In my family for Christmas we have started a tradition of giving 4 gifts each Christmas to avoid unnecessary gifts. The gifts must fall into each of these 4 categories, Something you want, something you need, something you wear something you read. I’m going to give some gift ideas for the new saddle hunter that he might not realize he needs just yet and I’m going to throw in a bonus item because 4 gift ideas was a strange title.
Want – Want is an easy one, this would be the Ropeman 1 from Wild Country. The Ropeman 1 allows one handed adjustment of the linemans belt or tether. This is not necessary, as you can simply use a friction knot like a prussik or a distel hitch that usually comes on the rope but this is much easier and some may condsider safer. There are 2 versions, the ropeman 1 and the Ropeman 2 which are built for different diameter ropes. The Ropeman one is used for most ropes other than the newest Tethrd ropes and Sterling Oplux for those you would need a Kong Duck.
Need – The very nature of saddle hunting caters to the public land hunter allowing you to go deeper with less bulk. This produces a problem in that you NEED somewhere or something to hang your bow from. Most public land areas do not allow for screwing anything into the tree so what do you do. A very popular option is the Tethrd HYS (Hang Your Stuff) strap and the HERO Clip. The hero clip acts as a normal gear clip with a flip out hook large enough to hang a bow or another weapon from. Another good option is a strap like this one from Pine Ridge Archery. Cheap, light and packs down to nothing, effective but it makes me nervous though mine shows no signs of breaking.
Wear– From the first sit in a saddle on a cool day you will realize the shape and function of the saddle makes it very difficult to pt your hands in your pockets. A hand warmer muff like this one from Guide Gear is the perfect addition to any late season saddle hunt. Hand warmers pair well with this. Another thing that you would likely need is a set of knee pads. Knee pads for deer hunting is not a common item, but when saddle hunting it allows you to use you knees to comfortably brace yourself against the tree.
Read – If you are getting in to saddle hunting you have no doubt heard of The Godfather of saddle hunting John Eberhart. John is a very accomplished whitetailed deer hunter and has published numerous book, all of which show case saddle hunting. One of my personal favorites is Bowhunting Pressured Whitetails.
The fiifth – bonus item is a great gift for any hunter that needs a pull up rope. Pull up ropes can be very frustrating with knotting and tangles and the Doyles Gear Hoist self retracting pull up rope puts an end to all of those problems. This is kind of pricy and heavy for the minimalist, and I fought egtting one for a long time, but after the frustration with other options mounted I bit the bullet and was glad that I did.
These are just a few items for hunters new to saddle hunting that have helped me along the way.