This year was the first time that I tried using a tripod in the field and it really opened my eyes to having stability in the field. I’ve also taken to walking and stalking a bit more now, and having a solid rest in the field helps tremendously. And when I say tripod, I really do mean a “just” a tripod. I flipped the piece on top that lets you take photos in portrait, and I’d rest my gun against that. It works well in a pinch, but it’s not perfect . . .
With the concept established, I went searching for a dedicated mechanism to do my bidding. I considered building a crude hog saddle but knew that I’d never get it right. Enter the Caldwell DeadShot Fieldpod. The Fieldpod is a tripod based device that hosts a dedicated platform for holding the rifle of your choice. And I mean, any rifle. It can be made short enough to hold a compact rifle or long enough to secure your Kentucky rifle.
The FieldPod rifle holder portion is adjustable for length, height, and angle. The tripod portion is able to rotate 360 degrees, tilt up and down, and lets you center the rifle over the tripod to make it extra stable. One of the nicest things though is that you have enough elevation to fit an AR with a standard capacity magazine. That is crucial for varmint hunters who like to put a lot of lead downrange without reloading, but still want a stable base to shoot off of. Depending on the balance of your rifle, you can position the gun in such a way that a magazine can drop clear to the ground, rotate for the reload, and you’re back on target which is very High Speed Low Drag Operator type stuff.
One of the niftiest features is how compact the FieldPod becomes when it is tucked up for travel. It takes up a about as much space as a gallon jug so plan on packing it outside of your pack or use the included strap that clips on to a mounting point at the top.
Once you reach your desired shooting position, setup takes a few minutes as you unclamp, unscrew, lengthen, reclamp, and tighten everything. But, once it is set up, this is the bee’s knees for holding your rifle in place. It is very solid which allows you to stretch the legs of your rifle a bit as you can make much steadier shots from the field. If you are walking and stalking as I sometimes do, you can set everything, and then collapse the unit so you basically have a short walking stick. Once you identify your quarry, you can be in position in seconds with the added stability the Fieldpod brings.
The thing that really impressed me though was how well it cradled my rifles. I could set a rifle up in the Fieldpod and walk away without worry of it crashing to the ground. The ultimate acid test of this came a few ago when I took my brother-in-law out hunting. We were experiencing 30 m.p.h winds and the Fieldpod held strong, though it did turn his Remington 700 into a big weather vane. This ability to firmly hold in place is also very handy when trying to teach new shooters where hands, fingers, and faces go without them fumbling a ten pound rifle in the process.
All in all, I’m very satisfied with the Fieldpod and what it brings to the table. It is fairly light, very compact, ultra stable, and customizable to your heart’s desire. It is pretty rare that a product makes me slap my forehead and declare it to be revolutionary, but this thing sure did.
Specifications: Caldwell DeadShot Fieldpod
- Minimum Height: 20″
- Maximum Height: 42″
- Weight: 5 lbs.
- Color: Brown or Camo
- Price: $69.99 (Amazon) $69.99 (Cabelas) $84.99 (Midway)
All reviews are based on a 5 star system and are subjective
Fit, Finish, & Build Quality * * * * *
In a world filled with crappy foreign parts built by the lowest bidder, the Fieldpod stands out for its excellent fit & finish. All of the hardware is robust and all the locking pieces do their job with authority. It easily handles 15 pound rifles and is well thought out allowing you to balance the rifle perfectly.
Use in the field * * * *
You sacrifice some set up time for a compact package which can be frustrating at times. This isn’t a problem if you set up in a ground blind and have time to set up and wait. If you are taking the hunt to the animals though, you have to carry around a slightly bulky product. A pair of shooting sticks might be a better fit for you if your hunting involves lots of walking, stalking, and requires fast setup times.
Overall Rating * * * * *
I’m very pleased with the Fieldpod, and for the money, I think you’d be hard pressed to find something better. Particularly if you want to take a shot from a sitting or kneeling position to clear tall vegetation. I bought it with my own money, and I’d definitely encourage you to do the same.