Mastering the Treetops: Saddle Hunting 101 Guide for Beginners

Mastering the Treetops: Saddle Hunting 101 Guide for Beginners


Welcome to the exhilarating world of saddle hunting! If you're a beginner eager to elevate your hunting experience or a seasoned pro looking for the latest tips, you've come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the why, how, and where of saddle hunting. Covering everything from the best climbing methods and equipment, to the top budget-friendly options.


Why I Started Saddle Hunting:

Saddle hunting has taken the hunting community by storm, and for good reason. As an avid bow hunter, who hunts a good bit of public land, I found myself constantly seeking new ways to improve my hunting experience. Traditional climbing tree stands were effective, but the limitations they presented led me to explore alternative methods. Not to mention the bulkiness of your gear! Saddle hunting provided a versatile and dynamic approach that fundamentally changed the way I approach setting up on animals.

One of the key reasons I started saddle hunting was the increased mobility and adaptability it offered. Unlike traditional tree stands, a saddle setup allows you to choose your hunting location more freely, responding to changing wind conditions and animal patterns. If a tree has branches, even better. A saddle lets you climb your way up safely around branches so you can blend in well. It grants you the freedom to explore a wider range of hunting spots, enhancing your chances of success.


Best Climbing Method for Saddle Hunting: Climbing Sticks vs One Sticking

To truly master saddle hunting, understanding the best climbing method for you is crucial.

Climbing Sticks:

One of the most popular and effective climbing methods is utilizing climbing sticks. These portable, lightweight sticks are designed for easy attachment to the tree, providing a secure and stable ascent. Choosing the right climbing sticks is paramount for a successful saddle hunting experience. Look for sticks that are lightweight yet sturdy, easy to pack, and simple to attach to the tree. Brands like Tethrd, Trophyline, Latitude, and Out on a Limb, have gained recognition for producing top-notch climbing sticks that meet this criteria. Whether you're looking for the lightest stick out there or the best budget sticks, most of these brands have multiple options to pick from!

One Sticking:

Among the various climbing methods, one sticking, or single-stick climbing, has gained popularity for its efficiency. This method involves using a single, climbing stick to ascend the tree. It offers a quick and stealthy approach, minimizing noise, by making a few moves with your One Stick to get up the tree. When you're done the most popular and easy way to get down, is by using a Madrock Safeguard to rappel down a rope. One Sticks usually look a like a climbing stick with a small platform on the top, and a rope aider hanging from the bottom step. (or you can just use a regular stick with an aider along with a normal saddle platform.) Paired with a quality saddle, one sticking becomes a go-to method for hunters seeking a streamlined, lightweight and effective ascent. Great for packing way back in on public ground somewhere!


Best Budget Tree Saddle:

Embarking on the saddle hunting journey doesn't have to break the bank. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising quality, there are excellent choices available. When considering a budget tree saddle, Tethrd and Trophyline both have a lower price point saddle with out sacrificing the quality that they are known for!

For budget-conscious hunters, the new for 2024 Tethrd Grit Workhorse saddle stands out as a reliable option, as well as the Covert Lite/Pro saddle by Trophyline. They provide a comfortable saddle without sacrificing key features. These 2 Options are both lightweight and easy to adjust, making them an ideal choice for those new to saddle hunting or looking for an affordable yet effective option.


Where to Buy a Saddle Setup:

Now that you're convinced of the benefits of saddle hunting and have identified the equipment that suits your needs, the next step is finding a reliable source to purchase your saddle setup.

Here at Little Mountain Outfitters, we have brands such as Tethrd, Trophyline, Latitude, and Out on a Limb. We also carry everything you need to get you elevated in the tree, whether you want to check out climbing sticks or one sticks, we've got you covered!

Additionally, we're saddle hunters ourselves and we are happy to help you out in choosing the right saddle for your style of hunting!


Demo Tree Saddle:

If you're still on the fence about saddle hunting or want to experience it firsthand before making a purchase, consider stopping in at our store in Richland, PA and  demo a tree saddle. We allow hunters to test different saddle setups and climbing methods.

Participating in a demo provides valuable insights into the comfort, mobility, and ease of use of various saddle options. It's an excellent opportunity to make an informed decision based on your personal preferences and hunting style.


In conclusion, saddle hunting opens up a world of possibilities for hunters seeking a dynamic and adaptable approach to their craft. From the best climbing methods to budget-friendly options, this Saddle Hunting 101 guide has covered the essentials to get you started on your journey.

Remember, the key to mastering saddle hunting lies in practice and experience. Whether you're scaling a tree with climbing sticks or settling into your chosen saddle, each hunt contributes to refining your skills and enhancing your connection with the great outdoors. So, saddle up, explore new heights, and embrace the thrill of the treetops in your hunting endeavors!

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