Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gadget Month – Caldwell Tree Pod

Handicapped Outdoors

The search for an affordable shooting platform is now over!  Last year we illustrated how to red-neck engineer a shooting tripod which was great.  However, a tripod can take up a lot of space in a ground blind.  I have always been on the lookout for something that I could attach to my wheelchair and be mobile with the weapon without knocking the entire ground blind over.

In early April of this year, I was watching a deer hunting show that had a commercial for a new product called the Caldwell Tree Pod.  Caldwell is very well known for their shooting rests, vices and benches for sighting guns in.  I was intrigued!

I jumped on Google and began feverishly researching this new product.  I learned that all of Caldwell’s devices are made by Battenfield Technologies who is also the manufacturer for other great companies in the outdoor universe like Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions, Tipton Gun Cleaning, and Hooyman Pole Saws just to name a few.

I was able to get into contact with a representative who set me up with a Tree Pod as a field trial.  Results?  Epic to say the least!  The range of motion is amazing both left to right and side to side.  The Tree Pod is designed to fit on any
tree stand but the design also fits nicely on the foot stools of my wheelchair giving me a firm base to work off of.  Everything is adjustable making it easy to customize it to fit whatever weapon system the situation calls for.  I have shot both my crossbow and an AR-15 from it and the rest gives me full command of the weapon.  The Pod has a strap to secure the weapon to the rest.  A good tip for crossbows is the strap can run through the trigger guard if your crossbow doesn’t have a pass-through forearm grip; never go over the top of the crossbow with the strap.  (I know that sounds obvious, but you might be surprised…just sayin!)

As mentioned earlier, this thing matched my wheelchair perfectly.  The Tree Pod's base plates are held together with wing-nuts which makes it easy to simply slide the base on or off the footstools of a wheelchair.  No sense in completely unscrewing these every time which is time consuming.  Leaving the plates loosely screwed together will also likely help you not to misplace or lose one of the bolts or wingnuts.

So the short of the story is a great shooting rest that is mass produced by a reputable manufacturer at a price that anyone can be happy with.  Additionally, they also sell separately the lower receiver to install in other blinds or stands that you want to hunt.  You don’t have to lug around the entire apparatus. You only need to carry the upper portion.  They even make a special receiver that can be drilled into a wall on a box blind which is really going the extra mile to give a hunter what they want.
The price point of the Tree Pod ranges depending on who you are purchasing it from.  The best price I have seen is on Amazon for $122.49 (price may fluctuate).  You can also pick up the additional base or two you might want for multiple blinds at just under $40.


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