Hunting from the ground has a certain appeal. Boots on the ground at eye-level with wary game keeps the excitement high and requires a bit more diligence when it comes to scent and movement. The ground blind market has exploded in recent years, providing hunters a wide range of makes & models to fit nearly any hunting situation. The same could be said for decoys. In fact, Elk Mountain Gear, based in Shasta Lake City, California has developed a great new product called the Slip System which is both a highly effective blind and a flexible photo-realistic decoy — and then some.
There is an old English proverb that states, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This sentiment is still alive and well today and was the impetus behind the Slip System. I’ve had the opportunity to use the Slip System on a number of hunts over the past couple years and wanted to share the features, benefits, and my assessment of this multi-use product.
The Slip System serves three primary functions; it offers excellent ground-level concealment for the hunter, it serves as a decoy to confuse or attract game, and it is a sturdy hiking staff. But that’s not all. Literally, in a minute or two you can transform the Slip System from a sturdy hiking staff, to a shooting stick, a monopod, a stationary ground blind, a mobile ground blind, and an oversized umbrella which comes in handy when waiting out an unexpected squall. And if that isn’t enough, here’s the frosting on the cake — the Slip System can be easily installed onto the side of a tree as an umbrella for your tree stand. Here in the Pacific Northwest that is a huge plus!
The Slip System’s namesake comes from the lightweight “slips” that are easily attached to the frame via grommets. Elk Mountain Gear offers (8) camo slips and (13) decoy slips to cover a wide variety of hunting situations. Whether you’re hunting snow geese in a crusty stubble field or bugling bull elk in the high country, you’re covered with the Slip System.
Right out of the box, the Slip System is assembled as a hiking staff. The adjustable extension rod allows you to size the staff for a perfect fit.
The past two spring seasons we used the slip system to cross openings between the pines within 100 yards of feeding turkeys. The ability to open and close it up slowly (with gloves) was a detail I really hadn’t thought of until the situation presented itself.
The slip system blind grows on you. After you use it a few times it becomes really handy, especially on day hunts from the truck. I used it to push away brush along trails so I don’t rub up against it leaving scent all over the place. I soak it down with scent killer frequently.
From the farm country of NE Washington to the relentlessly rugged Montana Missouri River Breaks, the Slip System has put up with less than gentle treatment. We often just toss it in the bed of the pickup between hunts where it has been jostled around above miles of rough dirt roads. One evening I was in a hurry to load some gear and I inadvertently threw my Double Bull ground blind (with two chairs) right in on top of it! Expecting the worst, I climbed into the back and rescued the Slip System from its weighty abuser. It was fine thanks to durable materials and construction.
When it comes to hunting from the ground there are lots of products available to choose from. And it goes without saying that all products have pros and cons. For example, a “pop-up” style ground blind works very well when hunting with kids or when the weather is wet and cold. Hands down, they can help make a hunt successful. On the flip side, they require a notable amount of effort to relocate. For the western hunter who is more inclined to employ a “run and gun” style of hunting, pop-up blinds don’t really fit the bill very well.
The Slip System is unique in that it combines both concealment for the hunter as well as an option to decoy game. It can be used as a hiking staff or easily strapped onto your pack. The ability to quickly add the shooting stick and camera mount attachments are also a plus, not to mention the ever-growing number of slip options.
When you compare feature to feature, the price of the Slip System is very attractive. Currently it is on sale for $79.95 for the main unit and $34.95 each for slips, plus FREE shipping in the continental US.
When first attempting the treestand umbrella set up I stumbled a bit. To install the Slip System threaded rod, you need to first use a tree step to start the hole in the tree. This is a minor inconvenience given the benefits to have a large durable roof over your stand but to be fair, it needs to be noted. The reason for this is that the center pole assembly needs standard threads to join the other section, so there really isn’t a way to incorporate an aggressive wood screw-type thread. I have provided feedback to Elk Mountain Gear about creating a separate tree rod to make the tree set up easier.
In closing, the Slip System has become my go-to blind for many solo hunts where I might normally use a pop-up blind. The size and weight are minuscule in relation to the upside benefits. It’s easy to take with me, so I often do.
For more information, please visit www.elkmtngear.com where you’ll find the full selection of slip options, on-line store, and videos.
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