Saddle Hunting

Saddle hunting is a type of hunting from a tree that is growing in popularity over the last few years.  When hunting, especially on public land, there is a constant challenge to find the perfect balance between weight, maneuverability, and simplicity (ease of use).

This is especially true for those of us that hunt mostly on public land where there are restrictions on leaving tree stands in the woods.

Below I share my gear list, and how I have optimized it to find this balance.

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Overview

This pack does it all. The modifications I made to this pack allows me to be hands free while I'm walking in the woods. For years I had been looking for a pack that could safely carry my bow along with all my other gear. Treestands never made me feel comfortable, and I already had plenty of weight on my back with a pack on top of the tree stand.

The pack I chose has 3 compartments. I’ve designated each compartment for a specific type of gear I use:
Saddle Gear
Hunting Gear
First Aid Gear

The original pack was expandable, came with an integrated waist belt, and some molle webbing.

Because the perfect backpack for my needs did not exist, I created it. I learned to sew to add more molle webbing on the hip belt, and on 2 sides of the pack.

Customizations:
Molle Webbing - The Molle webbing I added allowed me to attach my hip belt pack for quick access items I need while hiking to my spot (namely GPS). On one side I also added my snack and drink compartment.

Buckle Straps - My own straps (in orange) allow me to easily attach my climbing sticks and bow to the outside of the pack. Effectively making me hands-free while hiking.

Retractable Bow Pull Up Rope Mod - This is essentially a hole I put and then punched an extra large eyelet into the bottom of the pack. I also added a sleeve to hold my Doyle’s Retractable Pull Up Rope in the bottom of the pack. Being retractable and always ready to use, I don’t have to worry about winding a rope up, and as I climb the tree with the pack on my back, it automatically retracts as I climb. Overall, this reduces the “fiddle factor” of my system.

Outside Pack

Outside Pack:
Climbing Sticks
Bow (alt. Rifle)
Thermos and Snack Pack
Hip Belt
Phone, Keys, Wallet (Hunting License)
GPS

Main Compartment

Saddle
Lineman rope
Tree Tether
Bow and Backpack Hanger
Platform

Hunting Gear Compartment

Deer Grunt Call
Thrasher *New Item 2021
The Can Deer Bleet
Field Dressing Items
2 Kives
Nitrile Gloves
Deer Transportation Tags + Plastic Badge Cover
Range Finder
Orange Vest
Orange Backpack Rain Cover
Rifle Butt Sleeve (Only During Gun Season)

First Aid Compartment

Compression Bandages
Scissors
Gauze
Alcohol Pads
Tourniquet + Marker
Quik Clot
Entry/Exit Wound Chest Seal
Aspirin, Ibuprofen