Saddle hunting has exploded over the last year, and for good reason. Saddle hunting is the lightest weight and arguably safest method for hunting from a tree. With the substantial rise in saddle hunting popularity, many new companies have sprung up to offer commercially-available products in what traditionally has been a do-it-yourself niche. However, some companies experienced in elevated hunting products have taken notice – Lone Wolf Custom Gear is one such company.
The Blend Treestand Innovators and of 40 Years of Saddle Hunting Experience
Lone Wolf Custom Gear recently released the Kuhnert’s Ambush – a platform designed for saddle hunters and other ounce-counters. Brad Kuhnert, the platform’s designer, has been using saddles and saddle hunting methods since the 1980s. As a result, he knows what ultralight mobile hunters are looking for. It was Lone Wolf’s reputation for quality and innovation and Brad Kuhnert’s expertise and experience that drew me to the Kuhnert’s Ambush by Lone Wolf Custom Gear.
Kuhnert’s Ambush by Lone Wolf Custom Gear
This ultralight unit will allow you to hunt places you never thought possible. Whether your hiking in several miles or hitting that quick sit after work, the Ambush will no doubt be an irreplaceable tool in your hunting arsenal.
How much does Kuhnert’s Ambush Platform weigh?
Part of the reason I began hunting with a saddle setup was to cut down on the weight I was carrying in on long hikes. A mesh saddle, small platform, climbing method, and some ropes are all you really need. That was enough to sell me on this type of hunting. While Kuhnert’s Ambush isn’t the lightest platform available, it’s still remarkably lightweight in comparison to a treestand. Lone Wolf Custom Gear advertises a hunt-ready weight (platform and cam buckle strap) of 4lbs 13oz. My platform tips my small postal scale at 4lbs 15 oz. A 2oz discrepancy is forgivable in my mind; other gear I’ve purchased has been off by a half-pound or more. I’ve been strapping my platform to my Sitka Tool Box daypack, and the weight is still hardly noticeable. Pair the platform with a pack designed to haul some weight, and I bet you’ll forget it’s there.
Amplifying the Versatility of Saddle Hunting
The ability to reposition on the platform for a variety of shots may be the one thing I like most about the Kuhnert’s Ambush. Offhand shots, or shots to the dominant arm side of a shooter (think a deer coming to the right side of a right-handed archer), are the trickiest shot for a saddle hunter to make. With my Kuhnert’s Ambush, I can quickly shuffle my feet in a circle so that I’m facing the offhand target. This eliminates the twisting and awkward positioning that smaller platforms require for offhand shots. Additionally, on smaller trees, the platform is large enough that shots on targets on the opposite side of the tree are more easily accomplished. Further, water-jetted grips along the outer rim of the platform offer extra grip when positioning for a shot, and the post of the platform provides some grip to allow for another foothold when leaning. I’ve found the pivot post is also useful in setting the platform on a tree.
Rock Solid Attachment with Lots of Adjustment
Speaking of positioning the platform, when properly set up on the tree, my Kuhnert’s Ambush is rock-solid. Large teeth on the platform dig into hard and soft barks to ensure the platform stays where you put it. These large teeth, however, require a slightly different camming action than other platforms or treestands. This took some getting used to, but a video on Lone Wolf Custom Gear’s website explains the process well. The platform also has a leveling mechanism that allows you to hang it in leaning trees or on uneven bark. Once I learned how to properly set and level the platform, I found it to be dead quiet – no popping or creaking whatsoever. Further, I found the Kuhnert’s Ambush to handle side-pressure (pressure applied at various angles to the rim of the platform) incredibly well. The platform didn’t slip or budge once on any of my hunts.
Minor First Run Issues and Lone Wolf Custom Gear Customer Service
My Kuhnert’s Ambush came from the very first commercial run Lone Wolf Custom Gear offered. Some of the platforms in that run had some quality control issues. For instance, on my saddle platform, the bolt used to secure the cam buckle strap sat at a slight angle on the post. This was the result of a burr left behind from the waterjet process. Other purchases found that their bolt holes had been drilled off-center or at angles. Lone Wolf Custom Gear was quick to resolve these issues – they sent me a replacement strap bolt and button at no charge and without me asking. I filed down the burr, installed the new button, and the platform is flawless. I’ve also been told that new runs of Kuhnert’s Ambushes have resolved these issues by changes in manufacturers and components.
Potential Improvements for the Kuhnert’s Ambush
From a durability perspective, I think my Kuhnert’s Ambush will be functional as long as I’m physically able to hunt. The platform is coated with a Silent Touch coating, which I could see wearing off in time. I did notice some wear on the platform where the leveling mechanism in the post meets the platform itself. I think some grip tape will help reduce this wear. I also think the leveling knob could be slightly larger to allow for easier adjustments while wearing gloves or hunting in cold weather.
Kuhnert’s Ambush Saddle Platform Review Summary
Other than these minor complaints and issues, my Kuhnert’s Ambush is precisely what I was hoping for. It’s lightweight, packs nicely, is rock-solid and quiet on the tree, and it’s comfortable. In short, it’s the perfect combination of size and weight, and I think it’ll prove to be the ideal platform for hunters making the transition from treestands to saddle hunting.
Thanks to Torin Miller for writing this unpaid review . Hunting Gear Deals is funded by affiliate commissions. We may receive a small commission when you buy from our partners using the links provided. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting us by using our links when making your purchases.
Growing up in the heart of Central Pennsylvania provided Torin Miller with every incentive necessary to pursue a life engorged in the natural world. With a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, and the current pursuit of an M.S. in the same field and a J.D. in Environmental Law, he has a deep appreciation for wildlife, wild places and the wild-at-heart people that love these things as much as he. Archery hunting for mountain whitetails is his absolute passion, but he also enjoys hunting turkeys and waterfowl. Surrounded by some of the best trout waters in the world, Torin enjoys fly-fishing his local streams and enjoys kayaking these streams throughout the summer, too.