tree saddles

Have you ever fallen? Share your story ... it might save someone else's life!
the turkey guy
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:39 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby the turkey guy » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:17 am

widoe, first great tips that you passed along but the thing I don't get is why  you feel the shoulder straps get in you way I have bino's and had no problem with the straps getting in the way. Have you tried trophy lines steps there great and totally different then any other steps on the market to my knowledge first they are like a t handled corkscrew and that makes it way easier to get in the tree and then they canto leaver and lock in on the side of the tree? As for using the saddle after you hunting I agree but I did set up about 20 times this year in the dark and blind and was up and set up in about 15 minutes thanks rob.

J Eberhart
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:51 pm

RE: tree saddles

Postby J Eberhart » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:15 pm

I just joined this sight to see what it was about and low and behold here is a post about the treesaddle. Well I just have to reply since I have been using this concept exclusively when hunting from trees since 1981. Without question the treesaddle is the most mobile and comfortable hunting stand ever made. In 1981 I was using a treesling and they went out of business and I switched to a Trophyline Ambush saddle in 2004.
 
Here goes my prewritten pitch on the saddle and some tips on its use. They are also printed somewhere on my website at deer-john.net.
 
[font="times new roman"]The Treesaddle will open up an entire new chapter to your hunting mobility and therefore success, especially in pressured areas where you must make the best of every advantage and opportunity.

Here is what I suggest for first time saddle users. Watch the instructional DVD several times with your saddle in front of, or on you so that you become comfortable and familiar with the straps.

Pick out a tree or telephone pole in your yard and place steps around the tree about 10 inches apart and all at the same level on the tree about 18 inches from the ground. This is where you will begin practicing prior to season to get comfortable with the saddle.

With the saddle laying on the ground in front of you, step into the loose leg straps hanging below the seat of the saddle as shown on the DVD. Next, tighten the cinch strap (strap attached to the front corners of the saddle) around your waist by pulling on only the top strap coming out of the cinch buckle. If the cinch strap will not draw tight like a belt holding up your pants, your saddle is at least one size to big for your waist. I suggest to anyone looking to buy a saddle that you buy one a size smaller than suggested on the package because if the cinch strap will not tighten, you can't climb a tree with it on as it will keep wanting to slide down below your waist during your ascent up the tree. 
[/font]
[font="times new roman"][/font] 
[font="times new roman"]Once the cinch strap is tightened around your waist you can climb with it on without the saddle sliding down. If you desire you can also use the shoulder straps to hold it up. I do not use the shoulder straps, preferring to let them drape behind me.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Wrap the safety strap around the tree and hook it to the other side of the harness, then adjust it as needed for the diameter of the tree so that you can climb. [The safety strap is also a nice feature because it allows you to use the saddle as a comfortable means of preparing trees while scouting, keeping both hands free for screwing in steps, attaching climbing sticks, trimming loose bark, cutting branches, etc.]

Climb up onto your steps and adjust the safety strap so that you can lean back a little and be comfortable while attaching the lead strap. Each foot should now be on a step and your legs should be straight (not bent at the knees) and both of your hands should be free to hook up the lead strap. Now let go of the tree, go ahead, let go, you will not fall, the straps on the saddle are made from 9,000 pound test nylon strapping.
[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Hook up the lead strap as shown in the instructional DVD. Personally, I attach the lead strap lower than advised in the instructional DVD. I like the hook on the end of the lead to be no higher than eye level once the lead is tied off. The instructions show it being well above head level, almost as high as you can reach. With the hook at eye level the angle of the lead strap coming off the tree is less severe and keeps the lead strap from getting in your elbows way on shot opportunities directly to your right or left depending on which handed you are. When the hook of the lead strap is high, the lead strap angle is nearly straight down from the tree and is in the way of your elbow with shots directly to the side. I suggest trying both ways (per instructional DVD and my way) and use what is most comfortable for you.

Always set up the saddle just as you would a tree stand with your projected shot opportunity being 90 degrees directly to your left if right handed and vise versa if left handed. Yes you can shoot all 360 degrees around most trees, but you still want to make as little movement as possible when deer are close. No matter what type of system you hunt from, you always want to keep movements to an absolute minimum at crunch time.
 [/font]

[font="times new roman"]Once the lead is tied off, slide the buckle end of the lead under both of the waist cinch straps and bring it back up and attach the buckle to the hook that should be dangling in front of your face. Now take the slack out of the lead strap by tightening or pulling on the tag end of it until the lead strap is supporting your body (once the lead strap is adjusted properly the safety strap will become loose). Now loosen the cinch strap around your waist (which now has the lead underneath) all the way out and immediately re-adjust your drape (how you sit or hang) with the adjustment buckle in front of your face until you feel comfortable with the way you are sitting. The cinch strap must be loosened all the way out to allow you comfort and shooting mobility behind you. My preference is to end up in a sitting position where my knees are bent about 45 degrees from straight (similar to sitting or leaning on a butt seat while bass fishing) and most of my weight is distributed to my butt. Once you feel comfortable with your sitting position in the saddle go ahead and unhook the safety belt and store it in its respective pouches. You should now be sitting facing the tree with your legs somewhat straddling the trunk or your knees into the trunk if it is a larger tree (Trophylines Knee Savers are awesome in large trees where your knees must be against the tree). [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]Once sitting in the saddle try to keep the top of the saddle at waist level, do not allow it to climb or ride up your lower back above your waist. If the saddle is allowed to climb up your lower back it will slightly confine your waist mobility when shooting behind you or leaning back away from the lead strap for a shot. You want the saddle to cradle your butt and support your weight, you do not want the majority of your weight being supported by your legs and feet. [/font]
[font="times new roman"][/font] 
[font="times new roman"]Pull up your bow and hang it on a screw in bow hanger 90 degrees to your left (if right handed), now it is in a place close to your bow hand for easy access. I also put a bow hanger on the opposite side of the tree so that if I need to swing around the tree for a shot I can move the bow to that hanger so it is ready before I make that move. If you have a backpack or fanny pack screw in another bow hanger 135 degrees to your right (if right handed) and hang it on it, this will put it out of the way for any shot opportunity yet make it accessible for taking calls, rangefinder, or anything else you may need out of it. If you are in the yard you are now ready to practice, if you are in the field you are now ready to kill something.

When practicing, put targets in different directions and distances around the tree and practice moving slowly around the tree on the other steps you placed (there are rarely any dead areas when properly using a saddle). If moving around the tree requires to much effort, place the steps closer together the next time (less than the 10 inches apart that was earlier described), if it is extremely easy to move around the tree you may want to consider placing the steps a little farther apart to save on steps.

When hunting if you see a shot opportunity starting to present itself slowly and methodically move into the correct shooting position. Just like hunting at anytime and from any type of stand, movements are always a judgment call as far as when and how you perform them. To take a shot, you simply move into position, straighten your legs (which will force you to stand upright) and lean your upper body slightly away from the tree.

From your original set-up position on the steps, without moving your feet, you should be able to shoot 90 degrees directly to your left and be able to twist around and shoot nearly 90 degrees directly to your right. The twisting around may take a little getting used, but it wont take long. When the saddle is properly hooked up, twisting at the waist allows the cinch strap to quietly slide through the loop in the lead strap thus allowing you to spin your upper body around to shoot nearly 90 degrees directly to your right. For shots other than those you will be required to move around the tree on the other steps you placed.

At any time during a hunt if you feel uncomfortable, which you will from time to time, you can stand up to take the pressure off the lead and adjust your sitting position by simply letting out or taking in some of the lead strap with the quick adjust buckle in front of you (only an inch or two of adjustment will make a big difference in your sitting position). I find myself doing this occasionally when sitting for long periods such as all day hunts.
[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]When sitting for long periods I sometimes let out a little leadstrap which puts me in more of a sitting position similar to sitting in a chair (knees bent nearly 90 degrees) and wrap my arms around the lead strap in front of me and rest my head on the lead strap. [/font]

[font="times new roman"]To get down re-attach the safety strap around the tree in the same position you had it when you initially tied off the lead strap during set-up. Once it is properly hooked up you can use both hands to unhook the lead strap and place it back in its pouch. Now you can descend the tree using the safety strap, adjusting it to the tree diameter as you go down. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]When you prepare a tree for hunting, do it just like you would a tree stand. Use whatever you normally use for ascending the tree (I use screw-in tree steps simply because they take up less space in my pack). When hunting I carry my saddle in my backpack along with my other hunting gear and get into the saddle at the base of the tree. James Green, the creator of the saddle concept wears his saddle around his waist from the vehicle to the tree, try both and do whatever feels best for you.[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]I think it is very important that once you are comfortable practicing from just off the ground that you set up in a tree at a similar height to what you hunt from and get used to that as well and re-sight your bow for that height. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]The saddle set-up is going to be different than what you are used to and may take a little getting used to. That is why I suggest practicing from it prior to season. Whatever you do, do not get in it and immediately give up on the concept because it is different. Stick with it, it is much more comfortable than any stand once you get used to it, and the advantages it has over conventional stands are huge and can not be disputed. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]There is no question in my mind that if there were two hunters of exactly the same skill level and one was comfortable using a saddle and the other used any type of conventional stand and they were both hunting the same property, the saddle user over time would have far more success. It wouldn't even be a contest because the saddle has so many advantages over any other type of hunting system used when hunting from trees.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[/font][font="times new roman"]Benefits of an Ambush saddle over any other types of stands!!!!

-The concept of a saddle is simple, you hang in the saddle from the trunk of the tree to which you are securely fastened.

-Your feet rest on tree-steps placed around the tree, and they are used for leverage while maneuvering, and as footrests while sitting.

-Saddles are extremely comfortable once you learn how to use them properly. [/font]

[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]-During the entire set-up process you are always tethered to the tree for unsurpassed safety.

-The saddle makes it much easier to adjust to ever changing sign during the season. The more adept, and expedient you are at responding to changing deer movements, the better your chances will be at tagging out. 
[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]-When adjusting to a new location, it can be done quietly without fear of any metal or chain noises as with climbers and hang-ons. [/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]-With a saddle you can prepare as many trees prior to season as you consider necessary, because you only need one saddle to hunt from all of them, you do not have to limit yourself to a handful of spots due to the cost of stands. 

-Having many trees prepared for the season allows you to rotate sites, which increases your element of surprise and reduces both scent contamination and general human presence in a specific hunting area.
[/font]
[font="times new roman"]-The saddles "specific mobility", makes it possible to shoot a full 360 degrees around most trees. Considering that mature bucks often come from unexpected directions during the rut phases when pursuing estrous does on unchartered routes this is an important advantage that can't be disputed.

-A huge advantage is its general mobility, or the ability to hunt almost any tree in the woods. It is no longer a question of finding a tree to hunt out of, but finding the right hunting spot and making a tree within shooting distance work.

-With a saddle there are few limitations to tree diameters, branches, or straightness. Trees leaning more than fifteen degrees will not give you the full 360 degree shooting circumference, but they are trees you couldn't even consider hunting from with conventional stands. 

-Another form of mobility is the ability to adjust to immediate circumstances because the saddle is always with you. If you find a hot scrape area or fresh rub line it is no problem to quietly set up and hunt in a matter of minutes if you have some steps with you.

-Bulk weight and cumbersome treestand frames severely hamper a hunter's ability to freelance hunt through heavy cover, which is where big bucks live. I simply laugh when I see commercials of so-called experts walking down 2-tracks, lanes, runways, or open fields with their bulky stands on their backs. In pressured areas if you are not within some form of cover, your odds at mature deer are weak at best and you simply can't freelance with conventional stands through brush.  
[/font]
[font="times new roman"] [/font]
[font="times new roman"]-The Ambush saddle weighs about 2 ½ pounds and is carried in your backpack. This eases opportunities to scout in heavy cover and crawl under brush if necessary and set up on the spur of the moment.  

-Another major advantage is the fact that you can be sure your stand will be there when you arrive because it is in your pack. Stolen tree stands are unfortunately a sad fact of life for anyone hunting state land, or private property in areas with heavy hunting pressure. Hunters that hunt heavily hunted areas and public lands know exactly what I am referring to.

-No more concern about other hunters hunting your location when you are not there, because there is nothing there for them to hunt from. In pressured areas and on public lands you have no control over someone else hunting from your conventional treestand.

-Yet another big plus is that you can keep the trunk of the tree that you are in between you and any non-targeted deer. As non-targeted deer approach you slowly move your body around the trunk, out of sight of the deer. This is especially important in pressured areas where deer tend to look for hunters in trees.

-Height is another big advantage, especially once the hunting gets good and the foliage is gone from the trees. With a Saddle the only height constraint is your ability to get up the tree. In time, fear of heights will eventually go away because you at all times have a safety system attached to the tree.

-Because saddles are all made from fabric there is no noise concerns with the set-up.  This is very important when setting up near where deer feed or bed.

-The mobility of the saddle makes it awesome for freelance hunting or on trips to unknown properties.

-As with everything that has to do with hunting, the type of hunting system you use is ultimately based on your own hunting situation, goals, and personal preference.  The Saddle is a tool that can be added to your hunting arsenal to increase your element of surprise and success rate.
[/font]
[font="times new roman"]-The Ambush saddle and its predecessor the Tree Sling have completely changed the way I hunt, providing unsurpassed ease of use and mobility. When used properly the advantages it offers will without question increase the number of opportunities you receive and the likelihood of success dramatically.[/font]
[font="times new roman"][/font] 
[font="times new roman"]I attribute a minimum of 50% of the bucks I have taken since 1981 to this type of system, there is no better!


GOOD HUNTING – John Eberhart
[/font]
 

User avatar
joaxe
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:28 am
Location: Willow Grove, PA

RE: tree saddles

Postby joaxe » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:42 am

Deer Hunting peeps,
 
For those of you interested in using the Saddle, John's tips above are, hands down, as close as it gets to actually using the Saddle.
 
John, many thanks again...you're "da BOMB"!
 
The TreeSaddle has completely changed the way I hunt, as well.  So much so that I'll never go back to using a regular stand.  Using it all last season has helped me "cut some corners" with setup so that I can get up the tree quickly.  As far as comfort goes...I've sat in the Saddle for 10-12 hours with no problems (I've even slept in it!).
 
I am using the Saddle with 4 Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks and 6 AmeriStep strap-on tree steps (placed on a single "endless loop" camo ratchet strap).  I love this thing!
 
Joe
Willow Grove, PA
 
 

User avatar
reeper0697
 
Posts: 631
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:49 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby reeper0697 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:36 pm

A question I have after reading that they run big in size is...
when my hunting season starts here in northern NY it is warm out and I may be in the stand with a light shirt and pants. Later in the season it gets very cold and I bundle riiiiiight up. My waist is a 34 but when I have on long johns, pants, insulated bibs, ect... I can only imagine what my waist size is.
Should I go with a medium (which I thought ran from  X?"-34" waist but now can seem to find) or go with a large (which I thought was from a 34"-X?") ??? Thanks alot for any feed back.
Put me on a mountain, way back in the backwoods
Put me on a lake with biggin' on the line
Put me around a campfire cookin' something I just cleaned

User avatar
joaxe
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:28 am
Location: Willow Grove, PA

RE: tree saddles

Postby joaxe » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:58 pm

reeper,
 
I have also read that they "run big in size" but have yet to understand that.  The Saddle is meant to fit around you loosely but when you cinch down the waist belt and you are hanging in the tree, it's not big at all.
 
MY waist size is 34-36 and even in January in PA, I use the large size Saddle.  That's when wearing polypro undergarments, fleece 2nd layer and Rivers West outer layer.  I've even worn my insulated coveralls (before getting the Rivers West gear).
 
I would go with the large.  FYI - give Trophyline USA a call (866-444-4868), talk to Tyler Mitton (don't know if he's still there) and ask him what size he thinks would work best. Tell him I sent ya!
 
Joe
Willow Grove, PA

the turkey guy
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:39 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby the turkey guy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:10 am

yes tyler is still there and he is super helpful, i hear you on the to big thing i'am a 34 to and have never be uncomfortable.it's nice to come here to this site and talk saddles i take some krap on other sites about how much i love the saddle . 

User avatar
joaxe
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:28 am
Location: Willow Grove, PA

RE: tree saddles

Postby joaxe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:10 am

turkey,
 
Yeah..."AT" might consider you to be a Saddle "fan boy"...
 
[:D][:D][:D]
 
Joe
 
"Eins, Zwei, Zuffa!"

Mathews Switchback XT 28" DL
MBG Radiant, Whisker Biscuit, String Splitter
Strikers/Tricks/Blazers, Aero Hunter and World's Best Strings

the turkey guy
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:39 am

RE: tree saddles

Postby the turkey guy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:43 am

Yah no s**t i'am saddle junkie no crappy stands for me. i screwed my back and neck enough caring 40 + pounds up a tree.

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

RE: tree saddles

Postby DeanoZ » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:53 am

Reeper,
 
John and I actually had a discussion about this the other day.  I have a 34" waist and went with the Large Saddle...its workable and I'm comfortable but it still feels a little loose and John said I probably should have went with a medium.  Here is the tell tale sign on size as John put it to me....if you cannot cinch the waist strap tight enough so the saddle fits firmly around the waist when climbing, then its too big...with the large I have I have to cinch it as far as it will go for it to be snug...so a large may or may not do it for you.
 
Joaxe...thanks for the feedback, which lone wolf climbing sticks do you use and how do they work when your freelance hunting (run and gun on the fly)?  I have been considering getting some but was concerned about the noise factor when setting up and the weight/bulkiness of having to carry these on the fly?  I also see your in Willow Grove, don't know if your at the NAS, but I'm with the Philly Marine Reserve unit just up the road.

User avatar
joaxe
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:28 am
Location: Willow Grove, PA

RE: tree saddles

Postby joaxe » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:17 am

DeanoZ,

I am using the regular Climbing Sticks (have 4 of them and can get up to 22-25' with them).  4 of the Sticks weigh 10 lbs. (2.5 lbs. each).  I use the Lone Wolf Stick Caddy (modified a bit) to carry them over my shoulder.  I usually have my bow (in a Primos Bow Sling) and the Sticks over each shoulder.  My backpack (a Badlands UltraDay) has the AmeriStep steps (on the ratchet strap) strapped in to the bow carrying straps on the Badlands.  I wear the Saddle from the truck to my hunting location.

The only time the Sticks make noise is if the cam buckle (on the strap) hits the Stick as you are carrying them or attaching them to a tree.  I also have a strap that goes around all 4 Sticks to keep them extra secure.  The Sticks can sometimes bang against each other when taking them off of the Stick Caddy.  There's a guy on ArcheryTalk (ZA206) that is selling UCR ropes to replace the Lone Wolf Stick straps and buckle.  They are like a "chinese handcuff" design.  Supposedly, they are quieter and shave off 1 lb. from a set of 4 Sticks.  I want to try them...  Some have even gone as far as to spray the Sims Vibration Labs "rubber" spray on each stick to quiet them down.  They aren't that loud in my opinion...but, then again, I have yet to harvest a mature buck using them and the Saddle! [:)]

Yeah, I am close to the center of Willow Grove.  We go to Lancer's Diner a lot (good food for a diner!) so...welcome, neighbor! [:D]   ...and THANK YOU for your service!!!

Joe
"Eins, Zwei, Zuffa!"

Mathews Switchback XT 28" DL
MBG Radiant, Whisker Biscuit, String Splitter
Strikers/Tricks/Blazers, Aero Hunter and World's Best Strings

PreviousNext

Return to Tree Stands

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests