Title:
Reversible tree stand cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tree stand cover includes a center fabric sheet with first and second side fabric sheets attached to opposite side edges of the center sheet. Inner surfaces of each sheet includes a blaze orange coloration for hunter safety and an outer surface having a camouflage coloration for hiding a mounted tree stand. Straps with buckles extend from free side edges of respective side fabric sheets for releasably coupling the tree stand cover to a tree or other upstanding support. The sheets may be positioned to surround and hide a tree stand already coupled to the tree. Drawstring assemblies connected to the side fabric sheets enable those sheets to be collapsed against the center fabric sheet for transport. Another drawstring assembly is connected to the center fabric sheet such that the tree stand cover may be tightened about the tree stand itself for simultaneous transport of the tree stand and cover.



Inventors:
Fields, Denver A. (Charleston, TN, US)
Application Number:
09/918904
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
07/31/2001
Assignee:
FIELDS DENVER A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/96, 135/901, 182/187, 43/1
International Classes:
A01M31/02; (IPC1-7): E04H15/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:



1. A tree stand cover for use with a hunting tree stand of the type that is adapted for releasable attachment to an upstanding support, said tree stand cover comprising: a center wall component having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween; a first side wall component having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween, said first side edge of said first side wall component being fixedly attached to said first side edge of said center wall component; a second side wall component having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween, said first side edge of said second side wall component being fixedly attached to said second side edge of said center wall component; and means for releasably connecting said first and second side wall components to an upstanding support to which a hunting tree stand is already attached such that said center wall component and said first and second side wall components surround said tree stand.

2. The tree stand cover as in claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises: a first strap having one end connected to said first side wall component and an opposed end; a first buckle member connected to said opposed end of said first strap; a second strap having one end connected to said second side wall component and an opposed end; and a second buckle member connected to said opposed end of said second strap for releasably securing said second strap to said first strap.

3. The tree stand cover as in claim 1 wherein: said first and second side wall components are constructed of a flexible canvas material; said tree stand cover further comprising: a first drawstring assembly connected to said first side wall component and adapted to selectively collapse said first side wall component against said first side edge of said center wall component; and a second drawstring assembly connected to said second side wall component and adapted to selectively collapse said second side wall component against said second side edge of said center wall component.

4. The tree stand cover as in claim 3 wherein said first and second side wall components include a respective inner layer of neoprene material.

5. The tree stand cover as in claim 3 further comprising a third drawstring assembly having a drawstring extending through a seam along said top, bottom, first and second side edges of said center wall component, said drawstring adapted to selectively tighten said edges about said tree stand in a transport configuration upon a pulling of said drawstring.

6. The tree stand cover as in claim 5 further comprising a pair of shoulder straps adapted to be attached to said tree stand for transporting said tree stand and said center, first, and second side wall components upon the shoulders of a user in said transport configuration.

7. The tree stand cover as in claim 1 wherein said center wall component is constructed of a double-ply canvas material.

8. The tree stand cover as in claim 7 wherein said center wall component includes an inner layer of neoprene material.

9. The tree stand cover as in claim 1 wherein said center wall component, said first side wall component, and said second side wall component each include respective inner and outer planar surfaces, each inner planar surface having a blaze orange coloration and each outer planar surface having a camouflage coloration.

10. The tree stand cover as in claim 1 further comprising a pocket member fixedly attached to an inner planar surface of said center wall component, said pocket having one edge adapted to be selectively opened for receiving selected items into said pocket member.

11. A tree stand cover for hiding and transporting a tree stand of the type that is releasably attachable to a tree trunk, said tree stand cover comprising: a first fabric sheet having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween, said first fabric sheet including an inner surface having a blaze orange coloration and an outer surface having a camouflage coloration; a second fabric sheet having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween, said first side edge of said second fabric sheet being fixedly attached to said first side edge of said first fabric sheet, said second fabric sheet including an inner surface having a blaze orange coloration and an outer surface having a camouflage coloration; a third fabric sheet having a top edge and a bottom edge with first and second side edges extending therebetween, said first side edge of said third fabric sheet being fixedly attached to said second side edge of said first fabric sheet, said third fabric sheet including an inner surface having a blaze orange coloration and an outer surface having a camouflage coloration; and means for connecting first, second, and third fabric sheets to a tree trunk for hiding a front end and sides of a tree stand, respectively, when said tree stand is attached to said tree trunk.

12. The tree stand cover as in claim 11 wherein said connecting means comprises: a first strap having one end connected to said second fabric sheet and an opposed end; a first buckle member connected to said opposed end of said first strap; a second strap having one end connected to said third fabric sheet and an opposed end; and a second buckle member connected to said opposed end of said second strap for releasably securing said second strap to said first strap, whereby said straps may be extended about said tree trunk and said first and second buckles selectively engaged.

13. The tree stand cover as in claim 11 wherein said first, second, and third fabric sheets are constructed of a flexible canvas material.

14. The tree stand cover as in claim 13 further comprising means for moving said second and third fabric sheets between an extended configuration and a transport configuration, said moving means comprising: a first drawstring assembly coupled to said second fabric sheet and having a first drawstring extending along said top edge thereof, an operation of said first drawstring adapted to move said second side edge of said second fabric sheet between an extended configuration displaced from said first side edge of said first fabric sheet and a transport configuration in which said second side edge of said second fabric sheet is adjacent said first side edge of said first fabric sheet; and a second drawstring assembly coupled to said third fabric sheet and having a second drawstring extending along said top edge thereof, an operation of said second drawstring adapted to move said second side edge of said third fabric sheet between an extended configuration displaced from said second side edge of said first fabric sheet and a transport configuration in which said second side edge of said third fabric sheet is adjacent said second side edge of said first fabric sheet.

15. The tree stand cover as in claim 14 further comprising a third drawstring assembly attached to said first fabric sheet, said third drawstring assembly including a third drawstring extending through a seam along said top, bottom, first, and second side edges of said first fabric sheet, said third drawstring adapted to tighten said top, bottom, first and second side edges of said first fabric sheet around said tree stand upon a pulling of said third drawstring by a user, whereby said tree stand and said first, second, and third fabric sheets may be simultaneously transported.

16. The tree stand cover as in claim 15 further comprising a pair of shoulder straps adapted to be attached to said tree stand for simultaneously transporting said tree stand and said first, second, and third fabric sheets when said second and third fabric sheets are in said transport configuration and said first fabric sheet is tightened around said tree stand.

17. The tree stand cover as in claim 11 wherein said first fabric sheet is constructed of a double-ply canvas material having an inner layer of sponge material whereby to absorb impact forces.

18. The tree stand cover as in claim 11 wherein said first fabric sheet is constructed of a double-ply canvas material having an inner layer of neoprene material whereby to absorb sounds caused by impact forces.

19. The tree stand cover as in claim 11 further comprising a pocket member fixedly attached to said inner surface of said first fabric sheet, said pocket having one edge adapted to be selectively opened for receiving selected items into said pocket member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates generally to hunting blinds and, more particularly, to a reversible cover for safely, quietly, and visibly transporting a hunter's tree stand through the woods and for camouflaging the tree stand when mounted to a tree.

[0002] Tree stands are utilized frequently by hunters as well as by nature enthusiasts for watching wildlife from a heightened vantage point. Tree stands are often mounted to a tree trunk or other upstanding support post such as a light pole or the like. However, carrying a tree stand through trees and underbrush to the desired tree is often a noisy event that scares away the wildlife desired to be watched or hunted. Further, most tree stands leave the hunter exposed to the view of the wildlife, which can be a hindrance to a successful hunting experience.

[0003] Various devices have been proposed for shielding a hunter from weather events while standing near a tree or while sitting in a tree stand. Although assumably effective for their intended purposes, the existing devices do not provide a tree stand cover useful for conveniently, safely, and quietly carrying a tree stand to a desired location as well as for camouflaging a tree stand once mounted to a tree.

[0004] Therefore, it is desirable to have a tree stand cover which may be configured for attachment to a tree stand for simultaneous transport of the stand and cover to a desired location. Further, it is desirable to have a cover which may be configured to be extremely visible and which minimizes sound creation during transport through thick underbrush. In addition, it is desirable to have a cover which may be configured to substantially hide a tree stand when mounted to a tree trunk.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] A reversible tree stand cover according to the present invention includes three sheets of flexible fabric material attached to one another and configured as a center sheet and a pair of side sheets. The side sheets may be extended for use as side wall components that substantially hide a tree stand when properly positioned and attached to a tree trunk or may be collapsed against the center sheet for convenient transport. Drawstring assemblies attached to the side sheets facilitate movement between extended use configurations and transport configurations. Straps with buckles extend from free edges of the side sheets for attaching the tree stand cover to a tree trunk and for tightening the cover around a tree stand mounted to the same tree trunk. When the cover and a tree stand are detached from the tree trunk, a drawstring assembly connected to the center sheet allows the center sheet to be tightened about the tree stand itself for simultaneous transport of both the tree stand and cover. Inner surfaces of the tree stand cover include a blaze orange coloration that is visible during transport while outer surfaces include a camouflage coloration for effectively hiding a tree stand when mounted in a tree. The sheets may also include inner layers of sponge or neoprene material for absorbing impact forces and dampening the sounds thereof caused by contact with underbrush during transport.

[0006] Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a tree stand cover that is reversible for selectably displaying a blaze orange or camouflage coloration.

[0007] Another object of this invention is to provide a tree stand cover, as aforesaid, which absorbs the impact of contact with tree branches and the like during transport.

[0008] Still another object of this invention is to provide a tree stand cover, as aforesaid, which may be selectively configured for simultaneous transport with a tree stand or for substantially hiding the tree stand when the tree stand and cover are mounted to a tree.

[0009] Yet another object of this invention is to provide a tree stand cover, as aforesaid, having a pocket with a silent zipper for stowing selected items therein.

[0010] A further object of this invention is to provide a tree stand cover, as aforesaid, having drawstrings for moving side sheets between extended and collapsed configurations.

[0011] Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tree stand cover according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 2a is a plan view showing the inner surfaces of the tree stand cover as in FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 2b is an isolated view on an enlarged scale of a first strap with a male buckle end as in FIG. 2a;

[0015] FIG. 2c is an isolated view on an enlarged scale of a second strap with a female buckle end as in FIG. 2a;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a plan view showing the outer surfaces of the tree stand cover as in FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the tree stand cover as in FIG. 1 in a transport configuration and partially attached to a tree stand; and

[0018] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the tree stand cover as in FIG. 4 completely attached to a tree stand for transport.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0019] A reversible tree stand cover 10 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 through 5 of the accompanying drawings. The tree stand cover 10 includes a center wall component 20 having top 22 and bottom 24 edges with opposed first 26 and second 28 side edges extending therebetween (FIGS. 2a and 3). The center wall component 20 is constructed of a flexible double-ply canvas material and therefore is also referred to herein as a first fabric sheet.

[0020] The tree stand cover 10 further includes a first side wall component 40 having top 42 and bottom 44 edges with first 46 and second 48 side edges extending therebetween (FIGS. 2a and 3). The first side wall component 40 is preferably constructed of a flexible double-ply canvas material and therefore is also referred to herein as the second fabric sheet. The first side edge 46 of the first side wall component 40 is fixedly attached to the first side edge 26 of the center wall component 20.

[0021] The tree stand cover 10 further includes a second side wall component 70 having top 72 and bottom 74 edges with first 76 and second 78 side edges extending therebetween (FIGS. 2a and 3). The first side edge 76 of the second side wall component 70 is fixedly attached to the second side edge 28 of the center wall component 20. The second side wall component 70 includes a construction substantially similar to that of the first side wall component 40. As the second side wall component 70 is also preferably constructed of a flexible double-ply canvas material, it is also referred to herein as a third fabric sheet.

[0022] The wall components are sewn together along respective seams such that the side wall components are flexibly movable between selected configurations relative to the center wall component, as to be described in further detail below. Further, the double-ply canvas construction of each wall component enables each sheet to include an inner layer. Preferably, each sheet includes an inner layer of a sponge material for absorbing the impact forces caused by contact the wall components and tree branches or underbrush. The sponge material also serves to dampen sounds caused by such impact forces. Other materials such as neoprene would also be suitable for the inner layer construction.

[0023] Each wall component includes a generally rectangular configuration having planar inner and outer surfaces. Each inner surface includes a blaze orange coloration 12 (FIG. 2a) of the type and color directed by the regulations of most states to be worn by hunters. Each outer surface includes a camouflage pattern coloration 14 (FIG. 3) that substantially hides a tree stand 6 and hunter when properly mounted and positioned on a tree trunk or support post 8 (FIG. 1), as to be further described later.

[0024] A pocket member 30 is fixedly attached to the inner surface of the center wall component 20. The pocket member 30 includes an open upper edge having a zipper 31 or other suitable fastener such that the upper edge may be selectively opened or closed. Preferably, the zipper 31 is constructed of plastic in the form of a so-called “silent-zipper” as is known in the art.

[0025] The tree stand cover 10 may be releasably coupled to a tree trunk 8 or similar upstanding support with straps. One end of a first strap 50 is fixedly attached to the second edge 48 of the first side wall component 40 at a position adjacent the top edge 42 of the first side wall component 40 (FIG. 2c). A female buckle end 52 is connected to the other end of the first strap 50. Another strap 54 having a construction substantially similar to that of the first strap 50 may be connected to the first side wall component 40 adjacent the bottom edge 44 thereof. One end of a second strap 80 is fixedly attached to the second edge 78 of the second side wall component 70 at a position adjacent the top edge 72 thereof (FIG. 2b). A male buckle end 82 is connected to the other end of the second strap 80. Another strap 84 having a construction substantially similar to the second strap 80 may also be attached to the second edge 78 of the second side wall component 70 adjacent the bottom edge 74 thereof. Therefore, the tree stand cover 10 may be positioned so as to surround a tree stand 6 that is already mounted to a tree trunk and then the cover 10 may be securely fastened thereto by engaging the buckles of the first 50 and second 80 straps (FIG. 1). Of course, the tree stand cover 10 is positioned with the camouflage coloration 14 facing outward so as to substantially hide the tree stand 6.

[0026] The tree stand cover 10 includes a plurality of drawstring assemblies that enable the components to be configured for use or transport and to enable the cover 10 to be connected to a tree stand itself. A first drawstring assembly 56 is attached along the top edge 42 of the first side wall component 40 and includes a first drawstring 58 (FIG. 3). Manipulation of the first drawstring 58 by a user selectively moves the second side edge 48 of the first side wall component 40 between an extended/use configuration displaced from the first side edge 26 of the center wall component 20 and a transport configuration adjacent the first side edge 26 of the center wall component 20. Another drawstring assembly 60 having a construction substantially similar to the first drawstring assembly 56 may be attached along the bottom edge 44 of the first side wall component 40. The first drawstring assembly 56 may be of the type in which one end of the first drawstring 58 is attached to the first side edge 46 of the first side wall component 40 such that a free end of the first drawstring 58 must be pulled toward that first side edge 46 in order to collapse the first side wall component 40. Alternatively, the first drawstring 58 may operate “pulley-style” in which an outward pulling of the free end thereof may collapse the side wall.

[0027] A second drawstring assembly 86 is attached along the top edge 72 of the second side wall component 70 and includes a second drawstring 88 (FIG. 3). The second drawstring assembly 86 includes a construction substantially similar to that of the previously described first drawstring assembly 56. Another drawstring assembly 90 having a construction substantially similar to that of the second drawstring assembly 86 may also be connected along the bottom edge 74 of the second side wall component 70. Therefore, the first 56 and second 86 drawstring assemblies enable a user to extend the side wall components to substantially surround a tree stand or to collapse them for transport purposes.

[0028] The center wall component 20 also includes a drawstring assembly 32. A seam 36 defining a channel extends about the peripheral edges of the center wall component 20 through which a drawstring 34 extends (FIG. 2a). The seam 36 defines an opening 38 through which the drawstring 34 extends and into which excess lengths of the drawstring 34 may be tucked. Pulling on the drawstring 34 causes the peripheral edges of the center wall component 20 to be drawn inwardly toward one another and, therefore, to tighten around any object placed against the center wall component 20. As particularly shown in FIG. 4, the peripheral edges of the center fabric sheet 20 tighten around a tree stand 6 when the drawstring 34 is pulled. With the side wall components moved to their collapsed/transport configurations, the center wall component 20 may be completely tightened and releasably coupled to the tree stand 6 for simultaneous transport (FIG. 5). Excess length of the drawstring 34 may be tucked into the seam channel through the opening 38. If not already provided with a selected tree stand 6, shoulder straps 16 may be provided with the tree stand cover 10. These shoulder straps 16 may be attached to the tree stand 6 such that the cover 10 and tree stand 6 may be simultaneous carried by a user in the manner of a backpack.

[0029] In use, the tree stand cover 10 is carried, with or without a tree stand 6, to a location where it is desired to be used. When transporting the cover 10, the fabric side wall components 40, 70 are moved to their collapsed configurations using the first 56 and second 86 drawstring assemblies. If a tree stand 6 is to be simultaneously transported, then the center wall component drawstring 34 is extended such that the peripheral edges of the center wall component 20 tighten about the tree stand 6. It is important that the inner surface of the center wall component 20 be exposed such that the blaze orange coloration 12 makes the user's presence and location visible to other hunters. The inner layers of the wall components are effective to dampen the effects of contact with tree branches or underbrush. Once the desired location is reached, the steps described above may be reversed to detach the cover 10 from the tree stand 6. Once the tree stand 6 is mounted to a tree trunk 8 or the like, the cover 10 may be positioned so as to substantially surround the tree stand 6, making certain that the camouflage colored outer surfaces are outwardly positioned. The buckles 52, 82 of the straps 50, 80 may be engaged to secure the cover 10 to the tree trunk 8.

[0030] It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.