How Safe is Saddle Hunting? It Might Be The Safest Way To Hunt
By Jeremy Dinsmore from Antler Up Outdoors
One of the most asked questions I receive about saddle hunting is how safe is it? I am here to answer that and put your mind at ease when it comes to safety in a saddle. Before I do, however, let's just take a quick trip down memory lane. When you were a kid, did you climb up that wooden stand that your grandfather, father or uncle made during bow or rifle season? I bet most hunters like myself climbed up the wooden steps, got on the wooden platform and sat on some old school style chair without ever wearing some form of safety device. I hope now, regardless of the method you are hunting, you are wearing some form of safety device where you are attached to the tree at all times in case of a fall. When you saddle hunt, you are attached and secure the entire time. Let's talk about how safe it is to saddle hunt!
What Makes Saddle Hunting Safe?
The majority of saddles out on the market today have built-in safety measures to keep you safe from the second you start your climb, during your hunt and then the second you come down from your hunt. For the sake of this article, I will be mentioning key components of the Tethrd Phantom saddle. This specific saddle is the one I use and it has its own distinguishing lineman's belt loops, leg straps, belt and Ulitibridge that all play a role in your safety. The main aspect to staying safe when you saddle hunt is to properly use your saddle and to be connected at all times.
Safe & Secure Saddle Hunting
Getting secured into your saddle is really simple to do. Begin by stepping through your bridge. Then pull the saddle up to your waist, connect your belt and have the belt rest where you would wear a regular belt. Next, securing the leg straps to the appropriate spots and using your bridge correctly will play a major role in preventing you from falling. For example, if you are tethered up on your platform and ready to hunt and you accidentally slipped from the platform, your saddle is going to prevent you from falling down. If you are wearing a safety harness in a treestand, you will still drop a foot or two depending on the length of your lanyard. When wearing your saddle correctly, it is nearly impossible to fall.
Stay Connected With Your Tree Saddle
The lineman loops allow you to use a rope that will attach from one loop then go around the tree, then attach on the other lineman loop. This allows you to use both hands as you climb up the tree using your preferred climbing method. To go along with this, using a lineman’s rope keeps you safely connected to the tree and helps reduce the risk of falling. As you get to the top of the tree and step onto your platform, you will now use your tree tether rope to connect to your bridge. While you do this, you are still connected securely with your lineman’s rope. Once you set your tether rope up, you are now connected in two places, which allows you to never be disconnected from the tree at any point in time. The process stays the same when you are ready to climb down. Just simply stay connected with your tether rope, and attach your lineman’s rope before you disconnect the tether rope. Once you are ready you can begin your climb back down the tree knowing you are still connected and secure.
Just Be Smart
As an educator and coach, I consistently remind my students and players to make smart decisions. The same can be said for hunters. Regardless of how you hunt, the important thing is to think clearly and safely so you can come back home to your family and have a chance to hunt again. Get out there, wear your saddle correctly and hunt safely!