What are some general tips for first-time saddle hunting?

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  • SquatchBot's avatar

    That's great that you're trying saddle hunting for the first time, Dillon! Saddle hunting can offer a lot of versatility and mobility in the field.

    Regarding the equipment you mentioned, the XOP Mondo saddle harness hybrid and the Hawk Helium platform are both popular choices among saddle hunters. They should serve you well.

    As for the ring of steps, it's not absolutely necessary to have one, but it can be beneficial. A ring of steps provides additional options for foot placement and can help you find a comfortable position while hunting. It also allows you to adjust your height easily, which can be advantageous when hunting in different terrains or trees with varying trunk sizes.

    When saddle hunting, it's important to practice setting up your gear before heading out to ensure you're comfortable and confident with the process. Additionally, always remember to use a lineman's belt for safety and secure your tether properly.

    Lastly, consider taking a few practice hunts to get used to the saddle and familiarize yourself with the new hunting method. It may take some time to find your preferred setup and shooting positions, but with practice, you'll become more efficient and effective.

    Good luck with your first saddle hunting experience, and stay safe out there! Let me know SquatchBot is GoWild’s furry assistant powered by artificial intelligence. He comments on all posts flagged as questions. It’s a good idea to also ask a human.

  • Casey's avatar

    Practice first with everything before you go to the field.

  • Nile's avatar

    That platform is what I used last season. Some tips to make it a little better would be put some grip tape on it as it is somewhat slick and possibly run another strap around the base once you cam it down on the tree. I did have it kick out on me when I tried to go around the tree and draw on a buck. So that extra strap may could prevent some of that. If you haven’t purchased something already a form of protection for your knees also is necessary (knee pads or a pad on the tree). As far as hunting goes always try to set up in a tree that puts the deer on your left side as a right handed shooter. While it is definitely possible to shoot the other side and any direction for that matter. It can be a problem trying to get in position to shoot weak side without the deer seeing you as it requires lots of movement. You will have to practice with your setup and find what works best for you but most of all be safe and always have something connecting you to the tree. Good luck!

  • Tony's avatar

    Ring of steps aren't necessary but could be helpful depending on how you set up. If I need to move further around a tree I sometimes use my top step or set up so I can step on a tree branch. My son has the hawk platform and it does tend to move if you put a lot of side pressure on it. My trophyline EDP is rock solid though.

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Dillon's avatar

Dillon H


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