Title:
Portable hunting blind
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable hunting blind configurable between a collapsed configuration to a deployed configuration composed of a collapsible frame and a flaccidly flexible skin which covers the frame. The frame has a U-shaped base, a U-shaped upright which is pivotally connected to the base and is selectively height adjustable, a U-shaped first forward support pivotally connected to the upright, and a U-shaped second forward support pivotally connected to the first forward support. The skin is shaped to provide a generally taut fit when the frame is in the deployed configuration. At least one window is formed in the skin for peering thereout and shooting therethrough. A buttress, preferably in the form of a draw belt, is connected to each side of the upright near the upper end thereof, wherein a first belt member passes through a first slit formed in the skin at one side of the opening, and a second belt member passes through a second slit formed in the skin at the other side of the opening. The draw belt is provided with a connection feature which allows the two belt members to be wrapped around a tree trunk and then fastened together so as to thereby hold-up the frame. The portable hunting blind may be used on the ground or cooperatively with a tree blind.



Inventors:
Valpredo, Todd J. (Eastpointe, MI, US)
Application Number:
09/746161
Publication Date:
06/27/2002
Filing Date:
12/22/2000
Assignee:
VALPREDO TODD J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
43/1, 108/152, 135/96, 135/901, 182/187
International Classes:
E04H15/00; E04H15/04; (IPC1-7): E04H15/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peter D. Keefe (Eastpointe, MI, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable hunting blind, comprising: a frame configurable between a collapsed configuration and a deployed configuration, said frame comprising: a base; an upright pivotally connected to said base, said upright being selectively length adjustable; and at least one forward support pivotally connected to said upright at a medial location of said upright; wherein when said frame is at said collapsed configuration said upright has a first length and wherein said upright, said at least one forward support and said base are substantially adjacent each other, further wherein when said frame is at said deployed configuration said upright has a selected second length, said upright is oriented substantially perpendicular to said base and said at least one forward support projects from said upright over said base, and wherein said second length is longer than said first length; and a flaccidly flexible skin covering said frame, said skin being generally taut in relation to said frame when said frame is at said deployed configuration.

2. The portable hunting blind of claim 1, further comprising a buttress connected with said upright for being attached with a selected article independent of said portable hunting blind for retaining said frame at said deployed configuration.

3. The portable hunting blind of claim 2, wherein said skin has a rear panel adjacent said upright, said rear panel having a selectively closable doorway formed therein.

4. The portable hunting blind of claim 3, wherein said upright is U-shaped having first and second legs, wherein each of said first and second legs is telescopically extensible, and wherein said first and second legs each have a selectively releasable mechanism to hold the respective first and second legs at the selected second length.

5. The portable hunting blind of claim 4, wherein said base has a first end and a second end, said first and second legs of said upright being pivotally connected to said base at substantially said second end.

6. The portable hunting blind of claim 5, wherein said at least one forward support comprises: a U-shaped first forward support pivotally connected to a medial location of each of said first and second legs of said upright; and a U-shaped second forward support pivotally connected to said first forward support substantially adjacent said upright.

7. The portable hunting blind of claim 6, wherein said skin has formed therein at least one window comprising an opening in said skin and a flexible plastic covering for selectively covering said opening.

8. The portable hunting blind of claim 7, further comprising: at least one selectively closable first flap connected with said skin for holding said first forward support at a first predetermined location with respect to said skin; and at least one selectively closable second flap connected with said skin for holding said second forward support at a second predetermined location with respect to said skin.

9. The portable hunting blind of claim 2, further comprising bracket means for holding said base with respect to a platform of a tree blind.

10. The portable hunting blind of claim 9, wherein said skin has a rear panel adjacent said upright, said rear panel having a selectively closable doorway formed therein.

11. The portable hunting blind of claim 10, wherein said upright is U-shaped having first and second legs, wherein each of said first and second legs is telescopically extensible, and wherein said first and second legs each have a selectively releasable mechanism to hold the respective first and second legs at the selected second length.

12. The portable hunting blind of claim 11, wherein said base has a first end and a second end, said first and second legs of said upright being pivotally connected to said base at substantially said second end.

13. The portable hunting blind of claim 12, wherein said at least one forward support comprises: a U-shaped first forward support pivotally connected to a medial location of each of said first and second legs of said upright; and a U-shaped second forward support pivotally connected to said first forward support substantially adjacent said upright.

14. The portable hunting blind of claim 13, wherein said skin has formed therein at least one window comprising an opening in said skin and a flexible plastic covering for selectively covering said opening.

15. The portable hunting blind of claim 14, further comprising: at least one selectively closable first flap connected with said skin for holding said first forward support at a first predetermined location with respect to said skin; and at least one selectively closable second flap connected with said skin for holding said second forward support at a second predetermined location with respect to said skin.

16. A portable hunting blind, comprising: a frame configurable between a collapsed configuration and a deployed configuration, said frame comprising: a base; an upright pivotally connected to said base, said upright being selectively length adjustable; and at least one forward support pivotally connected to said upright at a medial location of said upright; wherein when said frame is at said collapsed configuration said upright has a first length and wherein said upright, said at least one forward support and said base are substantially adjacent each other, further wherein when said frame is at said deployed configuration said upright has a selected second length, said upright is oriented substantially perpendicular to said base and said at least one forward support projects from said upright over said base, and wherein said second length is longer than said first length; and a flaccidly flexible skin covering said frame, said skin being generally taut in relation to said frame when said frame is at said deployed configuration; and a buttress connected with said upright for being attached with a selected article independent of said portable hunting blind for retaining said frame at said deployed configuration.

17. The portable hunting blind of claim 16, further comprising bracket means for holding said base with respect to a platform of a tree blind.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to blinds used by hunters for hunting animals, and more particularly to a hunting blind that is portable in the sense that it is easily carriable in its collapsed configuration and is readily set-up from the collapsed configuration into a deployed configuration.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Hunting blinds are used extensively by hunters to conceal themselves from their animal prey. For example, land owning rifle hunters frequently construct wooden huts having windows through which the hunter peers and shoots. Further for example, bow hunters frequently deploy blinds elevated in trees (usually referred to simply as a tree blind), wherein a platform is connected to the tree, as for example by a belt engirding the trunk, often with one or more acutely angled supports thereunder.

[0005] Problematically, hunters who use state and federal land for hunting cannot construct wooden blinds and leave them in position for use season after season. These hunters are at a disadvantage because they must sit motionless in a forest while being subjected to the full force of the elements acting upon them. Exposure to cold, wind, snow and rain can make a hunting trip miserable, if not dangerous to the hunter's health. And, while some tree blinds are portable so as to be usable on state and federal land, the hunter using them is elevated so as to be unnoticed by the hunter's prey, but these tree blinds offer no protection against the elements. Again, a land owner who has the right to build permanent and semipermanent structures can avail himself of a tent or some other coverage to a tree blind located on his property.

[0006] Accordingly, what remains needed in the art is a portable hunting blind which allows any hunter to readily set-up a hunting blind anywhere, wherein the hunter is safe from the elements and is able to peer out and shoot from within.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is a portable hunting blind which is configurable from a collapsed configuration to a deployed configuration, wherein the portable hunting blind is easily carried when in the collapsed configuration, and is readily reconfigured to the deployed configuration whereat the hunter is safe from the elements and has the advantages offered by a permanent hunting blind, including the ability to peer out and shoot prey from within. The portable hunting blind according to the present invention is composed of a collapsible frame and a flaccidly flexible skin which covers the frame.

[0008] The frame is preferably composed of a U-shaped base; a U-shaped upright which is pivotally connected to the base and is selectively height adjustable; a U-shaped first forward support pivotally connected to the upright, and a U-shaped second forward support pivotally connected to the first forward support. A preferred frame material is a light weight, yet rigid tubular construction, as for example aluminum or plastic conduit.

[0009] The skin is shaped to provide a generally taut fit when the frame is in the deployed configuration. A front window is preferably formed in a front panel of the skin, composed of a flexible plastic which is openable for purposes of permitting shooting through an open space in the skin, and closable for purposes of keeping out the elements. A pair of side windows are also preferably formed in side panels of the skin. A doorway is provided in a rear panel of the skin, closable preferably by a zipper. A first holding flap is provided at the interior of the front panel to hold the first forward support in a fixed position relative to the skin. At least one second holding flap is provided at the interior of the front panel to hold the second forward support in a fixed position relative to the skin.

[0010] A buttress, in the most preferred form of a draw belt, is connected to each side of the upright near the upper end thereof, wherein a first belt member passes through a first slit formed in the skin at one side of the opening, and a second belt member passes through a second slit formed in the skin at the other side of the opening. The draw belt is provided with a connection feature which allows the two belt members to be wrapped around a tree trunk and then fastened together so as to thereby hold-up the frame.

[0011] The portable hunting blind according to the present invention may be used on the ground or cooperatively with a tree blind.

[0012] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a portable hunting blind.

[0013] It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a portable hunting blind which is easily carried, easily set-up, protects the hunter from the elements, and allows the hunter to peer and shoot.

[0014] It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a portable hunting blind which may be deployed on the ground or may be used in cooperation with a tree blind.

[0015] These, and additional objects, advantages, features and benefits of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the portable hunting blind according to the present invention, shown in operation.

[0017] FIG. 1A is a partly sectional side view as in FIG. 1, showing in particular the frame according to the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the frame according to the present invention, wherein the skin is shown in phantom.

[0019] FIGS. 2A through 2D are detail views of connection members of the frame according to the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a rear view of the portable hunting blind according to the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a front view of the portable hunting blind according to the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a partly sectional interior view of the portable hunting blind according to the present invention, showing in particular the inside of the front panel of the skin.

[0023] FIG. 6A is a side view of the frame according to the present invention, seen depicted in a collapsed configuration, wherein the skin is shown thereover in phantom.

[0024] FIG. 6B is a bottom view, seen along line 6B in FIG. 6A.

[0025] FIGS. 7A through 7C show side views of sequential erection steps for the portable hunting blind, from the collapsed configuration to the deployed configuration.

[0026] FIG. 8 is a side view depiction of the portable hunting blind according to the present invention being used in cooperation with a tree blind.

[0027] FIG. 8A is a detail side view of a connection assembly between the frame according to the present invention and a tree blind as shown at FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0028] Referring now to the Drawing, FIG. 1 depicts a preferred embodiment of the portable hunting blind 10 according to the present invention, shown in operation in association with a tree 12. The portable hunting blind 10 is generally composed of an exterior skin 14 supported by an interior frame 16. The frame 16 is held erect by a draw belt 18 which interconnects with the frame and is connected to a selected independent article, as for example the trunk 12a of the tree 12.

[0029] Referring now additionally to FIGS. 2 through 2D, the preferred frame 16 will be detailed.

[0030] The frame 16 includes a U-shaped base 18 having at least one cross brace 18a, a preferred number of two being shown in FIG. 2. A U-shaped upright 20 is pivotally connected, via a first pivot connector 22 shown at FIG. 2A, to the base 18. The upright 20 is telescopically height adjustable, wherein a reduced cross-section portion 20c, 20c'is connected with respect to a pair of first upright legs 20a, 20a'such that each reduced cross-section portion is telescopically received into a respective second upright leg 20b, 20b'. A collar 24 (see FIG. 2B) is connected with a distal end of each of the second upright legs 20b, 20b'. The length (or height) of the upright 20 is selectively adjusted via a set-screw 26 threadably engaged with the collar 24 being caused to selectively press upon the respectively telescoped reduced cross-section portion of the first upright member to thereby retain a selected height. A U-shaped first forward support 28 is pivotally connected to the upright via a second pivot connector 30 (see FIG. 2C) having a collar 25 which is affixed, respectively, to each of the first upright legs 20a, 20a'adjacent the respective reduced cross-section portions. The minimum telescoped height of the upright 20 is defined when the collars 24, 25 mutually abut or the collars 24 and the first upright legs 20a, 20a'mutually abut. A U-shaped second forward support 32 is pivotally connected to the first forward support via third pivot connectors 34 (see FIG. 2D). The location of the second pivot connectors 34 is adjustably positionable on the first forward support 28 via sliding of a second collar 36 along the first forward support and affixing via a second set-screw 38. A preferred frame material is a light weight, yet rigid tubular construction, as for example aluminum or plastic conduit.

[0031] Referring now additionally to FIGS. 3 through 5, the preferred skin 14 will be detailed.

[0032] The skin 14 is shaped to provide a generally taut fit in relation to the frame 16 when the frame is in the deployed configuration, as shown generally at FIGS. 1 and 1A. A front window 40 is preferably formed in a front panel 42 of the skin 14, as shown at FIG. 4. The window includes a flexible see-through plastic covering 44 which is openable for purposes of permitting shooting through an open space 46 in the skin, and closable for purposes of keeping out the elements. The plastic covering 44 may, for example be held in the closed position via VELCRO (TM of Velcro USA) 48. A pair of side windows 50 (each as generally represented by the single side window shown at FIG. 1) are also preferably formed in side panels 52 of the skin 14. Each side window 50 preferably has flexible screening (ie., nylon) 52 and an openable/closable flexible see-through plastic covering 54 via snaps 56 or via VELCRO as aforementioned. Alternatively, the screening may be omitted or also be openable/closable so as to allow shooting therethrough. A preferred material for the skin is a flaccidly flexible waterproof nylon, canvass or plastic material, having preferably a camouflage pattern.

[0033] A doorway 58 is provided via a vertical slit 60 in a rear panel 62 of the skin 14 which is closable preferably by a zipper 64 (see FIG. 3).

[0034] As shown at FIG. 5, a first holding flap 66 is provided at the interior of the front panel 42 to hold the first forward support 28 in a fixed position relative to the skin 14. The first holding flap 66 may be secured via a zipper 68, VELCRO, snaps, etc. A second holding flap 70 is provided at the interior of the front panel 42, as well preferably, are provided first and second axillary holding flaps 70a, 70b located at the interior of the side panels 52, to hold the second forward support 32 in a fixed position relative to the skin 14. Again, the second holding flap 70 and the first and second axillary holding flaps 70a, 70b may be secured via a zipper 72, 72a, 72b, VELCRO, snaps, etc.

[0035] A buttress is preferably provided by the draw belt 18 has first and second belt members 18a, 18b, each being connected to a respective first upright leg 20a, 20a'of the upright member 20, as for example by a closed loop therearound. The first belt member 18a passes through a first slit 74a formed in the skin 14 at one side of the doorway 58, and the second belt member 18b passes through a second slit 74b formed in the skin at the other side of the doorway, both sklits being spaced near the top 76 of the portable hunting blind 10. The draw belt is provided with a connection feature 78, as for example a buckle or VELCRO which allows the two belt members to be wrapped around a tree trunk and then selectively pulled taut and fastened together so as to thereby hold-up the frame as shown at FIGS. 1 and 1A. Alternatively, where the portable hunting blind 10 is to be used in open land, the buttress may be a ropes and stakes type buttress 15, wherein a pair of ropes is connected to the frame (as the draw belt to the frame) and acutely angle toward the ground and affixed thereto via a pair of stakes (see FIG. 7C).

[0036] As shown at FIGS. 6A and 6B, when the portable hunting blind 10 is in the collapsed configuration, it is configured compactly for carrying by a person grasping the lower end with the fingers 80 of a hand and holding the portable hunting blind between the arm 82 and waist and between the hand and arm pit.

[0037] FIGS. 7A through 7C show stages of the erection process (from the collapsed configuration to the deployed configuration) of the portable hunting blind 10, starting from a placement thereof upon the ground as shown at FIG. 6A. The hunter unzips the zipper 64 and enters into the portable hunting blind. Next, the upright 20 is pivoted away from the base 18, as indicated by arrow A (FIG. 7A). Then, the upright 20 is rotated to about ninety degrees relative to the base 18, as indicated by arrow B, and the first and second support arms 28, 32 are secured to their respective holding flaps 66, 70, 70a, 70b, wherein in this regard, the first support arm typically remains substantially in place and the second support arm is pivoted as indicated by arrow C (FIG. 7B). The upright 20 is then telescopically raised relative to the base 18 as indicated by arrow D and the set-screws 26 tightened to maintain the selected height. Finally, the buttress is fastened to an external object, either for example via the aforementioned draw belt 18 or via the aforementioned ropes and stakes type buttress 15, so as to thereby hold-up the frame as shown at FIGS. 1, 1A and 7C. To go from the deployed configuration to the collapsed configuration the above steps are generally reversed.

[0038] FIGS. 8 and 8A depict the portable hunting blind 10 according to the present invention configured to cooperate with a tree blind 84 located in a tree 12'. In this regard, the frame 16 is fastened to the platform 86 of the tree blind 84 via, for example, brackets 88 and bolts 90 which pass through holes in the platform and thereby hold the base 18 to the platform. Once the frame 16 is secured to the platform, the skin 14 may be slipped over the frame and over the platform via passage through the doorway 58. The first and second support arms 28, 32 are secured to their respective holding flaps 66, 70, 70a, 70b, and the upright 20 telescopically is raised and secured. Lastly, the draw belt is wrapped around the tree trunk 12a', and then selectively pulled taut and fastened together via the connection feature 78 so as to thereby hold-up the frame.

[0039] To those skilled in the art to which this invention appertains, the above described preferred embodiment may be subject to change or modification. Such change or modification can be carried out without departing from the scope of the invention, which is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.