We had the opportunity to take the Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod into the field recently to put it to the test. The DeadShot FieldPod is a portable shooting platform that is designed to fit just about any long gun or crossbow. It does this by having an adjustment at just about every point that one would be possible, allowing for a truly custom fit for any crossbow or long gun…even a gun with an extended magazine protruding below (think AR platform with a 30 round mag).
The FieldPod arrives in a rather small box for its size, almost giving the impression it is much smaller than it actually is. The instructions look a bit foreboding given the number of adjustments available, but we found it to be fairly straight forward to use once out of the box.
The FieldPod is made from aluminum and is beautifully anodized. The color is both classy while also remaining in the muted earth tone family. The FieldPod is surprisingly light as well thanks to that aluminum frame. The ends of the adjustable legs and the top of the gun mounts are made from rubber soft enough to grip well, but firm enough to be durable. All adjustment knobs and fittings are a strong high density plastic that make for a lightweight, but strong attachment system.
There is also a webbed sling included that allows for more convenient portability in the field.
The FieldPod is essentially a light weight, extendable tripod with a customizable rifle/crossbow mount on top. There is an adjustment for just about any aspect of the FieldPod. Each leg has two telescopic lengths and each can be custom adjusted to allow for use on even very uneven surfaces.
The overall length of the actual weapon platform is fully adjustable as is the height of both the front and rear rest. The tilt of the platform is also adjustable as is the amount of resistance you want in terms of movability of the platform.
For convenient storage, the front and rear rest and entire tripod assembly all fold in to allow for a much more compact overall kit.
Ease of Set Up
When you first look at the FieldPod, you might be a bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of adjustments available. We found that with just a few minutes of playing with it, each knob made perfect sense as to its function, and it actually became quite instinctive to use.
We found that once it was set up for a particular crossbow, we really didn’t need to make many adjustments, other than height for a specific shooter or a specific shooting stance.
Comfort and Usability
The FieldPod was actually much more comfortable to use than we expected. Given that it is designed to actually take into the field for real world hunting situations, we weren’t sure how quick and easy it would be to deploy when a good shot presented itself. We were pleasantly surprised at just how quick it was to set up once we knew what adjustments we wanted.
To test the stability and effectiveness of the FieldPod, we chose the 3 positions we felt would be the most likely for a hunting situation using the FieldPod. First we lowered the FieldPod to a comfortable shooting height from a sitting position on the ground. We found it worked well and offered no issues. Next we raised it to a comfortable shooting height for a kneeling shot. Lastly, we adjusted it and sat in a chair to simulate hunting from a ground blind or tree platform.
The overall result was a marked improvement in accuracy and an ability to remain on target as long as necessary as the FieldPod held the weight of the crossbow rather than the shooter’s forward arm. For a situation involving a longer shot and also the likelihood of having to be very patient for the best shot, the FieldPod worked very well to increase accuracy and decrease fatigue.
After shooting, it took a couple of tries to get it to fold up like it should (we aren’t always the best about remembering to take the directions with us), but once you learn how it works, it isn’t an issue. The sling was quick to attach and we were ready to move to the next location in short order.
The Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod is designed as a portable system to allow for greater time on target and enhanced accuracy. It accomplishes all of these goals thoroughly and makes for a great shooting experience.
It is reasonably priced given the quality we observed and should provide for years of use. We would recommend, based on our experience, if you are going to use the FieldPod with one primary weapon, it might be worth your time to really set up the weapon platform in a total custom fit for that primary weapon, and use a permanent marker to make some marks for each setting. This will allow you to very quickly set the FieldPod up in your exact configuration when starting from a fully folded position.
One other note is to always ensure when you lengthen the weapons platform you note where the center of gravity is for the FieldPod with your weapon on the rest. Our test crossbow had more weight up front, so we had to move the entire platform back a bit to ensure balance. This is just a quick note so you don’t find your pod and weapon toppling forward when you release it. This is not a big deal and is a result of the FieldPod being so lightweight. This should not in any way be misconstrued as a design flaw but rather something that the shooter simply needs to be aware of.