Tree Saddle Hunting: Complete Guide

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

Hunters continue to develop new aggressive hunting tactics. Mobile hunting has mainly been on the rise and is a preferred choice for many hunters. Amidst all the new inventions, a hunting method that has been considered offbeat over the years is slowly becoming mainstream.

Saddle hunting is becoming more popular among serious hunters.  It is the logical evolution of the advancing ultra-mobile hunting. The method is more exciting to some hunters, with the technique proving to be more effective in opening opportunities. The success is consistent with many hunters; thus, the reason it is becoming more popular.

What is Saddle Hunting

It is a hunting method that happens when the hunter is elevated from a treetop. The hunter has an added advantage being at the top as they have a better view of the vast hunting land. A saddle hunting is like hunting from a tree stand, but the saddle replaces the tree stand.

The saddles are designed with a cupped seat to ensure that the system is comfortable enough. The webbing features are safely harnessed in gear to make sure the hunter is safe when hunting or climbing the tree.  High strength ropes that run from one hip to another are used as the connecting point for the saddle and the harness. A tether is used to loop around the tree when the hunter is in the desired position.

Saddle Hunting Gear

To complete the hunting experience, you need to have all the required materials. The system is not made up of saddles alone, but it has a lot of features that are all tailored to keep you safe while keeping you comfortable.

1.   The Saddle

The saddle is filled with a chair to make sure that the hunter is comfortable when hunting. Saddles are available, depending on the size of the hunter. A good one should give room for adjustment to make it more comfortable. Some saddles also have additional features that give you space to conveniently store all the accessories you want or store additional ropes.

2.   A Lineman Belt and A Tether

A lineman belt is used by hunters to stay connected to the trees when climbing. To easily climb the tree, you will need a lineman belt for your safety. It also ensures that you can easily set up your gadgets once you reach the desire region on the tree. Once you get to your desired hunting height, the tether is used to attach you to the tree. The harness is wrapped around the tree, and your body is connected to it by strong ropes. The setup of the whole system should be done properly according to the given instructions to make sure that you are safely attached during the hunt.

3.   Ropes

Ropes are used to connect the harness and the body gears. The ropes needed should be strong enough to handle your body weight.  The belts and the ropes should be light to make it easy to pack and carry them. Upgraded ropes should help you reduce the bulkiness while still being strong.

4.   Platforms or Feet Spikes

When you climb to the tree, it is important to have a platform where you can rest your feet to avoid being suspended in the air. Feet spikes can be used to move around the trees if you prefer to have a 360-degree shooting radius.

The saddles system should contain the high gears to ensure that the hunters are safe and comfortable during saddle tree hunting. There are some other accessories that you can choose to add to make the experience as comfortable possible.

Is Saddle Hunting Safe

When hunting, the safety of the hunters should always come first. Many hunters are reluctant to try saddle hunting as they fear that it is not safe. However, saddles are designed in a way to make falling almost impossible. Under normal circumstances, hunting saddles are very safe for the hunter. The system also has a safety harness that protects you in case of an accident. The safety harness ensures that you do not hit the ground when an accident happens, and you fall. It is important always to make sure that the harness is activated when saddle hunting.

Most accidents from the trees often happen when transitioning from one point to another, the fact that in saddle hunting, you are closely attached to the tree makes it very rare to have an accident. The ropes and straps are also made from durable, reliable materials that minimize the risk of anything happening.

Is Saddle Hunting Comfortable?

Saddle hunting means that the hunter will be suspended in the air for a long time from up to 3 to 5 hours. This means that the comfort of the saddle system cannot be compromised. The saddles need to be comfortable so that hunters can last a long time while concentrating on his hunting. The saddles are made with a comfortable seat that can be adjusted according to your comfort.

The comfort may arise if the saddles system is not set up properly as it is required. Following the manufacture’s guide when setting up the system will give you the comfort you need. It is also important to have a saddle that is according to your size. New hunters may experience some small discomfort. It is because the body is subjected to the pressure of hanging from a tree. The discomfort normally goes as the body gets used to being elongated in the air.

The legs platforms also ensure that you are more comfortable as the legs are not hanging in the air. Most of the hunters that have taken part in saddles hunting can confirm that the saddles are comfortable enough to make you last for hours.

How Do I Climb the Tree?

The trees may seem long and impossible to climb. However, there some techniques that hunters use to make climbing up the tree easy. The techniques normally vary according to country laws and regulations. Some methods are not permitted in public lands as they may end up damaging the trees—some of the best approaches that are used when climbing hunting trees are.

Climbing sticks

The sticks are used to reduce the steps taken to get to the top significantly. A distance that will need three steps is reduced to just one step. The method is easy to experienced hunters, and they can climb the tree within minutes. The sticks are easy to pack as they are not heavy. They are also very reliable for the hunter. I strongly suggest you go for the Lone Wolf ones, they’re really sturdy and quiet. Here you have a link to them on Amazon.

Strap on steps

They include plastic steps that are attached to a nylon rope. The steps are easily wrapped around the tree, and the hunter can climb up using the steps. It is one of the easiest ways, even for beginners, to get to a good hunting ground. The stand cannot be left on the trees as it can be stolen. I would recommend the Finessci ones, but I’m sure there are a ton of other good ones out there.

Rope attachment system

It consists of steel attached to a rope. The hunters wrap the rope around the tree and use the steel part to push himself up. The method is more suitable for hunters who are more experienced.

Climbing aiders

Aiders like the nylon webbing are used to reduce the climbing distance. The aiders can easily be attached to the tree, making climbing possible even in the most difficult situation. It is, however, advised that you attached your safety harness in case anything happens to you. Here is a link to Amazon for the KAILAS Climbing Aiders that I heard are good, I haven’t tried them myself so I don’t want to push them too hard.

For private land, climbing on to the trees is easy. Most trees have drilled holes fitted with aluminum bolts that hunters used as steps. Drilling holes and putting climbing screws is also permitted in private lands, and this makes it very easy for the hunters to climb up the trees.

Methods that penetrate the trees are discouraged, and in most states using such methods is illegal. Before going hunting, it is good to know all the regulations required.

Hunting Tree Saddle

it is important to choose a good tree saddle before embarking on the hunt. A good saddle system should have the following features

comfortable. You should consider a saddle that is comfortable for you to ensure you focus on the hunt

safe. A good saddle should make falling almost impossible, making it safe for hunter

durability. Go for a system that is more likely to serve you for a very long time

price. The price of the system should be fair, depending on the kind of the system.

Some of the best tree saddles that you can choose from are

Weaver Leather WLC 300 Saddle

1.       Weaver Leather WLC 300 Saddle with 2″ Nylon Leg Straps

The saddle has been properly tested to ensure that it meets the standard requirements of a certified saddle. It has two side design to make it easy to strap and snap. It is made with hiding leather advance with soft oil tan to make the waist as comfortable as it can be.  The straps are fixed, and the waist is wide enough to fit any hunter.

2.       Weaver Leather 8-185-LG Weaver Arborist WLC-7 Saddle

The saddle is tested and certified as safe to use when tree hunting. It comes with a unique feature of having leg straps. The straps are adjustable to provide a perfect fit for your body. The large back pads ensure that you are well-rested, thus providing more comfort and support.  To has an enhanced roller at the bucks to reduce wear and tear and to make it easy to use when strapping it on

3.       Weaver Leather WLC 560 2 Floating Dee with Padded Nylon Leg Straps

The pads are made of leather filled with a form to give that extra comfort. It has an extra back belt that is used to provide more support with the two bar design making it easy to snap even with just one hand. It has additional Dees situated at the bottom to give the hunter room to attach additional accessories like a first aid kit or an additional bag.

4.       Buckingham 16905W1-M BuckCat Lightweight Saddle

It is one of the newest saddles available. It has been built to offer the perfect combination of comfort and safety. The suspension bridge can be easily adjusted to fit your comfort. The pads are filled with foam for extra comfort. It is lightweight, making it easy to carry and pack. To enhance performance, it has web and accessory loops. The saddle is versatile and safe, making it an ideal saddle.

5.       Buckingham 1379-S Double Cotton Back Saddle

Tested and certified as a safe saddle for use. It has a ring and an accessory snap on each side. The back and the seat are made out of leather to bring out that extra comfort. It has a leg strap and back pads to provide extra support to the hunter. The saddle has a floating Dee ring to attach any additional accessories that the hunter may need like a first aid kid. It is reinforced with thick cotton to make it more comfortable and durable.

How Much Do Hunting Saddles Cost

Hunting saddles tend to be expensive with a prince ranging from 150$, not forgetting the other gears that are needed, like the saddle platforms and the hunting bow and arrows. The saddles are, however, very durable, and they can serve the hunter for a long period. The price is also fair compared to the price of more expensive tree stands.

Saddle Hunting Platform

A saddle hunting platform is important as it provides the hunters with space to place their feet. Being completely suspended in the air, exact more pressure to the body, which can make you feel uncomfortable.

A good saddle hunting platform should be able to provide enough support to the hunter; it should be noise-free and should provide enough safety to the hunter. Some of the best platforms that you can use are;

1. Summit Treestands The Stump

The stump is made up of rubber shock absorbers that make it noiseless. It is ideal for any kind of tree and can support up to 300lbs. It is easily flappable at your convenience, and all you have to do is properly strap it around a tree and wait to take your shot.

2. Rivers Edge RE558, Big Foot XXXL

The edge is a massive platform that attaches to the tree tightly, providing just the needed support.   The size allows for legs stretching when elongated. It is properly coated to ensure that it is noiseless when being mounted. The platform is designed to give the hunter an extra comfort when aiming for the shot. It is one of the safest platforms to use.

3. Rivers Edge RE557 Big Foot Lite Foot Hang-On Tree Stand, 28″ x 21.5″ Platform, Cast Aluminum

The platform is designed to make it strong and light when carrying it. It is made up of aluminum coils that are cast with honeycomb patterns to make them more robust and silent when it is being set up. It has a dual flip seat that increases the comfortability of the hunter. The platform is stable even at high heights as long as it is properly setup.

4. Muddy Ultra Tree Seat Black

It is made using Flex Tek material that gives it extra comfort. The platform slightly cheaper compared to the other platform. It is noiseless and can support about 300 lbs. the materials make the platform secure and safe to use.

Bow Saddle Hunting

Shooting from the saddle can sometimes be a challenging experience.  It means you have to be conversant with shooting in all directions. There are four shots that a saddle hunter can take to ensure that they accurately hit the target. The key to properly mastering the shots is practicing before going for an actual hunt. To properly understand the chances, you need to understand the simple basics.

Since you are tethered to the tree, the tree act as your 12 o’clock, and Behind you are your six o’clock. The left is at nine o’clock and the right at three o’clock.

We have extensive beginner bow hunting guides, both for hogs and for deer so feel free to drop in and read those.

The shots that bow hunters usually take are

  1. The strong side shot is the most candid shot to make. The shot is naturally the 7 to 10 o’clock zone. The zone is most suitable, especially for right-handed hunters. It is easier to kill any animal when it is in the zone. The tree hides your location from the deer, and it comes towards you. With the given advantage, you can make the shot.
  2. The drop shot. The drop shot is easy and one of the funniest shot a hunter can make. The animal is normally at five o’clock to the seven o’clock zone. All you have to do is to lean backward with your foot braced against the tree. Lean-to your left and take the shot directly to where you are standing. The zone gives the hunter a perfect T shaped advantage, and any shot is likely to kill the animal.
  3. Weakside shot. The shot can cause trouble for hunters who are just beginning. It normally involves a lot of movement. You have to lean all the way and make sure that you are facing away from the tree. You have to properly pivot your hand and make the shot once you are comfortable. The weak shot does not give the hunter an increased advantage as the other two shots.
  4. The last shot is the top shot. You just lean out of the tree and take the shot of the approaching animal. The zone is slightly farther from the tree. Bracing your knees against the trees can give a hunter a better shot with more power.

How to Set Up the Saddle

Setting up the saddle gives the hunter a perfect chance at making an instant kill. There are some ways that you can perfectly set up the saddle while considering the shooting angle, the kind of tree, and the elevation needed. Some factors that you can look at before deciding the kind of saddle to set up are

Your body weight. For slightly bigger people, a saddle that gives you a large space at the bottom is more recommended as it is more likely to support your weight.

Shooting experience.  The aim should be to set the saddle in such a way that it gives an advantage for a strong side shot. The zone suitable for this kind of shot has more advantage to the hunter as the deer does not easily spot him/her.

Comfort. You should set the saddle in a way that it is comfortable enough.  Incorrectly setting up the saddle can end up being uncomfortable as your body is not perfectly stable. It can make the experience horrible.

Should I Consider Saddle Hunting?

The advantages of saddle hunting are numerous. It is a good method of hunting that you should consider adopting on your next hunting trip. Some reasons that make the saddle a good hunting method are


Compared to traditional tree stands, saddles are easy to pack and transport. The saddles can be packed into the backpack or carried around the waist from one location to another. The weight of the system is also low compared to the long metal tree stands. The mobility factors allow hunters to discover more terrain to hunt continually.


Tree stands require setting up different trees, which can be expensive due to the pieces of equipment used to set up. With saddles, you can bounce around from tree to tree using the same saddle. It is more affordable to have one seat than to have many treetops set up.


With saddles hunting, you identify a good tree that is likely to be beneficial and set up on the tree. With tree stands, a hunter can set up a position in a tree that is not precise.


Most accidents that happen typically occurs when a hunter is shifting from one location to another. In saddle hunting, you are firmly attached to the tree, and the chances of accidents happening are greatly minimized. 

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.

Scroll to Top