Title:
Adjustable tree stand system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable tree stand for mounting and supporting a hunter in a tree a distance above the ground. The tree stand system includes a tree-engaging frame with a pair of spaced apart, normally upright members each having opposed, upper and lower ends and a cross member located between the upright members. In addition, the system includes a seat assembly, a platform, a pair of spaced cable members and a strap connected to the upright members of the frame. The seat assembly is mounted on the frame and has a seat for a hunter to sit on. The assembly is generally movable between an operative and a folded position, providing a supporting structure with a pair of supper, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with the tree when the seat assembly is in the operative position. The seat assembly includes an elongated, longitudinally extensible and retractable strut interconnecting the cross member and the seat for supporting the seat in a generally horizontal orientation when the strut is extended to a desired position. The platform is pivotally mounted to the lower ends of the upright members and the cable pair interconnects the platform and the frame allowing for movement between a folded, stored position and a operational position where the cables tensionally hold the platform. The platform also has a pair of lower, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with the tree when the platform is in the operational position. The strap connects the upright members of the frame and is adapted to embrace the tree trunk, holding the upper and lower spaced components against the tree, whereby the components and strap secure the tree stand to the tree during use.



Inventors:
Roe, Garrett W. (Hays, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/431476
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
05/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G3/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030213647Removable tower sleeveNovember, 2003St-germain
20080042030Roofer's lifesaverFebruary, 2008Holling et al.
20070261915Lifeline TrolleyNovember, 2007Auston
20070056800Ladder safety matt inventionMarch, 2007Morgese
20100025157Self-Rescue Safety DeviceFebruary, 2010Casebolt
20090084629Intermediate BracketApril, 2009Luke
20070125598STRUCTURE HAVING A COMPACTABLE WALKWAYJune, 2007Castagno et al.
20070125602Ladder, in particular swimming-pool ladderJune, 2007Marbach
20040200668Scaffolding systemOctober, 2004Duplessis
20080000720LADDER ANCHORING SYSTEMJanuary, 2008Porch et al.
20070227819WINDOW CLEANING LADDEROctober, 2007Layfield



Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CENTER, LLC (OVERLAND PARK, 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. An adjustable tree stand system for mounting on a tree for supporting a hunter a distance above a ground surface, the adjustable tree stand comprising: a tree-engaging frame having a pair of spaced, normally upright members, each presenting opposed, upper and lower ends, and a cross member intermediate said ends spanning said members, a seat assembly mounted on said frame and having a seat for a hunter, said assembly being movable between an operative and a folded position, and provided with a supporting structure presenting a pair of upper, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with a tree when the seat assembly is in said operative position, said seat assembly including an elongated, longitudinally extensible and retractable strut interconnecting said cross member and said seat for supporting said seat in a generally horizontal orientation when said strut is extended to a desired position, a platform pivotally mounted to said lower ends of said upright members, a pair of spaced cable members interconnecting said platform and said frame for movement between a folded, stored position and an operational position where said cables are in tension to hold the platform, said platform being provided with a pair of lower, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with a tree when the platform is in said operational position, and a strap connected to said upright members of the frame and adapted to embrace a trunk of a tree to hold said upper and lower spaced components in engagement with the tree, whereby said components in cooperation with said strap secure the tree stand to a tree during use.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said stand is comprised of a lightweight, weather resistant material adapted for transport and use in an outdoor environment.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a pair of carrying straps attached to the platform for transporting said stand while said stand while in a folded, stored position.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said supporting structure further comprises: a front boundary secured to the tree engaging frame with said strut, and a rear boundary mechanically connected to said upright members, whereby said front and rear boundaries are adapted to support said seat.

5. The apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said seat assembly further comprises: a top bracket which spans the upright members, and a hinge connection mounted on said top bracket for rotation of the seat assembly about the tree engaging frame.

6. The apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said front boundary is comprised of tubular metal having an arcuate shape extending away from the rear boundary.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said tree engaging frame further comprises a rotateable connecting structure which permits said strut to rotate about said cross member.

8. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said seat assembly is comprised of a continuous rigid, tubular member curved radially curved with severed edges.

9. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said platform is further comprised of a generally rectangular support surface.

10. The apparatus according to claim 9 wherein said support surface comprises a lattice structure.

11. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said tree engaging frame further comprises: a bottom bracket adapted for connecting said platform to said frame, and a rotateable connection structure associated with said bottom bracket and adapted for pivotal rotation of said platform about said frame.

12. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said pair of lower, spaced components further comprise: a plurality of mechanical fasteners, and a plurality of preconfigured slotted openings on said components adapted for receiving the mechanical fasteners wherein said lower spaced components are longitudinally extensible and retractable.

13. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said strut further comprises: a plurality of locking pin mechanisms, and a plurality of preconfigured slot openings adapted for receiving the locking pin mechanisms whereby the strut is secured in one of an extended and a retracted position.

14. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said strut further comprises: an inner channel member having an outer end and an inner end with a plurality of slotted openings, a outer channel member having an outer end and an inner end having a slotted opening, said outer channel member inner end adapted to receive said inner channel member inner end, and a locking pin mechanism received at the aligned junction of said inner and outer channels.

15. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said platform further comprises: a cable anchor located on said platform, and a plurality of slotted cable openings in said cable anchor adapted to receive said cable members support said platform.

16. The apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said tree engaging frame further comprises: a side bracket adapted for mechanically securing said cable member to said tree engaging frame, an outwardly projecting tab on said side bracket which extends outwardly from said upright member, and an elongated opening on said outwardly projecting tab adapted to receive said strap.

17. An tree stand adjustment system for adjustably mounting a tree stand on a tree for supporting a hunter a distance above a ground surface, the tree stand adjustment system comprising: a tree-engaging frame having a pair of spaced, normally upright members, a seat assembly mounted on said frame and having a seat for a hunter, said assembly being movable between an operative and a folded position, and provided with a supporting structure presenting a pair of upper, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with a tree when the seat assembly is in said operative position, said seat assembly including an elongated, longitudinally extensible and retractable strut with a plurality of preconfigured slotted openings in said strut interconnecting said cross member and said seat for supporting said seat when said strut is extended to a desired position selected from said preconfigured openings, a platform pivotally mounted to said lower ends of said upright members, said platform having a pair of cable anchors with a plurality of preconfigured slotted cable openings on each anchor, a pair of spaced cable members interconnecting said platform and said frame at said cable anchors for movement between a folded, stored position and an operational position where said cables are in tension to hold the platform, said slotted cable openings being configured in complementary positions to said strut preconfigured slotted openings whereby when said strut is retracted a number of slotted openings and said cable members are retracted said number of slotted openings, said seat assembly and said platform complementarily rotate, said platform being provided with a pair of lower, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with a tree when the platform is in said operational position, and a strap connected to said upright members of the frame and adapted to embrace a trunk of a tree to hold said upper and lower spaced components in engagement with the tree, whereby said components in cooperation with said strap secure the tree stand to a tree during use.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to sport devices and more particularly to a new adjustable tree stand system adapted to be secured to an upright structure such as a tree.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hunters and other who spend a substantial amount of time in forests may need to remain stationary for a long time. Since the ground may be damp or snow covered during certain months in certain climates, sitting on the ground may not be practical for some hunters. In addition, the ground may not be comfortable or ideal seating for a hunter. While remaining stationary the hard, often uneven contour of the ground surface may not be comfortable for extended periods of time. Also, a hunter may prefer an elevated position, above some visual obstacles, providing an improved vantage point from which the hunter may watch the ground for any prey. However, some vertically elevated surfaces such as trees lean one way or another. Because the number of trees with little to no lean may vary, within a particular location, a hunter may find there are no suitable trees for using traditional trees stands. Also, without accounting for the lean in a particular tree, the hunter may find that they are unable to properly align themselves with the ground or their prey.

A hunter may also wish to change hunting locations during an outing or may wish to transport a tree stand into the forest for a particular hunting expedition. Having an easily transportable tree stand which is adapted for easy set-up and tear-down would provide a benefit to such a hunter.

It would therefore be beneficial to have an adjustable tree stand system which provides for an elevated positioning of the hunter above the ground in a seated platform, which can be adjusted to account for the lean of a tree, which can be easily carried into the forest, which can be readily set up and removed providing a transportable adjustable seated tree stand for the hunter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an adjustable tree stand for mounting and supporting a hunter in a tree a distance above the ground. The tree stand system includes a tree-engaging frame with a pair of spaced apart, normally upright members each having opposed, upper and lower ends and a cross member located between the upright members. In addition, the system includes a seat assembly, a platform, a pair of spaced cable members and a strap connected to the upright members of the frame. The seat assembly is mounted on the frame and has a seat for a hunter to sit on. The assembly is generally movable between an operative and a folded position, providing a supporting structure with a pair of upper, spaced components that project generally horizontally, rearwardly for engagement with the tree when the seat assembly is in the operative position. The seat assembly includes an elongated, longitudinally extensible and retractable strut interconnecting the cross member and the seat for supporting the seat in a generally horizontal orientation when the strut is extended to a desired position. The platform is pivotally mounted to the lower ends of the upright members and the cable pair interconnects the platform and the frame allowing for movement between a folded, stored position and a operational position where the cables tensionally hold the platform. The platform also has a pair of lower, spaced components that project generally horizontally rearwardly for engagement with the tree when the platform is in the operational position. The strap connects the upright members of the frame and is adapted to embrace the tree trunk, holding the upper and lower spaced components against the tree, whereby the components and strap secure the tree stand to the tree during use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this invention and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the adjustable tree stand in accordance with the present invention engaging a tree.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the stand according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the apparatus in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a partial view of the tree stand seat assembly in accordance with one aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a partial view of the tree stand seat assembly in accordance with another aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a partial view of the tree stand seat assembly in accordance with another aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

I. Introduction.

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

II. Tree Stand.

Referring to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the present invention an adjustable tree stand generally indicated by reference numeral 10 for mounting on a tree 2 for supporting a hunter (not shown) a distance above the ground surface 4. In a general sense, the adjustable tree stand 10 includes a tree engaging frame 20, a seat assembly 30, a platform 40 and a strap 50, where the platform 40 and seat assembly 30 are separated by the frame 20 with the strap 50 securing the stand 10 to a tree trunk 8. The seat assembly 30 is shown with a seat 32 which will accommodate a hunter. Seats being known can be fabricated from a number of different materials with a number of different configurations taking into consideration the comfort, durability, aesthetics or other relevant considerations of the hunter. The tree engaging frame 20 includes a pair of spaced apart members 22 having an upright orientation in which the upright members 22 generally extend along the trunk 8 of the tree 2. The tree engaging frame 20 may be constructed from a number of different materials. Preferably, the frame 20 is adapted for portable use in an outdoor environment, using a lightweight weather resistant material such as but not limited to aluminum, fiberglass or a lightweight stainless steel with a painted exterior or another rigid lightweight material. In operation, the adjustable tree stand 10 is characterized by the seat assembly 30 and platform 40 extending away from the tree 2 while the tree engaging frame 20 is secured to the tree 2 with a strap 50 secured to the upright members 22 and embracing the tree trunk 8. The strap 50 is adapted for securing the frame 20 in an engaging fashion to the tree 2.

While not in use, the strap 50 can be unfastened around the tree trunk and the adjustable tree stand 10 can be placed into a folded position with the seat assembly 30 and the platform 40 rotated inwardly or the seat assembly 30 may be unsecured from frame 20 allowing the stand 10 to be transported by a hunter to a desired location. Optional carrying straps may be associated with the stand 10 while in a folded, stored position, for example and not by way of limiting the generality of the foregoing, the straps may be attached to the underside of the platform 40 to assist in transporting the stand 10 to the desired location. In this way, the stand 10 can be easily set-up for use or disassembled and transported to the desired location.

The seat 32 is removed from the adjustable tree stand 10 in FIG. 2, illustrating a seat assembly supporting structure 34. The supporting structure 34 has a front and rear boundary 34a, 34b, which are adapted to support the seat 32 which, when present, overlies the supporting structure 34. In addition, the rear boundary 34b is mechanically connected to upright members 22 of the tree engaging frame 20 with a top bracket 12 which spans the upright members 22 and optionally provides a hinge connection mounted on the top bracket for rotation of the seat assembly 30 about the frame 20. As illustrated, the front boundary 34a of the supporting structure 34 has an arcuate shape, however, it is not limited to the arcuate shape and may include other configurations such as circular or rectangular. The front boundary 34a is secured to the frame 20 with an elongated strut 38. The normally upright members 22 each present opposing upper and lower ends 24, 26 separated by the upright member 22.

The frame assembly 20, is also illustrated with a cross member 28 which is intermediate between the upper and lower ends 24, 26. The cross member 28 spans the pair of upright members 22, providing additional support for the frame assembly 20. In addition, the strut 38 is interconnected to the cross-member 28 using rotateable connection structure 52 which allows the strut 38 to rotate about the cross member 28, the seat assembly 30 moving from an operative to a folded position. The rotateable connection structure 52 is illustrated as a bracket secured to the cross member 28 which, for example, may include a rotateable mechanical fastener threaded through the bracket securing the strut 38 to the engaging frame 20.

The rear boundary 34b of the seat assembly 30 as illustrated in FIG. 2 may also include structure for supporting the stand 10 such as a pair of upper spaced components 36 which project horizontally from the rear boundary 34b of the seat assembly 30. These upper spaced components 36 are adapted for engaging the tree 2 when the tree stand 10 is in use and the seat assembly 30 is in the operative position. One example of the tree engaging surface presented by the upper components 36 includes a pair of tapered projections adapted for mechanically engaging the tree trunk 8, however, other engaging surfaces may be utilized by the present invention. By way of example and not as a limitation, the seat assembly 30 depicted in FIG. 2 may be fabricated from a continuous tubular rigid member bent radially into a U-shape with severed edges projecting rearwardly, forming the upper components 36. The rigid material may include but is not limited to fiberglass, aluminum, steel or titanium.

In general, the platform 40 is adapted for supporting a hunter standing or sitting with their feet resting on the platform 40, while the platform is in an operational position. To facilitate a standing orientation, the seat assembly 30 may be rotated upwardly and out of the way of the standing hunter. To support the hunter, the platform 40 generally extends outwardly from the tree surface 2 and has a generally rectangular support surface 40b which extends horizontally outwardly from the frame 20. The platform support surface 40b is illustrated having a lattice structure which is adapted for transmission of various debris while supporting the hunter. In this way, water, dirt, food and other debris can fall to the underlying horizontal surface 4, while the hunter remains seated for an extended period of time during the hunt.

The rear of the platform 40 includes connection structure for securing the platform 40 to the frame 10 which may include, but is not limited to, a bottom bracket 18 having mounting structures for attachment to the platform and the lower ends 26 of the upright members 22. The bottom bracket 18 is adapted for generally connecting the platform 40 to the frame 20. Additionally, rotateable connecting structure associated with the bottom bracket 18 may allow for pivotal rotation of the platform 40 in relation to the frame 20. A pair of lower spaced components 42 extends horizontally, from the rear of the platform 40 for engaging the tree trunk 8. Optionally, the lower spaced components 42 may be extensibly and retractably adjusted using preconfigured slotted openings in the lower spaced components which are adapted to receive mechanical fasteners. As discussed above, although the engagement surface of the lower spaced components 42 is illustrated with tapered projections, alternative engaging structures could be utilized which mechanically engage the tree trunk 8 while the stand 10 and platform 40 are in the operational position.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the strut 38 may include removable connecting structure for longitudinally extending and retracting the strut 38 between the cross member 28 of the tree engaging frame 20 and the seat assembly 30. As depicted, the strut 38 can be secured in an extensible or retractable position with a mechanical connection, which as illustrated may include, but is not limited to, a plurality of preconfigured slots 38a for receiving a locking pin mechanism 38b. Alternatively, the strut 38 may simply be a continuous rigid member with the support structure 34 adapted for receiving the strut 38 at various predetermined positions along the structure 34 or the strut 38 may include other mechanical connections such as a push button or a key and lock mechanical connection. By extending and retracting the strut 38, the seat 32 can be adjusted to a desired position from a plurality of possible positions. This may allow the tree stand 10 to be adapted for use with a leaning tree 2, the seat 32 being capable of being oriented parallel to the underlying horizontal surface 4. By way of example, the strut 38 may consist of a pair of rectangular channel members an outer and an inner member 38c, 38d, the outer member 38c having an extended diameter for receiving the inner channel member 38d. The channel member outer ends may be adapted for rotation about the tree stand 10 while the channel member inner ends may be adapted for alignment with one another, the outer channel member having a single slotted opening while the inner channel member may have a plurality of slotted openings. When aligned, the junction of the centrally located channel ends may be adapted to receive the locking pin mechanism 38b.

A pair of spaced cable members 44 are illustrated in FIG. 3 with the cable members 44 interconnecting the frame 20 and the platform 40. The platform 40 includes a pair of cable anchors 40c associated with the perimeter of the platform 40; however, they may alternatively be located at other locations on the platform including being integrated into the platform support surface 40b. As illustrated, the cable anchors 40c may include a plurality of slotted cable openings 40d adapted to receive the cable members 44. The cable members 44 may be received by different cable openings 40d on the anchors 40c for the desired platform 40 orientation. In operation, the cable members 44 provide tensional support to the platform 40. Additional support structure is provided by the bottom bracket 18 which is adapted for connecting the platform 40 to the frame 20. Additionally, the cable members 44 may be removed from the cable anchors 40c for transforming the platform 40 between a folded, stored position to an operational orientation.

The cable members 44 are connected to the frame 20 at a side bracket 28a. The side bracket 28a mechanically secures the cable members 44 to the frame 20 upright member 22. The side bracket 28a also includes an outwardly projecting tab 28b which extends from the upright member 22 and has an elongated opening 28c for receiving the strap 50. As illustrated in FIG. 3, while in operation the illustrated structural configuration of the stand 10 is supported by two vertically arranged, essentially triangular structures which help support the hunter during operation of the stand 10.

The upper triangular structure is illustrated in FIG. 4 in a generally horizontal configuration with the strut 38 forming the hypotenuse of the triangular structure. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the strut 38 is extended and the supporting structure 34 is vertically rotated from the generally horizontal orientation to a second, vertically upward, position, the seat 32 being generally inclined. In FIG. 6 the strut 38 is retracted and the supporting structure 34 is rotated from the generally horizontal orientation to a third, vertically downward, position, the seat 32 being generally declined. If the attached tree 2 has a surface leaning towards or away from the underlying ground surface 4, the seat 32 can be adjusted to accommodate for the lean in the tree 2, allowing the hunter to be seated in a generally horizontal orientation.

Alternatively, an adjustment system may be provided which includes the platform 40 and seat assembly 30 having complementary adjustment structures adapted to adjusting the tree stand 10. In this aspect, the slotted openings 40d in the cable anchors 40c may be configured to correspond to the strut 38 slotted openings 38a such that an adjustment of the strut 38 by one slot opening 38a would correspond to a similar adjustment in the platform 40 as provided by the cable members 44 being adjusted by one slotted opening 40d in the cable anchor 40c. In this way both the seat assembly 30 and the platform 40 may be complementary adjusted. The system may provide for adjustment of both the seat assembly 30 and the platform 40 to a desired position or angle based on the adjustment of each the strut 38 and cables 44 a fixed number of positions forward or backward from an initial position. The system would therefore provide for both the seat and the platform to be mutually, complementary adjusted to a desired position from a plurality of preconfigured positions.

It will be appreciated that various other materials, configurations and embodiments may fall within the scope of the present invention. While certain forms of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not to be limited to the specific materials, forms or arrangement of parts described and shown.





 
Previous Patent: LADDER STABILIZATION DEVICE

Next Patent: Rescue Apparatus