Crossbow saddle hunting, an exciting and fast-growing method among bowhunters, combines the best of both worlds: the mobility of a saddle and the stealth of a crossbow. This hunting style enables hunters to get close to their prey and shoot from unique angles, which can be challenging with traditional tree stands. However, it also presents some challenges, particularly when it comes to shooting a crossbow while saddle hunting.
1. Safety First
As in all forms of hunting, safety always comes first. Be cautious while hoisting your crossbow; it should never be loaded or aimed upwards while being pulled up. Always use a lineman’s rope while climbing the tree, and ensure you’re securely hooked up to your tether before attempting to pull up your crossbow.
2. Understanding Your Crossbow
Crossbows are powerful weapons that can cause serious injury if not handled correctly. Familiarize yourself with the safety mechanisms and operation of your crossbow before heading out on a hunt. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and string replacement, is crucial to ensure your crossbow is always in optimal condition.
3. Choosing the Right Crossbow for Saddle Hunting
Selecting the right crossbow is essential for successful saddle hunting. A lightweight crossbow is ideal, as it won’t weigh you down while moving through the trees. Look for a crossbow with a short axle-to-axle length for easier maneuverability in tight spaces. Opt for a crossbow with quiet and smooth operation to prevent spooking your prey. Lastly, a high-quality scope is a must for clear and accurate sighting.
4. Setting Up in the Tree
One of the benefits of using a crossbow with the ACUslide cocking system is that it’s much easier to cock the crossbow while in a tree. If you’re using a crossbow that requires a rope cocking device, then you’ll likely have to cock it while on the ground. Ensure it does not have an arrow loaded while you’re pulling it up. Once you’ve got the crossbow up in the tree with you, you can now cock and load an arrow.
Before you begin, ensure your saddle is secure and you have a clear line of sight to your prey. Attach your crossbow to your tether in a position that allows you to shoot effectively. Your safety harness will keep you secure as you aim and shoot.
5. Shooting Techniques
Shooting a crossbow while saddle hunting requires practice and awareness. Watch out for your gear and the tree you’re in as crossbow limbs or cam could potentially hit the tree when shooting and deviate your shot off-target. Using your bridge as an arm rest when shooting to either side of the tree can provide stability, a crucial factor especially since a bipod cannot be used while saddle hunting.
Aiming and shooting a crossbow while saddle hunting requires a steady hand and plenty of practice. Don’t rush your shot; haste can lead to missed shots or even injury.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Just like with any other weapon or kind of hunting, you need to practice several times before going out into the woods. Ensure you’re familiar with shooting from different angles and figure out what strategy best suits you. By following these expert tips and tricks, you can improve your accuracy and confidence when hunting from a saddle. Always prioritize safety and practice regularly to ensure you’re ready for your next hunt.
Shooting a crossbow while saddle hunting can be challenging, butwith the right equipment and techniques, it can also be incredibly rewarding. The blend of stealth, mobility, and unique vantage points makes this method an exciting adventure for hunters. As long as safety remains paramount and practice is frequent, hunters can make the most out of their crossbow saddle hunting experience.
6. Advanced Tips
Always remember to be aware of your surroundings. The tree and your gear can interfere with your shot if you’re too close. This is especially important when shooting a crossbow out of a saddle, as the limb or cam could potentially hit the tree when shooting and launch your shot off-target. Practice shooting in various conditions and positions to familiarize yourself with how your gear operates when close to obstacles.
Utilizing your bridge is essential to maintaining stability while shooting out of a saddle. Depending on how high your bridge is, it can be used as an armrest when shooting to either side of the tree. Since it’s not possible to use a bipod while saddle hunting, your bridge can become a huge asset. Experiment with different positions during practice sessions to figure out the most comfortable and effective way to use your bridge when shooting.
Crossbow saddle hunting offers a unique and exhilarating hunting experience. It combines the benefits of stealth and mobility, providing unique shooting angles and opportunities that can’t be achieved from ground level or traditional tree stands. By understanding your gear, practicing regularly, and prioritizing safety, you can harness the full potential of this innovative hunting method. Always remember: the key to becoming a successful crossbow saddle hunter lies in practice, patience, and preparation. Happy hunting!