Man Invents Device for Loading Deer onto ATV"s

If you've ever read a pulp novel on the American frontier, you know how easy it is to kill and carry a big buck. The buck-skinned hero simply sneaks up on the unwary deer, drops it with a well-placed bullet, then slings the animal over his back and carries it back to camp. Yep, and Daniel Boone could throw a tomahawk and slit a giant oak tree, too. Aside from the fact that stalking a deer is not quite as easy as some fiction writers make it out to be, toting a 150-200 lb. animal is no easy matter. Try hoisting a human of that size. Plus, hunters typically field-dress a deer, so the carcass is dripping with blood and not so enticing to sling over your shoulders. Real-life hunters resort to less heroic methods to haul a carcass out, usually involving an all-terrain vehicle. But even getting the creature onto an ATV can be a challenge for many folks. "Anybody that's ever killed a big deer will know how hard it is to load it," said Anthony S. "For just a healthy person to load a 200 pound deer up on a four wheeler is about impossible."

As a lifelong hunter, Anthony knows about these things. But a year and a half ago Anthony - a big, burly man like his dad Terry -suffered a herniated disk in his back, and lifting big animals by hand is no longer an option. So he's come up with a solution: Big Ank's E-Z Loader, currently being developed by and marketed by Invention Technologies of Coral Gables, Florida. The device is made of lightweight steel and can hoist up to 600 pounds. While Anthony's doesn't want to go into detail until he gets a patent, "It's a device that you attach to a four-wheeler while you're traveling," he said. "You can also lift it up high enough so that you can skin (the deer) right there." The E-Z Loader fits on any model four-wheeler and is easy for one person to use, Anthony said. It can also lift other items so could be useful for farm work.

Anthony has had a long career in hoisting. As a radiation therapist, "You lift a lot of patients that are heavier than yourself," he said. And since Anthony is a big guy, fellow medical workers have often called on him to do the heavy lifting. The result: back trouble. "Just over the years it took its toll," he said. A year and a half ago he went to the emergency room with back pain; the eventual diagnosis was a herniated disk. The condition did not make him give up his beloved deer hunting, however. As he sat on a stand, he pondered how to handle a deer if he killed one. Though he has had no engineering training, an idea came to mind. "It's just something that popped into my head when I was sitting on the stand," he said. Anthony figured out a lot of people could use such a mechanism, so he shopped around for a company to help him develop it and get a patent. He signed a contract with Invention Technologies and had to pay for initial design work. Invention Technologies, in turn, is shopping the idea to manufacturers and will handle the patent process.

Anthony stands to make 90 percent of the profits. Early projections are that the product will retail for around $200. The name came from his niece Megan, the ten year old daughter of Anthony's sister Wendy and her husband. Anthony's family called him "Ant" for short, but when Megan was younger she pronounced it "Ank." "Everybody I've talked to has loved it," Anthony said of the invention. "They were just thrilled with it. The market is there, it's just a matter of getting it manufactured and built and getting it out there."