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The One-Stick Saddle Hunting Revolution: A DIY Guide to Building Your Own One-Stick And How to Climb

Have you ever wondered how to elevate your hunting experience and gain increased mobility while preserving safety? Look no further than the one-stick method for saddle hunting. I’m going to walk you through the step-by-step process of building your very own one-stick, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of this game-changing technique as well as how to climb and rappel down a tree.

One Stick Saddle Hunting

Saddle hunting has been gaining popularity among outdoor enthusiasts due to its versatility and low-impact approach. The one-stick method takes it a step further by providing hunters with enhanced mobility and convenience. By utilizing a single climbing stick, you can climb and rappel down trees swiftly and silently, opening up new possibilities in your hunting strategy.

In this article, we will look into the details of one-stick saddle hunting, including its key characteristics compared to traditional methods. We will also address crucial safety considerations that every hunter must be aware of before engaging in this technique. Additionally, we’ll provide a comprehensive list of essential gear needed for successful one-stick saddle hunting adventures.

Poachers Knot For One Stick Saddle Hunting

The heart of this guide lies in our detailed step-by-step instructions on how to build your own one-stick including a video demonstrating how to make one. From selecting the right materials to incorporating innovative techniques shared by experienced hunters, we’ll equip you with all the knowledge necessary to create a sturdy and reliable tool fit for any hunt.

But it doesn’t stop there! We will also guide you through mastering the art of using a one-stick for saddle hunting effectively. With valuable tips and insights from experts who have honed their skills over time, you’ll quickly become proficient in navigating trees safely and quietly.

To wrap things up, we’ll examine both the advantages and challenges associated with one-stick saddle hunting, allowing you to make an informed decision about integrating this technique into your own outdoor pursuits.

So grab your tools and let’s embark on an exciting journey towards enhancing your hunting experience with a DIY one-stick. Get ready to elevate your mobility, embrace new hunting strategies, and make unforgettable memories amidst the beauty of nature.

Tethrd Lockdown One Stick Saddle Hunting

Understanding One-Stick Saddle Hunting

Before diving into the process of building your own one-stick, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what one-stick saddle hunting entails and how it differs from traditional hunting methods.

One-stick saddle hunting is a technique that revolutionizes the way hunters climb and get down trees. Instead of using multiple climbing sticks or ladders, a single climbing stick is utilized for increased mobility and convenience. By relying on this minimalist approach, hunters can enjoy enhanced maneuverability in the field while minimizing their gear load. Hunters then use a long rope to rappel out of the tree when the hunt is over.

Another advantage of this technique lies in its versatility. Whether you prefer moving frequently during a hunt or need quick access to different areas within your hunting grounds, carrying and utilizing just one stick dramatically increases your effectiveness in navigating various terrains.

In the next section, we will look into the necessary equipment needed for successful one-stick saddle hunting adventures.

Essential Gear for One-Stick Saddle Hunting

To embark on your one-stick saddle hunting journey, it’s crucial to have the right gear and equipment that will ensure a safe and successful experience. Here is a list of essential items you will need:

Tethrd Lockdown Hauler AltimAider
  1. Climbing Stick: While there are various options available in the market, for building your own one-stick, an API climbing stick or similar brand is recommended. These lightweight and sturdy sticks provide excellent stability and versatility.
  2. Cam Cleat: A cam cleat is an important component of the one-stick setup as it allows for quick adjustment and secure attachment of your ropes while climbing. Ensure you select a durable cam cleat that can withstand repeated use.
  3. Rope: High-quality rope is critical for both safety and functionality during one-stick saddle hunting. Consider using Sterling rope or similar brands, known for their strength, durability, and low stretch properties.
  4. Aiders: Aiders are straps with steps that aid in ascending trees by providing footholds as you climb up your stick. Two-step aiders made from Amsteel rope are commonly used in one-stick setups.
  5. Tethers or Ropes: Tethers or ropes are essential for securing yourself to the tree while climbing up or descending down using the one-stick method. Choose reliable ropes with adequate strength to support your weight.
  6. Miscellaneous Items: Other important items include loopable gear ties, elastic cords, paracord, and any additional hardware that may be required for attaching various components together securely.

As you gather your gear, it’s crucial to carefully inspect each item before use to ensure they are in optimal condition. A well-maintained and reliable equipment setup is vital for a safe and successful one-stick saddle hunting experience.

With the right gear at your disposal, you’ll be ready to move on to the next section where we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of building your own one-stick using these essential components.

Building Your Own One-Stick for Saddle Hunting

Building your own one-stick is an exciting and rewarding endeavor that will provide you with a customized tool tailored to your specific hunting needs. Follow the step-by-step guide below to construct a sturdy and reliable one-stick:

One Stick Build For Saddle Hunting
  1. Gather Your Materials: Before getting started, ensure you have all the necessary materials at hand. This includes an API climbing stick or similar, a cam cleat, high-quality rope (such as Amsteel),aiders, tethers/ rappel ropes.
  2. Inspect Your Climbing Stick: Check your climbing stick for any damage or defects that could compromise its strength and stability. Ensure it is in excellent condition before proceeding. If you use an API stick cut it down to the preferred length that you want. Generally 17-18 inches is a good length between steps.
  3. Prepare the Harken Cam Cleat Attachment: Begin by replacing the existing attachment on your climbing stick’s versatile button with the cam cleat. Drill two holes using the template provided with the Harken cam cleat. Use appropriate grade nuts and bolts such to securely position and fasten the cam cleat onto the stick. Depending which way you attach the Harken cam cleat will determine which way you will always deploy the rope around the tree.
  4. Install Amsteel Rope. Slide eye of rope down the stick. A 7.5ft finished length, 3/16″ full bury Amsteel rope is used with the Harken 150 cam cleat. Rope has a tight eye designed to slide over a 1″ tube such as the Api climbing stick that I use. It can also be girth hitched if used with a Hawk Helium or Shikar stick. Finish with a stopper knot.
  5. Construct Aiders: Using Amsteel rope (around 1/8 inch), create two-step aiders by measuring out segments of equal length for each step—usually around 17 inches long—and forming tight loops using locking brummel knots or other suitable techniques. I personally use the two step UltimAider that’s available on online. It’s fully adjustable allowing you to set the steps at the exact distance apart you want.
  6. Attach Aiders to Climbing Stick: Connect each aider securely to designated spots on your climbing stick using girth hitch knots or other recommended methods for optimal stability during ascents. The UltimAider fits securely on the bottom step of an Api climbing stick.
  7. Loop Handle for Top of Stick. On the top of your climbing stick you will want to add a loop of sorts allowing you to grab the stick to move up to the next position while climbing. I use coated picture hanging wire. It allows it to keep its shape but still pliable enough to bend it. Gear ties will also work.
  8. Prepare Tethers/Ropes: Cut lengths of high-quality rope according to your desired tethering length requirements while factoring in safety considerations such as securing yourself to the tree when ascending or getting around branches using the one-stick technique. Generally speaking an 8ft rope should do the trick.
  9. Secure Additional Components: Utilize loopable gear ties, elastic cords, paracord, or other suitable means to secure loose ends, prevent tangling or noise-causing movements of the ropes/gear that can alert game deer during hunts.
Quick video of how to make a One Stick

By following these step-by-step instructions and leveraging your creativity as needed, you’ll be able to craft a sturdy and effective one-stick tailored specifically for your saddle hunting adventures. Remember always to prioritize safety throughout the construction process and double-check each component’s reliability before stepping into the field.

In the next section, we will guide you through utilizing your newly-built one-stick effectively in saddle hunting scenarios—mastering the technique for improved mobility and success.

The One-Stick Saddle Hunting Technique

Now that you have successfully built your own one-stick, it’s time to master the technique of using it effectively for saddle hunting. Follow the step-by-step guide below to make the most out of your one-stick setup:

  1. Choose an Ideal Tree: Select a suitable tree that provides a clear line of sight and meets safety requirements for climbing. Look for sturdy branches and check for any potential hazards or obstacles.
  2. Attach Tethers/Rappel Rope Correctly: Connect your tethers/rappel rope securely to both your bridge and the designated attachment points on the tree, ensuring they are snug and on correctly.
  3. Test Stability: Test the stability of your climbing stick by applying downward pressure to set the climbing stick to ensure it is firmly anchored before placing weight on it.
  4. Ascend Using Aiders: Place one foot in each aider loop as you climb and utilize them as stepping platforms while moving upward along with the climbing stick. Keep your toes facing the middle of the tree at all times when using an aider. If you DO NOT do this the aider will kick out on you causing you to fall.
  5. Maintain Three Points of Contact: Always maintain three points of contact when ascending—two feet on aiders/climbing stick steps, and one hand holding onto either raiders or the step of the climbing stick for added stability.
  6. Reposition Your Stick: As needed, place all your weight into your saddle and tether, and reach down and unhook your one-stick from its current position and reattach it at a higher point on the tree by securing it using the Harken cam cleat. The loop you created earlier will make this process easier to reach down and grab your stick.
  7. Repeat Until Desired Height is Reached: Continue ascending by repeating steps 5-7 until you reach your desired height for hunting purposes or scouting vantage points alike.
  8. Ensure Secure Positioning: Once you’ve reached your desired height, ensure that your climbing stick is securely fixed in place before shifting your focus to hunting or observation. At this point I set up my XOP Edge platform to hunt from while others may use the one stick to hunt off of.
  9. Movement and Adjustments: Utilize the flexibility of your one-stick setup to freely move around the tree as necessary for optimal positioning during hunts while maintaining safety precautions at all times.
  10. Descend Safely: When it’s time to descend this is where the fun starts. If you did not climb using your rappel rope it’s time to switch over to it while still being connected to your tether. This allows for constant connection to the tree and safety at all times. This is why one sticking is considered one of the safest ways to hunt. At no point are you ever not connected to the tree. Now rappel down the tree using a madrock safeguard.
Demo using the Tethrd Lockdown showing how to One Stick

By following these step-by-step instructions and integrating best practices, you’ll quickly become proficient in utilizing the one-stick technique for saddle hunting. Remember to practice ascending and descending using your one-stick setup in controlled environments first before taking it out into actual hunting scenarios. Make all the steps become second nature from practicing so much.

In the next section, we will discuss both the advantages of one-stick saddle hunting and highlight some potential disadvantages and challenges that come with this technique.

Pros and Cons of One-Stick Saddle Hunting

As with any hunting technique, one-stick saddle hunting comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about whether this method aligns with your hunting style and preferences.

Advantages of One-Stick Saddle Hunting

  1. Enhanced Mobility: The one-stick technique offers increased mobility and flexibility, allowing you to quickly adapt to changing hunting conditions or move to different locations without the need for bulky equipment.
  2. Minimalist Approach: By utilizing a single climbing stick, you reduce the overall weight and gear load compared to traditional ladder stands or multiple-climbing-sticks setups, making it easier to navigate through dense terrain.
  3. Low Impact on Trees: With a one-stick setup, you minimize permanent markings on trees as opposed to more invasive hunting methods such as screw in steps. This approach reduces environmental impact and preserves the natural habitat.
  4. Quiet Ascents and Descents: Using a one-stick enables silent movements during climbs and descents, minimizing noise that could disturb game animals in their natural habitat—increasing your chances of successful hunts.This is by far one of the biggest advantages for me.
  5. Cost-Effective Solution: Building your own one-stick is generally more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made climbing systems, helping you save money while still enjoying the benefits of enhanced mobility.

Disadvantages and Challenges of One-Stick Saddle Hunting

  1. Skill Development Required: Fully mastering the techniques involved in using a one-stick setup may require some practice before feeling comfortable with ascending, descending, and moving around trees safely.
  2. Risk Factors: Like any elevated activity associated with hunting, there are inherent risks involved. It’s essential to prioritize safety and take proper precautions when using a one-stick setup to prevent accidents or falls.
  3. Equipment Adaptations: Building your own one-stick may require modifications or adjustments depending on the specific climbing stick models and components chosen. Ensuring everything fits properly and functions seamlessly may require additional time and effort.

Despite these potential challenges, many hunters find that the benefits of one-stick saddle hunting outweigh the drawbacks—especially those seeking increased mobility, low-impact approaches, and quieter ascents/descents during their hunts.


In conclusion, building your own one-stick for saddle hunting can significantly enhance your overall experience in the field. By understanding the principles behind this technique, ensuring proper safety measures, gathering the necessary equipment, and following our step-by-step guide for construction and utilization, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the benefits of increased mobility while minimizing environmental impact.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to utilizing a one-stick setup effectively. Take time to hone your skills through controlled climbs before heading out into actual hunting scenarios. With dedication and experience, you’ll master this game-changing technique that offers new possibilities in pursuing your passion for outdoor adventure.

So embrace the challenge of building your personalized one-stick setup, explore new terrain with ease and stealthiness—and most importantly—enjoy unforgettable moments as you connect with nature in ways previously unimagined. Happy hunting!


  1. Is building my own one-stick difficult? Building your own one-stick requires some DIY skills, but with the right instructions and tools, it can be accomplished by most hunters.
  2. How much does it cost to build a one-stick? The cost of building a one-stick can vary depending on the materials you choose, but it’s generally more affordable compared to buying pre-made climbing systems esp.
  3. Can I use any type of climbing stick for building a one-stick? While there are different brands and models available, it’s best to select climbing sticks that are known for their stability and durability, such as API.
  4. Do I need prior experience in saddle hunting or tree climbing? Having some knowledge or experience in saddle hunting or tree climbing techniques can be advantageous when building and using a one-stick setup. However, beginners can also learn through proper training and practice.
  5. Can I modify the construction steps based on my preferences or equipment availability? Yes, you can make modifications based on your specific needs and available equipment as long as they don’t compromise safety or structural integrity.
  6. How do I ensure my safety while using a one-stick setup? Prioritize safety measures such as properly inspecting gear before each use, wearing a quality hunting saddle, maintaining three points of contact while ascending and staying attached to the tree via a tether or rappel rope.
  7. What advantages does a one-stick offer over traditional multiple-climbing stick setups? A one-stick setup provides enhanced mobility, reduces gear load, and allows for quieter ascents and descents during hunts.
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Saddle Hunting 101: Tips and Tricks for the New Saddle Hunter

Saddle Hunting Tips

Welcome, fellow hunters, to the exciting world of saddle hunting! In this blog, we will embark on a journey to explore the art of saddle hunting and uncover why it has been gaining popularity among hunting enthusiasts. So grab your gear and get ready for an exhilarating ride!

Saddle hunting is a revolutionary technique that has taken the hunting community by storm. Gone are the days of cumbersome tree stands and limited mobility. With a tree saddle, you can now experience unparalleled freedom, versatility, and stealth in the field. But what exactly is saddle hunting, and why is it becoming the go-to choice for many hunters?

Pros and ConsHunting SaddleTraditional Tree StandGround Blind
MobilityHigh – Lightweight and compact, allowing for easy movement and adjustment.Moderate – Can be moved, but generally heavier and bulkier.Low – Once set up, it’s not meant to be moved frequently.
StealthHigh – Allows for high concealment as the hunter becomes part of the tree.Moderate – Elevated position can provide some concealment, but the stand itself can be visible.High – Well-designed blinds can blend into the environment effectively.
ComfortHigh – Designed for comfort, with weight evenly distributed. Adjustable for personalized fit.Moderate – Comfort can vary greatly depending on the design and quality of the stand.High – Can be equipped with chairs and allows for movement within the blind.
VersatilityHigh – Can be used in almost any tree, allowing for versatile hunting locations.Moderate – Requires a suitable tree for setup.High – Can be set up in various locations, not dependent on trees.
Setup TimeModerate – Requires some time to ascend the tree and secure the saddle.Moderate to High – Requires time to safely secure the stand to the tree.Low to Moderate – Pop-up blinds can be set up quickly, but others may require more time.
View/VisibilityHigh – 360-degree view when set up correctly.High – Provides an elevated view of the surroundings.Moderate – View is limited to the blind’s windows.
Comparison table of saddle vs traditional tree stand vs ground blinds

Saddle hunting is all about breaking free from traditional tree stands and ground blinds. Instead of being confined to a static position, you become one with the tree, harnessing its natural cover and using it as your vantage point. By wearing a specially designed saddle and utilizing climbing sticks, you gain the ability to move with ease, adapt to changing conditions, and access hard-to-reach areas where game thrives.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world of saddle hunting and uncover its many benefits. From choosing the right gear to mastering shooting techniques from a saddle, we’ll cover everything you need to know to enhance your hunting experience.

But before that, let’s take a moment to appreciate the importance of practicing with your gear. Just like any new technique or equipment, mastering saddle hunting requires time and dedication. By familiarizing yourself with your saddle, practicing different shooting positions, and honing your climbing skills, you’ll gain confidence in the field and maximize your chances of success.

Are you ready to revolutionize your hunting game? Join us as we embark on an adventure filled with tips, tricks, and insider knowledge that will elevate your hunting experience to new heights. Let’s embrace the thrill of saddle hunting together!

Understanding Saddle Hunting

What is saddle hunting?

Saddle hunting, in its essence, is a game-changer for hunters seeking a dynamic and versatile approach to their pursuit. It involves utilizing a specialized tree saddle or saddle hunting system that allows you to suspend yourself from the tree trunk, providing an elevated position for scouting and hunting.

Unlike traditional treestands that restrict your movement and limit your field of view, a saddle allows you to freely maneuver around the tree, adapting to the ever-changing conditions of your surroundings. By wearing the saddle and using climbing sticks to ascend the tree, you gain the ability to position yourself strategically for optimal concealment and shot opportunities.

The benefits of saddle hunting

  1. Enhanced mobility: Saddle hunting grants you unparalleled freedom in the field. You can quickly adjust your position, change trees if needed, and explore different areas without the hassle of moving heavy treestands. This mobility opens up new possibilities for finding prime hunting spots and pursuing elusive game.
  2. Stealth and versatility: Saddle hunters are masters of stealth. By hugging the tree trunk, blending into your surroundings becomes effortless. This close proximity to a tree minimizes your profile and scent dispersal, increasing your chances of remaining undetected by any deer. Additionally, the ability to shoot from various angles gives you an advantage when faced with challenging shooting situations.
  3. Comfort and adaptability: Saddle hunting systems are designed with comfort in mind. With adjustable straps and padding, you can customize the fit to suit your body shape and size. Unlike traditional stands that often leave you feeling cramped or uncomfortable during long hunts, a well-fitted saddle allows for extended hours of sitting or standing without sacrificing comfort.
  4. Portability and ease of setup: Saddle hunting systems are lightweight and compact compared to bulky treestands. They can be easily be worn or carried in a backpack, making them ideal for hunters on the move. Setting up a saddle is a breeze, and with practice, you’ll become efficient at securing yourself to the tree and preparing for the hunt.
  5. Access to challenging terrain: Saddle hunting opens up a world of possibilities in rugged and hard-to-reach terrain, especially when it comes to hunting public land. Whether you’re navigating dense forests, steep slopes, or swamplands, a saddle allows you to access areas where other hunters can’t reach and traditional stands are impractical. This adaptability gives you an edge when targeting trophy deer.

So, if you’re ready to take your hunting experience to new heights, saddle hunting might be the perfect choice for you. Embrace the freedom, stealth, and versatility that this technique offers and get ready for unforgettable adventures in the great outdoors!

Choosing the Right Gear

When it comes to saddle hunting, selecting the right gear is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of investing in good climbing sticks and provide an overview of popular saddle hunting systems, including the renowned Tethrd Lockdown.

The all new Tethrd Lockdown

Importance of investing in good climbing sticks

Climbing sticks are an essential component of your saddle hunting setup. They provide a safe and efficient means of ascending and descending trees, allowing you to reach your desired hunting height. Here’s why investing in high-quality climbing sticks is paramount:

  1. Safety: Climbing sticks should be sturdy and reliable to ensure your safety while climbing trees. Look for sticks made from durable materials like aluminum or steel that can support your weight without compromising stability.
  2. Ease of use: Opt for climbing sticks that are lightweight and easy to transport. Consider factors such as length, weight, and attachment mechanisms when selecting your climbing sticks, as they can significantly impact your overall hunting experience.
  3. Versatility: Choose climbing sticks that can adapt to various tree sizes and shapes. Look for adjustable options or those with interchangeable sections that allow you to customize the height and configuration based on the tree you’re targeting.
  4. Quiet operation: Stealth is key in saddle hunting, so opt for climbing sticks that minimize noise during setup and takedown. Look for features like silent attachment points or rubberized coatings that dampen any potential clanking sounds.

Remember, practicing with your climbing sticks before the hunting season is essential to familiarize yourself with their operation and ensure a smooth ascent and descent during your hunts.

One highly regarded saddle in the market is the Tethrd Lockdown. This innovative system has gained significant attention among hunters due to its exceptional design and functionality. Let’s take a closer look at some key features:

  • Lockdown Saddle: The Lockdown Saddle is the heart of the system, providing comfort, adjustability, and security. It incorporates an expanding saddle body with one-inch elastic webbing called the Lockdown Links, ensuring a secure and customizable fit for various body types.
  • Lockdown Pockets: These spacious and streamlined pockets are permanently attached to the saddle, offering easy access to your hunting gear. With zippered pockets, stretch pockets, and double slit pockets, you can keep your essentials organized and within reach.
  • Utila Bridge 2.0: The Utila Bridge 2.0 is a versatile bridge system that provides seven points of adjustment for optimal comfort and positioning. Its secure design allows for smooth movement while maintaining stability during your hunts.
  • Leg Straps: The Tethrd Lockdown system features leg straps equipped with micro Cobra Buckles for easy use and adjustability. These straps ensure a secure fit and accommodate standard one-inch webbing.

The Tethrd Lockdown system is just one example of the many saddle hunting systems available on the market. Each system offers unique features and advantages, so it’s essential to research different options and choose one that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Investing in high-quality climbing sticks and selecting a reliable saddle hunting system like the Tethrd Lockdown will set you up for success in your saddle hunting adventures. So gear up, choose wisely, and get ready to experience the thrill of hunting from a whole new perspective!

Safety in Saddle Hunting

When it comes to saddle hunting, safety should always be a top priority. In this section, we’ll emphasize the importance of using a lineman’s belt and provide tips on how to feel secure and safe while in the saddle.

Importance of using a lineman’s belt

A lineman’s belt is an essential piece of equipment that ensures your safety while ascending and descending trees. Here’s why it’s crucial to utilize a lineman’s belt during saddle hunting:

  1. Fall protection: A lineman’s belt serves as a safety tether, keeping you securely attached to the tree at all times. It prevents accidental falls and provides peace of mind, especially when navigating challenging trees or dealing with unexpected movements.
  2. Stability and balance: The lineman’s belt acts as a support system, allowing you to maintain stability and balance while climbing or adjusting your climbing sticks. It provides an additional point of contact with the tree, reducing the risk of slipping or losing your footing.
  3. Hands-free operation: By utilizing a lineman’s belt, you can keep your hands free for tasks such as attaching gear, adding your next level of climbing sticks, or handling equipment without compromising your safety.

Remember to always attach the lineman’s belt properly and ensure it is secured tightly around the tree before starting to climb. Practice using the lineman’s belt during your training sessions to familiarize yourself with its operation and build confidence in its effectiveness.

How to feel secure and safe in the saddle

Feeling secure and safe in the saddle is essential for a successful hunting experience. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

  1. Proper setup: Take the time to set up your saddle correctly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that all straps are tightened securely but comfortably around your body, providing a snug fit.
  2. Regular inspections: Before each hunt, thoroughly inspect your saddle, climbing sticks, and lineman’s belt for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out or faulty components to maintain optimal safety.
  3. Practice and familiarity: Practice using your saddle and climbing system before the hunting season begins. Familiarize yourself with the operation of each component, including attaching and detaching yourself from the tree. Regular practice builds muscle memory and confidence in your equipment.
  4. Maintain situational awareness: While in the saddle, always remain aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to branches, obstacles, or potential hazards that may affect your safety. Stay focused on maintaining balance and stability at all times.
  5. Communicate your intentions: If hunting with a partner who may be filming, communicate your movements and intentions while in the saddle to avoid any potential accidents or misunderstandings.

By implementing these safety measures and prioritizing your well-being, you can fully enjoy the benefits of saddle hunting while minimizing risks. Remember, safety should never be compromised in pursuit of a successful hunt.

Stay secure, stay safe, and embrace the thrill of saddle hunting with confidence!

Mastering the Art of Silence and Scent Control

In saddle hunting, mastering the art of silence and scent control is paramount to outsmarting a deer. The ability to move silently and remain undetected by keen senses can make a significant difference in your hunting success. In this section, we’ll provide you with detailed tips for staying silent during the hunt and highlight the importance of scent control in saddle hunting.

Tips for staying silent during the hunt

  1. Clothing selection: Opt for clothing made from quiet and lightweight materials, specifically designed for hunting. Avoid garments that rustle or create unnecessary noise when moving. Additionally, consider using noise-dampening accessories like stealth strips to minimize equipment noise.
  2. Slow and deliberate movements: Move slowly and deliberately when positioning yourself in the saddle or adjusting your gear. Quick and jerky movements can create unnecessary noise that may alert any near by deer.
  3. Minimize gear clatter: Secure loose items on your person or in your backpack to prevent them from rattling or making noise as you move. Use gear organizers or pouches to keep essential items organized and easily accessible without fumbling or creating unnecessary noise. Avoid any metal on metal contact.
  4. Choose quiet attachment methods: Opt for quiet attachment methods when securing gear to your saddle or platform. Consider using rubber-coated hook or gear ties with noise-dampening properties instead of metal buckles or clips that may clang against each other.
  5. Practice stealthy footwork: Take deliberate steps when climbing with climbing sticks. Place each foot carefully, avoiding unnecessary contact with noisy branches or vegetation that may be near by.
  6. Utilize natural cover: When setting up within shooting range of game animals, use natural cover such as the trees foliage to break up your silhouette and mask any movement you make.
  7. Stay vigilant: Continuously scan your surroundings with your eyes for signs of movement without moving yourself. By remaining alert, you can spot deer early and adjust accordingly.

Importance of scent control in saddle hunting

Scent control is critical in saddle hunting as deer possess a keen sense of smell that can detect even the slightest human odor. Here’s why scent control is crucial:

  1. Avoid detection: Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell to detect potential threats. By minimizing your scent, you increase your chances of going undetected and getting closer to your target.
  2. Maintain stealth: Scent control is an integral part of maintaining overall stealth during the hunt. Even if you are silent and well-concealed, a strong human odor can still give away your presence.
  3. Maximize opportunities: By controlling your scent, you reduce the likelihood of spooking deer before they come within shooting range. This increases your chances of a successful shot opportunity.

To effectively control scent in saddle hunting, consider implementing the following practices:

  • Scent-free clothing: Wear scent-blocking clothing designed specifically for hunting to minimize human odor.
  • Scent elimination products: Use scent elimination sprays, soaps, and detergents to remove human odors from your body and gear.
  • Storage precautions: Store your hunting clothing and gear in scent-controlled containers or bags to prevent contamination by foreign odors.
  • Wind awareness: Pay close attention to wind direction and plan your approach or hunting location accordingly. Position yourself upwind from areas where game animals are likely to appear.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact: Minimize contact with foreign odors such as gasoline, tobacco smoke, or strong perfumes before and during the hunt.

By incorporating these scent control measures into your saddle hunting routine, you’ll greatly increase your chances of remaining undetected by game animals and maximize your hunting opportunities.

Remember, silence and scent control go hand in hand in the pursuit of a successful hunt. Mastering these skills will elevate your saddle hunting experience and bring you closer to your desired trophy game.

Shooting from the Saddle

Shooting from a saddle requires a slightly different approach compared to shooting from a traditional treestand. In this section, we’ll explore the key differences between shooting from a saddle and a stand and provide you with valuable tips and techniques for practicing shooting from the saddle.

How shooting from a saddle differs from shooting from a stand

  1. Stability: Shooting from a saddle requires you to maintain stability while suspended in the air. Unlike a treestand, which provides a solid platform, a saddle allows for more movement. Therefore, it’s crucial to practice maintaining balance and stability while taking shots.
  2. Range of motion: Saddle hunting offers greater freedom of movement, allowing you to shoot in various directions around the tree trunk. This versatility enables you to take advantage of shot opportunities that may arise unexpectedly.
  3. Shooting positions: In a saddle, you can shoot while standing, sitting, or even leaning against the tree trunk. Experiment with different shooting positions to find what works best for your comfort and accuracy.
Practicing shooting from my Tethrd Saddle

Tips and techniques for practicing shooting from the saddle

  1. Develop muscle memory: Practice drawing your bow or shouldering your firearm repeatedly while in the saddle. This helps develop muscle memory and familiarity with shooting positions, ensuring smooth and efficient movements during actual hunts.
  2. Utilize your tether: Adjusting the height of your tether can impact your shooting position and stability. Experiment with different tether heights to find the most comfortable and effective position for accurate shots.
  3. Lean into the tree: When taking shots, lean into the tree trunk for added stability and support. This technique helps minimize any unwanted sway or movement that could affect your aim.
  4. Practice 360-degree shooting: Set up targets at various angles around the tree to simulate real hunting scenarios. Practice shooting in all directions, including behind you, using techniques like turning into your tether to spin onto your strong side shoulder.
  5. Perfect your shot execution: Focus on maintaining proper form, steady aim, and smooth trigger control while shooting from the saddle. Consistent practice will help you refine your shooting skills and increase accuracy.
  6. Consider equipment adjustments: Depending on your shooting style and preferences, you may need to adjust your equipment. For example, you might need to modify the length of your release aid or experiment with different anchor points to accommodate shooting from the saddle.
  7. Shoot from different distances: Practice shooting from various distances to become proficient at judging ranges accurately. This skill is crucial for making ethical shots during real hunting situations.

Remember, practicing shooting from the saddle is essential to build confidence and proficiency. Set up a dedicated practice area in your backyard or at a safe location where you can regularly hone your shooting skills and become comfortable with shooting positions unique to saddle hunting.

By incorporating these tips and techniques into your practice sessions, you’ll be well-prepared for the challenges of shooting from a saddle when it truly counts in the field.

Keep practicing, stay focused, and enjoy the excitement of taking accurate shots while suspended among the trees!

Developing a Saddle Hunting System

To excel in saddle hunting, it’s essential to develop a routine and system that works best for you. In this section, we’ll guide you on how to develop a routine for saddle hunting and provide valuable tips for practicing and refining your system.

How to develop a routine for saddle hunting

  1. Plan ahead: Before each hunt, thoroughly plan your approach, considering factors such as wind direction, game patterns, and potential shooting opportunities. This preparation ensures that you’re well-prepared and maximizes your chances of success.
  2. Practice regularly: Dedicate time to regular practice sessions with your saddle hunting equipment. Familiarize yourself with the setup process, climbing techniques, shooting positions, and gear organization. Regular practice builds confidence and helps refine your skills.
  3. Experiment with gear placement: Develop a consistent system for organizing your gear within easy reach while in the saddle. Experiment with different pouches, pockets, or attachment methods to optimize efficiency and minimize noise during hunts.
  4. Maintain equipment: Regularly inspect and maintain your saddle hunting equipment to ensure everything is in proper working order. Replace any worn-out or damaged components promptly to avoid any surprises in the field.
  5. Refine your process: Continuously evaluate your system and look for areas of improvement. Seek feedback from experienced saddle hunters, join online communities or forums to learn from others’ experiences, and adapt your routine based on what works best for you.

Tips for practicing and refining your system

  1. Start early: Begin practicing with your saddle hunting system well before the hunting season begins. This allows ample time to familiarize yourself with the equipment, identify any issues or adjustments needed, and build confidence in your abilities.
  2. Simulate real hunting conditions: Set up a practice area that closely resembles the terrain you’ll encounter during hunts. Incorporate obstacles, different tree types, and shooting scenarios to simulate real hunting conditions and enhance your adaptability.
  3. Experiment with different trees: Practice setting up your saddle on various tree species and sizes. This experience will help you refine your technique and adapt to different tree structures, ensuring a secure and comfortable setup every time.
  4. Seek feedback: Consider filming your practice sessions or having a knowledgeable observer provide feedback on your form, equipment placement, or shooting technique. These insights can help identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your system.
  5. Evaluate comfort: Pay attention to any discomfort or pressure points that arise during practice sessions. Adjust your saddle, padding, or tether height to alleviate discomfort and ensure long-lasting comfort during extended hunts.
  6. Test gear organization: Practice accessing different gear items quickly and quietly while in the saddle. Experiment with different attachment methods or pouch layouts to optimize efficiency and minimize noise during hunts.
  7. Hunt-specific practice: Prioritize practicing scenarios specific to your hunting style, such as shooting from elevated positions or executing shots quickly from different angles. Tailor your practice sessions to replicate the challenges you’re likely to encounter during hunts.

By developing a routine and consistently practicing with your saddle hunting system, you’ll become more proficient, confident, and efficient in the field. Regular refinement of your process ensures that you’re always adapting and maximizing your chances of success.

So, embrace the journey of developing your saddle hunting system, stay dedicated to practice, and enjoy the rewards of a well-honed routine when it’s time to embark on thrilling hunting adventures!


Congratulations on completing this comprehensive guide to saddle hunting! We’ve covered a wide range of topics, from understanding saddle hunting to choosing the right gear, ensuring safety, mastering silence and scent control, shooting from the saddle, and developing a personalized hunting system. Let’s recap the key points before we conclude.

Saddle hunting offers a revolutionary approach to hunting that provides increased mobility, versatility, and stealth in the field. By utilizing a specialized tree saddle or saddle hunting system, you can navigate challenging terrain, access hard-to-reach areas, and remain undetected by deer.

Investing in good climbing sticks is essential for safe and efficient ascents and descents. Look for lightweight, sturdy sticks that adapt to various tree sizes and minimize noise during setup.

Popular saddle hunting systems like the Tethrd Lockdown offer exceptional comfort, adjustability, and functionality. Explore different options to find the system that best suits your needs.

Safety should always be a top priority in saddle hunting. Utilize a lineman’s belt for fall protection and practice proper setup techniques to ensure a secure and safe experience.

Mastering the art of silence and scent control is crucial for remaining undetected by game animals. Choose quiet gear, move deliberately, and implement scent control practices to maximize your chances of success.

Shooting from a saddle requires adjustments in stability, range of motion, and shooting positions compared to shooting from a stand. Practice regularly to develop muscle memory, utilize your tether effectively, and perfect your shot execution.

Developing a routine for saddle hunting involves planning ahead, regular practice sessions, refining your gear organization process, and seeking feedback from experienced hunters. Continuously evaluate and adapt your system based on what works best for you.

In conclusion, we encourage you to try saddle hunting if you haven’t already done so. Embrace the freedom, versatility, and excitement it offers. With dedication and practice, you’ll enhance your hunting experience and open up new possibilities in the pursuit of game.

So, gear up, hone your skills, and venture into the world of saddle hunting. Unleash your potential as a hunter, and may your future hunts be filled with thrilling moments and successful harvests!

Happy saddle hunting!


Q1: Is saddle hunting safe? A1: When done correctly and with proper safety precautions, saddle hunting can be safe on of the safest means of hunting. It’s important to invest in high-quality gear, practice using your equipment, and always prioritize safety by using a lineman’s belt or tether, inspecting your gear regularly, and following proper setup procedures.

Q2: How do I choose the right tree for saddle hunting? A2: Look for healthy, sturdy trees with minimal branches in the desired hunting area. Avoid trees with excessive leaning or visible signs of decay. Additionally, consider the size and shape of the tree to ensure it can accommodate your climbing sticks and provide a secure attachment point for your saddle.

Q3: Can I use a tree saddle for bowhunting and rifle hunting? A3: Absolutely! Saddle hunting systems are versatile and can be used for both bowhunting and rifle hunting. The ability to shoot from various positions in the saddle makes it suitable for different types of weapons and shooting styles.

Q4: How do I practice shooting accurately from a saddle? A4: Regular practice is key to shooting accurately from a saddle. Set up a dedicated practice area where you can simulate real hunting scenarios. Practice shooting from different angles, distances, and shooting positions while focusing on maintaining proper form, aim, and trigger control.

Q5: Can I use a saddle hunting system in all types of terrain? A5: Yes, one of the advantages of saddle hunting is its adaptability to different terrains. Whether you’re navigating dense forests, steep slopes, or swamplands, a properly set up saddle can be used effectively in various types of terrain.

Q6: How do I stay comfortable during long hunts in the saddle? A6: Comfort is crucial during long hunts. Adjust your saddle, padding, and tether height to relieve pressure points and ensure a comfortable fit. Consider using stiff-soled footwear for added support and finding a balance between mobility and comfort.

Q7: Can I use a tree saddle for all-day hunts? A7: Yes, many saddle hunters successfully use their systems for all-day hunts. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Adjust your position, stretch, and stay hydrated to maintain focus and endurance throughout the day.

Q8: How do I clean and maintain my saddle hunting gear? A8: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining your gear. Use mild soap or scent-free detergents to clean clothing items. Inspect all components regularly for wear or damage, and replace any worn-out parts promptly. Proper maintenance ensures the longevity and optimal performance of your gear.

Remember, if you have any specific questions or concerns about saddle hunting, it’s always best to consult with experienced saddle hunters or reach out to the manufacturers of your gear for guidance.

Happy hunting!

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Tethrd Lockdown Saddle: Review and First Impressions

Review of the Tethrd Lockdown Saddle First Impressions

Saddle hunting, a method of hunting that combines the stealth of tree stand hunting with the mobility of ground hunting, has been gaining traction among hunters for its unique advantages. This method allows hunters to ascend trees and position themselves in a way that offers an unobstructed shooting lane, all while maintaining a low profile. The growing popularity of saddle hunting can be attributed to its versatility, lightweight gear, and the unique vantage point it provides.

Tethrd Lockdown Saddle One Stick Review First Impressions

In the midst of this growing trend, Tethrd has emerged as a trailblazer, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in saddle hunting gear. Tethrd is a company built by saddle hunters, for saddle hunters. Their mission is to design and manufacture the most innovative, high-quality products in the industry. They are committed to the relentless pursuit of better gear and better methods, always striving to offer the best to the saddle hunting community.

One of Tethrd’s most innovative products is the LockDown Saddle. This saddle is a game-changer, designed to provide maximum comfort without compromising on functionality. The LockDown Saddle takes the best features from Tethrd’s Phantom, such as the UtiliBridge, Comfort Channels, and integrated lineman loops, and adds an Expandable Saddle Body with LockDown Link construction. This creates a super comfortable saddle that expands and contracts with you throughout your hunt, offering an unparalleled level of comfort and mobility.

In the following sections, we will look into the unique features of the Tethrd LockDown Saddle, and explore why it is quickly going to become  a favorite among saddle hunters.

Unboxing the new Tethrd Lockdown Saddle

The Innovation Behind the LockDown Saddle

When it comes to innovation, Tethrd has truly outdone themselves with the Lockdown Saddle. This remarkable piece of hunting gear is the culmination of years of research, development, and feedback from avid hunters like you and me.

Tethrd has always been at the forefront of saddle hunting, constantly pushing the boundaries of design and functionality. The Lockdown Saddle represents a significant evolution from their previous models, such as the Phantom, introducing a range of unique features that set it apart from the competition.

One of the standout features of the Lockdown Saddle is its proprietary yoke system. This innovative design replaces traditional suspender systems, offering adjustable and removable support for carrying gear. The yoke system ensures that the saddle stays securely in place during walks, eliminating the worry of it slipping down and causing discomfort.

Tethrd Lockdown Saddle Adjustable Panel with Lockdown Links

Another notable feature is the expandable saddle body. Unlike other expandable saddles that can be a hassle to manage, the Lockdown Saddle’s body stays closed when not in use and expands effortlessly when needed. This not only enhances comfort during long sits but also eliminates any pinching or hot spots that can distract you from focusing on the hunt.

But that’s not all – Tethrd has gone above and beyond to ensure that the Lockdown Saddle is as versatile and user-friendly as possible. The integrated dump pouches on the sides of the saddle offer generous storage space and are designed for one-handed operation. With multiple compartments and grommet holes for gear hoists, these pockets provide easy accessibility and organization for all your hunting essentials.

Moreover, the Lockdown Saddle features the Lockdown Haulers, which are permanently attached to the saddle. These slim and streamlined haulers not only provide efficient storage but also eliminate any unnecessary bulk, allowing for a more streamlined and agile hunting experience.

Tethrd has also taken comfort into serious consideration with the Lockdown Saddle. The Comfort Channels, adjustable through a girth hitch system, offer seven points of adjustment, allowing for micro-adjustments and optimal comfort. Additionally, the Lockdown Saddle’s UtiliBridge and Comfort Channels work together to provide stability and prevent sliding during use, ensuring that you can focus on the hunt without any distractions.

With its impressive array of features and attention to detail, the Lockdown Saddle is truly a game-changer in the world of saddle hunting. Tethrd’s commitment to continuous improvement and their dedication to creating innovative gear shines through in every aspect of this exceptional saddle.

In the next section, we’ll take a deep dive into the Lockdown Saddle’s features, examining each one in detail to understand how they enhance your hunting experience. Stay tuned!

Tethrd Linemans Belt Kit

The Lineman Belt is one of the most important pieces of kit in your arsenal. The Lineman Belt safely connects you to the tree while you climb, to help reduce the risk of a fall.

Includes 8′ rope with one 2″ factory-spliced eye, 2 ultra lite carabiners, and prusik cord.

Deep Dive into the LockDown’s Features

Alright, fellow hunters, let’s roll up our sleeves and take a closer look at the incredible features that make the Lockdown Saddle a true game-changer in the world of hunting gear. Get ready to be blown away!

First up, let’s talk about the Lockdown Links. These bad boys are the backbone of the Lockdown Saddle, providing a secure and comfortable fit. The Lockdown Links are not only adjustable but also incredibly durable, ensuring that your saddle stays firmly in place throughout your hunting adventures.

Next on our list are the Lockdown Haulers. These slim and streamlined haulers are permanently attached to the saddle, offering efficient storage without adding any unnecessary bulk. Need to carry extra gear? No problem! The Lockdown Haulers have got you covered with their increased capacity, ensuring that you can bring along all your hunting essentials without compromising on agility. Conveniently enough, I can fit my LoneWolf Pocket Arm in one of the Lockdown Haulers. This is going to allow me to ditch my Mystery Ranch pack and become even more mobile.

LoneWolf Pocket Arm In the new Tethrd Lockdown pouch

Now, let’s talk about the Lockdown Modular Yoke. This innovative feature enhances both comfort and convenience. With the Lockdown Modular Yoke, you can easily adjust the fit of your saddle, ensuring a personalized and comfortable experience. Say goodbye to those days of uncomfortable hunting sessions – the Lockdown Saddle has got your back, quite literally!

But we’re not done yet! The Lockdown Saddle takes customization to a whole new level with its UtiliBridge and Comfort Channels. The UtiliBridge, made from amsteel, can be expanded to relieve hip pinch and pressure, providing you with ultimate comfort during those long sits. And the Comfort Channels? They offer seven points of adjustment, allowing you to fine-tune your saddle’s fit and find that sweet spot of comfort that keeps you focused and ready for the perfect shot.

Oh, and did I mention the expandable saddle body? This feature is a game-changer, my friends. The Lockdown Saddle’s expandable panel provides extra coverage and comfort by cupping the bottom, ensuring that you can stay in your saddle for extended periods without feeling any discomfort. And don’t worry about wear and tear – the included spare elastic retractors ensure that your saddle stays in top-notch condition for many hunting seasons to come. This feature is quite possibly my favorite. I like to sit while waiting on a deer to come through and, with the expandable saddle body, it makes it that much more comfortable.

With its incredible range of features and attention to detail, the Lockdown Saddle truly stands out from the crowd. Tethrd has left no stone unturned in their quest to create the ultimate hunting gear, and it’s safe to say that they’ve hit the bullseye with the Lockdown Saddle.

In the next section, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences and anecdotes of using the Lockdown Saddle, as well as comparing its performance with other saddles in the market. Stay tuned, my fellow hunters, because you won’t want to miss it!

The LockDown Saddle in Action

Now, let me share my brief personal experiences with the Lockdown Saddle and give you a glimpse of why I believe it’s a game-changer in the world of hunting gear. As an avid hunter who got my hands on the Lockdown Saddle as soon as it was released, I can confidently say that it has exceeded all my expectations.

First and foremost, the comfort level of the Lockdown Saddle is off the charts. The adjustable yoke system provides excellent support and ensures that the saddle stays securely in place, even during long walks. No more constantly readjusting or feeling like your gear is weighing you down. With the Lockdown Saddle, I can focus on the hunt without any distractions.

First Impression of the Tethrd Lockdown

The expandable saddle body is a huge upgrade from my previous Tethrd Mantis saddle. It offers extra coverage and comfort, making those extended sits a breeze. I now feel like I will be able to stay in my saddle for hours on end without feeling any discomfort or pressure points. It’s truly a game-changer for those of us who love spending long hours in the field.

One thing I absolutely love about the Lockdown Saddle is the integrated storage pockets. They are incredibly spacious, streamlined, and designed with the hunter in mind. The one-handed operation makes accessing my gear a breeze and, with the multiple compartments, it’s going to allow me to stay organized and have everything I need within arm’s reach. No more fumbling around with two hands or wasting precious hunting time searching for something at the bottom of a pocket.

But don’t just take my word for it. I’ll be releasing demonstration videos soon showing how to one-stick, where you can see the Lockdown Saddle in action. You’ll witness firsthand how easy it is to set up, adjust, and utilize all the innovative features that Tethrd has packed into this incredible saddle. Stay tuned for those videos, as they will truly showcase the Lockdown Saddle’s capabilities.

Review and First Impressions Tethrd Lockdown Saddle For One Stick Saddle Hunting

In terms of performance, the Lockdown Saddle has truly raised the bar. Compared to other saddles in the market, it stands out with its superior comfort, durability, and versatility.

Now, I must mention that the Lockdown Saddle is not just a piece of hunting gear – it’s an investment in your hunting experience. With its top-notch construction, innovative features, and attention to detail, the Lockdown Saddle offers exceptional value for the price. It’s a game-changer that will elevate your hunting game to new heights.

In the next section, we’ll look even deeper into the value of the Lockdown Saddle, comparing its price point with other saddles in the market. So, stay with me as we explore the incredible value that the Lockdown Saddle brings to the table.

The Tethrd HYS Strap is the ultimate public land legal gear hanger. The HYS Strap is made of high strength polyester that enables you to hang your stuff in whatever way makes sense to you. You can easily move your gear and position it wherever it makes sense for your style of hunting.

The Value of the LockDown Saddle

Now, let’s talk about the value that the Lockdown Saddle brings to the table. When it comes to hunting gear, finding the perfect balance between price and quality is crucial. And I must say, the Lockdown Saddle hits the sweet spot.

Considering the innovative features, exceptional comfort, and durability that the Lockdown Saddle offers, its price point is more than justified. Priced right at $429 for the complete system, this saddle is worth every penny. Only $30 more than the Phantom Elite, Tethrd has poured their expertise and passion into creating a saddle that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of serious hunters.

When comparing the Lockdown Saddle with other saddles in the market, it becomes evident that it offers incredible value for money. Its unique features, such as the expandable saddle body, integrated storage pockets, and adjustable yoke system, set it apart from the competition. You won’t find another saddle that combines comfort, functionality, and durability quite like the Lockdown Saddle.

Moreover, let’s not forget the long-term benefits of investing in the Lockdown Saddle. With its top-notch construction and attention to detail, this saddle is built to withstand the rigors of the hunting season. The replaceable elastic ensures longevity, allowing you to enjoy many successful hunts without worrying about wear and tear.

So, if you’re looking for a saddle that offers exceptional value for your hard-earned money, look no further than the Lockdown Saddle. It’s an investment that will enhance your hunting experience for years to come.

In conclusion, the Tethrd Lockdown Saddle is a true game-changer in the world of hunting gear. With its innovative features, unmatched comfort, and exceptional value, it has set a new standard for saddle hunting. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting your saddle hunting journey, the Lockdown Saddle is a must-have addition to your gear arsenal.

I highly recommend checking out the Lockdown Saddle for yourself. Visit your local Tethrd dealer or head over to their website to learn more and make a purchase. Trust me, once you experience the comfort and functionality of the Lockdown Saddle, you’ll wonder how you ever hunted without it.

So, what are you waiting for? Take your hunting game to the next level with the Tethrd Lockdown Saddle. Happy hunting, my fellow adventurers!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for my upcoming demonstration videos, where I’ll showcase the Lockdown Saddle in action. You won’t want to miss it!

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The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Cooler Brands: More Than Just Keeping Your Drinks Cold

Best Coolers for Hunting 2023 Yeti Orion RTIC Cabela's Orca

Are you a passionate hunter who loves spending long hours in the great outdoors? If so, you know that having the right equipment is essential for a successful hunting trip. And one piece of gear that often gets overlooked but is crucial for any hunting adventure is a high-quality cooler.

But wait, you might be thinking, isn’t a cooler just for keeping drinks cold? Well, my fellow hunters, it’s time to expand your horizons because a hunting cooler is so much more than that. It’s your reliable companion that ensures your freshly harvested meat stays fresh, prevents bacterial growth, and ultimately preserves the quality of your hard-earned game.

In this article, we will look into the world of hunting cooler brands, exploring their unique features, benefits, and drawbacks. So, grab a seat, sharpen your hunting instincts, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the best hunting cooler brands out there.

The Role of a Hunting Cooler

Beyond Keeping Drinks Cold

Hunters, listen up! A hunting cooler is not just your average beverage chiller. It serves a far greater purpose than simply keeping your drinks refreshingly cold. When you’re out in the field, a hunting cooler becomes your trusted ally in preserving the quality and safety of your hard-earned game.

Think about it: you’ve spent hours tracking, stalking, and finally harvesting your prized game. The last thing you want is for all your efforts to go to waste due to improper storage. That’s where a hunting cooler steps in to save the day.

Preventing Bacterial Growth and Spoilage

One of the most critical aspects of hunting is ensuring the freshness and safety of the meat you bring home. When an animal is harvested, its body temperature begins to rise, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. This rapid bacterial growth can lead to spoilage and potential health risks if not addressed promptly.

Here’s where a hunting cooler becomes your knight in shining armor. By quickly cooling the freshly harvested meat, you slow down bacterial growth, preserving the quality and taste of the meat. A high-quality hunting cooler with excellent insulation and ice retention capabilities can keep your game at safe temperatures for an extended period, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that your hard-earned harvest remains in pristine condition.

So, my fellow hunters, never underestimate the crucial role a hunting cooler plays in your hunting expeditions. It goes beyond keeping your drinks cold; it’s your guardian of freshness, your protector against spoilage, and your ticket to savoring the fruits of your hunting labor.

Detailed Reviews of Top Hunting Cooler Brands

Now, let’s dive into the exciting world of hunting cooler brands and explore the top contenders that have won the hearts of hunters worldwide. Each brand brings its unique strengths and features to the table, ensuring that you find the perfect cooler to suit your specific needs. So, without further ado, let’s explore the detailed reviews of the top hunting cooler brands:

Yeti Best Hunting Cooler

1. Yeti

Brief History and Mission: Yeti, a true pioneer in the cooler industry, was founded in 2006 by two brothers who shared a passion for the great outdoors. Their mission was simple yet ambitious: to create the toughest, most durable coolers on the market that could withstand any adventure.

Key Features: Yeti coolers are renowned for their ruggedness and ability to keep food and drinks cold for extended periods. Their Tundra Cooler series, in particular, is a popular choice for big game hunting, allowing hunters to stay out in the field for longer durations. Yeti coolers come in various sizes, catering to different storage needs. Additionally, they offer customization options, allowing hunters to add a personal touch to their gear.

Pros and Cons: Yeti coolers have gained a stellar reputation among hunters for their durability, ice retention capabilities, and customization options. However, it’s important to note that the higher price tag and weight of Yeti coolers may be a deterrent for some hunters. Availability in stores can also be a challenge.

Warranty and Customer Service: Yeti offers a generous 5-year warranty on their coolers, demonstrating their confidence in the quality of their products. Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful, ensuring that hunters have a smooth experience.

Orca Best Hunting Cooler

2. Orca

Brief History and Mission: Orca, a rising star in the hunting cooler scene, has been making waves since its establishment. Founded by a group of outdoor enthusiasts, Orca aims to provide hunters with coolers that excel in ice retention, durability, and versatility.

Key Features: Orca coolers are highly regarded for their exceptional ice retention, with some models capable of keeping ice frozen for an impressive 6-9+ days. These coolers are designed to withstand wear and tear, making them ideal for rugged hunting expeditions. Orca offers a variety of sizes and colors, allowing hunters to choose the perfect cooler to match their style and needs.

Pros and Cons: Orca coolers have gained popularity among hunters for their outstanding ice retention, durability, and lifetime warranty. However, the higher price point and stiff handle on some models may be drawbacks for some users. Availability in stores can also be limited compared to other brands.

Warranty and Customer Service: Orca coolers come with a limited lifetime warranty, reflecting the brand’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful, ensuring that hunters have a positive experience.

RTIC Best Hunting Cooler

3. RTIC Outdoors

Brief History and Mission: RTIC Outdoors has made a name for itself by offering high-quality, roto-molded coolers at more affordable prices. The company’s mission is to provide hunters with durable and budget-friendly coolers that can withstand the demands of outdoor adventures.

Key Features: RTIC coolers are designed to be more durable than average coolers, making them an excellent choice for hunting trips. They come in a range of sizes and colors, allowing hunters to find the perfect fit for their needs. RTIC coolers are made in the USA and come with a limited warranty.

Pros and Cons: RTIC coolers have gained recognition for their durability, affordability, and variety of sizes and colors. However, some users have noted that the ice retention may not be as long as some other brands. Comfort of carry and ease of use can also be areas of improvement.

Warranty and Customer Service: RTIC coolers come with a limited warranty, providing peace of mind to hunters. Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful, ensuring that any issues are resolved promptly.

Cabela's Best Hunting Cooler

4. Cabela’s

Brief History and Mission: Cabela’s, a well-established name in the outdoor industry, has been catering to the needs of hunters for decades. With a mission to provide high-quality gear at affordable prices, Cabela’s has become a trusted brand among hunters.

Key Features: Cabela’s offers a range of coolers for hunting, including the Polar Cap Equalizer hard cooler and a line of soft coolers. The Polar Cap Equalizer hard cooler is designed to keep ice frozen for up to 10 days and comes in various sizes. Cabela’s coolers are known for their durability and affordability.

Pros and Cons: Cabela’s coolers are praised for their durability, affordability, and variety of sizes. However, some users have noted that the ice retention may not be as long as some other high-end brands. Brand recognition and limited customization options can also be areas of improvement.

Warranty and Customer Service: Cabela’s coolers come with a warranty, ensuring that hunters have peace of mind. Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful, ensuring a positive experience for hunters.

Orion Best Hunting Cooler

5. Orion

Brief History and Mission: Orion coolers, crafted by the same people who make Jackson Kayaks, have gained a reputation for their durability and performance. With a focus on versatility and durability, Orion aims to provide hunters with coolers that can withstand any adventure.

Key Features: Orion coolers come in a range of sizes, making them suitable for various hunting trips. Most Orion coolers feature camo color patterns, making them a popular choice for deer hunting and camping. They are designed to be durable and come with features like YakAttack gear tracks, bottle openers, and tie-down points.

Pros and Cons: Orion coolers are praised for their versatility, camo color patterns, and durability. However, some users have noted that they may be more expensive than some other high-end brands. The latches on some models can also be challenging to open and close.

Warranty and Customer Service: Orion coolers typically come with a warranty, ensuring that hunters are satisfied with their purchase. Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful, addressing any concerns or issues promptly.

With these detailed reviews, you now have a better understanding of the top hunting cooler brands available in the market. Each brand brings its unique strengths and features, allowing you to choose the perfect cooler that aligns with your hunting needs and preferences.

Comparison of Top Hunting Cooler Brands

Now that we have explored the detailed reviews of the top hunting cooler brands, let’s compare them side by side to help you make an informed decision. Below, you’ll find a comparison table highlighting key features, pros, cons, and prices of each brand. Additionally, we’ll discuss which coolers might be best for specific hunting scenarios or needs.

BrandKey FeaturesProsConsPrice Range (Approx.)
YetiRuggedness, excellent insulation, customization optionsDurability, ice retention, customization, brand reputationHigher price, weight, availability in storesHigh
OrcaExceptional ice retention, durability, variety of sizesIce retention, durability, lifetime warrantyHigher price, limited availability, stiff handleHigh
RTICDurability, affordability, variety of sizes and colorsDurability, affordability, variety of sizes and colorsIce retention may not be as long as some other brandsMedium
Cabela’sDurability, affordability, range of sizes and stylesDurability, affordability, range of sizesIce retention may not be as long as some other high-end brandsMedium
OrionVersatility, camo color patterns, durability, featuresVersatility, camo color patterns, durabilityHigher price, latches can be challenging to open and closeHigh
Comparison of Best Hunting Coolers Pro’s and Con’s

When it comes to choosing the best hunting cooler for specific scenarios or needs, here are some recommendations:

  • Yeti: If you prioritize durability, ice retention, and customization options, Yeti coolers are an excellent choice. They are ideal for hunters who value brand reputation and are willing to invest in a high-quality cooler.
  • Orca: If exceptional ice retention and durability are your top priorities, Orca coolers won’t disappoint. They are perfect for hunters who need their game to stay cold for extended periods, and the lifetime warranty provides added peace of mind.
  • RTIC: For hunters seeking a balance between durability and affordability, RTIC coolers are a great option. They offer a variety of sizes and colors, making them suitable for different hunting trips and budgets.
  • Cabela’s: If you’re looking for a durable and affordable cooler with a range of sizes and styles, Cabela’s coolers are worth considering. They are a solid choice for hunters who prioritize affordability without compromising on quality.
  • Orion: If versatility, camo color patterns, and additional features are important to you, Orion coolers are a fantastic choice. They are ideal for hunters who value customization options and need a cooler that can withstand rugged outdoor adventures.

Ultimately, the best hunting cooler brand for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Consider the key features, pros, and cons of each brand, and choose the one that aligns with your hunting style and requirements.

Tips for Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Hunting Cooler

To ensure that your hunting cooler performs at its best and keeps your food and drinks cold for as long as possible, follow these practical tips and tricks:

Getting the Most Out of Your Cooler

  1. Pre-Chill Your Cooler: Before you pack your cooler, pre-chill it by adding ice or ice packs for a few hours. This helps to lower the internal temperature and create a cold environment for your perishables.
  2. Organize Your Cooler: Proper organization is key to maximizing efficiency. Place ice packs or frozen items at the bottom to create a cold base. Pack perishable items on top, ensuring they are well-sealed or wrapped to prevent any leakage or cross-contamination.
  3. Use Block Ice: Instead of relying solely on ice cubes, consider using block ice. Block ice melts slower and provides a more consistent cooling effect, keeping your contents colder for longer.
  4. Minimize Air Gaps: Fill any empty spaces in your cooler with additional ice packs, crumpled newspaper, or even frozen water bottles. Minimizing air gaps helps maintain a colder temperature and prevents warm air from entering the cooler.
  5. Limit Opening the Cooler: Every time you open the cooler, warm air enters and cold air escapes. To minimize this, plan ahead and only open the cooler when necessary. This helps to preserve the internal temperature and extend the life of the ice.

Proper Packing, Maintenance, and Ice Life Extension

  1. Pack in Layers: When packing your cooler, layer perishable items with ice packs or block ice. This ensures even distribution of cold and helps maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooler.
  2. Keep it Closed: Avoid leaving your cooler open for extended periods. The more you open it, the quicker the cold air escapes, and the faster the ice melts. Limiting the opening and closing of the cooler helps to preserve the ice and maintain the desired temperature.
  3. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Keep your cooler in the shade or cover it with a reflective blanket to minimize exposure to direct sunlight. Sunlight can quickly heat up the cooler and accelerate ice melting.
  4. Drain Melted Water: As the ice melts, drain the water from your cooler regularly. Excess water can accelerate ice melting and reduce the overall cooling efficiency.
  5. Keep it Clean: After each use, clean your cooler thoroughly with mild soap and water. This prevents any residue or odors from lingering and ensures a fresh start for your next hunting trip.

By following these tips, you can maximize the efficiency of your hunting cooler, prolong the life of the ice, and keep your food and drinks cold for an extended period. Remember, a well-maintained cooler is your best companion in preserving the freshness and quality of your hunting spoils.

Now that you’re armed with these practical tips and tricks, go ahead and make the most of your hunting cooler on your next thrilling adventure!


In conclusion, we have explored the world of hunting cooler brands and discovered that they are more than just a means to keep your drinks cold. A hunting cooler plays a crucial role in preserving the freshness and quality of your hard-earned game by quickly cooling the meat and preventing bacterial growth and spoilage.

Throughout this article, we reviewed the detailed reviews of the top hunting cooler brands, including Yeti, Orca, RTIC Outdoors, Cabela’s, and Orion. Each brand brings its unique strengths and features to the table, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of hunters. Whether you prioritize durability, ice retention, affordability, or customization options, there is a hunting cooler brand that suits your requirements.

We also provided practical tips and tricks to help you maximize the efficiency of your hunting cooler. From proper packing techniques to maintenance and ice life extension strategies, these tips ensure that your cooler performs at its best, keeping your food and drinks cold for longer durations.

As you embark on your hunting adventures, we encourage you to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing a hunting cooler. Think about factors such as insulation, durability, size, price, and the specific features that align with your hunting style. Take into account the pros and cons of each brand and make an informed decision that suits your requirements.

Remember, a high-quality hunting cooler is not just a luxury; it’s an essential tool that safeguards the freshness and safety of your game. So, choose wisely and invest in a hunting cooler that will be your reliable companion on all your hunting expeditions.

We hope this ultimate guide to hunting cooler brands has provided you with valuable insights and helped you navigate the vast array of options available. Now, it’s time to gear up, pack your cooler, and embark on unforgettable hunting adventures with the confidence that your game will stay fresh and your thirst will be quenched.

Happy hunting!


  1. Q: How long can a hunting cooler keep ice frozen? A: The ice retention capabilities of hunting coolers vary depending on the brand and model. High-quality coolers can typically keep ice frozen for several days, ranging from 3 to 10+ days. Factors such as insulation, cooler size, and external conditions can also affect ice retention.
  2. Q: Are hunting coolers worth the investment? A: Absolutely! Investing in a high-quality hunting cooler is worth it for several reasons. It ensures the freshness and safety of your game by preventing bacterial growth and spoilage. Additionally, a durable cooler can withstand rugged outdoor conditions and last for years, saving you money in the long run.
  3. Q: Can I use regular coolers for hunting trips? A: While regular coolers can be used for hunting trips, they may not offer the same level of insulation, durability, and ice retention as hunting-specific coolers. Regular coolers may struggle to keep perishables cold for an extended period, potentially compromising the quality of your game.
  4. Q: How do I clean and maintain my hunting cooler? A: To clean your hunting cooler, use mild soap and water to wipe down the interior and exterior. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry before storing. Regularly inspect and clean the cooler’s sealing gasket to ensure a tight seal. Additionally, store your cooler in a cool, dry place when not in use to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Q: Can I use dry ice in my hunting cooler? A: Yes, you can use dry ice in your hunting cooler, but it requires extra caution. Dry ice can create extremely low temperatures, so handle it with gloves and avoid direct contact with skin. Place the dry ice on top of the perishables, ensuring proper ventilation within the cooler. Remember to follow safety guidelines provided by the dry ice manufacturer.