For years our Editor-in-Chief, Larry, has told me I needed shooting sticks to have a better chance at shooting an animal. Yes, I understood the practice of shooting sticks, and approved of the overall concept, but the homemade ones seemed too fiddly for me to use. This is how I got my Bog-Pod shooting tripod and how I became a believer in shooting sticks.
It all started long ago with a yearling doe, an unproven rifle, and fuzzy slippers. (Someday, I’ll tell you that story.) Suffice to say, I got my first-ever deer shooting about 125 yards and holding offhand. The shot was true and dropped the deer where she stood.
I figured since I took my first deer offhand, I could just do it that way. I didn’t need no stinkin’ shooting sticks or something to bench from. Then, I came down with an incredible case of buck fever. Okay, more like “any ruminant that stands” fever. Suffice to say my shots are iffy out past 100 yards, I started to admit that I was wrong and needed shooting sticks.
I took two deer the season before last. But it made me think I could use shooting sticks. This ultimately led me to buying the Bog-Pod.
Reptilian Brains and the Bog-Pod
Last year, I opted to buy my shooting sticks before general season. We had antelope tags and I wasn’t going to even try to get a shot on one without something to steady my aim. So, I did what made the most sense, and went down to a local store to look at shooting sticks. I had seen shooting sticks at some of the other places around town, but the prices seemed, well, pricey. I thought I’d love to have a tripod because when I’m in the midst of “any ruminant that stands” fever, I really need something that I don’t have to pay attention to. My brain goes into pure reptilian mode and anything more complicated than aiming and shooting becomes the equivalent to reciting quantum physics calculations in Ancient Greek. Backwards. While standing on my head. In the rain.
The clerk who helped me at the store was aptly named Hunter and showed me the shooting sticks. I settled on the Bog-Pod RLD-3 Tripod because of the features as well as the price. I could get tripod shooting sticks from Bog-Pod for about the same price as a Primos bipod shooting stick and while these didn’t have the quick set up the Primos had, it had some very positive features worth mentioning, as well as some negative features.
Using the Bog-Pod RLD-3 in the Field
The Bog-Pod RLD-3 is a decent platform that does a very good job stabilizing the rifle for the shooter. On an antelope hunt last season, we stumbled onto a herd of antelope about 200 yards from where we parked. We certainly didn’t expect to see them there. There were no places to bench off from, so I set up the Bog-Pod for my Larry, while he tried to figure out which were does and which were bucks. The Bog-Pod made a smooth difference and he got his speed goat thanks to the Bog-Pod.
The Bog-Pod worked for me when I had an antlerless whitetail run across a field and stop more than 100 yards out. It also allowed Larry to take 200-plus-yard shots at deer that he normally would’ve passed up because of lack of a stable rest.
Evaluation of the Bog-Pod RLD-3
The Bog-Pod isn’t perfect. The adjustability comes at a price. Each leg has two adjustable points. The lower leg only has a place where it says STOP with a white triangle. The middle leg has ruler marks for each inch of adjustment. While you can adjust it quickly, once you learn how to do it, it still takes away precious seconds in a very dynamic situation.
The Bog-Pod is sturdy enough to use as a hiking pole, but like the newer hiking poles, it can loosen and telescope down in size, making it a pain to stop, readjust, and tighten again. If you keep it in the ready/deployed position, but with the legs together, the legs rattle loudly on every pebble they strike. Bog-Pod would do well to add a second Velcro strap to prevent this. Consequently, I found a rubber band wrapped around the bottom third of the poles keeps the noise down.
With those negatives aside, I feel the positives far outweigh the negatives. This year we got enough antelope and whitetail deer to fill our freezer, due in large part to using the Bog-Pod. Those numbers alone speak for themselves.
Things We Liked
- Lightweight at just 2.2 lbs
- Telescopes down to less than 18.5 inches and comes with a carrying case
- Has a 360 degree swivel mount for shooting. Mount can be replaced for camera, scope, or other mount that is within the Switcharoo system.
- Aluminum legs are sturdy enough to use as a hiking pole.
- Adjustable from 22 inches high to 68 inches high, making it versatile for sitting, standing, and kneeling.
- Very stable mount that doesn’t require adjusting once you have it in the position you need.
- Telescoping legs have inch measurements on the center portion of the legs for ease of setting up.
- Can do some easy adjustments just by widening or narrowing the tripod.
Things We Didn’t Like
- Not a fast set up for shooting. Telescoping legs require six (6) adjustments to get the height correct. Must have it ready to go if in a dynamic hunting situation.
- Telescoping legs are similar to hiking poles and require constant tightening if not tightened enough.
- Pole tension often becomes loose and the pressure on the tripod causes them to shorten when you don’t want them to, especially after walking with them.
- Legs are loud and rattle against each other when you have them together at your deployed length.