Saddle Hunting Aider Options
By: Jeremy Dinsmore
In the world of hunting, and especially mobile hunting, a common question arises.
Just how high do you need to be to hunt?
Well, regardless of your opinion on the “perfect” height as a hunter you will need a way to get up to that distance.
For mobile hunters, having a light setup is desired and having minimal amount of gear is as well. In my previous articles, I mentioned using climbing sticks and also various modifications that can be done to limit bulk and help you be a more efficient hunter.
To achieve this, hunters have begun using only one to three climbing sticks with aiders to get to their desired hunting height.
Let’s get into this topic a little more and see if this offseason you think adding an aider can help you next hunting season.
We are going to talk about two different “heights” before we get into aider options.
The first height I want to touch upon is your actual height.
Using an aider has benefits for tall and short hunters. I am in the latter category at 5’7” so having one or multiple aiders on my sticks really helps me get to my desired height for hunting.
On the flip side, taller hunters won’t need as many sticks to get to their desired height by using aiders on their climbing sticks. Now, this also depends on the style of aider you plan on going with.
The other height is the actual hunting height you are desiring. For me, this all depends on the cover. If the cover is low, then I might be able to get away with only being 15 feet up in the tree. However, if the cover is high or barely any present the higher you get the better off you can be from being picked off from a seasoned buck or doe.
This is a topic in itself, but for this specific article the aider will help you get to where you want to be.
Style Of Aider
From rock climbing aiders, built-in stick aiders, and custom aiders designed specifically for the climbing stick you are using, there are many options for a hunter when deciding what kind of aider to get.
You can choose from a 5 step aider all the way down to 1 step and you can choose between AmSteel rope, plastic coding wire, or a webbing material.
Aiders allow you to get higher in a tree by placing your stick up higher.
Once you get the stick on the tree, the aider will hang down and you just climb up onto them. This takes a little practice to get used to, but since they weigh next to nothing there really aren’t any downsides.
Like I just mentioned about practice, it is critical that you get enough time using it before you head into the woods. You will want to see how you need to dig your toe box of your boot into the tree to get a solid base as you climb up the tree.
Try climbing in all conditions so you know when the tree is wet, how you will need to complete this task.
See what you like from a style standpoint when it comes to the aider.
Some like an aider that has multiple steps and you take it up with you as you climb onto the next step.
This allows hunters to get away with using only 2 sticks to get to their desired hunting height. Whichever style of aider you choose, fine tune your overall setup to your needs. My personal favorite is the Ultimaider because you can adjust the length of each step on their multi step aider. I use a three step because I like to use it on my first two sticks as I climb. Once I get to the top of my second step I am usually one stick away from the desired hunting height. From there I just toss on my third stick and platform.
So, this offseason look at your setup.
See if you would like to cut down on a stick or two and try out an aider. Now is the perfect time to get one and get practice in.
If you like it, fine tune your setup and if you don’t like it, there will always be another person looking to take an aider off your hands to try for themself.
Whichever route you choose, get after it and good luck!