Hunting from a saddle – The next thing?

mayo 09, 2024

By Nikolaj Juel @nikolaj_juel. Photo: @the_hunting_photographer

Saddlehunting has been on the rise in the US for the past 3-4 years. Lots of bowhunters has swapped their treestands with a saddle setup because it’s lighter, faster, and more comfortable.

Like most hunters I know, I love to check out new hunting videos on Youtube. It’s an endless source of inspiration and information about new gear and methods. It was here I came across saddlehunting for the first time. I was curious.


My hunting ground here in Denmark, like most places in Europe, is a mix of forest and farmland, not too dissimilar to the hunting grounds in the Midwest. As bowhunters we always look for smart and mobile ways to scale a tree, so I thought why not try a saddle setup here in Europe?

I have been hunting from a treestand for years and have always enjoyed the flexibility it has given me to move from spot to spot. Although it is a bit of a pain to move around, it’s fine once you have established a spot where you want to be. Moving it around takes time, it's quite heavy and it makes some noise. None the less it’s still easier that moving a high seat. But, if there is a smarter way out there, I’m all ears.


A saddle system consists of a saddle you put on, much like a climbing harness. You have two pouches where you have a linesman rope and the tethrd in one, and all your carabiners, hoist ropes and other bits and bobs in the other. You have a small platform and a set of climbing sticks.

The whole setup weighs maybe 4kg max.


The concept where you literally “wear” your setup really appealed to me. Light, easy to set up and flexible in a hunting situation.


That sounded like the perfect setup for me, so I did a little research to find the best option for me.

There are a few different saddles on the marked, and I’m sure all of them will do the job in some way.


The saddle I wanted to try was the Tethrd Phantom, which reputedly is the crème de la crème of saddles. That was the saddle I had my eyes on, just from the videos I had checked out. That one seemed to be money and that was the one I wanted.

I reached out to, who sells Tethrd in Europe. They hooked me up with a Phantom saddle system and a set of Tethrd One sticks.


I was ready to pop my saddle cherry, so I headed down to my hunting ground and found a nice spot to climb up.


As I’m used to hunt from a treestand, it didn’t take me long to get up in the tree. The concept I quite similar. You use sticks to climb up, mount the platform, and secure yourself to the tree.

That’s where the similarity ends.

In the treestand you use a safety-harness that will rescue you should you fall. You can’t feel you are safe, but ultimately you are, should you fall off the platform.


In a saddle you use the linesman rope to climb up, as you would in a treestand. Once you have secured the platform to the tree, you step on to the platform and secure the tethrd round the tree. You then hook the saddle to the tethrd, you release the linesman rope, and you are now securely fastened to the tree.

The main benefit with the saddle is that you have much more freedom of movement, and that you are sitting totally comfortably. You can literally shoot 360 degrees once you get used to be in the saddle.


The mobility in a tree stand is more restricted. If you are sitting down, you can shoot 70-90 degrees on your shooting side. If you are standing up, you have more options, but with the risk of falling of the platform.

Saddle hunting has been a gamechanger for me. It’s light and easy to carry around. It’s relatively quiet and super quick to set up. The saddle will be an integral part of my bowhunting setup from now on.