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Saddle Hunting 101

What is saddle hunting?

What is a hunting saddle? What equipment do I need to start saddle hunting? How can saddle hunting help me be more efficient? Are hunting saddles comfortable? How do I customize the fit of my saddle? Is saddle hunting safe? How do I shoot 360 degrees in a saddle? Answers to these questions and more below!

What is a hunting saddle?

A hunting saddle is a simple alternative to a traditional hang-on tree stand. Think of a hunting saddle as a rock climbing harness for hunting. Hunting saddles are designed to help hunters be more mobile and hunt in locations that were inaccessible with a tree stand. As a result, hunters are able to more efficiently adapt to changing conditions and improve success rates. Hunting saddles shine in scenarios where hunting locations are long distances from the truck or in thick cover that would be too noisy to walk through with a metal tree stand. 

What equipment do I need to start saddle hunting?

Saddle - Single-panel or two-panel (descriptions below)

Climbing Method - Climbing sticks, one-sticking, etc. Click here to sign up for early access to our new climbing sticks.

Saddle Platform - Platforms are used with climbing sticks and this is what you will stand on at hunting height. Click here to sign up for early access to our saddle platform.

Ropes - Tether (connects you to the tree at hunting height) and lineman belt (used while you climb so you're always connected to the tree).

Dump Pouch - Pouches are used to carry your ropes and are designed to allow for easy access. Check out the Method Dump Pouch or Classic Dump Pouch for details.

Knee Pads - Important for comfort in the tree while sitting with your knees on the tree. Check out our Method Knee Pads for details.

Three main saddle categories exist. Single-panel, pleated, and two-panel. Which one should I choose?

Single-Panel Saddles -  Single-panel saddles are lightweight and simple. They are also the budget option within the saddle market. If you're looking to dip your toes into saddle hunting, this may be a great option for you. The Classic 2 single-panel saddle is our offering in this category. 

Pleated Saddles - Pleated saddles are single-panel saddles with an "expansion chamber" that increases the size of the saddle to deliver enhanced comfort. These saddles are used in two discrete configurations, "pleat open" or "pleat closed," which can limit adjustability. Pleated saddles are known for being comfortable, but struggle in terms of being compact and packable. 

Two-Panel Saddles - Two-Panel saddles deliver the most compact configuration currently available in the saddle market. After all, you're adding a saddle to your arsenal to be more mobile, right? They have quickly become the most popular category because being compact no longer comes at the cost of decreased comfort. The two panels are connected with magnets (The Method 2) or straps in "compact mode" for your hike in, but can then be separated in the tree to deliver the enhanced comfort of a larger, bulky, saddle. Two-panel saddles offer hunters the best of both worlds in terms of being compact and comfortable. As an added benefit, two-panel saddles offer an extra dimension of adjustability. Single-panel and pleated saddles force the user to place top and bottom support a fixed distance from one another. In contrast, a two-panel saddle allows users to independently adjust the location of top and bottom support. This allows users to optimize comfort by maximizing customization to fit specific body types. Our Method 2 saddle was the first modernized two-panel saddle and is positioned as the leader in this category. 

Are hunting saddles comfortable?

The short answer is yes, but saddles are highly customizable with several adjustment options. All day sits are absolutely possible and common. To learn more about customizing the fit and feel of your saddle, click here.

Are hunting saddles safe?

YES! When done properly, you are always connected to the tree making it a very safe way to hunt. Make sure you saddle manufacturer 3rd party tests ALL of their saddles, ropes, platforms, and climbing sticks. Without 3rd party testing in a certified engineering facility you are putting yourself at risk! 

Is it hard to shoot out of a saddle?

No! Shooting out of a saddle is awesome. You're able to shoot 360 degrees and have the opportunity to keep the tree between you and the deer for cover. Leaning into the saddle with a knee on the tree gives you enhanced support for shooting stability. Shooting efficiency is one of the main benefits of hunting from a saddle.