Tree Saddles: Why You Should Display and Sell Them

More bowhunters are jumping on the tree saddle bandwagon each year; it’s not a fad. Displaying them takes little room in your store, and unlike your online competitors, you have the advantage of allowing bowhunters to field test them right in your store.

Tree Saddles: Why You Should Display and Sell Them

Tree saddles such as the Hawk Helium Hammock enable hunters to travel light and quickly set up on hot deer sign. Photo from Hawk Hunting Facebook page.

The tree saddle concept isn’t new; in fact, it dates back at least 30 years. But thanks to online content producers such as The Hunting Public and DIY Sportsman, tree saddles have rocketed in popularity.

The reason? A hunter in reasonably good shape can slip into the forest with a tree saddle and three or four climbing sticks, and after finding hot deer sign, can climb almost any tree quickly and quietly, then begin hunting immediately.

Important note: In many states, on public land it’s illegal to use screw-in treesteps, leave hang-on portable stands and ladder stands overnight, or cut shooting lanes. Tree saddles and climbing sticks are legal everywhere because they don’t damage trees, and the ropes and tree saddle platform enable hunters to slightly adjust their position in a tree to find open shots.

Climbing sticks, such as Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks, don’t damage trees, making them legal on public land across the country.
Climbing sticks, such as Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks, don’t damage trees, making them legal on public land across the country.

Most companies that build and market tree saddles operate on a direct-to-consumer business model, but your retail store isn’t left completely out of the game (more on that in a moment). In fact, your brick-and-mortar store has one huge advantage over your online competitors: Bowhunters can field test the entire tree saddle system right in your store. Think about it: Anyone who sees a tree saddle in use online (YouTube) wonders if it is comfortable. Hunters also want to know if they can shoot their bow effectively from a tree saddle.

In my opinion, tree saddles make a lot of sense for archery shops, even small ones. Unlike pop-up ground blinds and full-size treestands, tree saddles take up little space in a store. And because the entire tree saddle system includes numerous components, with many options for various styles of hunting, dealers can expect add-on purchases over time.

Smart dealers will mount a 12-inch-diameter wooden pole in the corner of their store that serves as a test tree so customers can try out a saddle. Dealers can also schedule seminars on the subject of tree saddle hunting. In your promotion of the event, offer a $50 or $100 prize drawing toward purchase of a saddle system.

Display tip: An AccuBow (archery training device) works well in the hands of a hunter testing what it’s like to draw while using a tree saddle. Customers can safely draw an AccuBow and move around the in-store tree just as they would in a real hunting scenario.

 

Hawk Helium Hammock Tree Saddle System

As I said previously, most tree saddle brands operate exclusively on a direct-to-consumer business model. However, one company, Hawk, builds an effective tree saddle system that’s dealer-friendly. 

The Hawk Helium Hammock Tree Saddle (MSRP: $329.99) is well made and includes a back band for additional support. Features include: Chaos Camo pattern; ultra-packable, the entire kit fits into an 8x 8x10-inch carrying bag; padded and removable seat; secure set up with climbing-grade rope and attachments; lightweight, the kit weighs just under 4 pounds; maximum weight rating, 300 pounds; fits waist sizes 28 to 40 inches.

The Hawk Helium Kit includes: saddle, removable padded seat, reclining belt, climbing-grade aluminum carabiners, climbing-grade rope grabber, climbing-grade tether rope with prusik, climbing-grade climbing rope with prusik, and an ultra-durable carry bag.
The Hawk Helium Kit includes: saddle, removable padded seat, reclining belt, climbing-grade aluminum carabiners, climbing-grade rope grabber, climbing-grade tether rope with prusik, climbing-grade climbing rope with prusik, and an ultra-durable carry bag.

Hawk offers two tree saddle platforms: the Helium HSP Platform ($49.99), which mounts to the top of a Hawk Helium Climbing Stick ($139.99 for three pack), or the Helium Hammock Apex Platform  ($99.99).

The Hawk Helium HSP Platform mounts to the top of a Hawk Helium Climbing Stick.
The Hawk Helium HSP Platform mounts to the top of a Hawk Helium Climbing Stick.
Hawk Helium Hammock Apex Platform
Hawk Helium Hammock Apex Platform

In addition to the Hawk Helium Hammock Tree Saddle, platforms, and climbing sticks, dealers should also consider stocking and displaying a bow hanger that doesn’t damage a tree. One to consider is the Pine Ridge Archery Hunt-n-Gear Equipment Hanger ($8.25). Another tree saddle add-on product to stock is the Hunter Safety System Retractable Bow and Gear Hoist ($15.64).

Now is the time to brainstorm how to display tree saddles in your store. Don’t let all of these sales happen online. Become known in your area as the place to visit to test out a tree saddle, and it’ll benefit your customers and your bottom line.



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