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Best advice I have is....do not take any advice from people on here that dont kill anything!! When they tell you to do something, do the exact opposite!! Its obvious year after year that whatever the heck theyre doing is not working!!


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I agree. But how is he gonna know who kills stuff and who doesn’t? Lots of us kill things and have no need to tell everyone on the forum.
 

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My nickel's worth. If you're just starting out, don't start with a saddle. They are "trendy" in today's hunting world and a number of bowhunters have "discovered" them. I'm an arborist and have hunted for over half a century. I've worked and hunted in a saddle for many, many years but would not recommend it until you get comfortable in a stand, especially if you're gun hunting. And like all other gear, if you use them, they wear out.
If all you’ve ever hunted out of is an arborist saddle...you can’t speak to saddle hunting. It’s not the same. The current hunting saddles are phenomenal. That said...to not take a serious look at hunting from a saddle would just be ignorant. No, it isn’t for everybody. But it is a fantastic way to hunt because you can hunt ANY tree all day long. You cannot do that with any other tree stand, except maybe a hang on. Can’t use a climber on a tree with limbs. A ladder stand isn’t portable. And why would you carry a hang on that weighs 10-20lbs when you could carry a saddle that weighs less than 4 lbs. You can walk in and be ready to hunt in a saddle in about 5-15 minutes depending on how you set up. You can’t do that with a hang on. Best of all...with a saddle you can get total concealment behind the tree, and you get easy 360* range of shooting. So, tell me again why it’s a bad idea? As for safety, since you are always connected to the tree you cannot fall. It’s by far the safest way to hunt. Remember when climbers were just a “trendy fad?” I do.
 

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For the love of GOD. Please don't bring grandaddy .243 to the woods. Leave it for the food plots with a super steady rest and for the folks that been shooting a long time. Get a .270, 7mm-08 or a .308. Yes a .243 will killl them all day every day. Shot placement is key with anything you shoot but margin of error is less.
Summit makes a fine stand as does cougar claw. Sitting on the ground or in a chair has killed plenty 9f deer. Don't be afraid to get a folding chair and go setup with it. Primos trigger sticks are great.

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DROP TINE BUCK
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I agree. But how is he gonna know who kills stuff and who doesn’t? Lots of us kill things and have no need to tell everyone on the forum.
I like seeing dead animal pics, I like seeing people being successful and being able to provide some groceries for their family, kinda the whole idea of posting any kind of report on a forum , nobody wants to read about a day in the woods and how beautiful it was and how they seen this or seen that, they wanna see some carnage! Ive noticed more than one on here getting butthurt over some kill pics. Break out the butt paste because the carnage is coming again!!


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I like seeing dead animal pics, I like seeing people being successful and being able to provide some groceries for their family, kinda the whole idea of posting any kind of report on a forum , nobody wants to read about a day in the woods and how beautiful it was and how they seen this or seen that, they wanna see some carnage! Ive noticed more than one on here getting butthurt over some kill pics. Break out the butt paste because the carnage is coming again!!


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Same I love seeing the pics however I dont think I have ever posted any of mine on here. Might just have to start.

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If all you’ve ever hunted out of is an arborist saddle...you can’t speak to saddle hunting. It’s not the same. The current hunting saddles are phenomenal. That said...to not take a serious look at hunting from a saddle would just be ignorant. No, it isn’t for everybody. But it is a fantastic way to hunt because you can hunt ANY tree all day long. You cannot do that with any other tree stand, except maybe a hang on. Can’t use a climber on a tree with limbs. A ladder stand isn’t portable. And why would you carry a hang on that weighs 10-20lbs when you could carry a saddle that weighs less than 4 lbs. You can walk in and be ready to hunt in a saddle in about 5-15 minutes depending on how you set up. You can’t do that with a hang on. Best of all...with a saddle you can get total concealment behind the tree, and you get easy 360* range of shooting. So, tell me again why it’s a bad idea? As for safety, since you are always connected to the tree you cannot fall. It’s by far the safest way to hunt. Remember when climbers were just a “trendy fad?” I do.
I don't know where you're coming from, you obviously didn't read my post. I'VE HUNTED OUT OF A SADDLE FOR SEVERAL DECADES AND LOVE IT! That's as plain as I can say it. Is it what a brand new hunter should start with? NO! For a new guy that has never climbed, it would be a very uncomfortable and daunting task indeed. For someone with a little air time, not so much. As far as spending all day in climbers, I've had many months worth of never touching the ground in daylight out of a climber. Since planted pines almost completely dominate our WMAs and when tall enough to hunt out of are basically limbless for the lower 2/3 of the tree, climbers are far and away a better choice for newbs rifle hunting there. Later on, especially if he starts bowhunting, go for it! And when you get comfortable with sticks, aiders or Drt, you can graduate to true SRT ropewalking, by far the most effortless way to ascend, and the sky is the limit, literally.
 

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Good grief!!!! Not only do we have to deal with dog vs still hunters on here, now we have to argue how we get in and out of the dang tree and how it's best done? I swear people that say this is the best or that is the best and try to convince others have nothing better to do with their life. In the age of the internet there is so much information out there it's ridiculous.

I have not tried climbing a tree with a saddle. But I've used climbing gear before. I've dangled off 20+ story condos doing construction work etc... A bunch of lines and harness gear is not what I could imagine a first time hunter using. But go for it if it sounds doable.

If you can't kill a deer around here because you can't find a pine tree to use a standard tree climbing stand, you might need to hang it up. There's a climbable pine somewhere in bow range of anywhere a deer is moving in NWFL!

Many, many deer are killed from sitting on the ground as well. If I'm in a hole where climbing gives a disadvantage, I'll pick a natural blind and plop on the ground.

I remember back to my new to hunting days. I didn't hunt as a kid. Didn't start till I was 26 or so. A good comfy and lightweight Summit was key to me getting out there more and often. Putting comfy straps on the stand made it even easier. Then all you need is a rifle, bow, and what ever else makes you comfy in the woods. Then go and sit in the woods. Sit long and when you think you want to get down, sit longer. I can't tell you how many deer I have killed between 1-3 pm in the afternoon when everyone is just thinking about getting back in a stand!

I will hunt one area in the morning and typically scout in my immediate vicinity or one road over from where I am. This makes sure that I have more than one spot within 5-10 minutes of the planned spot. Trucks and people will be in a spot before you from time to time on public land. More often if you are hunting a well traveled area.

But no area is secrete in our local public lands!!! That's the biggest advice I can give. If you have multiple spots that you know to go to in the morning when it's dark it will save your hunt and someone else's hunt as well to keep people from being on top of one another.
 

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What's public land hunting etiquette? Don't want to start off like a complete yahoo, lol.

Have multiple spots in an area in Blackwater so that if there is a truck in the area you are trying to drive into, simply back out and go to a different spot.



What gear would y'all recommend to start out with? I've got some decent binoculars, and I'm looking at rangefinders.

If bow hunting get a decent range finder. Gun hunting is helped with binos sometimes. For me binos typically tell me where the deer are coming out of for an area if they are out of range. I adjust accordingly for the next time I hunt that area.



Tree stand or ground blind?

Tree stand. Ground blinds are not the best in Blackwater. It's going to limit the areas you can hunt big time.
 

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DROP TINE BUCK
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Back to the OP....

You wont need a rangefinder if you are rifle hunting.

A climber would be a good purchase in BW, ground hunting is tough because of how thick ground over is. (But I prefer to hunt from the ground when I can) My preferred setup is a turkey seat , I can get where I want and not make a lot of racket doing it. I am limited to how far I can see, but I do my home work prior to sitting down and make sure im in a deer traffic area. (Like to set up near food source or defined trail)

As far as etiquette..... Dont pull off side of road if another truck is nearby. Dont assume someone is on the same side of road that their vehicle is on either. I strictly hunt public land and I hunt pretty often, if Im on good deer sign, I often park and walk down road 3-500 yds and hunt the other side from where I parked to throw other hunters off. Public land is nothing but a big contest, its you against everyone else, ya gotta outsmart people as well as the deer!!! Now with me parking like I do, I cant get upset if someone walks in on me, that was my chess move by walking down the road and hunting the other side..... sometimes it backfires.

My biggest tip would be to hunt thick, find trails in the thick, approach and set up downwind of where you think you may see something. The wind is your worst foe, use it to your advantage, keep it in your face.

Set up and be still, sit late and go early, dont be the one that goes back to the truck by 9am, try and sit till noon. When evening hunting, try to get in as soon as you can, some of my best buck movement days have been 12-3, if you wait till 3 to get in the woods, youve done missed em.

BW will hurt your feelings, (just as will all public land). Dont expect success your 1st season, your 1st season is gonna be a bust, expect that! Take notes, remember where youve been and sont be afraid to walk, some of my best PL places are over a mile walk in. Bring a GPS and some water and learn the woods!!


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Eglin is also a great area to hunt.....with all the closed areas and no houses ,you are hunting true free range deer.....Blackwater and Conecuh forest hold alot of deer ,but can be very hard to locate sometime,at least for me....Things change drastically when the rut kicks in and thats when most descent bucks get killed chasing does anyway.....I try to locate doe groups and thats my public land food plot when the time is right.......
 

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I like seeing dead animal pics, I like seeing people being successful and being able to provide some groceries for their family, kinda the whole idea of posting any kind of report on a forum , nobody wants to read about a day in the woods and how beautiful it was and how they seen this or seen that, they wanna see some carnage! Ive noticed more than one on here getting butthurt over some kill pics. Break out the butt paste because the carnage is coming again!!
Bring it on!
 
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