Title:
Bow Holder and Bow Cradle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved bow holder is comprised of a bow cradle, at least one extension member and a base. The preferred bow cradle is comprised of a body, a clamp bed and a pair of L-shaped studs. The clamp bed is pivotally attached to the body. The clamp bed releasably locks to the body such that a fixed angle between the clamp bed and the body may be set. The studs are attached to the clamp bed such that the limb of a bow may be releasably clamped between the studs and the clamp bed. The base is comprised of a stem for insertion into a ground surface and a pair of pedals for applying ground insertion force to the stem. The bow cradle is attached to the base, or if a higher bow holding position is desired, an extension member.



Inventors:
Krasnicki, David A. (Allenton, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/370354
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
02/12/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/85.7, 248/220.21
International Classes:
A45F3/44; A47B96/06; A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUCKWORTH, BRADLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREGORY T. ZALECKI (STERLING HEIGHTS, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bow cradle for supporting a bow, said bow cradle comprising: (a) a body having at its lower end a first mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end; (b) a clamp bed for clamping the bottom of a bow limb; (c) wherein the clamp bed is pivotally attached to the body; (d) wherein the clamp bed is adapted to be releasably locked to the body such that a fixed angle between the clamp bed and the body may be set; and (e) a channel attached to the clamp bed, said channel being sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb of a bow onto the clamp bed.

2. A bow cradle for supporting a bow, said bow cradle comprising: (a) a body having at its lower end a first mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end; (b) a clamp bed for clamping the bottom of a bow limb; (c) wherein the clamp bed is pivotally attached to the body; (d) wherein the clamp bed is adapted to be releasably locked to the body such that a fixed angle between the clamp bed and the body may be set; and (e) at least one L-shaped stud attached to the clamp bed such that the limb of a bow may be releasably clamped between the at least one stud and the clamp bed.

3. . The bow cradle for supporting a bow of claim 2, further comprising: (a) a stem, having a lower end which is pointed for insertion into a ground surface and an upper end having a second mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end; (b) wherein the lower end of the body is attached to the upper end of the stem such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the upper end of the stem.

4. The bow cradle for supporting a bow of claim 2, further comprising: (a) a tree mount comprising: (i) a flange adapted to be seated upon a tree stand structure, said flange having a plurality of fastener openings for securing the flange to the tree stand structure with fasteners; and (ii) a mating member perpendicularly attached to the flange, the distal end of said mating member having a second mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end; (b) wherein the lower end of the body is attached to the distal end of the mating member such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the distal end of the mating member.

5. A bow cradle for supporting a bow, said bow cradle comprising: (a) a body having at its lower end a first mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end, said body having a pair of aligned rotational openings proximal to its upper end for facilitating rotation of a clamp bed about the axis of the rotational pair of aligned openings, and said body having a pair of aligned stabilizing openings proximal to its upper end for facilitating the fixation of the orientation of a clamp bed attached to the body; (b) a clamp bed for clamping the bottom of a bow limb; (c) at least one threaded opening positioned along one side of the clamp bed; (d) a pair of flanges perpendicularly extending from a bottom side of the clamp bed, said flanges being spaced apart such that the body may fit between the flanges, each said flange having a rotational opening which aligns with the rotational pair of aligned openings of the body for providing an axis of rotation of the flanges about the body, each said flange having a plurality of additional stabilizing openings wherein one stabilizing opening on each flange is capable of aligning with the pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the body for facilitating the setting of the orientation of the clamp bed with respect to the body; (e) wherein the flanges are rotationally attached to the body such that the flanges rotate about the rotational openings of the flanges and the body; (f) wherein the flanges are adapted to be locked into a fixed position when a bolt is inserted through a pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the flanges and the pair of stabilizing openings of the body; and (g) at least one threaded L-shaped stud, the threads of said at least one stud matching the threads of the at least one threaded opening of the clamp bed, said at least one stud being threaded into a threaded opening of the clamp bed, said at least one stud being sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb of a bow between the at least one stud and the clamp bed.

6. The bow cradle for supporting a bow of claim 5, further comprising: (a) a layer of resilient material affixed to the upper surface of the clamp bed; and (b) a layer of resilient material affixed to the bow limb contacting section of the at least one L-shaped stud.

7. The bow cradle for supporting a bow of claim 5, further comprising: (a) a base comprising: (i) a stem, having a lower end which is pointed for insertion into a ground surface and an upper end having a second mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end; and (ii) a pair of pedals hingedly attached to the upper end of the stem for allowing ground insertion force to be applied to the stem; (b) wherein the lower end of the body is attached to the upper end of the stem such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the upper end of the stem.

8. The bow cradle for supporting a bow of claim 5, further comprising: (a) a tree mount comprising: (i) a flange adapted to be seated upon a tree stand structure, said flange having a plurality of fastener openings for securing the flange to the tree stand structure with fasteners; and (ii) a mating member perpendicularly attached to the flange, the distal end of said mating member having a second mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end; (b) wherein the lower end of the body is attached to the distal end of the mating member such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the distal end of the mating member.

9. An improved bow holder for supporting a bow, said bow holder comprising: (a) a bow cradle comprising: (i) a body having at its lower end a first mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end, said body having a pair of aligned rotational openings proximal to its upper end for facilitating rotation of a clamp bed about the axis of the rotational pair of aligned openings, and said body having a pair of aligned stabilizing openings proximal to its upper end for facilitating the fixation of the orientation of a clamp bed attached to the body; (ii) a clamp bed for clamping the bottom of a bow limb; (iii) a pair of the threaded openings positioned along one side of the clamp bed; (iv) a pair of flanges perpendicularly extending from a bottom side of the clamp bed, said flanges being spaced apart such that the body may fit between the flanges, each said flange having a rotational opening which aligns with the rotational pair of aligned openings of the body for providing an axis of rotation of the flanges about the body, each said flange having a plurality of additional stabilizing openings wherein one stabilizing opening on each flange is capable of aligning with the pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the body for facilitating the setting of the orientation of the clamp bed with respect to the body; (v) wherein the flanges are rotationally attached to the body such that the flanges rotate about the rotational openings of the flanges and the body; (vi) wherein the flanges are capable of being locked into a fixed position when a bolt is inserted through a pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the flanges and the pair of stabilizing openings of the body; and (vii) a pair of threaded L-shaped studs, the threads of said studs matching the threads of the threaded openings of the clamp bed, each of said studs being threaded into a threaded opening of the clamp bed, at least one of said studs being sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb of a bow between the studs and the clamp bed; (b) a base comprising: (i) a stem, having a lower end which is pointed for insertion into a ground surface and an upper end having a second mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end; and (ii) a pair of pedals hingedly attached to the upper end of the stem for allowing ground insertion force to be applied to the stem; (iii) wherein the lower end of one extension member is attached to the upper end of the stem; wherein the lower end of the body of the bow cradle is attached to a second mating end of an extension member; and (iv) wherein the bow cradle, the body, and the base are oriented such that the longitudinal axis of the of the arrow propelling section of the drawstring of a bow secured by the bow holder is perpendicular to the plane of the ground when the stem is vertically inserted into the ground.

10. The improved bow holder for supporting a bow of claim 9, further comprising a quiver attached to the at least one extension member.

11. The improved bow holder for supporting a bow of claim 10, wherein the quiver is releasably attached to the at least one extension member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/308,295 filed on Mar. 15, 2006, now pending. application Ser. No. 11/308,295 is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Bow owners use their bows for hunting, target shooting or both. A typical compound bow is comprised of a pair of limbs, a cam at each end of each limb and a bow string connected to the cams. It is desirable to avoid laying a bow on the ground. The ground may be muddy, wet or covered with snow. If the bow is laying on the ground it can easily be contaminated by mud, water or snow. It also takes much more time to retrieve a bow laying on the ground and to shoot an arrow at a hunted animal as compared to shooting an arrow at a hunted animal while the bow is already being grasped by the hunter.

The solution of having the archer continuously holding the bow is also not desirable. After a short period of time continuously holding the bow becomes tiring and boring. Similarly, the solution of temporarily storing the bow within a storage case is not desirable. Loading and unloading the bow into the storage case is needlessly time-consuming. The case can become muddied, wet, or contaminated by snow or other debris. When the bow is stored within a storage case there will usually be insufficient time for a hunter to retrieve the bow after a hunted animal is spotted.

Archers often hunt from within trees. It is impractical to store a bow in a storage case while the archer is in a tree. Likewise, it is impractical for an archer positioned within a tree to store the bow on any part of the tree structure. Trees do not normally provide surfaces for securely retaining bows. Even if such a surface could be found within a tree, the delay caused by the procedure required to retrieve the bow and shoot an arrow while hunting would often be unacceptable.

There is a need for an improved bow holder having the following characteristics. It could be mounted on the ground or upon a tree limb. It would hold and keep a bow elevated above the ground or a tree limb upon which it is mounted. Its height would be adjustable so that an archer could use the bow holder while sitting, standing or squatting. It would be easy to store. It would be lightweight and take up minimal space. It could be quickly assembled. Optionally, it would provide a quiver for holding arrows.

SUMMARY

The improved bow holder described herein has these desirable characteristics. A key component of the improved bow holder is a bow cradle. The bow cradle may be attached to a base fixed within the ground. It may be attached to a tree mount. Or, it may be attached to one or more extension members wherein a bottom extension member is attached to a base or a tree mount. One embodiment of a bow cradle is comprised of a body, a guide and a limb rest.

The body has a first mating end at its lower end. The first mating end is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end. Preferably, the body is a pipe. Preferably, the first mating end of the pipe is the opening at its lower end. The first mating end fits over another structural member. The other structural member may be a pipe projecting from the base, the upper end of an extension member or a pipe projecting from a tree mount. The outside diameter portion of the other structural member in such a configuration fits into the inside diameter opening of the body. Thus the lower end of the body is preferably shaped and sized to receive and securely hold a structural member which is a part of the base, a tree mount or an extension member.

The preferred bow cradle is comprised of a body, a clamp bed and at least one L-shaped stud. At the lower end of the body is a first mating end. The mating end is shaped and sized to mate with a mating member having a second mating end. The clamp bed provides a physical structure for clamping the bottom of a bow limb. The clamp bed is pivotally attached to the body. The clamp bed is adapted to be releasably locked to the body such that a fixed angle between the clamp bed and the body may be set. The stud is attached to the clamp bed such that the limb of a bow may be releasably clamped between the stud and the clamp bed. Preferably, this function is performed by a pair of studs. The area between the studs and the clamp bed forms a channel attached to the clamp bed. The channel may be selected from a variety of configurations so long as it is sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb of a bow onto the clamp bed.

The body of the bow cradle, in the preferred embodiment, has a pair of aligned rotational openings proximal to its upper end and a pair of aligned stabilizing openings also proximal to its upper end. The stabilizing openings are below the rotational openings. The rotational openings facilitate rotation of the clamp bed about the axis of the rotational openings. The stabilizing openings facilitate the fixation of the orientation of the clamp bed attached to the body.

The clamp bed may be attached to the body by way of a pair of flanges. The flanges perpendicularly extend from the bottom side of the clamp bed. The flanges are spaced apart such that the body may fit between the flanges. Each flange has a rotational opening which aligns with the rotational pair of aligned openings of the body. This provides an axis of rotation of the flanges about the body. Each flange has a plurality of stabilizing openings. One stabilizing opening on each flange is capable of aligning with the pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the body. This facilitates the setting of the angular orientation of the clamp bed with respect to the body. The flanges are rotationally attached to the body such that the flanges rotate about the rotational openings of the flanges and the body. The flanges are adapted to be locked into a fixed position when a bolt is inserted through a pair of aligned stabilizing openings of the flanges and the pair of stabilizing openings of the body.

Each L-shaped stud is threaded at one end. The threads match one or more threaded openings on the clamp bed. Each stud is sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb of a bow between it and the clamp bed.

An alternate embodiment of a bow cradle is comprised of a body, a guide and a limb rest. The guide is shaped and sized to receive and securely hold a limb of the bow. It may be a U-shaped bracket having an opening width slightly larger than the width of a section of the limb of the bow intended to be supported. The guide is attached to an upper aspect of the body.

The limb rest is comprised of a bed, a wall and a stop. The bed is adapted to support the limb of the bow. The bed is further adapted to be pivotally mounted to the body. Preferably, the bed is comprised of a pair of extension arms for supporting the limb of the bow. The extension arms are spaced apart such that they may simultaneously support the limb. The extension arms are adapted to be pivotally mounted to the body.

The bed is pivotally attached to the body. If the bed is a pair of extension arms, the extension arms are pivotally attached to the body.

The wall projects substantially perpendicularly from the end of the bed which is distal to the body. Preferably, the bed is comprised of an upright arm projecting substantially perpendicularly from the end of each extension arm distal to the body. The wall should be shaped and sized such that a cam of the bow may pass through a plane defined by the wall and such that the limb of the bow may not pass through the plane defined by the wall when the limb of the bow is seated upon the bed. If the wall is comprised of upright arms projecting from the extension arms, as described, the upright arms are spaced apart such that a cam of the bow may pass through a plane defined by the upright arms and such that the limb of the bow may not pass through the plane defined by the upright arms when the limb of the bow is seated upon the extension arms.

The stop is attached to a lower aspect of the bed proximal to the body. Preferably, the bed is comprised of a pair of extension arms. The stop is attached such that the angle defined by the bed, or the extension arms, and the upper aspect of the body is an acute angle when the stop contacts the body.

The bow cradle may be attached to a base, a tree mount or an extension member. The base is comprised of a stem and a pair of pedals. The lower end of the stem is pointed to facilitate insertion into a ground surface. The upper end of the stem has a second mating end. As used herein second mating ends mate with first mating ends. The second mating end of the stem is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end. Thus, if the member having a first mating end is the body of the bow cradle, the second mating end of the stem is shaped and sized to mate with the first mating end of the body. Preferably, the outside diameter portion of the second mating end of the upper end of the stem tightly fits within the inside diameter portion of the first mating end of the body. The pedals are hingedly attached to the upper end of the stem. This allows a user to apply a ground insertion force to the stem with the user's foot. The lower end of the body is attached to the upper end of the stem such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the upper end of the stem.

The bow cradle may be mounted to a tree mount. A tree mount is comprised of a flange and a mating number. The flange is adapted to be seated upon a tree limb. The flange has a plurality of fastener openings for securing the flange upon the tree limb with fasteners. The fasteners may be nails or screws, as well as other types of fasteners. The mating member is perpendicularly attached to the flange. The distal end of the mating member has a second mating end which is sized and shaped to mate with a member having a first mating end. Preferably, the mating member is a pipe having an outside diameter portion which tightly and securely fits within the first mating end of a body. Because the mating member is configured to have a second mating end which is sized and shaped to mate with a member having a first mating end, the mating member may also be attached to the first mating end of an extension member. When the bow cradle is used with a tree mount the lower end of the body is attached to the distal end of the mating member such that the first mating end of the body on the lower end of the body mates with the second mating end on the distal end of the mating member.

When the bow cradle is directly attached to a base or a tree mount a relatively low bow holding position is established. The archer may desire that the bow be positioned higher from the mounting surface, whether that surface be the ground or a tree limb. Higher bow holding positions may be obtained by installing one or more extension members between the bow cradle and the base or tree mount. Each extension member has an upper end and a lower end. The upper end of each extension member has a second mating end. The second mating end is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end. The lower end of each extension member has a first mating end shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end. The member may be the body of a bow cradle, another extension member or the upper end of the stem of a base. The lower end of one extension member is attached to the upper end of the stem. The lower end of the body of the bow cradle is attached to a second mating end of an extension member. If more than one extension member is used they are connected together at mating ends such that the completed extension member assembly has a second mating end at its upper end and a first mating end at its lower end.

A quiver may be attached to the extension member or extension members. Preferably, the quiver is releasably attached so that its use is optional and so that it may be easily and quickly attached and removed.

DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of an improved bow holder prior to the placement of a bow within the bow holder.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the improved bow holder of FIG. 1 after placement of a bow within the bow holder.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an improved bow holder.

FIG. 4 is a broken away side elevation view of the improved bow holder of FIG. 2 showing the pivoting action of the limb rest of the bow holder.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bow cradle of the improved bow holder of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the bow cradle of FIG. 5, without the bow, mounted to a tree.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the bow cradle of FIG. 5, without the bow, mounted to a base.

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of the improved bow holder of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the improved bow holder and an improved bow cradle showing a bow removed from the cradle.

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the improved the bow holder and the improved bow cradle of FIG. 9 showing the bow inserted into the cradle.

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of the bow cradle of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the bow cradle of FIG. 11 wherein the cradle has been rotated and locked into a different position.

FIG. 13 is a partial enlarged side elevation view of the improved bow holder and the improved bow cradle of FIG. 10 showing several angles through which the bow cradle may be rotated.

FIG. 14 is an exploded perspective view of the improved bow cradle of FIG. 9.

FIG. 15 is an assembled perspective view of the improved bow cradle of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION

One embodiment of an improved bow holder 26 is shown in FIG. 8. The bow holder 26 is intended to securely hold a bow 20 such that the bow is not contaminated by water, mud or other debris on the ground and such that the bow 20 may be quickly retrieved for use. A typical compound bow 20 is shown in FIG. 1. The bow 20 is comprised of a pair of limbs 22, two cams 24 and a bow string 25. A cam 24 is located at the distal end of each limb 22. The bow string 25 is attached to the cams 24 such that a pulling force exerted on the bow string causes the limbs 22 to bend. The bow holder 26 should be configured to securely receive a cam 24 of a bow 20.

The lower limb 22 of the bow 20 is held by a bow cradle 28. The bow cradle can be attached to a base 58, an extension member 50 or a tree mount 70. One embodiment of a bow cradle 28 is comprised of a body 30, a guide 36 and a limb rest 38. Preferably, the body 30 is fabricated from a malleable metallic pipe. The lower end of the body 30 has a first mating end 32. The first mating end 32 is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end. The terms first mating end and second mating end are used to distinguish two types of mating end configurations wherein the first mating end is adapted to attach to a second mating end. Preferably, the first mating end 32 of the body 30 is a circular opening at the lower end of the body 30 which is slightly larger than the outside diameter of a second mating end 52, 62 82 of an extension member 50, the stem 60 of a base 58 or the mating member 80 of a tree mount 70, respectively. The depth of the mated fit between the first mating end 32 of the body 30 and the second mating end of the member having a second mating end to which the body 30 is attached is controlled by reducing the inside diameter of the body 30 so that penetration is limited to a desired depth.

FIG. 1 shows the first mating end 32 of the body 30 press fit over the second mating end 52 of an extension member 50. FIG. 7 shows the first mating end 32 of the body 30 press fit over the second mating end 62 of the stem 60 of a base 58. FIG. 6 shows the first mating end 32 of the body 30 press fit over the second mating end 82 of a mating member 80 of a tree mount 70. All three of these figures show the bottom of a pipe shaped body 30 fit over another pipe shaped member. Other types of first mating ends and matching second mating ends may also be used. For example, the outside portion of the bottom of the body 30 may fit inside of a pipe shaped member having an inside diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of the end of the body 30. The mating members may be screwed together. The mating members may have mating ends which are keyed to lock with each other.

The preferred embodiment of a bow cradle 28 is shown in FIGS. 10-15. It is comprised of a body 30, a clamp bed 104, a pair of threaded openings 108, a pair of flanges 110 and a pair of threaded L-shaped studs 118. The body 30 has at its lower end a first mating end 32. This first mating end 32 is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end, as described. The body 30 may be constructed from tubular steel. It is in the form of a pipe. The body 30 has a pair of rotational openings 100 proximal to its upper end. The rotational openings 100 of the body 30 are aligned with each other, as shown in FIG. 14, in order to facilitate the rotation of the clamp bed 104 about the axis of the rotational pair of aligned openings 100. The body 30 also has a pair of aligned stabilizing openings 102 proximal to its upper end. The stabilizing openings 102 are positioned below the rotational openings 100, as shown in FIG. 14. The stabilizing openings 102 facilitate the fixation of the orientation of the clamp bed 104 which is attached to the body 30. A bolt 116 extends through a pair of stabilizing openings 114 in each flange and also extends through the stabilizing openings 102 of the body to fix the angular position of the clamp bed with respect to the body 30.

The clamp bed 104 should be constructed from steel. It provides a base upon which the limbs 22 of a bow 20 may rest. The clamp bed 104 provides a base upon which the limb 22 of a bow 20 may be clamped. It should be noted that during use the limb 22 of a bow 20 is stabilized in a fixed position by the bow cradle 28, but nevertheless the bow 20 and limb 22 are easily removable from the bow cradle 20 by simply sliding the limb 20 laterally. The clamping action referred to is actually the stabilization of the bow 20 in the bow cradle 28 caused by gravity. For hunting uses the bow 20 is not locked to the bow cradle 28. The clamp bed 104 should have a layer of resilient material 106 affixed to its upper surface. The resilient material 106 may be rubber. The resilient material 106 will prevent a bow 20 limb 22 inserted into the bow cradle 28 from being scratched or otherwise damaged. The resilient material 106 also minimizes any noise caused by inserting and removing the bow 20 from the bow cradle 28. This is an important feature while the device is being used during a hunting outing. At least one threaded opening 108 is positioned along one side of the clamp bed 104. Preferably, a pair of the threaded openings 108 are positioned along the side of the clamp bed 104, as shown in FIG. 14. There, the threaded openings 108 are formed by welding a threaded nut to the clamp bed 104. The nut can be welded to either side (top or bottom) of the clamp bed 104. The threaded openings 108 facilitate the adjustment of the distance between the clamp bed 104 and the sections of the L-shaped studs 118 which are parallel to the clamp bed 104.

The flanges 110 extend perpendicularly from the bottom side of the clamp bed 104, as shown in FIG. 14. They may be fabricated from steel and welded to the clamp bed 104. The flanges 110 are spaced apart such that the body 30 may fit between the flanges 110. Each flange 110 has a rotational opening 112. This rotational opening 112 aligns with the rotational pair of aligned openings 100 of the body 30. An axle such as a bolt is inserted through the rotational openings 112 of the flanges 110 and the rotational openings 100 of the body 30 while all of said openings 112, 100 are aligned. Thus, an axis of rotation of the flanges 110 about the body 30 is provided. This permits the bow cradle 28 to be angularly adjusted with respect to the body 30 so that a bow 20 within the bow cradle 28 may be aligned with its drawstring 25 perpendicular to the ground. Each flange 110 also has a plurality of additional stabilizing openings 114. The stabilizing openings 114 are positioned on the flange 110 such that each stabilizing opening 114 of a flange 110 is capable of aligning with the pair of aligned stabilized openings 102 of the body 30. This facilitates the setting of the orientation of the clamp bed 104 with respect to the body 30. When a desired orientation of the clamp bed 104 with respect to the body 30 is obtained a locking bolt 116 is inserted through the flange stabilizing openings 114 and the aligned stabilized openings 102 of the body 30, as shown in FIG. 14 and FIG. 15. Multiple clamp bed 104/body 30 orientations are attainable because each flange 110 has multiple stabilizing openings 114. The flanges 110 are rotationally attached to the body 30 such that the flanges 30 rotate about the rotational openings 112 of the flanges 110 and the body 30. The rotational attachment is provided by a bolt. Thus, the flanges 110 are capable of being locked into a fixed position when the locking bolt 116 is inserted through a pair of aligned stabilizing openings 114 of the flanges 110 and a pair of stabilizing openings 102 of the body 30.

The preferred embodiment of the improved bow cradle 28 incorporates a pair of threaded L-shaped studs 118. The bow cradle 28 will also function with only one L-shaped stud 118. The L-shaped studs 118 are threaded at one end. The threads 120 are shown in FIG. 14 and FIG. 15. The threads 120 match the threads of the threaded openings 108 of the clamp bed. The threads 120 of each L-shaped stud 118 are threaded into a threaded opening 108 of the clamp bed 104. The studs 118 are sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb 22 of a bow 20 between the studs 118 and the clamp bed 104.

The studs 118 form a channel between the studs 118 and the clamp bed 104. This channel secures the bow 20 into a stable position. The channel also permits the bow 20 to be inserted and removed from the channel without the necessity of readjusting the position of the L-shaped studs 118 with respect to the clamp bed 104 by threading or unthreading the L-shaped studs 118 with respect to the threaded openings 108 of the clamp bed 104. This invention also includes channel configurations sized and shaped to releasably clamp a limb 22 of a bow 20 onto the clamp bed 104. Such alternative channels by definition have an opening which functions the same as the lateral opening between the L-shaped studs 118 and the clamp bed, as shown in FIG. 14. The limb 22 of a bow 20 may be inserted and withdrawn from the channel.

Under normal use the L-shaped studs 118 will be positionally adjusted by way of rotating their threads 120 such that the limb 22 of a bow 20 may be inserted and removed without readjusting the studs 118. In other words, normally the studs 118 do not lock the bow 20 to the bow cradle 28. However, in some circumstances it may be desirable to lock the bow 20 to the bow cradle 28. For example, it may be desirable to secure a bow 20 to a bow cradle 28 in a sporting goods store so that customers may not remove the bow 20 from the bow cradle 28. Under normal use, the force of gravity will retain the bow 20 within a stable position within the bow cradle 28.

The L-shaped studs 118 should have a layer of resilient material 122 affixed to the bow limb contacting section of each stud 118, as shown in FIG. 14. Preferably, said sections of the studs 118 are covered with rubber. This will prevent the bow cradle 28 from damaging a bow 20 secured within it. The resilient coating 122 also provides an enhanced grip between the bow cradle 28 and the bow 20. The resilient coating 112 also minimizes any noise caused by inserting and removing the bow 20 from the bow cradle 28. This is an important feature while the device is being used during a hunting outing.

The described preferred improved bow cradle 28 may be attached to a ground mounting base or a tree mount, as described. The bow holder 26 and improved bow cradle 28 may also be equipped with a quiver, as described.

In the first, but not preferred, embodiment of the bow cradle 26, the guide 36 is shaped and sized to receive and securely hold a limb 22 of the bow 20. Preferably, the guide 36 is a U-shaped bracket fabricated from malleable metal rod. The inside width of the U-shaped bracket is slightly larger than the width of the lower limb 22 of the bow 20 intended to be supported. The guide 36 is attached to an upper aspect of the body 30. The plane of the guide 36 formed by the three branches of the U-shaped bracket should form an acute angle with the circular cross-section of the body 30, as shown in FIG. 2. This will facilitate securely holding of the bow 20. The guide 36 should be welded to the body 30. In order to provide a flat surface on the upper end of the body 30 for mounting the guide 36, the upper end of the body 30 should be flattened. The flattened portion can also be bent away from the longitudinal axis of the body 30 to facilitate different mounting angles for the guide 36.

The limb rest 38 is comprised of a pair of extension arms 42, a pair of upright arms 46 and a stop 48. The extension arms 42, the upright arms 46 and the stop 48 may be fabricated from malleable metal rod. The extension arms 42 form a bed 40 for supporting the limb 22 of the bow 20. The extension arms 42 are spaced apart such that they may simultaneously support the limb 22, as shown in FIG. 5. The extension arms 42 are adapted to be pivotally mounted to the body 30. This is accomplished by positioning a pair of holes 34 within the body 30 for receiving the extension arms 42, as shown in FIGS. 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Those figures depict a pair of extension arms 42 formed from a single piece of malleable metal rod. The rod is inserted through the holes 34 within the body 30 and then bent to form the pair of extension arms 42. Thus, the extension arms 42 are pivotally attached to the body 30.

An upright arm 46 projects substantially perpendicularly from the end of each extension arm 42 distal to the body 30. The upright arms 46 are spaced apart such that a cam 24 of the bow 20 may pass through a plane defined by the upright arms 46, and such that the limb 22 of the bow 20 may not pass through a plane defined by the upright arms 46 when the limb 22 of the bow is seated upon the extension arms 42, as shown in FIG. 5. The upright arms 46 form a wall 44 which prevents the limb 22 of the bow 20 from sliding along the extension arms 42 and away from the body 30. Thus, the wall 44 formed by the upright arms 46 prevents the bow 20 from falling off of the extension arms 42.

The stop 48 is attached to a lower aspect of the extension arms proximal to the body 30, as shown in FIG. 5. The stop 48 may be fabricated by bending a malleable metal rod into a U-shaped configuration and welding it to the extension arms 42, as shown in FIG. 5. The stop 48 is attached to the extension arms 42 such that the angle defined by the extension arms 42 and the upper aspect side of the body 30 is an acute angle when the stop 48 contacts the body, as shown in FIG. 4.

The improved bow holder 26 may have one or more extension members 50 between the bow cradle 28 and the base 58. The bow cradle 28 may be attached directly to the second mating end 62 of the stem 60 of a base 58, or it may be attached directly to the second mating end 82 of the mating member 80 of a tree mount 70. Both of these configurations provide a low bow holding position. The extension members 50 are used to raise the bow holding position by raising the position of the limb rest 38. Each extension member 50 has a second mating end 52 at its upper end. The second mating end 52 is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end 32, 54, as previously described. Each extension member 50 has a first mating end 54 at its lower end. The first mating end 54 is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a second mating end 52, 82, as previously described. The extension members 50 may be fabricated from malleable metallic pipe. Preferably, the mating ends 52, 54 of the extension members 50 consist of inside and outside pipe diameters which fit together, as previously described.

The base 58 is comprised of a stem 60 and a pair of pedals 66. Preferably, the stem 60 is fabricated from a metal rod having a pointed end 64 at its lower end. The pointed end 64 is inserted into the ground during use. The upper end of the stem 60 has a second mating end 62. The second mating end 62 is shaped and sized to mate with a member having a first mating end 32, 54, as previously described. Preferably, the second mating end 62 is fabricated from malleable metallic pipe. The second mating end 62 should be configured so that it may be press fit into the first mating end 32 of the body 30, or, the first mating end 54 of an extension member 50. However, other mating combinations may be used, as previously described.

The pedals 66 are hingedly attached to the stem 60, as shown in FIG. 7 and FIG. 8. The pedals 66 fold between an upright position, as shown by the phantom pedals 66 in FIG. 7 and a horizontal position as shown by the non-phantom pedals 66 in FIG. 7. Because the pedals 66 are physically limited from going below the horizontal plane, they may be used to apply a ground insertion force to the stem 60 by the user stepping on one or both pedals 66. The pedals 66 may be fabricated from steel. Preferably, the pedals 66 are fabricated into rectangular forms, as shown in FIG. 7. A hinge 68 is used to connect each pedal 66 to the stem 60.

Each pedal 66 may be hingedly attached to the stem 60 in the following manner. Two nuts are attached to one of the shorter peripheral edges of the pedal 66. A nut is attached to the stem 60. The nuts are aligned such that a threaded bolt may be inserted through each nut and such that the longitudinal axis of the threaded bolt forms a hinge axis for the pedal 66. The nuts are secured to each other by inserting a threaded bolt through each nut. The threaded bolt is fixed to the two nuts attached to the pedal 66, but allowed to rotate within the nut attached to the stem 60, thereby forming a pedal hingedly attached to the stem 60.

If one or more extension members 50 are used to raise the bow holding position, the lower end of one extension member 50 is attached to the upper end of the stem 60. Preferably, the lower end of another extension member 50 is attached to the upper end of the extension member 50 which is attached to the stem 60. When one or more extension members 50 are used the body 30 of the bow cradle 28 is attached to the second mating end 52 of the uppermost extension member 50. Otherwise, if a base 58 without extension members 50 is used, the lower end of the body 30 of the bow cradle 28 is attached to the second mating end 62 of the stem 60. If a tree mount 70 is used without extension members 50, the lower end of the body 30 of the bow cradle 28 is attached to the second mating end 82 of the mating member 80 of the tree mount 70. Extension members 50 may also be used between a tree mount 70 and a bow cradle 28.

A quiver 84 may be attached to one or more extension members 50, as shown in FIG. 8. The quiver 84 permits arrows to be held in close proximity to a bow 20 supported by the improved bow holder 26. Preferably, the quiver 84 is releasably attached to at least one extension member 50. This will allow the quiver 84 to be attached and detached quickly and easily. The preferred quiver 84 is comprised of an upper frame 86, a lower frame 90 and a cloth basket 94. The upper frame 86 should be fabricated from malleable metal rod. It should be formed as a rectangle with two mounting prongs 88. The mounting prongs 88 of the upper frame 86 are adapted to fit within quiver frame mounting holes 56 within an extension member 50. The lower frame 90 should also be fabricated from malleable metal rod. It should also be formed as a rectangle with two mounting prongs 92. The mounting prongs 92 of the lower frame 90 are adapted to fit within quiver frame mounting holes 56 within an extension member 50. Preferably, the upper frame 86 mounting holes 56 are within an upper extension member 50 and the lower frame 90 mounting holes 56 are within a lower extension member 50. A cloth basket 94 is attached to the lower frame 90. The upper frame 86, the lower frame 90 and the cloth basket 94 form a container for holding arrows. The lower frame 90 and the upper frame 86 should be spaced apart such that the quiver 84 may securely hold a plurality of arrows.

The bow cradle 28 may be used with a tree mount 70 in a tree. The tree mount 70 mounts to a tree limb 72 and is attachable to the bow cradle 28. A tree mount 70 is comprised of a flange 74 and a mating member 80. The flange 74 is adapted to be seated upon a tree limb 72. The flange 74 has a plurality of fastener openings 76. The fastener openings 76 are adapted to secure the flange 74 upon a tree limb 72 with fasteners 78, such as nails or screws. The fastener openings 76 may consist of a plurality of openings adapted to receive nails or screws, as shown in FIG. 6. Preferably, the flange 74 has four fastener openings 76. The fastener openings 76 may be nail holes or screw holes. The fastener openings 76 may also be slots opening into the external periphery of the flange 74. The size of the fastener openings 76 should be sufficiently large to permit fastener stems to pass through, yet be sufficiently small to prevent fastener heads from passing through.

The components of the alternate embodiment of the improved bow holder 26 should have approximately the following dimensions and material specifications. However, it must be emphasized that this invention is not limited to these dimensions and materials and other embodiments of the invention may have significantly different dimensions and materials. The extension arms 42, the stop 48, the upright arms 46 and the guide 36 may be fabricated from ¼″ steel rod. The preferred extension arm 42 length is 5¼″. The preferred upright arm 46 length is 1¼″. The preferred guide 36 opening is 2 inches with 1 inch branches on the U-shaped structure. The preferred angle between the guide 36 and a horizontal plane coinciding with the cross-section of the body 30 is 30°. The preferred distance between the guide 36 and the extension arms 42 is 7 inches. The preferred inside diameter of the first mating end 32 of the body 30 is 9/16″. ⅝″ outside diameter pipe may be used for the body 30. The second of mating ends 52, 62, 82 of the extension member 50, the stem 60 of the base 58 and the mating member 80 of the tree mount 70 should have outside diameters of 17/32″. The preferred length of the extension members 50 is 10½″. The preferred penetration depth of second mating ends 52, 62 82 into first mating ends 32, 54 is ⅝″. The preferred distance between the upper frame 86 of the quiver 84 and the lower frame 90 of the quiver 84 is 14 inches. The preferred angle between the extension arms 42 and the upper aspect of the body 30 when the stop 48 contacts the body 30 is 55°.

In order to use the improved bow holder 26 in a standing position, the bow cradle 28, two extension members 50 and the base 58 are assembled together, as shown in FIG. 8 or FIG. 9. Optionally, a quiver 84 may be attached to the extension members 50. The pedals 66 of the base are unfolded and foot pressure is used to insert the stem 60 into the ground. A first extension member 50 is attached to the second mating end 62 of the stem 60. In the preferred embodiment the second mating end 62 of the stem 60 is inserted into the first mating end 54 of the first extension member 50 and held together by a press fit. Similarly, the second extension member 50 is attached to the first extension member 50. In the preferred embodiment, the second mating end of the first extension member 50 is inserted into the first mating end 54 of the second extension member 50 and held together by a press fit. The bow cradle 28 is attached to the second extension member 50. In the preferred embodiment, the second mating end of the second extension member 50 is inserted into the first mating end 32 of the body 30 of the bow cradle 28 and held together by a press fit.

In order to use the improved bow cradle 28 the L-shaped studs 118 are inserted into the threaded openings 108 of the clamp bed 104 and adjusted. The studs 118 are adjusted such that a bow 20 being secured by the bow cradle 28 is held in place when vertically oriented; yet is easily removed when desired. The angle of the clamp bed 104 with respect to the body 30 (and also the ground) is set by adjusting the clamp bed 104 into a desired position and locking the clamp bed 104 into that position by inserting the locking bolt 116 through the aligned stabilizing openings 114 of the flanges 110 and the stabilizing openings 102 of the body 30. When the angle of the clamp bed 104 is set into a typical use position, the longitudinal axis of the arrow propelling section of the drawstring 25 of a bow 20 secured by the bow holder 26 is perpendicular to the plane of the ground when the stem 60 is vertically inserted into the ground. This is shown in FIG. 10. Many different sizes and types of bows 20, including parallel limb bows, may be used with the improved bow holder 26 and the preferred embodiment of the bow cradle 28. The adjustability of the L-shaped studs 118 permits the bow cradle 28 to be adapted to a large variety of geometrical configurations of bow limbs. The adjustability of the angle of the clamp bed 104 further increases this adaptability. The preferred bow cradle 28 is capable of securing virtually all bows currently being marketed.

If the first described embodiment of the bow cradle 28 is used, the limb rest 38 is unfolded such that the stop 48 contacts the body 30. The lower limb 22 of the bow 20 is placed within the guide 36 and seated upon the extension arms 42 of the limb rest 38 so that the cam 24 attached to the limb 22 protrudes through the space between the upright arms, as shown in FIG. 5.

A hunter may assemble the improved bow holder 26 and insert it into the ground of a hunting field. After a bow 20 is placed within the bow cradle 28, the hunter may easily stand behind the supported bow 20 and await the arrival of a hunted animal. Once the hunted animal arrives the hunter may grasp the bow 20 with very little physical movement and prepare to shoot an arrow. The ability to grasp the bow 20 and shoot an arrow with very little physical movement by the hunter provides a hunting advantage because the hunted animal is much less likely to notice the hunter and quickly flee. Arrows may be conveniently stored within the quiver 84.

If the hunter desires to hunt from a lower position, the bow cradle 28 may be used with only one extension member 50. If the hunter desires to ground hunt from a seated position, the bow cradle 28 may be attached directly to the base 58. If the hunter desires to hunt from a tree, a tree mount 70 is attached to a tree limb 72 by nailing or screwing the tree mount flange 74 to the tree limb 72. The bow cradle 28 is then attached to the second mating end 82 of the mating member 80 of the flange 74. The bow cradle 28 position may be raised by using one or more extension members 50. A quiver 84 may also be attached to the extension members 50 when the improved bow holder 26 is used within a tree.

The improved bow holder 26 may also be used in a target shooting setting. There, an archer intends to shoot arrows at a target, rather than at hunted animals. The same procedure described above is used to configure the bow cradle 28 to support the archer's bow 20 in a low, intermediate or high position.

After the hunter is done hunting or the archer is done target shooting the improved bow holder 26 components may be quickly and easily disassembled. The bow cradle 28 is removed from the extension member 50, the base 58 or the tree mount 72 to which it is attached by pulling the components apart. If a quiver 84 is used, the upper frame 86 and the lower frame 90 are removed. If the alternate embodiment of the bow cradle 28 is used, the limb rest 38 is folded such that it is substantially parallel to the body 30 of the bow cradle. Any extension members 50 used are separated from the components to which they are attached by pulling them apart. The base 58 is removed from the ground by pulling it out. The pedals 66 of the base 58 are folded such that they are substantially parallel to the stem 60. If a tree mount 70 is used it may be left in the tree for later use, or it may be removed. The disassembled components should be stored in a small pouch. The pouch may be attached to the user's belt. In this way the components of the improved bow holder 26 may be easily carried by a user.

The improved bow holder 26 has many advantages. It can be mounted on the ground or upon a tree limb. It holds and keeps a bow 20 elevated above the ground or a tree limb 72 upon which it is mounted. Its height is adjustable so that an archer can use the bow holder 26 while sitting, standing or squatting. It is easy to store. It is lightweight and takes up minimal space. It can be quickly assembled. It may also be equipped with a quiver 84 for holding arrows.

The preferred bow cradle 28 has additional advantages. It will function with virtually all bows currently on the market. The angle of the clamp bed 104 is adjustable so that a vertical bow alignment is easily obtained. The bow removal and insertion process is silent. The bow is unlikely to be scratched her damaged by the bow cradle 28.

Although the invention has been shown and described with reference to certain preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art undoubtedly will find alternative embodiments obvious after reading this disclosure. With this in mind, the following claims are intended to define the scope of protection to be afforded the inventor, and those claims shall be deemed to include equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.