FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
The present invention generally relates to devices for walking in a wilderness area without disturbing animals in the wilderness area as compared to walking in hunting boots or hiking boots alone.
It is desirable for persons pursuing animals indigenous to a given wilderness area to be able to approach such animals without causing the animals to become alarmed.
Most people walking in a wilderness area wear hunting boots or hiking boots designed for protection of the feet and for stability on the terrain. In the past such hunting boots and hiking boots, when a step is made, create a sound which the indigenous animals are not use to hearing and therefore raises their awareness and tenseness, and can cause them to flee immediately from the area.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It can therefore be appreciated that a walking device which does not alarm the indigenous animals as compared to hunting boots or walking boots alone would be highly desirable.
In one respect, the invention generally features a sole plate and a hoof-like structure. The hoof-like structure is disposed between the sole plate and ground.
In another aspect of the present invention, the hooves are located below one end of the sole plate, and another set of supports located near the other end of the sole plate to give added support and stability.
- OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
In yet another aspect of the present invention the wilderness stealth device is an attachment to a boot of a user.
It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a wilderness stealth device that enables a hunter or hiker to walk in the wilderness area and thereby producing footfalls that are less disturbing to indigenous animals of the wilderness area than the footfalls caused by wearing only ordinary hunting boots or hiking boots.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Another object, of the present invention, is to provide a wilderness stealth device which can be constructed as a boot attachment that can be worn when stalking animals, and can be removed and carried when not stalking animals.
The aforementioned and other features, characteristics, advantages, and the invention in general will be better understood from the following more detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an oblique view of the front and left side of a right foot attachment;
FIG. 2 is an oblique view of the right side of a right foot attachment;
FIG. 3 is an oblique rear view of a right foot attachment;
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a right foot attachment;
FIG. 5 is an oblique view of a portion of the left side of a right foot attachment in a first alternative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is an oblique view of a portion of the left side of a right foot attachment in a second alternative embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 7 is an oblique view of a portion of the front and left side of a right foot attachment in a third alternative embodiment of the invention.
- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
It will be appreciated that for purposes of clarity and where deemed appropriate, reference numerals have been repeated in the figures to indicate corresponding features.
Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is an oblique view of the front and left side of a right foot of an wilderness stealth device, generally designated 10. The device 10 is designed to be attached to a hunting boot or hiking boot 61 (shown in FIG. 5). Device 10, also referred to herein as an attachment, has a sole plate 12 which is designed to fit against the sole of a boot. The sole plate 12 in the preferred embodiment is essentially flat, but other shaped sole plates, such as plates that better fit the bottom of a boot, are within the scope of this invention. Mounted on the sole plate 12 is a heal bracket 14 designed to receive the heal of a boot. Fastened to the underside, toe end of sole plate 12 are two hoof type of structures 16 and 18, also referred to herein as hoof-like structures. Hoof-like structures 16 and 18 are attached to sole plate 12 by four screws, generally designated 20, two for each hoof-like structure. Fastened to the underside, heal end of sole plate 12 are two vertical supports 22 and 24. Vertical supports 22 and 24 have a horizontal cross section that is better shown in FIG. 4. Each of vertical supports 22 and 24 are held in place by a single screw not visible in the drawings. Each of these single screws are the same type of screws as screws 20 which attach thought sole plate 12 and into the vertical supports 22 and 24 in much the same manner as screws.
For securing the attachment to the boot of a user a forward (towards the toe) strap 26 consisting of a single strap and having a buckle 28 is provided. In use strap 26 are secured around the toe box of a user's boot. Strap 26 is held in place by a single bolt 30 which goes through strap 26, and a nut 32 (shown in FIG. 4). Each of the nuts used in device 10 have washers placed against them. A second securing strap is in two pieces 34 and 36. A buckle 38 is attached to the end of strap piece 36. In use strap pieces 24 and 26 are secured around the instep of a user's boot. How strap pieces 24 and 36 are attached to sole plate 12 will be discussed below in the description of FIG. 4.
Also shown in FIG. 1 is a leg attachment collar 40 which is secured to a leg of the wearer by a strap 42 and a buckle 44. Leg attachment collar 40 is bolted by a bolt 46 and nut 48 (shown in FIG. 3) to an upper brace 50. A lower brace 52 is bolted to the upper brace 50 by a bolt 54 and nut 56 (shown in FIG. 3). Upper and lower braces 50 and 52 are designed to be on the inside of a users leg. Thus attachment 10 is a right foot attachment. The left foot attachment would be a mirror image of attachment 10.
In FIG. 1 the two hoof-like structures 16 and 18 are plastic shaped to resemble the left side and right side, respectively, of a single cow hoof. As described below, other forms of the hoof-like structures 16 and 18 are within the scope of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an oblique view of the right side of attachment 10. FIG. 2 is provided to show another perspective of attachment 10. The element numbers shown in FIG. 2 are described above with respect to FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an oblique rear view of attachment 10. FIG. 3 is provided to show another perspective of attachment 10. The element numbers shown in FIG. 3 are described above with respect to FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of attachment 10. Hoof-like structures 16 and 18 are each molded to resemble one half of a cow hoof. Vertical supports 22 and 24 are placed at an angle to the centerline of the sole plate to provide better traction for device 10. Brace 52 has a right angle bend and extends across and below sole plate 12. Vertical support 22 is positioned against brace 52. Between brace 52 and sole plate 12 is one end of strap piece 34. Strap piece 34, brace 52 and vertical support 22 are held in place by a screw positioned down through sole plate 12. Vertical support 24 is similarly secured except that a washer (not shown) is used as a spacer between sole plate 12 and brace 52. One end of strap piece 36 is attached to brace 52 by a nut and bolt 58 and 60, respectively.
As shown in FIG. 4 upper brace 50 is bent towards sole plate 12 as it could be when it is being transported or stored.
FIG. 5 is an oblique view of a portion of the left side of a right foot attachment 10 and a portion of a boot 61 in a first alternative embodiment of the invention. It will be noted that in FIG. 5 the straps 26, 34 and 36, most of the brace 52 and other hardware shown on top of the sole plate 12 are not shown. In this first alternative embodiment a second hoof-like structure 62 replaces the vertical support 24. Although not shown in FIG. 5, it will be understood that hoof like structure 16 and a second hoof-like structure hidden behind hoof-like structure 62 are also present in this first alternative embodiment. In this embodiment the second set of hoof-like structures produces a sound when a user's heel weight is applied that is closer to a an animal's footfall then the vertical supports 22 and 24 shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is an oblique view of a portion of the left side of a right foot attachment in a second alternative embodiment of the invention. In FIG. 6, as in FIG. 5, the straps 26, 34 and 36, most of the brace 52 and other hardware present on top of the sole plate 12 are not shown. In this second alternative embodiment the hoof-like structures 16 and 18 have been removed and two structures 64 and 66 (also referred to herein as ground plates) which are formed to be similar to the bottoms of hoof-like structures 16 and 18. The structures 64 and 66 have vertical members 68-74 attached to them which connect and support the toe end of the sole plate 12. In this second embodiment the cost and weight of a fully molded hoof have been eliminated.
FIG. 7 is an oblique view of a portion of the front and left side of a right foot attachment in a third alternative embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, in which only the toe portion of the sole plate 12 from FIG. 1 is shown, the hoof-like structures 16 and 18 shown in FIG. 1 have been replaced with two sets of deer-like hooves 76 and 78. These hooves of FIG. 7 make footfalls more similar to deer footfalls than the hoof-like structures 16 and 18. Of course other hooves which resemble the hooves of other animals are within the scope of the present invention.
These three alternative embodiments are just some of the variations to the preferred embodiment of FIGS. 1-4. For example, since the preferred use of the present invention is to not alarm animals with the footfalls of a hunter or hiker, other non-hoof like structures may be used if they produce similar results. Moreover, multiple hoof-like structures, such as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, may be used in place of the two hoof-like structures of FIG. 1.
In operation, attachment 10 is strapped to a user's boot 61 and supports the user's boot above the ground so that the only ground contact are hooves 16 and 18 and vertical supports 22 and 24. When attached to a users boot, sounds made when walking in the wilderness resemble the sounds made by other animals indigenous to the wilderness area, and may go unnoticed by the animals, or not alarm the animals as much as the sound made by a hunting boot or hiking boot. Also, top brace 50 can be folded to make carrying and storing attachment 10 more convenient. Moreover, it is believed that the invention has increased stability and traction.
Although the invention has been described in part by making detailed reference to a certain specific embodiment, such detail is intended to be, and will be understood to be, instructional rather than restrictive. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that many variations may be made on the structure and mode of operation without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed in the teachings contained herein. For example attachment 10 could be incorporated into a hunting boot or hiking boot. Many different ways of making a structure similar to attachment 10 can be readily imagined. Similarly, other materials, attachment methods and placement of the hooves can also be readily imagined and are considered to be within the scope of the present invention.