The Turkey Hunting season is open in New York the entire month of May. The Deadshot Treepod has increased my field of fire from around 5% to +130% I can’t recommend it strongly enough for hunters who are disabled. May 25, 2014 was able to harvest a gobbler because the Treepod allowed me to move the gun for the shot.
Don Christenson of A Far Cry said “This is one of the neatest adaptations that has come across my desk in a long time. The rifle rest is a Deadshot Treepod which is very well made. Rich over at Handihelp had a bracket made for his outdoor wheelchair to hold the rest in place. We are going to do something similar to use here next year.”
Caldwell also came out with the DeadShot Chairpod which probably makes more sense for a person in a manual wheelchair, if it can be connected easily or for a person who can do a manual transfer. The Treepod will still be advantageous for hunters who have a disability and are confined to a power wheelchair.
The Deadshot Treepood by Caldwell is a gun mount designed for use by able bodied hunters in a commercial tree stand. However, in my opinion, it is the best, most easily adaptable and reasonably priced shooting rest available for individuals with disabilities. For Christmas my wife gave me one which just goes to show hinting does pay off. The Treepod was on sale at Cabela's for $120. Shopping on line is the best way to get the best deal. My son, who is an engineer, believed it could be easily adapted to mount on a power wheelchair. The best way to mount it on the wheelchair, we believed, would be on the side of the chair like a leg lateral. Placing the mount on the side would greatly increase the field of fire and not interfere with the chair's tilt system. The unit has lock knobs at connecting points which allow damping of movement for total control. Even though my grip is very weak I am still able to tighten and loosen the large knob enough to control the gun's elevation. The other two knobs are tighten and loosened by my wife or nurse. There are 6 smaller knobs at pivot points which actually contain ball bearings to make movement smooth and quiet. I cut pieces of 3/8" dowel which my nurse taped onto the knobs and that allows me to turn them. Elevation adjustment, normally a difficult problem for individuals shooting from a wheelchair, is easily performed because the section holding the gun pivots up and down with only minimal pressure.
As it worked out the upper post, which slides up from the of the base post measured 20" after sliding it out of the base. When the arms unit was placed in the top of that post the height of the post was 23" which would allow for some height adjustment. I designed several different ways to attach the gun mount to my wheelchair. Because of some logistical problems unique to my 4 wheel drive chair it was necessary that the entire Treepod be easily removed from my chair. When Doug, from Colonial Welding, looked at the chair he felt the simplest and strongest way would be to weld an additional piece of tubing under the existing chair frame so part of the tube would stick out beyond the seat pan on the right side and be the receiver for the rest of the unit. To make the receiving mount for the wheelchair, the top of the base post was cut off and then welded to the square tubing. That way the upper post locking knob would allow for some height adjustment and would also facilitated easy removal. As I have said so many times, local artisans are usually more than willing to help. Doug, who has helped me a number of times, actually came to my house to do the welding.
Since the length of the wheelchair's right arm brought it in close proximity to the leg lateral limiting the area where the receiver could be located I decided to shorten the arm's length using the technique explained in Wheelchair Arms. The rails, of the gun mount, are totally adjustable for length and height, making the Treepod adaptable for any weapon. The only major difference between the new mount and the old one is that the trigger is in front of the rear fork instead of behind it. This not a major concern since this system allows the gun to be held in a much more normal position. One nice feature, not designed for, but of advantage for some hunters who are disabled is that the lower tube of the rear fork can be used as a pistol grip like the ones in the Additional Gun Modifications. I also added a forehand grip to one of the rails to improve my control to the gun. The ability to grip these tubes can be enhanced with Friction Tape. Tape was wrapped around; where I wanted the upright post to stop on the post so it could not drop any lower. The final step was to camouflage the entire system.used camo tape in case I ever needed to remove it I can.
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the Deadshot Treepod could be easily modified for individuals with disabilities who are not wheelchair bound. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the tremendous potential for adaptions that exist with the Deadshot Treepod. It could be placed in a ATV without any adaptions. For other options see More Deadshot Treepod Options.
A Manual for the Deadshot TreePod is now available.