The Best Mobile Hunting Setup

best mobile hunting setup

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The Need For A Mobile Hunting Setup

When deciding on the best mobile hunting setup for your style of hunting, it’s important to understand why one is necessary in the first place. Using preset stands – tower stands, ladder stands, box blinds – can be great. Until it’s not. When a spot dries up, there’s always a reason. Sometimes, we’re the culprit. Remember this – pressure changes things. The third week of the season looks very different than the first. Deer are as good at patterning us as we are at patterning them. But it’s not just pressure that changes deer movement. Acorns do the same thing. When the acorns are falling, you might as well forget about hunting those field edges overlooking your plot or feeder, unless you’re just looking for some peace and quiet, because those deer will be under the oaks for most of the day. Then, there’s another shift when natural cover and browse change during the Fall. And during the Pre-Rut and Rut, even the does may alter their movement when they’re being harassed by every buck in the neighborhood. Those same stand locations that are right on the edge of deer movement in the early season are great for a while, but when those wells run dry, it’s time to go mobile.

There are many ways to go about it, but the idea is the same – follow the deer. No matter your preferred method, the point is to choose a new stand location based off observed deer movement or fresh sign. How you set up for the ambush is where the options come in.

Climbing Stands

The two piece climbing stand offers a benefit that other mobile setups simply cannot. With a climbing stand, the stand and climbing method come in one package, which almost seems too convenient to pass up. However, that feature quickly becomes overshadowed by its weight. And then there’s tree selection. A climbing stand requires a straight, limbless tree, which is oftentimes not available within bow range of deer movement. Thus, trimming is required, which creates a disturbance and can be a factor to consider for same-day hunts. Although there is a time and place for a climbing stand, in my opinion, there are better alternatives available.

Learn more about climbing stands and see the best on the market here.

Hang On Stands

Also known as a lock-on, this mobile option comes with a reduction in size and weight when compared to a climber, but does require a climbing method, such as climbing sticks or screw in tree steps. With a hang-on, your tree options grow drastically due to the fact that climbing sticks and screw in steps don’t necessitate trimming limbs out of the way, or even choosing a completely straight tree. They can simply be placed next to, below or above limbs without interfering with your climb, and the straightness of the tree does not affect either of the methods being properly secured. The only consideration with regard to limbs or straightness is the exact location where you’ll secure the stand. The tree needs to be relatively straight and limbless within that small area of the tree. For decades, the hang on stand has been seen as one of the best mobile hunting setups, but there is one other option that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its light weight and versatility.

Learn more about hang on stands and see the best on the market here.


Ever owned a stand that weighed less than 2 pounds? You can with a saddle. Well, sort of. The Tethrd Phantom, which is what I use, weighs in at just 24 ounces! However, you’ll need a tether and lineman’s rope that attach you to the tree, and a climbing method to get you up to hunting height. The Lone Wolf climbing sticks 3-pack weighs in at only 7.5 pounds and can be carried in or easily strapped to your pack. People will say that you don’t have to have a platform to use a saddle, but I’m not one of them. Can you hang from your saddle and even shoot from it without one? Yes, but you lose one of the greatest benefits, which is the ability to hide behind the trunk and shoot from any angle around the tree. Not to mention how uncomfortable it is to just hang for hours on end. You need the platform to take some of the weight off of your hips if you’re going to enjoy it. So, in a nutshell, why choose a saddle? It is by far the lightest option, it offers 365 degrees of shooting opportunity and you can choose almost any tree to hang from. 10-inch, crooked tree full of limbs? That’s no problem for a saddle. As long as you have an opening to fling an arrow through, your saddle, platform and climbing method can handle it.

Learn more about saddles and see the best on the market here.

So, What’s The Best Mobile Hunting Setup?

That’s for you to decide. Take your hunting style into account – or the style you’d like to take on – and price out the necessary equipment. Don’t get caught up in Analysis Paralysis. Just choose the one you’d like to try and go with it. You can always budget to make a switch next season if you end up disliking your choice. The main takeaway is to at least have one mobile option. When the deer move. You need to be ready to move with them.




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