Thankful Outdoors: First Saddle Hunting Experience

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – I started something new this week! A new craze in the hunting world is a method of hunting called saddle hunting. When I say this people often give me a weird look! What is saddle hunting? Many often think it has something to with horses.

Who does not have dreams of being a cast member on the ever-popular Montana based series called Yellowstone? No, I am not out hunting for a new saddle to try to make it as a ranch hand on the Dutton ranch. How cool would it be to work with Kevin Costner though!

One of the things that I wondered about on saddle hunting was the history of it. I found an interesting post on a popular forum posted on www.saddlehunter.com. I saw comments about it starting around 1960, and in the 80’s a little bit of popularity on this method was present. The real boom though has recently started here in the last 5 years.

A common name that I see mentioned in the history of saddle hunting is John Eberhart he has been referenced online that he has been saddle hunting since the mid 80’s. John has a signature model saddle that he designed with the Tethrd team. Tethrd is one of the mainstream manufacturers of saddles.

Two of my brothers have been hunting from saddles for a couple of seasons now. They both loved the experience of saddle hunting and enjoyed the light weight and flexibility of this method of hunting. I finally decided to look at this and see how I could cut down on the weight and effort I was spending by carrying in portable stands on public land.

I spent several weeks reading reviews, watching YouTube videos, and visiting company websites. I finally settled with a saddle from company based in Michigan called Latitude Outdoors. Let me share with you why I decided to purchase the Method 2 saddle from Latitude Outdoors.

Purchase Review:

  • Made in the USA
  • Two panel design – gives more options to wear and adjust for comfort
  • Ease and comfort to wear – can wear walking in the woods

The kit I purchased includes the lineman belt and tether lines. Both rope accessories include a built in D-loop so that you can rig your prusik knot to be operated one-handed. The Black Diamond carabiners that Latitude Outdoors uses are lightweight, this was one of the first comments that my brother made when he checked out the saddle I purchased

I mention that comment about lightweight because that is often one of the reasons why hunters are going to this method of hunting is to cut weight. My entire setup is lighter than traditional portable tree stand, but I have not gone to extreme cutting of weight as some of the more experienced saddle hunters.

Sunday was my first outing using this new method of sitting, it was different feeling walking into the woods with just a backpack, yes, all my gear fits into a pack. Four climbing sticks, platform and saddle all fit into my Tidwe Hunting pack.

Scott displays his saddle hunting equipment.

If someone asked me what the most challenging thing is to saddle hunting, I have two answers.

  1. Trusting your gear, it is a different feeling “hanging” from rope while 18 feet up in a tree. You learn to trust the equipment. This happens easily though when you start testing out the equipment.
  2. Shooting your bow is different feeling – you will want to spend several practice sessions. It is very different feeling shooting your bow in different angles and positions as compared to standing a fixed platform.

I look forward to using this new method of hunting this year as I learn how to hang from the side of a tree like a telephone repair lineman. On Sunday I thought a lot about my son Jared who is an arborist, aka tree surgeon. He spends a lot of time using harnesses and hanging in trees in this profession.

There are all kinds of videos and information online that you can learn from if you choose to enter this new age of saddle hunting. The cost to get into this method is not the cheapest but in long term I will save money.

Being a public land hunter who will have stands left in the woods, you deal with or worry about theft. I no longer have to worry about that with this method of hunting. My setup is always with me, so I do not have to look at replacing stolen equipment.

In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out www.thankfuloutdoors.com for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website www.thankfuloutdoors.com or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.