Title:
Apparatus for imitating grunting, snorting, bleating and other deer sounds
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A deer call with a mouthpiece having an air flow channel centrally extending lengthwise with an attached reed overlying the air flow channel, the mouthpiece having a number of mouth insertion depth indicators on the mouthpiece, the deer call void of any mechanical mechanism to vary the length of the reed when air is passed thereover.



Inventors:
Marini, John (Kennett Square, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/827827
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN MARINI (KENNETT SQUARE, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A deer call comprising: an elongate resonator having a proximal end; a substantially cylindrical open barrel portion having a distal end inserted into the proximal end of said resonator and an open proximal end; a mouthpiece having an air flow channel centrally extending lengthwise with an attached reed overlying the air flow channel, the mouthpiece having a proximal end and a distal end, the distal end inserted into the proximal end of the barrel portion; and, a number of mouth insertion depth indicators on the mouthpiece, whereby air passing over the reed causes vibrations that simulate deer sounds.

2. The deer call of claim 1 wherein the mouth insertion depth indicators comprise shallow groves or small ridges formed in the bottom of the proximal end of mouthpiece.

3. The deer call of claim 1 further comprising a number of small raised ridges formed in the top of the proximal end of mouthpiece.

4. The deer call of claim 1 wherein the mouthpiece is formed with a white colorant.

5. The deer call of claim 1 wherein the reed has a thickness on the order of one-sixteenth of an inch.

6. The deer call of claim 1 wherein the resonator is extendable and retractable.

7. The deer call of claim 1 further comprising a user operable light source attached thereto.

8. The deer call of claim 1 being void of any mechanical mechanism to vary the length of the reed when air is passed thereover.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for imitating or emulating a variety of sounds produced by deer, including the grunting noise of buck deer and/or the snort and bleat noise of white-tail deer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Whitetail deer of both sexes communicate with each other by making more than a half dozen different sounds, including grunts, bleats, snorts and wheezes. But, until recently, many deer sportspersons have paid very little attention to the various sounds made by whitetail deer or to the idea of imitating those sounds to call deer to them. Of these sounds, grunts and bleats are the most important to the sportsperson. Most mouth calls are some form of grunt call, consisting of a plastic or wooden mouthpiece at one end, a flexible accordion-type tube at the other, and an internal reed diaphragm in between. These calls reproduce the various grunting sounds made by bucks pursuing does.

Grunts are sounds made mostly by bucks during the rut, a breeding period which can consist of chasing, tending, trailing and fighting. Known grunt-tube calls can be adjusted by lengthening or shortening the flexible tube, or come with interchangeable tubes of differing length or diameter. These adjustments are meant to vary the tone and pitch of the call; longer and narrower tubes produce higher-pitched sounds, while shorter and wider tubes produce deeper sounds. These adjustments allow the sportsperson to imitate either the higher-pitched calls of a young buck or the more guttural grunts of an older male. While most grunt-tube calls function by blowing gently into the mouthpiece, a few allow the caller to both inhale and exhale into the call to produce the highly-aggressive snort-wheeze made by a dominant buck just prior to fighting another buck. Some tube calls have an adjustment ring that allows the caller to make bleat sounds as well. Bleats are vocalizations used mainly by does and fawns as social or locating calls and bleat cans are meant to imitate these sounds, all of which can be useful in various situations to attract a buck, doe or fawn.

The prior art also includes calls capable of producing more than one deer sound. Generally, in these devices, flexible, elongated reeds are mounted within a tubular mouthpiece. Using various structures, pressure is applied at one of a plurality of points along the length of the elongated reed to vary the effective vibrating length of the reed. Since the effective vibrating length of the reed determines the tone produced when air is forced over the reed, varying this dimension causes various sounds to be produced. Some reed pressure structures are complex involving dial mechanisms, etc, and add cost, complexity and increased fallibility to such calls.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,083,492 exemplifies the deer call art and discloses a deer call having a tone-adjusting slide assembly with an axially adjustable reed contact band that clamps around the reed to prevent movement of the reed between the reed contact band and a wedge at the base of the reed. Axial movement of the slide assembly allows a sportsperson to vary the frequency of the vibratory portion of the reed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,053,794 further exemplifies the deer call art and discloses a deer call with a reed contact that limits movement of the reed between the contact and a reed holder so as to vary the amplitude of the vibratory reed, the call also having an adjustable dial that is rotated to vary the sound produced by the call.

Deer calls like disclosed in the above references generally comprise a barrel assembly with a reed positioned therein. When a sportsperson forces air from the inlet end of the barrel assembly, air passes over and vibrates the reed, and an animal sound is simulated. Alternatively air may be passed through the deer call by the sportsperson by drawing air from the distal end of the barrel assembly. Axial movement of a tone-adjusting metal slider along the axis of the reed allows the sportsperson to vary the tone or pitch of the sound produced by the call. Additionally, a removable extension hose-like resonator may be provided at an end opposite the mouthpiece end of the barrel assembly in order to increase sound volume, the resonator typically constructed to be expanded or contracted in an accordion-like manner, as a bellows.

Known deer calls thereby produce the varying sounds of deer by clamping a portion of the reed to vary the length of the vibrating portion of the reed. When the vibrating portion is shortened, the sound produced by the call has higher pitch. Known deer calls also comprise a reed contact to movement of the reed between the contact and a reed holder so as to vary the amplitude of the vibratory reed. Adjustable-tone-volume calls thus allow a sportsperson to switch among a variety of different sounds produced by deer. Unfortunately, deer calls having mechanisms to vary the length of the vibrating portion of the reed introduce device complexity and the necessity for a sportsperson to make hand movements, thereby increasing the chances that deer will be frightened away by such motion.

From this discussion of the art state in deer calls, it may be seen that while has been considerable progress has been made toward increasing the variety of imitated deer sounds, there remains an unmet need for a deer call that is adapted to switch among a variety of different sounds without the distracting movement of the mechanism to vary the length of the vibrating portion of the reed of an adjustable reed call. Further, there is an unmet need for an adjustable call having means for producing the “click-buck” sound intergraded therein. Even further, there is an unmet need for an adjustable call visually adapted for attracting deer by arousing their curiosity and signaling contentment and/or safety within a herd.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The principal object of the invention is to provide a deer call that is adapted to switch among a variety of different sounds without the distracting movement of the reed slider of an adjustable call. Further, the present invention provides means for producing the “click-buck” sound integrated therein. Even further, the present invention provides means for visually attracting deer by arousing their curiosity and signaling contentment and/or safety within a herd.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be more fully understood from the following detailed description thereof taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form a part of this application and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the deer call of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is plan view of the mouthpiece of the deer call of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2A is a section view of the mouthpiece of FIG. 2 along line A-A;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the reed member of the deer call of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a first alternate embodiment of the mouthpiece of the deer call of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4A is a section view of the alternate mouthpiece of FIG. 4 along line A-A;

FIG. 5 is a second alternate embodiment of the mouthpiece of the deer call of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an assembled view of the of the deer call of FIG. 1; and,

FIG. 6A is a third alternate embodiment of the mouthpiece of the deer call of FIG. 1;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a schematic exploded view showing the elements of the reed-based open-barrel deer call 10 of the present invention, deer call 10 comprising a mouthpiece 12 with an attachable reed 14, and a substantially cylindrical open barrel portion 16 for connecting mouthpiece 12 to an elongate resonator 18 having an extendable, flexible bellows sound chamber 20. An inlet end I-E of mouthpiece 12 is adapted for tunneling air blown there-into over reed 14, and mouthpiece 12 is preferably tapered at a proximate inlet end I-E providing a smaller diameter than the opposing outlet end O-E. FIG. 2 shows mouthpiece 12 as being substantially cylindrical and having an air flow axial U-shaped open air-flow channel 30 centrally extending lengthwise between proximal inlet end I-E and a terminating wall at opposing distal end O-E. A number of conventional features and uses of a deer call are well known in the art and are not repeated herein; however, the disclosures of U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,975,978 and 6,053,794 are incorporated herein by reference for the purpose of enablement.

The lip of a sportsperson, reed 14, ridges 22 and inlet end I-E of deer call 10 are adapted to receive and cooperate with the lips and mouth of the sportsperson to assist the sportsperson in modulating the tone and volume from the call. It has been discovered that the depth to which a sportsperson inserts deer call 10 into their mouth is a previously unknown key factor in determining the animal-like sound quality of a deer call. FIG. 2, taken in combination with FIG. 1, illustrates an important feature of deer call 10 of the present invention as a number of mouth insertion depth indicators 22, for example small ridges 22 formed in the bottom of the tapered proximal flute-like end of mouthpiece 12. In an advantageous embodiment, a first ridge 22 is useful for producing deer sounds appealing to fawns, a second ridge 22 being spaced a larger distance from proximate inlet end I-E is useful for producing deer sounds appealing to does, and a third ridge 22 being spaced an even larger distance from proximate inlet end I-E is useful for producing deer sounds appealing to bucks. FIG. 2A is a sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 2 and indicates the shallow depth of such a ridge 22. It has been surprisingly found that when a sportsperson's teeth are placed respectively at the first, second and third ridge 22, progressively lower pitch sounds are produced by a sportsman blowing air into proximate inlet end I-E to create a flow of air over the reed 14 in the region of axial U-shaped channel 30, causing the reed 14 to vibrate and create sound from the deer call 10. This feature of the present invention avoids the necessity of conventional deer call mechanical mechanisms to vary the length of the vibrating portion of the reed thereby reducing device complexity, increasing reliability and the necessity for a sportsperson to make hand-adjusting movements of a dial or slider or the like as found in the prior art.

FIG. 3 shows reed 14 as being attachable to mouthpiece 12 by placing reed 14 in a conventional manner over mouthpiece 12 and aligning a pair of semi-circular portions 15 cut out of opposing sides thereof with a corresponding pair of protuberances 17 in the upper surface of mouthpiece 12 (seen in FIGS. 1 and 5). Another surprising feature of the present invention is the discovery that if reed 14 is made thicker than conventional deer call reeds, on the order of about one-sixteenth of an inch and of a flexible plastic material such as Mylar® polyester, then a much greater sound volume may be produced by a sportsperson using deer call 10 with a more conventional thinner reed.

Resonator 18 has an exhaust opening 21 at a distal end and a sound chamber intake end 19 at proximal end and is commercially available, generally being formed by injection molding using a polyester base covered with a weather resistant neoprene coating. The distal end of barrel portion 16 is sized to be inserted into sound chamber intake end 19 and secured therein by frictional forces of more permanently attached by cementing, preferably with a rubber based composition. The proximal end of barrel portion 16 is preferably half closed with a lip stop so as to slideably accept the distal end of mouthpiece 12. While bellows sound chamber 20 is illustrated as comprising a series of undulations of substantially the same size, a bellows with differently sized undulations, a different number of undulations or no undulations at all may also be employed. Resonator 18 is thereby made extendable and retractable to vary in length and thereby to vary the sound produced by deer call 10 when a sportsperson blows air through mouthpiece 12. Preferably, bellows sound chamber 20 is by injection molding of an ABS resin although alternate materials may be advantageously employed.

FIG. 4 illustrates an important alternate embodiment of deer call 10 of the present invention as a number of small grooves 23 formed in the bottom of the tapered proximal end of mouthpiece 12. In an advantageous embodiment, a first groove 23 is useful for producing deer sounds akin to those of a young deer bleat, a second groove 23 being spaced a larger distance from proximate inlet end I-E is useful for producing deer sounds appealing to does, and a third groove 23 being spaced an even larger distance from proximate inlet end I-E is useful for producing deer sounds appealing to bucks. FIG. 4A is a sectional view taken along line A-A of FIG. 4 and indicates the extension of such a groove 23. It has been surprisingly found that when a sportsperson's teeth are placed respectively one of these grooves 23, progressively lower pitch sounds are also produced by a sportsman blowing air into proximate inlet end I-E to create a flow of air over the reed 14 in the region of axial U-shaped channel 30, causing the reed 14 to vibrate and create sound from the deer call 10. This alternate embodiment of the present invention also avoids the necessity of conventional deer call mechanisms to vary the length of the vibrating portion of the reed thereby reducing device complexity and the necessity for a sportsperson to make hand movements.

FIG. 5 illustrates another important alternate embodiment of deer call 10 of the present invention as a number of small raised ridges 25 formed in the top of the tapered proximal end of mouthpiece 12. In this advantageous embodiment, ridges 25 are helpful in more closely simulating the guttural sound of deer by replicating some of the internal mouth features of deer. It may be postulated that having raised ridges 25 produce a subtle variation in the air flow prior to approaching reed 14 and this, in some manner, produces a more realistic deer-like guttural sound.

Another feature of the present invention is the purposeful choice of manufacturing mouthpiece 12 from a plastic-based material incorporating a white colorant such as titanium or iron white pigmented powders therein in order to provide deer call 10 with the visual appearance of the tail of a white-tailed deer. It has been surprisingly found that simply dangling deer call 10 from resonator 18 and swinging deer call 10 in a gentle side-to-side motion attracts deer into the proximity of a sportsperson using deer call without resorting to the use of simulated animal sounds.

FIG. 6 illustrates an assembled deer call 10 exemplary of the present invention in which resonator 18 is compressed with barrel portion 16 inserted therein; reed 14 is attached to mouthpiece 12 as described earlier and the combined reed 14-mouthpiece 12 are compressed together when inserted into proximal end of open barrel portion 16. In operation, the sportsperson first extends or retracts resonator 18 to a desired length. Next, the sportsperson inserts deer call 10 into their mouth with teeth positioned at a selected one of grooves 22 and forces air over the reed 14 by either blowing at inlet end I-E or pulling air through outlet 21. Air flows generally between reed 14 and U-shaped open air-flow channel 30, causing reed 14 to vibrate and finally through resonator 18. The vibration of the reed 42 is affected by the depth of insertion of deer call 10 into the sportsperson's mouth due to changes in velocity of air flowing over reed 14. When the deer call is placed with first ridge 22 at the sportsperson's teeth, rapidly flowing air and minimal vibration of reed 14 causes a higher pitched animal sound to be produced. If a lower pitched tone is desired to be produced, the deer call is placed with second or third ridges 22 at the sportsperson's teeth whereat the vibration of reed 14 increases and a progressively deeper tone is produced. As mentioned previously, optional ridges 25 on the tapered portion of mouthpiece 12 have been found to increase the calling effectiveness of deer call 10. If the nearby presence of deer is suspected, the sportsperson simply holds deer call 10 with resonator 18 in hand and gently swings deer call 10 sideways so that the white colored mouthpiece 12 emulates the movement of a white tail on a deer. FIG. 6A shows an alternate embodiment of the present invention wherein a small finger operated flashlight 50 is attached to deer call 10 so that a sportsperson can produce visible light to aid themselves in movements and in observing nearby objects during darkness. Such flashlights are well known, for example LED-based flashlights and are generally powered by a small battery 52.

It should be readily understood by those persons skilled in the art that the present invention is susceptible of a broad utility and application. Many embodiments and adaptations of the present invention other than those herein described, as well as many variations, modifications and equivalent arrangements will be apparent from or reasonably suggested by the present invention and the foregoing description thereof, without departing from the substance or scope of the present invention. Accordingly, while the present invention has been described herein in detail in relation to specific embodiments, it is to be understood that this disclosure is only illustrative and exemplary of the present invention and is made merely for purposes of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the invention. The foregoing disclosure is not intended or to be construed to limit the present invention or otherwise to exclude any such other embodiments, adaptations, variations, modifications and equivalent arrangements, the present invention being limited only by the claims appended hereto and the equivalents thereof.