myself on the platform so i could tie off?

WidoeMaker
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby WidoeMaker » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:48 am

I have a treestep tool. The link is http://www.treesteptool.com Ameristep also makes one that my buddy uses.  These tools are great.  Ameristep make a drillbit that you can connect a step to also.  I do not mount any steps above the platform height.  I usually dont climb with the safety strap(which I do not recommend. That is my own stupidity).  I get to my platform, then I connect the safety strap.  I pull the safety stap till I am tight againt the tree in a standing position, then I tie my lead strap.  Once my lead strap is is secure, I undo my safety strap.  From that point, I loosen my drape until I am in a sitting position or which ever position you are more comfortable.  Another thing I do is once I am straped in, I loosen the waist strap all the way out.  I dont like it tight on my waist.  This allows for more movement and added comfort.  The saddle is still 100% safe when you do this. 

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:23 am

Yes, that was the tool I had been looking at as well...also considered climbing spikes but I don't know how safe or practical they are?  If you don't mount any steps above the platform height how are you getting on the platform?  I guess just bear hug the tree and pull yourself up?  Also, what ratchet strap brand, length, width do you recommend for the platform steps?  Appreciate all the help, I'll be getting out there in the coming weeks to try setting up a few sites and practicing...I'll keep you and TG posted.

WidoeMaker
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:29 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby WidoeMaker » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:59 am

I use climbing spikes to clear branches that I can not reach with my pole saw.  They are very safe if you practice with them.  The cool part about the treesaddle is you dont need to buy a seperate lineman harness with your spikes.  Your saddle is already a harness with a lineman belt.  I can shimmy up a tree in seconds with my spikes, but I have been climbing with spikes for a lot of years.  I dont know what you mean by pulling yourself up to your platform.  I just put steps all the way to my platform.  My platform will be my last step.  As far as straps go, I dont have a particular brand.  I just buy a 4 pack of heavy duty straps from my local hardware.

DeanoZ
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:06 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:50 am

I guess I meant what are you grabbing (above the platform) to help pull yourself up once you step on the platform steps...with no other steps above the platform I can only assume you grab around the trunk of the tree above the paltform as you step up on the platform.  Do you think using the climbing spikes in lieu of using screw in steps to get up to the platform is a practicle alternative or would they interfere with moving around on the platform?

PreviousNext

Return to Tree Stands

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests