Title:
Hubble backwatcher-hunter's mirror
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rear view mirror device for use with an elevated hunter platform to view the rear-ward approach of game and other hunters. The device is secured in position from the side of its mirror (a) by an adjustable and flexible arm assembly (b) which is in turn is connected to an “extended clamp” mounting assembly (c). The three components (a, b, and c) are securely and detachably connected to each other for easy transport and storage. A non-reflective black or camouflage finish covers all parts surfaces, except the mirror, to ensure the invention blends unobtrusively with the game animal habitat. The wide-angle, convex mirror is provided with an anti-glare, anti-glinting coating to reduce glare and to provide maximum area of rear vantage. The device features very few parts. In operation, the device may be assembled and operated without fasteners or tools.



Inventors:
Hubble, Eugene (Anderson, IN, US)
Hurley, Patrick J. (Fortville, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/257351
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
10/24/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADFORD, CANDACE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (ANDERSON, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rear viewing mirror device for use in combination with an elevated hunter platform of the type that positions a hunter above a ground surface, the elevated hunter platform including at least one side rail, the rear viewing mirror device comprising: (a) a non-glare convex mirror assembly; (b) a flexible arm assembly with a proximal and a distal end; (c) a means to detachably connect the mirror assembly to the proximal end of the flexible arm assembly; (d) a mounting clamp assembly; and (e) a means to detachably connect the clamp assembly to the distal end of the flexible arm assembly whereby the device may be disassembled for portability and is re-assembled and installable without need of tools, fasteners and straps to one of the side rails of the elevated hunter platform in order that a hunter might rotationally adjust the device to permit the hunter to view a wide area behind him.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the mirror assembly is comprised of (a) a non-glare convex mirror; and (b) an housing that has an integral back plate and a circumferential side rail which rail has a plurality of integral retainer buttons interior to the side rail and proximal to the interior back plate whereby the buttons fixably retain the mirror adjacent to the interior back plate.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the material composition of the back plate, side rail, and buttons is metal.

4. The device according to claim 3 wherein wherein the metal is aluminum.

5. The device according to claim 2 wherein the material composition of the back plate, side rail, and buttons is a composite material.

6. The device according to claim 5 wherein wherein the composite material is plastic.

7. The device according to claim 6 wherein plastic material is multicolored earth and vegetation tones whereby the back plate, side rail, and buttons are camouflaged without the need of additional sheathing and materials.

8. The device according to claim 2 wherein the reflective surface of the non-glare convex mirror is a blue-tinted antiglare mirror surface.

9. The device according to claim 2 wherein the reflective surface of the non-glare convex mirror is a dark-tinted antiglare mirror surface.

10. The device according to claim 1 wherein the flexible arm assembly is a plurality of ball and socket snap members which are detachably fixed to the adjacent member by means of the interference fit between the ball and the socket snap socket whereby the flexible arm may be assembled at various lengths and may be fully rotated to any desired configuration.

11. The device according to claim 10 wherein the material composition of the ball and socket snap members is metal.

12. The device according to claim 10 wherein the material composition of the ball and socket snap members is a composite material.

13. The device according to claim 12 wherein the composite material is plastic.

14. The device according to claim 13 wherein plastic material is multicolored earth and vegetation tones whereby the flexible arm is a camouflaged member without the need of additional sheathing and materials.

15. The device according to claim 10 wherein the material composition of the ball and socket snap members is a non-corrosive material which may be processed by injection molding.

16. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to connect the mirror to the flexible arm assembly is by integrally injection molding a ball and snap socket member directly to the mirror assembly whereby the flexible arm may be detachably assembled to the mirror assembly and may be fully rotated to any desired configuration.

17. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to detachably connect the clamp assembly to the flexible arm assembly is by integrally injection molding a ball and snap socket member directly to the clamp assembly whereby the flexible arm may be detachably assembled to the clamp assembly and may be fully rotated to any desired configuration.

18. The device according to claim 1 wherein the mounting clamp assembly is a clamping mechanism including a pair of handles and pair of finger elements, the finger elements having an curved clamping surface which is operable by a spring inserted within a center portion of the clamping mechanism, the spring actuated by force applied to the pair of the handles, and the clamping mechanism further including a center channel formed through the center portion for assembling the pair of handles whereby the clamp assembly may be detachably assembled to the side rail of the hunter's platform and the curved clamping surface of the fingers is similar and closely adjacent to the curved surface of the side rail providing a superior gripping action between the clamp and the rail.

19. A rear viewing mirror device for use in combination with an elevated hunter platform of the type that positions a hunter above a ground surface, the elevated hunter platform including at least one side rail, the rear viewing mirror device comprising: (a) a mirror assembly comprised of a non-glare convex mirror in which the reflective surface of the mirror is a blue-tinted antiglare mirror surface and a plastic housing that has an integral back plate, a circumferential side rail which rail has a plurality of integral retainer buttons interior to the side rail and proximal to the interior back plate; (b) a flexible arm assembly, having a proximal end for attachment to the mirror assembly and a distal end for attachment to the clamp assembly, comprised of a plurality of ball and socket snap members which are detachably fixed to the adjacent member by means of the interference fit between the ball and the socket snap socket; (c) a means to connect the mirror to the proximal end of the flexible arm assembly by integrally injection molding a ball and snap socket member directly to the mirror assembly; (d) a mounting clamp assembly mechanism including a pair of handles and pair of finger elements, the finger elements having an curved clamping surface which is operable by a spring inserted within a center portion of the clamping mechanism, the spring actuated by force applied to the pair of the handles, and the clamping mechanism further including a center channel formed through the center portion for assembling the pair of handles; (e) a means to detachably connect the clamp assembly to the distal end of the flexible arm assembly by integrally injection molding a ball and snap socket member directly to the clamp assembly a means to detachably connect the clamp assembly to the distal end of the flexible arm assembly whereby the device may be disassembled for portability and is re-assembled and installable without need of tools, fasteners and straps to one of the side rails of the elevated hunter platform in order that a hunter might rotationally adjust the device to permit the hunter to view a wide area behind him.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/621,697, filed Oct. 25, 2004 by the present inventors and titled “Hubble Back-Watcher—Hunter's Mirror”.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to rearview mirrors, particularly rearview mirrors used by hunters to view the approach of game and hunters from the rear. The present invention relates generally to hunting devices and apparatus and, more particularly, to accessories for use by hunters while seated in an elevated hunter stand, such as one attached to a tree—a so-called “tree stand”.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

The new Hunter's Mirror Device described in this specification is a mechanism that is designed to easily and quickly install on a hunter platform and allow that mirror to augment and increase the capacity for seeing animals and other hunters in the surrounding area without the moving or turning by the hunter.

A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

Since most hunted animals, such as a deer, possess their own acute sense of hearing, hunters today have become more dependent on elevated stands which position the hunter above the ground surface whereby he waits for the prey to cross his path. This eliminates, or at least lowers, the possibility of the hunter making a noise which may alert the potential target animal of the possibility of a hunter being in close proximity. Placing the hunter in an elevated position can be accomplished by using a tower device or what is commonly known as a tree stand. Tree stands attach to the trunk of a tree and can be left in the tree indefinitely so that the hunter can return to the elevated tree stand each day or night during his hunting expedition.

One of the problems realized in hunting is the difficultly of viewing the area behind the hunter when the hunter is located in a tree or on a climbing stand or other device attached to a tree or pole for hunting purposes. Viewing the area behind the hunter is difficult, not only because of the tree or pole which the hunter is supported on or positioned in, but also because of the awkward, uncomfortable body movements necessary in order to turn the head to the desired extent for such viewing. Accordingly, the rear view hunting mirror of this invention facilitates a clear rear view and solves the problem of the tree or support itself as a blocking obstacle, as well as the necessity of moving the body and turning the neck and head in uncomfortable positions for viewing purposes.

Accordingly, it would be advantageous to have a device for an improved tree stand which permits the hunter to view the surroundings behind him, regardless of the way he is facing. This improvement would increase the area that a hunter can scan in hopes of locating a prey in which he can attempt a shot or to prevent unsafe conditions when other hunters enter the area nearby from behind.

B. Prior Art

Historically, several different devices have attempted to address the problem as stated and they have been made to further improve rear viewing capabilities in hunter tree stands. One such device is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,004,850 by Nelson (1977) which teaches a portable mirror for use in hunting. This device includes a tripod base having individually adjustable legs for adapting to various terrain configurations. A central vertical post is mounted on the tripod and supports a pair of articulating mirrors. The mirrors are individually rotatably adjustable about the longitudinal axis of the post. The mirrors are vertically slidable along the post relative to the ground. There is no means taught for use with a hunter's platform nor are there particulars discussed for special convex, non-glare mirrors.

A U.S. Pat.4,487,479 was issued to Tolomeo (1984) which teaches a multiple section rear viewing mirror. The device is strappable around a vertically standing cylindrical object, such as a tree. Each of the two side mirror sections are adjustable in angular rotation about a hinge point to the central mirror section which is adjacent to the common sides of the mirror sections. Also, the central mirror section is pivotable about several points, or fingers, which set the central mirror portion off from the vertical support surface of the object so that the central mirror section can be fixedly positioned in both the horizontal and vertical directions by adjusting each of the fingers. The problem with this apparatus is it only mounts to a vertically standing cylindrical object, such as a tree, and not to any other object or surface. This relegates the hunter to facing, or partially facing the tree such that the tree is in a direct line of sight and will substantially interfere with aiming a weapon to take down whatever game is being hunted.

Another device for hunter viewing is taught by U.S. Pat. No. 4,750,811 issued to Beyer (1988). This art discloses a ground level positioned rear view mirror device open at the sides having a top cover. The device has limited use as it appears to be useable only at ground level and is opened at the sides.

In the U.S. Pat. No. 5,096,283 issued to Croteau (1992) is taught an adjustable rear view mirror extension apparatus that attaches to a standard existing rear view mirror found in most automobiles and other motor vehicles. The apparatus has a mirror, a mirror frame to secure the mirror, a plurality of lateral supports to position the mirror on the frame, and a flexible mirror retainer to releasingly retain the mirror in the mirror frame. There is no discussion as to extending this device's use to other applications such as for a hunter's platform or tree stand. Importantly, a distinction between this device and the Hunter's Mirror Device is a need for tools to install the mirror assembly securely.

A rotational surveillance safety mirror is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,106,177 issued to Dolasia (1992). Here the clamp is essentially directly connected to the mirror through a pivotal ball. The device teaches no elongation arm or rod and is stated as useful for a high vibration environment such as with a vehicle.

Another type of hunting mirror device is U.S. Pat. No. 5,383,061 to Lanier (1995). The Lanier device includes a spike for penetrating the tree trunk to secure the hunting mirror in place, and this particular device is used specifically with tree stands in which the hunter faces the tree. The Lanier device, therefore, has several problems. Lanier lacks any mention or teaching of a mirror device which could be used with any other elevated hunter stand except that of a trunk facing stand. Further, the Lanier device requires the insertion of the spike into the tree trunk which, over time, is damaging to the tree. Further, the view that is provided by the Lanier device is extremely limited due to its position in the tree. The device lacks an ability to employ the mirror in multiple positions.

The U.S. Pat. No. 5,604,633 issued to Christianson (1997) discloses a condensation-free shower mirror. The device teaches a clamp which attaches to the shower pipe by means of an interference “C” clip, unlike the Hunter's Mirror Device pressure clamp. The device does teach a ball and socket gooseneck for an essentially unlimited rotation of the mirror to locate it where one desires. There is no mention of using this device for hunting or other sporting uses.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,220,717 issued to Pastore (2001) describes a rear view mirror device for use with an elevated hunter platform. The device includes a frame member retaining a mirror element on a front side. A back side of the frame member includes a rod receiving portion which teaches screws to hold the rod for receiving and retaining a top end of a flexible rod. A bottom end of the flexible rod attaches by a rather complex screw and wing nut to a center portion of a clamp. This is an intersection point that may loosen and permit the device to slip out of position. The clamp includes a pair of handles and a pair of fingers which are actuated by a spring disposed within the clamp center portion. To deploy the device, pressure is applied to the handles which opens the fingers. The device is then located to its desired position on the elevated hunter platform whereafter the pressure on the handles is released causing the fingers to engage a rail of the platform.

One skilled in the art appreciates the limitation of this device which is comprised with essentially flat planes of the jaws. These flat jaw planes are trying to engage and secure the device to essentially round or oval frame members of the hunter platform, thus allowing another slippage intersection. Other limitations of the Pastore device when compared to the Hunter's Mirror Device include the limited rod rotation compared to a ball and socket snap; limitation to circular mirrors which restrict the much wider image offered by elongated, convex mirrors; non-glare mirror surfaces taught by Hunter's Mirror Device; and the ability to provide a camouflaged color scheme with the ball and socket snap over the rod.

A recent Publication shows some specific art of rear viewing mirrors. The art is found in Publication US 2004/0125477 A1 by Carter, et al. (Jul. 1, 2004). This teaches a rear view hunting mirror mounted on one end of a flexible “gooseneck” coupling, with a curved mount bracket attached to the opposite end of the flexible coupling and fitted with an adjustable mount strap and buckle combination for attaching the rear view hunting mirror to a post, tree or a tree limb. The “strap” attachment means to the tree or post requires more effort and is more complicated than the present Hunter's Mirror Device. Additional parts and fasteners are required to attach the strap plate to the gooseneck. The camouflage sleeve is an additional part when compared with the Hunter's Mirror Device. The mirror is not described as a non-glare, convex type of the present Hunter's Mirror Device.

Another recent Publication shows some similar specific art of rear viewing mirrors. A later application to the present Hunter's Mirror Device, is found in Publication US 2004/0233556 A1 by La Viola (Nov. 25, 2004). Even though this is later art than the present Hunter's Mirror Device, the Carter device teaches a limited telescoping or jack knife elongation member. It teaches a mounting plate that requires some attachment means such as fasteners (needing tools where the Hunter's Mirror Device requires no tools), and it teaches a band around a tree and/or cable ties. The rotational elements are greatly restricted when compared to the Hunter's Mirror Device and the device appears more complex and expensive. Even the grip system is anticipated by the Hunter's Mirror Device clamp handle.

None of the prior art teaches all the features and capabilities of the Hunter's Mirror Device. As far as known, there are no devices at the present time which fully meet the need for a rear viewing mirror device as well as the Hunter's Mirror Device. It is believed that this device is made with fewer parts, of a more durable design, and with much improved gripping capabilities than any previous mirror devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A Hunter's Mirror Device has been developed for use by hunters that are hunting game, such as deer. A hunter normally desires to not only cover a front area but, without movement of the body or head, to readily view the rear area at a selected standing or sitting location. Specifically, the Hunter's Mirror Device provides a manner to view the position rear-wardly of the tree stand seat to provide a hunter with a reflected field from a stationary position seated in the seat facing the tree trunk.

The device is adapted to be secured in position from the side of its mirror part by an adjustable and flexible arm assembly that in turn is connected to an “extended grip” mounting assembly. While the three main components are securely connected, the means of connection from the flexible arm to both the mirror device and the mounting assembly are detachable for transporting and storing in a compact manner. A non-reflective black or camouflage finish covers all parts surfaces, except the mirror, to ensure the invention blends unobtrusively with the game animal habitat and therefore helps to confuse the game. The wide-angle, convex mirror is provided with an anti-glare, anti-glinting “blue” or equal coating to reduce glare and provide maximum area of rear vantage.

The newly invented Hunter's Mirror device features very few parts. In operation, the new Hunter's Mirror may be assembled and operated without additional fasteners or tools.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

There are several objects and advantages of the HUNTER'S MIRROR. There currently exist few mechanisms for seeing behind a hunter in a tree stand that are made efficient to use and with few parts. In this regard, it would be advantageous to have an improved hunter's mirror device which permits the hunter to have a reliable, inexpensive device to easily view the surroundings behind him, regardless of the way he is facing. This improvement would increase the area that a hunter can scan in hopes of locating a prey in which he or she can attempt a shot or see an oncoming hunter and therefore hopefully avoid an accident.

One advantage and object of the present invention is to provide a rearview mirror for hunters which is versatile. The device is light, portable, and easy to use in the field. The device may be quickly assembled and attached to the tree stand without the need of any tools. The Hunter's Mirror can be collapsed into a compact package for storage and carrying in a coat or pack of the hunter. The highly flexible arm provides an easy way to adjust the mirror quickly to the right position.

Another object for the Hunter's Mirror is to provide a device with better clamping than prior art through the extended gripping surface of the new mounting assembly.

There has thus been another object of the present invention to enable maximum viewing coverage of a given area with minimized body movement and without strain from the standpoint of the hunter. With the present invention, the wide angle, convex mirror addresses this need. Thus game and other hunters may safely and quietly be seen by the use of this Hunter's Mirror.

A specific need to have an inexpensive, affordable device is another objective. The configuration of this device reduces the number of parts by combining the fastening and adjusting mechanisms of prior art into integral components, thus providing an easier assembly and more durable device. Some of the components anticipate insert molding of the parts. For the process and manufacturing, the mold tooling is less expensive by utilizing insertable tools to vary the features of the components. The flexible arm system described below provides a less expensive production and more durable and adjustable feature for the new device.

A further objective is a rearview mirror which does not suffer from possible glare and user glinting effects that could spooking the game animals. Accordingly, the present invention features an anti-glare surface and a housing that shades the mirrored surface.

Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide a rearview mirror for hunters which is unobtrusive. This means that all surfaces, except the mirror surface itself, are non-reflective. The surfaces of the new device are covered by a non-reflective finish or camouflage. A heat shrink tube surrounds the flexible arm and the mirror housing and mounting clamps may be surface finished or even molded with the flat black or variable camouflage colors directly in the materials.

Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present Hunter's Mirror will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the device. For one skilled in the art of devices and improvements for hunting mirrors, it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this mechanism are readily adapted to other types of mirror improvements.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the Hunter's Mirror Device that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Hunter's Mirror Device. It is understood, however, that the Hunter's Mirror Device is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a Photograph of the first prototype assembly of the Hunter's Mirror Device.

FIG. 2 A and 2 B are Top and Front Drawings of the Hunter's Mirror Device with the various components noted.

FIG. 3 for FIGS. 3 A through 3 E are various Drawings and Isometrics of the Housing for the Hunter's Mirror Device.

FIG. 4 including 4 A through 4 E are a group of Drawings that describe the Mirror for the Hunter's Mirror Device.

FIGS. 5 including 5 A through 5 D are a group of Drawings that show the Ball and Socket snap details.

FIGS. 6 A through 6 D provide details of the double Female snap device used in the Flexi-arm assembly.

FIGS. 7 A through 7 H show the details of the innovative clamp with additional gripping flats.

FIG. 8 is a Photograph of an early prototype of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 to help explain the operation of the novel device.

FIGS. 9 A through 9 C show the Photographs of the prototype test samples of the clamps with extended flats to provide superior gripping over prior art.

FIGS. 10 A and 10 B provide an alternative embodiment of the Hunter's Mirror Device employing a different mounting means for attaching the clamp to the flexi-arm assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

The following list refers to the drawings:

  • 31 general assembly of the Hunter's Mirror Device
  • 32 housing assembly
  • 33 mirror
  • 33A dark tinted anti-glare mirror
  • 33B blue tinted anti-glare mirror
  • 34 flexible arm assembly
  • 35 mounting system (clamp or equal)
  • 36 housing
  • 37 heat shrink tubing or equal
  • 38 means to attach housing assembly (32) to flexi-arm (34)
  • 39 means to attach mounting assembly (35) to flexi-arm (34)
  • 40 retainer buttons for mirror (33)
  • 41 mirror label
  • 42 ball and socket snap member
  • 43 double female snap member
  • 44 snap ridge
  • 45 male protrusion/connector
  • 46 female receiver/connector
  • 47 extended gripping surfaces
  • 48 fastener receiver
  • 49 male protrusion on mounting device (35)
  • 50 clamp body
  • 51 clamp strengthening ribs
  • 52 aperture for fastener
  • 53 fastener nut
  • 54 prototype assembly (similar to 31)
  • 55 prototype flexi-arm (similar to 34)
  • 56 prototype mirror (similar to 33)
  • 57 prototype clamp (similar to 35 without improved clamping surfaces)
  • 58 prototype surfaces (simulating 47)
  • 59 prototype mounting poles(simulating hunter's stand)
  • 60 Alternative Embodiment with additional mounting sleeve
  • 61 mounting sleeve
  • 62 clamp spring
  • 63 space or void behind mirror 33 for adhesive or equal

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PERFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present device is a mechanism for a hunter's stand called a Hunter's Mirror Device 31. This mechanism is comprised of a housing assembly 32, a flexible arm assembly 34, a mounting system 35, and means 38 and 39 to detachably connect these components. A person having ordinary skill in the field of general mirror assemblies such as these appreciates the various parts that may be used to physically permit this HUNTER'S MIRROR Device 31 to be produced and utilized.

The improvement over the existing art is providing a device that:

    • a. is light, portable, and easy to use in the field and may be quickly assembled and attached to the tree-stand;
    • b. provides better clamping than prior art;
    • c. enables maximum viewing coverage;
    • d. is easier to assemble and is a more durable device;
    • e. does not suffer from possible glare and glinting;
    • f. and is unobtrusive

There is shown in FIGS. 1-10 a complete operative embodiment of the HUNTER'S MIRROR Device 31. In the drawings and illustrations, note well that the FIGS. 1-10 demonstrate the general configuration of this invention. The preferred embodiment of the device is comprised of only a few parts as shown in FIG. 1-10 of the drawings. These parts include, but are not limited to, a housing assembly 32 generally comprised of a mirror 33 and housing 36; a flexible arm assembly 34 generally comprised of a plurality of ball and socket snap members 42, at least one double female snap member 43, and a heat shrink tube 37 or equal; a mounting assembly 35 generally comprised of two clamp bodies 50 and a spring 62; a means 38 to attach the housing assembly 32 to the flexible arm assembly 34; and, a means 39 to attach the mounting system 35 to the flexible arm assembly 34. Various important features of these components are delineated in FIGS. 2-7 of the drawings and are described below in appropriate detail for one skilled in the art to appreciate their importance and functionality to the HUNTER'S MIRROR DEVICE 31.

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31. It is understood, however, that the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a Photograph of the first prototype assembly of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31. Here the housing assembly 32 surrounds and contains the mirror 33. The general flexible arm assembly 34 extends down and is detachably connected to the mounting system 35.

FIG. 2 A and 2 B are Top and Front Drawings of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 with the various components noted. The Top View in FIG. 2 A clarifies the housing assembly 32. It shows the housing 36 adjacent and surrounding the mirror 33. The mirror 33 may be mechanically and adhesively attached to the housing 36 as described, below. The attachment means 39 is juxtaposed between the housing assembly 32 and the flexible arm assembly 34. The flexible arm assembly 34 is surrounded by a heat shrink tubing 37 (or equal) that provides protection and camouflage to the flexible arm assembly 34. At the opposite end from the housing assembly 32 of the flexible arm assembly 34 is the mounting system 35. This mounting system 35 is detachably and securely connected to the flexible arm assembly 34 by a fastening means 38.

FIG. 2 B is a Front view of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 which shows another view of the flexible arm assembly 34 and delineates the components as described above. In addition, this view shows the face of the mirror 33 with a label 41. The heat shrink 37 is removed to show the inner assembly of the flexible arm assembly 34. In this view, the extended clamp surface 47 of the mounting system 35 is also denoted.

FIG. 3 in FIGS. 3 A through 3 E are various Drawings and Isometrics of the housing 36 of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31. FIG. 3 A is a Front view of the housing 36 that shows the plurality of mechanical retainer buttons 40. Here six (6) are shown, for exemplary purposes. This Front view also shows the male protrusion that provides the means 39 to connect the housing 36 to the flexible arm assembly 34.

FIGS. 3 B, 3 C, and 3 D show a Top and two End views, respectively, of the housing 36 with the same above described components from a different view. Note well that the mechanical retainer buttons 40 and the male protrusion that provides the means 39 are integrally molded into this housing 36. One skilled in the art appreciates the many plastic materials such as Black or camouflage Delrin 500 or equal plastics may be used. In addition, one skilled appreciates the plethora of other plastics and composite materials that are available for producing this housing 36 with the appropriate process parameters and tool dimensioning in place. In addition to plastic and composites, it is conceivable to stamp metals, cast metals, or provide other materials to make the housing 36 with appropriate considerations for attachment means 39 and mirror 33 that easily is within the scope and spirit of this invention. FIG. 3 E shows an Isometric View of the housing 36 with the mechanical retainer buttons 40 and male protrusion that provides the means 39.

FIG. 4 including 4 A through 4 E are a group of Drawings that describe the mirror 33 for the Hunter's Mirror Device 31. FIG. 4 A is a front view showing the mirror 33 and label 41. The mirror 33 is convex and an elongated wide angle device that permits seeing wider expanses without significant distortion. The mirror 33 may be produced in the preferred embodiment with a “blue blocker” anti-glare coating or equal. This tinting may be accomplished in other colors and still be within the scope of this invention. The label 41 is anticipated to be laser etched emblem to the mirror 33 or by an equal acceptable process.

FIG. 4 B is a Top View of a mirror 33 which shows the spatial relationship of the housing 36 and the mirror 33. Here the mirror 33 is adjacent to the interior wall of the housing 36. However, there most likely will be a void 63 in between the two components - mirror 33 and housing 36. This void 63 provides a location for placing adhesive to attach the mirror 33 to the housing 36 in addition to the mechanical retainer buttons 40. The type of adhesive used in the prototypes is a clear RTV. However, any equal adhesive with similar properties may be used. FIG. 4 C shows an end view of the mirror 33, these same components, and their spatial relationship to each other. In FIG. 4 D and 4 E, photographs of actual prototype mirrors 33A and 33B are shown.

FIGS. 5 including 5 A through 5 D are a group of Drawings that show the Ball and Socket snap member 42 details used in the flexible arm assembly 34. Here, the four views all show similar components. The female receiver 46 is the larger portion of the Ball and Socket snap member 42. This female receiver 46 features a retainer snap ridge 44 to hold the other Ball and Socket snap member 42 in place, once assembled. Opposite from the female receiver 46 is the male protrusion 45. This portion engages the female receiver 46 and is securely and rotatably held in place by the snap ridge 44. A plurality of these Ball and Socket snap members 42 comprise most of the flexible arm assembly 34. These Ball and Socket snap members 42 are anticipated to be made from black Delrin 500 or equal. Again the materials may be substituted with other plastics and composite materials that have similar properties and still be within the scope and spirit of this Hunter's Mirror Device 31.

FIGS. 6 A through 6 D provide details of the double Female snap device 43 used in the Flexi-arm assembly 34. Here the details are similar to the Female snap detail 46 of the ball snap 42, described above. Here the double female 43 has two opposite ends with the same features of the above described female receivers 46 and the snap ridge 44. At least one of this Female snap device 43 is required for the flexible arm assembly 34. The anticipated material to make this is the same as described above for the Ball and Socket snap member 42.

FIGS. 7 A through 7 G show the details of the innovative and much improved mounting system 35 with additional extended gripping surfaces 47. FIG. 7 A shows the Top view of the mounting system 35 and the gripping surfaces 47. Here the features of the fastener receiver 48, the clamp body 50, and the male protrusion 49 on the mounting system 35 are shown. The male protrusion 50 is molded integrally to the clamp body 50. However, by using an insert in the mold this feature may be eliminated on the clamp body 50 that is not required to be attached to the flexible arm assembly 34. This option may provide a mounting system that has no male protrusion 38 attached to the clamp bodies 50. The main clamp body 50 is anticipated to be made from black Delrin 500 or equal. Again the materials may be substituted with other plastics and composite materials that have similar properties and still be within the scope and spirit of this Hunter's Mirror Device 31. The spring device 62 is hidden but shown for its spatial relation to the rest of the mounting system 35.

FIG. 7 B is a side view of the clamp body 50. Here, the fastener nut 53 and the fastener receiver 48 integral to the clamp body 50 is shown. Note that the extended gripping surfaces 47 has a curved design in this view to provide even more surface contact to the tree-stand pole during attachment. External to the clamp body 50 here is a strengthening rib 51 that is molded integral to the clamp body 50 and the extended gripping surfaces 47. This view also depicts the section position for FIG. 7 F, described below. FIG. 7 C shows the end view of the male protrusion 49 of the mounting system 35.

FIG. 7 D is a section through the center of the clamp body 50. Here the additional interior strengthening ribs 51 are shown. In FIG. 7 E, another side view of the clamp body 50 is shown. Note the aperture 52 for receiving a through fastener (not shown) to be secured on the opposite face by a nut 53 or equal means. The extended gripping surface 47 and an additional external strengthening ribs 51 are also shown in this view. A side view of the spring 62 is depicted internal to the clamp body 50.

FIG. 7 F is a Section view described in FIG. 7 B. The strengthening ribs 51, the extended gripping surfaces 47, and other cross-section details are demonstrated. This is a preferred design for this embodiment. One well skilled in plastic components appreciates that other structurally sound designs may be accomplished without effecting the scope and spirit of this Hunter's. Mirror Device 31. In FIGS. 7 G and 7 H additional cross sections of the clamp body 50, the extended gripping surfaces 47, and the strengthening ribs 51 are demonstrated.

FIG. 8 is a Photograph of an early prototype 54 of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 to help explain the operation of the novel device. This photograph shows the prototype flexible arm assembly 55 (simulating the flexible arm assembly 34), the prototype mirror 56, the prototype clamp 57, and the original prototype extended gripping surfaces 58 (simulating extended gripping surfaces 47). One should note the original prototype pole 59 that is very similar in size and surface to the structures most often used in tree-stands.

FIGS. 9 A, 9 B, and 9 C show the Photographs of the prototype test samples of the clamps 57 with extended flats 58 to provide superior gripping (over prior art) to the pole 59. Particularly in FIG. 9 C is a photograph of a spring 62 that is like the one used in the Hunter's Mirror Device 31.

FIGS. 10 A and 10 B provide an alternative embodiment 60 of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 employing a different mounting means for attaching the clamp to the flexible arm assembly 34. Here, a mounting sleeve 61 is a separate component and replaces, for these purposes, the male protrusion that provides the means 39. Recall that this means 39 is integrally molded to the clamp body 51 in the preferred embodiment 31.

The details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other specific components specific to describing a Hunter's Mirror Device 31 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of hunter and sport well appreciates.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Hunters who hunt game animals, such as deer, generally remain in a fixed, quiet stance. This may take, for instance, the form of being located in a “blind” or sitting motionless in the woods. In any event, because the hunter must be still, he is generally unable to turn constantly about in order to survey the condition of the forest on all sides of him. This is because deer and other game animals are very wary of motion, causing them to be “spooked” and run away. Hence, the hunter is generally only continually aware of game movements in his forward line of sight and only marginally, if at all, aware of game movements or other hunters behind him. This is a severe handicap because quite often game animals can “sneak up” on the hunter from behind, finding him off guard, and successfully escape the hunter's most skillful and earnest attempts at killing the game. Where other hunters are present in the area, there is also a chance of an accident for those not aware of another human nearby.

The new Hunter's Mirror Device 31 has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the device operates is described below. Note well that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of Hunter's Mirror Device 31.

The embodiment described above is essentially a mechanism composed of three main interlocking assemblies. The housing assembly 32 is detachably secured to the flexible arm assembly 34 by means 39 of the male protrusion molded into the housing 36. The flexible arm assembly 34 by means 38 of the male protrusion 49 is detachably secured to the mounting system 35. One recalls that the male protrusion 49 is integrally molded into the clamp body 50.

For a hunter in the woods, the person merely removes the three assemblies—mounting system 35, housing assembly 32, and flexible arm assembly 34—from the pack, coat or other container. Then he or she snaps the three pieces together to form the Hunter's Mirror Device 31. Once the hunter is in place in the tree-stand, the hunter securely attaches the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 by positioning the extended gripper jaws 47 around the tree-stand pole (simulated by pole 59 in FIGS. 8 and 9).

For original assembly purposes of the assembles, the housing assembly 32 is produced by placing the housing 36 on a flat surface, applying some adhesive, and then snapping the mirror 33 past the mechanical retainer buttons 40. Then to produce a flexible arm assembly 34, a plurality of Ball and Socket snap members 42 are snapped together. Then the double female snap member 43 is placed on the male end of the flexible arm assembly 34. Finally, the heat shrink tubing 37 is sheathed exteriorly around the assembly, heated to shrink it to the snap members 42 and the flexible arm assembly 34 is essentially complete. To produce the mounting system 35, two clamp bodies 50 and a spring 62 are assembled. All three assemblies 32, 34 and 35 are then ready to package and provide as a Hunter's Mirror Device 31.

With this description it is to be understood that the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment. The features of the Hunter's Mirror Device 31 are intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.