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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The only decent thread on this I could find was from over a decade ago, and was more focused on brands. I figure the scene has probably changed since then.

I shoot trad bows up to 62" in length, tending more to 58" in dense forest, and am of average weight for my slightly above average height. I would be wanting it for shooting deer and goats above their scentline along known trails, and also boars at a feeder. Both are in very dense undercanopy situations, so near impossible to stalk.

My basic question is: seat or harness style, and why? My more complex question, is if using a seat, do you not need a safety harness anyway?

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If your using a tree stand with a seat, the industry and anyone who has fallen or known someone who has fallen would encourage you to wear a harness.
It is difficult to get your tree saddle ropes adjusted perfectly for shots with traditional equipment but it is doable. I shot three arrows from a saddle at game this year and the ropes never impacted the release. I'd say from my experience that tree stands will be the easiest way to get started but saddles offer more flexibility as far as tree selection. That said, if you are cramped between limbs on the tree you select its likely not a good tree for a long limbed traditional bow.

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I can’t speak on which is better however I can say if it’s not a stand that you plan on taking in and out a lot. Kind a of a set and forget type of stand, then make sure to get a 2 person tree stand. I have found that a 2 person stand is the right amount of room for 1 person to actually be fairly comfortable. Not to mention you have more room to move with your bow. I picked a 56” bow for the fact that I know I’ll be in a ground blind and maybe a tree. I’ve been in a tree a few times and I just don’t like it. At least if I fall in my ground blind I land on the Cheetos instead of breaking a leg. I have been watching a lot of The hunting public videos and seek one videos on YouTube. Those guys use both saddles and tree stands. From what they say, the saddles are really comfortable. I like that a saddle offers you almost 360• of shooting. If I ever get into another tree stand I can promise I’ll only be 8-10’ off the ground. Higher you are the harsher the shooting angle. Sometimes you have to be that high so your in cover. One thing to think of tho, the higher you are, sometimes the easier it is for the game to skylight you against the sky. As far as brands go I don’t know what is the best. I recommend Checking out the hunting public especially.
 

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I've tried treestands and I'm just not comfortable with them. Also have a slight fear of heights. I've used climbers before and just having the frame around gives me a sense of security and I prefer that but hate lugging those things around. So I tried the saddle thing (tree diaper or whatever you want to call them) this year and was able to get a doe that way. I use a double tether w/ sit drag and rock harness setup and tree bolts for getting up as I hunt private so I have a bunch of trees already cleaned and drilled. My whole rig cost under $300 and half of that was my Predator platform. Like I said earlier, I'm a little fearful of heights and this rig gives me a lot of confidence up there. I have no worries. I like the maneuverability, being able to 'hide' behind the tree, weight savings, and it's just plain fun hanging out up there. That said, I would highly, highly recommend lots of practice shooting out of one. It is a different animal to shoot out of than say a hang on, seat or climber.
 

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The only decent thread on this I could find was from over a decade ago, and was more focused on brands. I figure the scene has probably changed since then.

I shoot trad bows up to 62" in length, tending more to 58" in dense forest, and am of average weight for my slightly above average height. I would be wanting it for shooting deer and goats above their scentline along known trails, and also boars at a feeder. Both are in very dense undercanopy situations, so near impossible to stalk.

My basic question is: seat or harness style, and why? My more complex question, is if using a seat, do you not need a safety harness anyway?

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View attachment 33472
I was considering the same thing, I think I'm going to go with a climbing stand, not sure which one yet but they are under 25lbs in some cases, very portable and offer a good solid platform. The harness looks cool but I just can't see how it would be comfortable for long periods. That being said I could be wrong.
 
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Why a harness? Because a fall from 10+ feet can be fatal or debilitating (i.e. paralysis). 80% of falls cause some sort of injury: Broken bones, impalement on a stick or your own arrows, etc.

Read here: Safety & Education - TMAStands
10 feet...!!!
Try 6 feet. Any construction guys here who work on any commercial job site are required by OSHA to be fully tied off. More than one have died from falls at this height. I would encourage anyone in a hunting position over the height of 6 feet to do some research on fall protection.

And remember your swing (called pendulum effect).
Alot of screw in steps are still used and after you take into account your tether and decelerator giving an extra couple feet to slow your decent, it usually swings you into the area of the spikes you used to get up the tree. Hanging by a loop between your shoulders 20 + feet into a tree seems easy enough to self rescue now doesnt it...?
I now prefer to hunt much lower altitude and more often in natural made ground hides of brush, grass, cattails etc...

It's always your choice...just thought I'd put a couple things out there to think about...most of have loved ones at home that love to see us come home in good shape.
 

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10 feet...!!!
Try 6 feet. Any construction guys here who work on any commercial job site are required by OSHA to be fully tied off. More than one have died from falls at this height. I would encourage anyone in a hunting position over the height of 6 feet to do some research on fall protection.

And remember your swing (called pendulum effect).
Alot of screw in steps are still used and after you take into account your tether and decelerator giving an extra couple feet to slow your decent, it usually swings you into the area of the spikes you used to get up the tree. Hanging by a loop between your shoulders 20 + feet into a tree seems easy enough to self rescue now doesnt it...?
I now prefer to hunt much lower altitude and more often in natural made ground hides of brush, grass, cattails etc...

It's always your choice...just thought I'd put a couple things out there to think about...most of have loved ones at home that love to see us come home in good shape.
Interesting fact: According to a trainig course I had, most fatal falls are from less the 2-ft!
 

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You definitely MUST wear a harness, and a good one is really worth the money. Regarding to hunt the trees you have 2 ways: if you want max mobility to hunt several places and plan to hunt low in the tree ( let say feet up to 15 ft high) and not too long in the tree the tree saddle is a good option. Once you learned to use it you can set it up really fast and overall gear weight can remain below 10 pounds.
if you want comfort, high in the trees and on the same place (oak trees or trail or feeder if it s legal in your place as in France it is not allowed) a tree stand with large seat and platform is better. I use lonewolf alpha2 TS and 4 climbing sticks which is a goof balance between comfort and some mobility. My ready to hunt set up is around 8 kg
 

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Look into the saddle world, visit www.sadlehunter.com for any info you would need.
The info at saddlehunter is very detailed and sometimes over whelming.
I have used a JX3 type tree saddle for 35 + years that is extremely comfortable, my biggest problem is staying awake.........
 

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My take;

In general, the smaller and more nimble you are the more you will like saddles. Bigger and older guys like myself [6'3/4, 240#] and saddles aren't as comfortable they pinch...or get uncomfortable and its harder to sit still for longer than a few hours.

I've used a saddle and many different tree stands....
I use the saddle when I have a very long difficult trek into a remote mountain wallow instead of packing a stand. I can carry the saddle and a couple sticks around and then if I find a likely spot- I can setup. Doing that with a tree stand is a bit much.

Mostly on shorter treks- under 2 miles or so, I pack a stand. I like a hang on with 3-4 light sticks [I like the Hawk sticks] or a couple sticks with aiders. I have had the tubular stands creak at exactly the wrong moment....in cold weather....when having to move out on the edge, etc. Thus I prefer the XOP or LW cast aluminum platforms- they are dead silent. You can buy these on sale a couple times a year- usually right after /xmas.
 
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Hunting with recurves I use XOP hang on stands. I wouldn’t think of not using a harness connected to a tree from the ground to the stand up and down.
As far as a saddle goes a good test is go to a playground, sit in a swing standing and see how long you can stay motionless.
 

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Harness is a must!!!

Tree saddle is ok if you cant hump a real stand in. I rather carry a light weight stand in. Cable lock in on if its a good spot.

Elk hunting im carrying a good assualt pac on anyway so whats another 15lbs? Got to hump out 60lb hams , 80lb head cape and rack out anyhow.

I taken four full days to a get a good bull out on foot. Not worrying about 17-20lbs of a tree stand on my back.

HH~
 

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Harness is a must!!!

Tree saddle is ok if you cant hump a real stand in. I rather carry a light weight stand in. Cable lock in on if its a good spot.

Elk hunting im carrying a good assualt pac on anyway so whats another 15lbs? Got to hump out 60lb hams , 80lb head cape and rack out anyhow.

I taken four full days to a get a good bull out on foot. Not worrying about 17-20lbs of a tree stand on my back.

HH~
Yep, I carried my own out too. De-Bone and modified Alice pack. Para cord one Ham up a tree with a tenderloin and the head with a roller bearing pulley and pack the ham and loin out first. Come back for the hanger next and head and neck meat/fore legs last.
1994 Elk busted my colon and had a Fischer surgery.🤪🤪🤪
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the comments all! Hard to get good stands in this part of the world but will look to have a flipdown seat style, XOP or light alu platform, or that JX3 shipped in. Not sure how long I'll last in a saddle though. 62" or 60" AMO lets me sit, so that opens things up. Like the idea of being able to sit or stand. Seems like the consensus is on a harness, so will follow the wisdom! Great advice all.
 

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Harness of course but staying connected at all times is a must.

my bet, most accidents are when going from the ladder to the stand. I have a friend that fell because one of the pegs on his ladder broke
 
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