- How Comfortable Is It to Hunt from a Tree Saddle?
How Comfortable Is It to Hunt from a Tree Saddle?
By: Jeremy Dinsmore
The first time that I interacted with a seasoned saddle hunter, I vividly remember asking him, “how comfortable is it really?” He chuckled and then proceeded to tell me it is like being in a recliner chair up in the tree! I get it; your initial reaction to that is most likely, “yeah right!” However, besides being asked what you need to get in order to saddle hunt, the next question is always, “how comfortable is it?” Let’s dive into this topic and hopefully answer that question for you.
What Size Tree Saddle Should I get?
Before we get into setting your saddle up for optimum comfortability, you need to get into the right size saddle first. The Tethrd Phantom saddle comes in two different models:
Tethrd Phantom: Fits waists 28”-40”
Tethrd Phantom XL: Fits waists 38”+
Tree Saddle Sizing
If you fall into the category for the XL version, go ahead with that because the only difference in this saddle is how much material is built into it. This will allow you (you guessed it) to be more comfortable, especially when you begin to throw some outer layers on for the rut. So regardless of which saddle size saddle you get in from Tethrd you will be able to customize your maximum comfort adjustability.
Tree Saddle Setup
Wearing a saddle to hunt is very comfortable. I recommend that you practice at least 3-4 times so you can find your “just right” set up and then you’ll feel ready to hunt. Once you are tethered in the tree it is important to also have the following aspects set up to your comfort levels: rope height and saddle bridge.
Saddle Hunting Tether Rope Height
This is the rope that will connect you safely to the tree and will allow you to move freely in the saddle. A good general rule of thumb is to have the tether rope at forehead height to begin. Once you connect the tree tether rope to your saddle bridge, you are able to place your lineman rope away in your bag. From here, you can then adjust the tether rope for the most comfortable height you desire.
Tree Saddle Bridge
The saddle bridge is an important part of saddle hunting because this is the piece of equipment that connects your saddle to the tree tether rope. The common theme about bridges is they go from one hip to the other but on the more modern saddles, like the Tethrd Phantom, you are able to adjust the length of your bridge rope and place it in your desired “comfort channels” for total comfort control. Simply put, the comfort channels allow for easy adjustment for where you need the most support. Here are the basics regarding the comfort channels:
Lower back support - Move to the “high” channel
Under the saddle support - Move to the “low” channel
The bridge also allows you to maneuver easily for different shot opportunities and depending on how you run your tree tether rope will dictate how short or long your bridge will be.
Saddle Hunting Platform
One of the key pieces of gear that makes saddle hunting really comfortable is the platform you use. The platform is where you place your feet and use to maneuver around the tree and be able to shoot 360 degrees. I use and prefer the Tethrd Predator XL platform because of the dimensions. With the XL platform I have plenty of space to move my feet when I need to make a weak side shot. The platform also allows you to place your feet in different positions to take pressure off your legs.
As you can see, it all comes down to practicing in the yard, a foot from the ground, to determine what feels comfortable for you personally. Get as many repetitions in as you can before you set out to hunt for the first time in the saddle. So, get outside and practice! Practicing setting up your tree tether and bridge correctly multiple times before getting out on your first saddle hunt will help the set up become second nature and you will be as comfortable as reclining back in your favorite sofa chair!