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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!