SADDLE GEAR: Tethrd Mantis, Predator Platform, Hawk Helium sticks.
I have to start by saying that I considered a saddle for a long time and just didn’t get one until I saw the Mantis saddle. I’ve used every type of tree stand that exists over the years.
For some reason I developed a fear of heights in the last couple of years. I found if I was solidly tethered to the tree I wouldn’t get freaked out like I was using my safety harness that had a bungee style tether.
I got the Mantis saddle, Predator platform and some Hawk Helium sticks and started using them like crazy in my yard. Once confident I started hunting. Within a week I was very comfortable and developed a good system.
During my second week of archery hunting I setup in a fence row I could never hunt before due to the crappy trees. That night I harvested a large doe at 12 yds.
On the last Saturday of October, I got set up in a very thick bedding area an hour and a half before light. Just as the woods began to materialize, I started ranging different spots and shivered in the 20 degree temperatures. I looked behind me and saw a large buck coming in from behind me. I thought he would pass on my strong side. I slowly got my bow as he turned and went to my weak side behind me. I thought “well, we’ll see how this saddle works now”. I swung around while simultaneously drawing my bow and was hanging with one foot on the edge of the platform and the other locked around the tree. Now it was my strong side!
The buck stopped quartering away at 25 yds totally unaware of my movement. I shot and he piled up within 35 yds!
I could not have shot either of my deer from any other stand. I’m a saddle hunter for life.