US 20020069904 A1
The present odor-inhibiting enclosure includes a layer with an odor mitigating substance and an optional outer layer to prevent game animals from detecting human and human related odors. The odor inhibiting substance may adsorb odiferous substances, inhibit the formation of odiferous substances, or perform both functions. Embodiments of the present odor-inhibiting enclosure include hunting blinds, tent-like structures, and mantles. The latter embodiment may be used to envelope objects such as vehicles and supplies, which would otherwise emit odors, the odors detected by game animals.
1. A portable and reversibly erectable enclosure, comprising a substantially pliable material, the substantially pliable material including an odor mitigating substance.
2. The enclosure of
3. The enclosure of
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6. A portable and reversibly erectable enclosure, comprising a fabric and an odor mitigating substance operably present proximate the fabric.
7. The enclosure of
8. The enclosure of
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13. The enclosure of
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18. A portable and reversibly erectible enclosure, comprising;
a. a fabric layer; and
b. means for mitigating odors.
19. The enclosure of
20. The enclosure of
21. The enclosure of
22. A process for preventing game animals from sensing human or human-related odors, comprising:
a. erecting an enclosure, the enclosure comprising a fabric and an odor mitigating substance operably disposed proximate the fabric; and
b. disposing a person or article in the erected enclosure.
23. The process of
24. A process for preventing game animals from sensing human odors, comprising enveloping a person in a portable enclosure, the enclosure comprising a fabric and an odor mitigating substance operably proximate the fabric.
25. A process for preventing game animals from sensing human-related odors, comprising disposing an object in a portable and reversibly erectable enclosure, the portable and reversibly erectable enclosure comprising a fabric and an odor mitigating substance operably proximate the fabric.
 CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 (e) to, and hereby incorporates by reference, U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/245,365, filed Oct. 31, 2000.
 1. Field of the Invention
 This invention relates to game acquisition and, in particular, this invention relates to materials and methods for preventing game animals from sensing human and human-related odors.
 2. Background of the Invention
 Many game animals such as deer, bear, and fox, have a highly developed sense of smell to detect other animals in proximity. This sense of smell is often relied upon by these animals almost to the exclusion of using sight and hearing. Hunting or observing animals necessitates some degree of proximity, so that game animals are within the effective range of a weapon or are close enough to be seen or photographed. In either case, the odor (or scent) emanating from the person desiring a closer distance can be detected by the game animal. When the game animal detects the person's odor, the game animal will avoid coming closer to the person.
 Humans unavoidably emanate odors. These odors originate from sources such as natural body secretions (e.g., perspiration, oils), exhaled breath, applied substances (e.g. colognes, perfumes, scented soaps, deodorants, shampoos), and clothing worn by the individual. Several cosmetic and hygienic (bathing) materials and attire have been developed to mask or suppress these odors.
 U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,383,236, 5,539,930, 5,790,987, 6,009,559, and 6,134,718, all to Sesselmann, each hereby incorporated by reference, disclose odor absorbing clothing, in which garments are adapted to be worn by, and to substantially surround at least a portion of, a person. The garments are disclosed as absorbing odors emanating from that portion of the person, which is substantially surrounded by the clothing, thereby preventing odors from escaping to the atmosphere. The article of clothing is disclosed as comprising a base layer, an outer layer, and a fabric layer disposed between the base and outer layers. The fabric layer has an odor absorbing agent incorporated therein. The odor absorbing agent is described as being selected from the group consisting of activated charcoal, chlorophyll, baking soda, activated alumina, soda lime, zeolite, calcium oxide, and potassium permanganate.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,244,059 to Pflaumer, hereby incorporated by reference, discloses a nether garment and method of controlling crotch odors. The nether garment comprises a crotch panel, the crotch panel consisting of a soft fabric having relatively uniform small passages with a specified air permeability and an odor absorbent compound applied thereto. The odor absorbing compound is selected from the group consisting of alkali metal bicarbonates, alkali metal carbonates, water soluble polyamines he arrived from ethylenimine, and mixtures thereof.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,057 to Newman, hereby incorporated by reference, discloses odor preventing hunting apparel and asserts that as much as 80% to 90% of the odor emanating from the human body is produced by bacteria inhabiting the axillary areas of the body. Antimicrobial fabrics are disclosed as significantly reducing the body odor generated by persons for the duration of a normal hunting outing (i.e., from several hours to a few days) when worn. For situations when odor absorption is also desired, this document states that the clothing can be fabricated with an outer layer of an odor absorbing material, such as activated charcoal.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,856,005, to Gurian, and hereby incorporated by reference, discloses a permanently anti-microbial and flame-retardant yarn and fabric formed from a plurality of substantially longitudinally extending, permanently flame-retardant filaments defining a core and a plurality of substantially randomly extending, permanently anti-microbial filaments disposed about the core. The anti-microbial filaments at least partially define a boucle-like sheath about the core. A knit or woven fabric is formed with the yarn and has at least 5% by weight of the anti-microbial filaments. The flame-retardant filaments are inherently flame-retardant polyester. The anti-microbial filaments are cellulose acetate impregnated with an anti-microbial agent. The anti-microbial agent is preferably a chlorinated phenoxy compound, available under the trade name MICROBAN B, a thin cell wall penetrant.
 In many cases, persons may not desire to apply odor-suppressing materials or may be allergic to these materials. Due to sensitivity, comfort, or other factors, persons may also not desire to wear odor-suppressing apparel. Additionally, persons may desire to use a combination of odor-suppressing materials, odor-suppressing garments, and an odor-suppressing enclosure. Thus, an enclosure of this invention, such as a hunting blind, which suppresses human and human-related odors would be advantageous. To this end, U.S. Pat. No. 5,983,913 to Fargason, hereby incorporated by reference, discloses a scent-free wildlife blind. The blind has a room-like shelter with a door, a plurality of windows, a small vent near ground level, and a flexible tube extending from the top of the shelter to a height approximately 30 feet from the ground. When wind hits the shelter, the wind speed is asserted as being higher at the top of the tube than at the bottom vent. The pressure exerted by the wind on air inside the shelter is therefore inversely proportional to the wind speed. Hence, the pressure difference will force air in through the bottom vent and out through the top of the tube, carrying the scent of the occupants out of the blind high enough so that nearby animals will not smell the occupants. Obviously, this wildlife blind requires trees or other structures high enough to anchor the top of the tube thereto. Additionally, considerable effort and risk may be involved when anchoring the top of the tube to these trees. Moreover, when there is insufficient wind, human and human-related odors from inside the blind can still conceivably escape the blind to be detected by game animals in the proximity.
 While the above-referenced documents address preventing or masking odors from persons, none addresses the overlying issue of preventing human-related odors from reaching game animals by using an enclosure, optionally in combination with using attire and/or hygienic materials, to significantly reduce the likelihood that human and human-related odors will be detected by game animals in the proximity of the user. Human odors encompass odors from the person's body. However, human-related odors include odors such as those from food, spices, and hunting and transportation equipment used or consumed by the person and taken with the person when hunting or observing game. Odors from these items are not normally encountered by game animals and, thus, alert these animals to the presence of humans as well. None of the foregoing documents explicitly or inherently addresses this particular problem.
 There is then a need for an enclosure suitable for hunting or observing wildlife, which will prevent game animals from detecting human-related odors. There is a particular need for enclosures of this nature, which can be readily and easily erected and taken down, as well.
 This invention substantially meets the aforementioned needs of the industry by providing a portable and reversibly erectable enclosure comprising an odor mitigating substance. The odor mitigating substance is present in one fabric layer of the present enclosure and may adsorb/absorb odors or retard their formation. The present enclosure may further include one or more additional layers. A camouflage pattern may be present on an external layer in some embodiments.
 It is a first feature of this invention to provide an enclosure with an odor mitigating substance incorporated therein to prevent game animals from detecting odors of persons or objects disposed within the enclosure.
 It is a second feature of this invention to provide an enclosure with an odor mitigating substance, which can be easily transported to a desired site, erected at the desired site, used to prevent game animals from detecting human and human-related odors, then taken down and transported away.
 It is a third feature of this invention to provide an enclosure with an odor mitigating substance, the enclosure optionally including a camouflage pattern or a readily noticeable pattern/color (e.g., blaze orange).
 These and other objects, features, and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the description which follows, when considered in view of the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present odor-inhibiting enclosure;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the present odor-inhibiting enclosure;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of the present odor-inhibiting enclosure; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of the present odor-inhibiting enclosure.
 It is understood that the above-described figures are only illustrative of the present invention and are not contemplated to limit the scope thereof.
 Comprehension of this invention can be gained through reference to the drawings in conjunction with a thorough review of the following explanation. In order to facilitate a fall appreciation of the invention, an overview of an exemplary embodiment is initially provided. The overview is followed by more detailed explanation.
 Any references to such relative terms as front and back, right and left, top and bottom, upper and lower, horizontal and vertical, or the like, are intended for convenience of description and are not intended to limit the present invention or its components to any one positional or spatial orientation. All dimensions of the components in the attached figures may vary with a potential design and the intended use of an embodiment of the invention without departing from the scope of the invention.
 The present invention includes an enclosure with an odor-mitigating substance for preventing human and human-related odors from escaping the enclosure and being sensed by game animals in the proximity of the enclosure. The odor-mitigating substance present in the enclosure of this invention may sorb (absorb or adsorb) odors or may prevent or retard the formation of odiferous substances. Human odors include odors caused by (odiferous) substances secreted by or otherwise given off by the human body such as perspiration and body oils. These substances contain compounds, which volatilize to the atmosphere. The volatized compounds can be detected by game animals. The present enclosure is contemplated to encompass portable and reversibly erectible enclosures to be used by hunters and observers of game animals. The present enclosures are portable in that they can be transported to and from the site of use. The present enclosures may also be reversibly erectible in that they can be set up and taken down repeatedly in the same manner as tents or can be disposed over users and objects which would otherwise give off odors detectable by game animals. Items of attire and containers such as bags are expressly not considered to be within the scope of the present invention.
FIG. 1 depicts a first embodiment of the present enclosure, generally at 100, and includes a plurality of side panels 102 and a top panel 104. Each side panel 102 defines an opening 106. The opening 106, in turn, accommodates a removable panel 108. The removable panel 108, itself, may further accommodate another opening 110. The opening 110 may be sized to accommodate yet another removable panel 112 therewithin. The removable panels 108 and 112 may be held in place by sliding fasteners, such as zippers or the like, or by hook and loop fasteners, or any other suitable fastening structure. Several loops 116 may be present to accommodate stakes for stabilizing and anchoring this enclosure. Any of the present enclosures may further include a flooring mat (not shown) as well, which may be reversibly attachable to the remainder of the present enclosure with suitable fastening structure embodiments. The enclosure 100 may be supported by a resilient superstructure or frame (not shown), which is either self-erecting, or which enables the device to be erected within a very short time interval. Persons of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that these superstructures would encompass embodiments such as those used in erecting and supporting tents.
 Referring to FIG. 2, a second embodiment of the present disclosure is depicted generally at 200. The enclosure 200 includes a plurality of side panels 202 and top panels 204. The side panels 202 may include openings 208. The openings 208 may be disposed and dimensioned to accommodate a further plurality of removable panels 210. The panels 210 may be held in place by suitable fastening structure as discussed above. A loop 214 may be present at each corner of the bottom portion of the enclosure 200 to secure the enclosure to the ground when a stake or other anchoring device is attached thereto. Another set of loops 216 may be present at each corner of the top portion of the side panels 202. A top loop 218 may further be present at the apex of the top panels 204. The enclosure 200 differs from the enclosure 100 mainly in that the enclosure 200 does not have a supporting superstructure, but is maintained in an erected position by ropes extending between the loops 216 and 218 and overhead structures, such as tree limbs. The enclosure 200 may further be maintained in an erected position by staking the loops 214.
 A third embodiment of the present enclosure is shown in FIG. 3, generally at 300. The enclosure 300 includes two side panels 302 and a pair of end panels 304 at each end of the side panels 302. The side panels 302 and end panels 304 define an opening 310, which is sized and disposed to accommodate the removable panels 314. The removable panels 314 may be held in place by suitable fastening structure as described above. Loops 316 may also be present at the bottom of the side panels 302 and end panels 304. The loops 316 may be staked, or otherwise anchored to secure the enclosure 300 in place at a desired location. The enclosure 300 may be supported by a superstructure such as a tent pole 318. In this embodiment, the tent pole 318 extends between an enclosure upper comer 320 and the ground and is held in place by the tension exerted when the loops 316 are staked, or otherwise anchored.
 Referring to FIG. 4, another embodiment of the present enclosure is depicted at 400 and includes a mantle member 402. The mantle member 402 may define one or more openings 404, each of which may accommodate a panel 406. The panels 406 may be removably held in place by suitable fastening structure as discussed above to permit access to items disposed in or enveloped within the mantle member 402. A lower edge 410 of the mantle member 402 may have an elasticised band or the like secured within a hem 412. One or more adjustable straps 416 may be attached to the mantle member 402 by fasteners such as stitching, rivets, or the like. Pairs of the straps 416 may be connected by a buckle 418. The elasticised band and the straps serve to tighten this enclosure embodiment around, thereby securing it to, an object such as an all terrain vehicle (ATV) 450. Used in this manner, the enclosure 400 would substantially minimize the escape of human-related odors, such as odors from gasoline, oil, grease, and ATV component parts, and subsequent detection by game animals in the vicinity. A person of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the any of the present enclosures may be used to enclose and thereby control odors from persons therein. However, the present enclosure may also be used to envelope items, which generate human-related odors, such as food, ammunition, vehicles (as discussed above), and photography supplies.
 Referring to FIGS. 1-4, a camouflage pattern 500 may be present on the exterior of any of the enclosures of the present invention. The camouflage pattern 500 may include two-dimensional and three-dimensional patterns. Two-dimensional patterns are considered to be camouflaging patterns in which the camouflaging image or images are present on all, or a portion of, the exterior surfaces of the present enclosure. Three-dimensional patterns are considered to encompass camouflage patterns which have components extending from the enclosure exterior surface. Such three-dimensional camouflage patterns are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,931,320, hereby incorporated by reference. These camouflage patterns include a camouflage material with a net substrate bonded to a sheet material such as a woven fabric. The sheet is colored to a desired camouflage pattern and bonded to the substrate along spaced lines of attachment. The sheet is then cut to simulate the appearance of natural objects within a terrain, such as foliage leaves. Another three-dimensional camouflage material includes a net packed with a cut facing layer attached thereto and is marketed under the trade name Bushy Ridge™ by Teledyne Brown Engineering. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional camouflage materials may be utilized to construct camouflaged garments for hunters and photographers. However, the three-dimensional material may be particularly effective in concealing the present enclosure, due to the fact that the fabric is designed to mimic the appearance and movement of natural foliage. U.S. Pat. No. 5,695,835, issued to Weber et al. and hereby incorporated by reference, discloses a multidimensional camouflage garment (and camouflage pattern). The first portion of the camouflage pattern is formed from a three-dimensional material. The second portion of the camouflage pattern is formed from a two-dimensional material, as disclosed above.
 In one embodiment, the present enclosure includes a plurality of fabric layers. At least one of these fabric layers may include an odor mitigating substance. An odor mitigating substance is considered to include odor sorbing (adsorbing/absorbing) substances and/or odor retarding substances. An odor sorbing substance adsorbs or absorbs odoriferous compounds. An odor retarding substance retards, decomposes, or otherwise inhibits formation of odoriferous compounds.
 By way of illustration, and not limitation, odor sorbing substances include the following:
 1. Alkali metal bicarbonates, e.g., NaHCO3.
 2. Alkali metal carbonates, e.g., Na2CO3.
 3. Metal oxides, e.g., CaO, Al2O3.
 4. Metal hydroxides, e.g., Al(OH)3.
 5. Activated carbon (charcoal), e.g. particle size 0.1-50 μm, 95%<3 μm, active surface area between 900 and 1500 square meters per gram.
 6. Chlorophyll.
 7. Ion exchangers.
 8. Molecular sieves.
 9. Alkali metal permanganates, e.g., KMNO4, NaMNO4.
 10. Water-soluble polyamines derived from ethylenimine, e.g. Tydex-12 (Dow Chemical Company).
 11. Silica and silicic acid xerogels.
 12. Soda lime (NaOH/CaO; Ca(OH)2.
 13. Zeolites.
 In the context of the present invention, “activated carbon” and “activated charcoal” are considered to be synonymous.
 A non limiting recitation of odor retarding substances includes the following.
 1. Fabric impregnated with antimicrobial compounds, such as a chlorinated phenoxy compound, e.g., MICROBAN B (Morton Thiokol), NICROSAFE acetate (Hoechst-Celanese).
 2. Antimicrobial fabric, e.g., Microban Microsafe (Microban Products Company), as well as fabrics marketed by Sherman Textile Company and Magna Fabrics.
 3. Triclocarban.
 4. Triclosan.
 Exemplary fabrics potentially suitable for use in the present enclosures are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,009,559, 5,790,987, 5,539,930, 5,383,236, 5,856,005, and 6,009,057, each hereby incorporated by reference. Related materials, which might be applicable under certain circumstances, are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,555,187, 4,510,193, 4,244,059, and 3,783,085, each hereby incorporated by reference.
 Suitable embodiments of the present enclosure include 1) an outer layer of 100 percent nylon mesh and a lining sold under the trademark ScentBlocker #400™ and 2) an outer layer of Micro Brush Tricot, polyurethane laminate and an inner layer of ScentBlocker #600™, each available from Robinson Laboratories, Inc. Other suitable materials for the layers of the present enclosure include nylon, rayon, cotton, wool, linen, polypropylene, felt, polyester, TYVEK®, fabrics bonded to polytetrafluorethylene, and paper products.
 Because numerous modifications of this invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, the scope of the invention is not to be limited to the embodiments illustrated and described. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents.