Title:
Convertible, portable, mountable, collapsible, hunting blind
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible, portable, mountable, collapsible, hunting blind having a support that functions as a conventional umbrella handle for hand-held protection and camouflage while traversing a hunting terrain, and alternatively, provides external support to the umbrella for unencumbered access beneath the collapsible roof when used as a stationary hunting blind. In a fixed attachment configuration, the support is for attachment at one end to a vertical surface, and at an opposite end to an external projection extending through the exterior apex of the roof. Either the outer ends of the ribs or the edges of the perimeter of the roof are for detachably holding an optional camouflage fabric along the outer periphery of the roof, the fabric draping from the roof periphery in any suitable length when the collapsible roof is in an open position.



Inventors:
Talley, Wallace E. (Dalton, GA, US)
Hampton Sr., Michael K. (Woodstock, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/960670
Publication Date:
04/13/2006
Filing Date:
10/08/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/21, 135/901
International Classes:
E04H15/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARKHURST & WENDEL, L.L.P. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A convertible, portable, mountable collapsible hunting blind for hand-held use and alternatively for fixed attachment to a vertical surface, comprising: a collapsible umbrella roof comprising an internal central member linked to roof panels, said internal central member comprising means for opening and closing said collapsible umbrella roof and an internal means for attachment, and an external projection extending through an exterior apex of said roof; a support arm comprising in a fixed attachment configuration a first end comprising first means for attachment to a vertical surface and an opposite end comprising second means for attachment to said external projection for externally supporting the roof, and alternatively in a hand-held configuration said support arm comprising said first end for being held by a user and said opposite end comprising second means for attachment to said internal means for attachment, for internally supporting the roof.

2. The convertible hunting blind of claim 1, wherein said first means for attachment to a vertical surface comprises a self-tapping treaded end.

3. The convertible hunting blind of claim 1, wherein said first means for attachment to a vertical surface comprises a strap and strap fastening means.

4. The convertible hunting blind of claim 1, wherein said opposite end of said support arm comprises a T-shaped portion comprising an arm oriented perpendicular to a shaft member, wherein one end of said arm comprises said second means for attachment to said external projection, and said arm is shorter than said shaft member.

5. The convertible hunting blind of claim 4, wherein said second means for attachment and said external projection together comprise a threaded coupling for attachment therebetween.

6. The convertible hunting blind of claim 4, wherein said T-shaped portion comprises a threaded hole substantially in alignment with said shaft member for threaded connection to said internal central member.

7. The convertible hunting blind of claim 5, wherein said first end of said support arm further comprises a handle portion.

8. The convertible hunting blind of claim 4, wherein said T-shaped portion constitutes a handle for a user to screw the self-tapping treaded end of the support arm into a tree trunk.

9. The convertible hunting blind of claim 1, wherein said internal central member comprises a rib attachment portion and the collapsible umbrella roof further comprises: a plurality of ribs extending from the rib attachment portion to the periphery of the roof, distal ends of the ribs defining points for sides of a polygon edge of said periphery of the roof, the internal central member extending from the roof centrally within the roof for a length proximate the length of the free ends of the ribs; and retaining means affixed to said internal central member, wherein said rib attachment portion is for sliding along the length of the internal central member for engaging said retaining means to releasably hold said roof in an open position.

10. The convertible hunting blind of claim 9, further comprising a first fabric and a second fabric, wherein said ribs comprise means for detachably holding said first fabric to form said roof panels and said ribs comprise means for detachably holding said second fabric along said sides of the polygon edge defining the periphery of the roof, said second fabric for draping from the roof periphery when the roof is in an open position.

11. The convertible hunting blind of claim 10, wherein said means for detachably holding fabric comprises releasable mating hook and loop attachment portions.

12. The convertible portable mountable collapsible hunting blind of claim 9, wherein the roof panels comprise means for detachably holding said second fabric along said sides of the polygon edge defining the periphery of the roof.

13. The convertible hunting blind of claim 12, wherein said means for detachably holding fabric comprises releasable mating hook and loop attachment portions.

14. In combination, a convertible, portable, mountable, collapsible, hunting blind comprising a collapsible umbrella roof, a support arm comprising in a fixed attachment configuration a first end for attachment to a vertical surface and an opposite end for attachment to an external projection at the apex of the roof for externally supporting the roof, and alternatively in a hand-held configuration said support arm comprising said first end for being held by a user and said opposite end for attachment to an internal attachment point of the roof for supporting the roof, and a carrying bag therefor.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a convertible, portable, collapsible, umbrella structure useful as a hunting blind and as hand-carried camouflage and protection against adverse weather during travel.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Portable hunting blinds to date generally provide a roof structure typically colored with a camouflaged pattern, optionally containing insect netting and/or transparent viewing panels; such structures extend partially or completely to the ground. Typically, portable blinds are collapsible for storage in a carrying container.

One type of collapsible hunting blind has an umbrella roof structure supported either from beneath the umbrella or from a mounting point external to, and above the umbrella. Externally supported umbrella hunting blinds provide unfettered access to the blinds.

Umbrella hunting blinds can differ in terms how the support for holding the umbrella roof is stabilized. For example, the internally supported umbrella described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,214,872 includes a vertical stake to be anchored in the ground centrally beneath the umbrella structure, the vertical stake being pivotably attached to a cross-arm that extends to the interior apex of the umbrella. The externally supported umbrella described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,449,542 has a vertical stake to be anchored in the ground externally adjacent the umbrella structure; the stakes having a telescoping adjustable length, and, at its highest end, a horizontal arm reaching outward and attached to the exterior apex of the umbrella. The umbrella can be suspended from the outside.

Instead of ground anchoring, some umbrella hunting blinds are anchored directly to a tree. See U.S. Pat. No. 4,284,095, showing a horizontal arm extending from the exterior apex of the umbrella attached to a strap assembly that is affixed to, for example, a tree trunk or a chair.

However, all prior art mountable collapsible umbrella structures having an external support structure, whether mountable to the ground or to a tree, include a support structure that is restricted to one specific use. Such structures are not useful for screening and protection while the hunter is traversing the hunting arena. This disadvantage is important to the hunter who is limited in the bulk and weight of hunting apparatus to be carried into the field, especially when long distances or difficult terrain are involved, and where camouflage and silence are critical during such travel. Therefore, multi-purpose or convertible camouflage apparatus is important to minimizing the hunter's load.

A portable hunting blind would provide camouflage screening from intended prey and protection from weather and insects while the hunter is in motion. During such occasions, the hunter can hunt at various locations, some of which are relatively exposed in an open field while other locations are hidden amidst the cover of foliage. Not only might the hunter transit to, and reside in more than one type of hunting location, but also, the hunter can remain for various periods in possibly successive locations under difficult weather and camouflage screening conditions. In many instances, avoidance of even the slightest noise resulting from setup and dismantling camouflage shelter is critical to a successful hunt, as is speed of such setup and dismantling.

Existing single-use hunting blind equipment are restricted by their design to generally stationary use, and thereby fail to provide an advantage to the hunter during intermittent mobile and stationary use. Therefore, there exists the need to eliminate the added burden of carrying multiple types of screening/protection equipment, and to provide an easily and silently convertible, portable, blind that is suitable for a variety of hunting circumstances typically encountered by the hunter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a convertible, portable, mountable, collapsible, hunting blind having a support that functions as a conventional umbrella handle for hand-held protection and camouflage while, for example, traversing a hunting terrain, and alternatively, provides external support to the umbrella for unencumbered access beneath the collapsible roof when used as a stationary hunting blind. In a fixed attachment configuration, the support is for attachment at one end to a vertical surface, and at an opposite end to an external projection extending through the exterior apex of the roof. Either the outer ends of the ribs or the edges of the perimeter of the umbrella roof are for detachably holding an optional camouflage fabric along the outer periphery of the roof, the fabric draping from the roof periphery in any suitable length when the collapsible roof is in an open position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is further explained in conjunction with the following figures illustrating the present invention:

FIG. 1a is a schematic view of the convertible hunting blind in a hand-held configuration;

FIG. 1b is a schematic view of the convertible hunting blind in a fixed-attachment configuration;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a rib attachment portion with pivotally attached ribs;

FIG. 3 is a schematic sectional view of an internal central member extending through a partial sectional view of an umbrella roof;

FIG. 4a is a schematic sectional view of a support arm having a self-tapping threaded end;

FIG. 4b is a schematic sectional view of the support arm having an end attached to a strap;

FIG. 5a is a schematic view of the convertible hunting blind in a hand-held configuration with an optional short length detachable drape;

FIG. 5b is a schematic view of the convertible hunting blind in a hand-held configuration with an optional long length detachable drape.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The subject matter of the present invention is well depicted in, and described in conjunction with, the drawings herewith.

FIG. 1a shows a convertible, portable, mountable, collapsible, hunting blind 10a in a hand-held configuration and FIG. 1b shows convertible hunting blind 10b in a fixed-attachment configuration. In the hand-held configuration, portable hunting blind 10a is held and used like a conventional umbrella. In the fixed-attachment configuration, portable hunting blind 10b is attached to any suitable vertical surface, such as, for example, a tree trunk.

FIG. 2 shows a rib attachment portion 12 and pivotally attached ribs 14 forming one example of a conventional linkage for maintaining roof 16 in alternatively open and closed positions, which is well known and does not constitute a novel feature of the present invention. Roof 16 includes a plurality of ribs 14 extending from rib attachment portion 12 to the periphery of the roof, wherein distal ends of the ribs define points for sides of a polygon edge of the periphery of the roof. Fabric attached to ribs 14 forms roof panels of umbrella roof 16.

FIG. 3 shows an internal central member 18 extending from roof 16 centrally within the roof for a length proximate the length of the free ends of ribs 14. Internal central member 18 is a shaft having at one end an external projection 20 for extending though an exterior apex 21 of roof 16, and also an internal means for attachment. In one embodiment, external projection 20 has two externally threaded ⅜″ diameter adjacent end portions 22 and 23, portion 23 mating with internally threaded nut 24 and portion 22 protruding through nut 24 and exposed above roof 16. Nut 24 clamps rib attachment portion 12 against a shoulder 26 of internal central member 18, so that threaded portion 22 protrudes through roof 16. The fabric of roof 16 is attached to rib attachment portion 12 or in any other suitable way.

Any other suitable combinations of component dimensions and configurations can be used for providing a first attachment point at the exterior apex 21 of roof 16 and a second attachment point inside roof 16. For example, external projection 20 can be a part of attachment portion 12 instead of part of internal central member 18. Also, any alternative mechanical connections such as, for example, snap-fit or twist-lock components are suitable in place of the described threaded portions. Internal central member 18 also has at an end 29, opposite end 19, an externally threaded portion 30 for use to be described later. Internal central member 18 can have any suitable configuration, such as, for example, a sliding or telescoping mechanism 12, for opening and closing collapsible umbrella roof 16.

FIG. 4a shows a support arm 28 having a first end 32 with a self-tapping threaded portion 34 for use during a fixed-attachment configuration of the present invention, wherein self-tapping threaded portion 34 is for being screwed into any vertical surface such as, for example, a tree trunk.

FIG. 4b shows support arm 28 having a first end 32 rigidly attached to a strap and strap fastener 35, which is any suitable known belt arrangement having sufficient width and tightening capability for attaching and supporting hunting blind 10b to a tree trunk. Support arm 28 has an end 36 opposite first end 32, wherein end 36 has an internally threaded hole 38 for engaging with threaded end portion 30 of internal central member 18, wherein hole 38 is located substantially in alignment with the shaft portion of arm 28. Also at end 36 is a T-shaped portion including a tee arm 40 oriented perpendicular to the shaft portion of support arm 28, wherein tee arm 40 is shorter than the shaft portion of support arm 28. One end 42 of tee arm 40 has an internally threaded hole 44 for receiving external projection threaded portion 21 for externally supporting roof 16. Any alternative mechanical connections such as, for example, snap-fit or twist-lock components are suitable in place of the described threaded portions.

Optionally a handle portion 46 is located at end 32 of support arm 28 in the hand-held configuration of the present invention. In a separate embodiment, handle portion 46 can slide over or otherwise cover, self-tapping threads 34 or strap and strap fastener 35. Other enclosures covering threads 34 are envisioned. The tee-shaped portion at end 36 of support arm 28 is configured to function as a handle for a user to screw the self-tapping threaded end of support arm 28 into a tree trunk in the fixed-attachment configuration of the present invention.

Internal central member 18 includes retaining means 48 affixed to internal central member 18 to releasably hold roof 16 in an open position. Retaining means 48 can be a swivel-lock or any other releasable catch, such as, for example, a releasable catch found in known umbrellas. In one embodiment, retaining means 48 cooperates with rib attachment portion 12, which slides along internal central member 18.

FIG. 5a shows convertible hunting blind 10a in a hand-held configuration with an optional relatively short length detachable drape 50a for camouflage, weather and insect protection purposes especially useful while the user travels across hunting terrain, and FIG. 5b shows convertible hunting blind 10b in a fixed-attachment configuration with an optional relatively long detachable drape 50b for use while the user is crouched or standing. However, either length drape 50a,b can be used with each of convertible hunting blind configurations 10a and 10b. Drape 50a,b is arranged around the polygon edge defining the perimeter of roof 16 and can be made of any camouflage material including a see-through type camouflage fabric.

Drape 50a,b can be a contiguous part of the fabric used for roof 16, but preferably is a detachable, separate fabric that is attached by any suitable means, such as, for example, releasable mating hook and loop attachment portions, snaps, and the like. Attachment points include edges of fabric panels forming the periphery of roof 16 and/or distal ends of ribs 14 adjacent the periphery of roof 16.