How to Improve Your Tree Saddle Location

One of the biggest things we’ve learned about tree saddle hunting is that just because you can pop right up any tree doesn’t mean you’re in a good spot. You may be surrounded by limbs and leaves, or worse, you could be upwind or too far from where the deer will likely show up.

In this video, Mark visits Jani’s family property in Wisconsin to review his potential stand locations. Jani found a great spot where the confluence of three ridges create a flat that’s likely to funnel deer. But the trick is to pick one tree out of a forest.

First, identify the predominant wind direction. You want to set yourself downwind of likely travel routes. Once you know where that puts you, pick a larger, studier tree that will help hide your silhouette—like the oak we found. After that, trim away branches around your stand to allow for clear shots, then get on the ground to open up your shooting lanes. You want to have a shot toward anywhere a deer might feasibly appear. Focus on saddles, side-hill trails, and rub lines.

Know your wind, pick your tree, clear your lanes, and put some thought into it beforehand and you’ll be ready to cold-roll into that tree saddle location come opening morning.

Feature image via Chris Gill

Origin Hoody
Save this product
First Lite

A lightweight, quiet mid-layer designed to be utilized as both an outerwear piece as well as a layering option as temperatures drop.

Aerowool Touch Liner Glove
Save this product
First Lite

With a touch screen sensitive thumb and index finger, this is the perfect addition to your kit for warm early season hunts.

Furnace Long John
Save this product
First Lite

The new standard for stationary hunts or late season stalks when staying warm is critical to success.

Aerowool Neck Gaiter
Save this product
First Lite

Keeps you both concealed and cool in the field.

Get the latest in your inbox
Subscribe to our newsletters to receive regular emails with hand-picked content, gear recommendations, and special deals.
Our picks for the week's best content and gear
For the whitetail obsessed, with Mark Kenyon
Redefining our connection to food, with Danielle Prewett
Your one-stop for everything waterfowl, with Sean Weaver
Get out on the water with the MeatEater Fishing crew
Technical hunting apparel
Purpose-built accessories for hunting and fishing
Quality elk, turkey, waterfowl, and deer calls
Save this article