I must admit – I was a skeptic. For the past couple years I’ve been hearing about Ozonics and every time I shook my head and chuckled. What would they come up with next? Why would someone ever want to haul a machine out into the woods with them to blow some chemical around? Not only did it seem inconvenient – but I doubted it really worked.
But a few friends of mine continued to gush about them and finally this spring, I was convinced to give one a try. And so I did.
Now a year later – believe it or not – I can honestly say that I will never head into the woods to hunt again without one.
That being said, before we go into my thoughts and experiences with my Ozonics unit, I figure I first ought to explain what this unit is for anyone that isn’t familiar. In a nut shell, Ozonics is a small machine that creates Ozone – a chemical which eliminates human odor. The machine creates this Ozone and then blows it out over your scent stream. This idea is explained in further detail on the Ozonics website, “Ozonics electronically changes oxygen molecules (O2) into ozone molecules (O3) and projects them downwind with a quiet fan. The heavier ozone molecules fall through your scent zone. Because ozone molecules are extremely unstable, they bond with any molecule they come near (scent molecules) rendering them indistinguishable to the nose of the deer.”
When I first heard this description and read about it, I thought well that sounds cool – but I doubt it works. But regardless of my initial opinions, I charged up my battery, packed up my Ozonics unit and headed into the woods for the first time with it on September 25th 2011.
One of my initial concerns with the Ozonics was that it would be a pain to haul around and put up in the tree all the time. Yes – it is another item to bring along, and that does add one more thing to my to-do list. But I did find that the unit was really light, relatively small and not difficult to screw into the tree. So while having another piece of equipment in the tree was a small inconvenience, I soon found that it was worth it.
I’m not sure exactly when my very first eye opening experience was, but soon after the season began – I found that I was getting away with a lot more deer moving downwind of me. I still played the wind religiously, but as we all know, deer don’t always read the script. And 9 times out of 10 when a deer headed downwind of me – I got away with it. I usually sit up in the tree nearly having a panic attack as a deer is heading downwind of me, but I soon found myself losing that fear. I knew between my rigorous scent control regimen AND my Ozonics I had a great chance to fool a deer’s nose. Despite my initial skepticism, deer after deer calmly walking down wind of me began changing my mind. I will say that a downwind deer was not completely unaware – they can smell the Ozone, and often a deer would stop and sniff around. But the key factor was that the deer did not recognize this as a dangerous odor and they would soon return to their previous course of action. I soon realized that this thing really worked!
All that being said – it’s important to note though that I wasn’t 100% immune to being winded. The Ozonics works by blowing the ozone over my scent as it blows downwind – but where you can get into trouble is when the wind is swirling and changing direction frequently. You want to point the unit in the direction the wind is blowing so that it carries the Ozone over you and your scent stream, but when the wind is funky , it can result in some of your scent not being covered by the Ozone. In these cases, I potentially could get winded and it did happen a few times. But it was certainly fewer times than I typically would experience in a given year!
After watching my Ozonics work time after time, I soon began really depending on it. And a few times when the battery died, I felt absolutely vulnerable out in the woods without it. It truly acted as a safety blanket – and it allowed me to hunt much more confidently, knowing that I was covered on all sides. Speaking of the battery – I found it to last about 5 hours. So if you plan on ever doing full day hunts, you’ll definitely need to buy an extra battery. I had two and would go through both on a full day sit during the rut.
I came into this whole deal as a cynic and a skeptic, but now after almost a year, I am a true believer. With my very own eyes I saw the Ozonics work over and over and it has now earned a permanent spot in my hunting pack. While an Ozonics unit isn’t cheap and it takes a little more work to bring one in the field with you every day, I have found that the benefits have far outweighed the costs. When it comes to hunting mature whitetails, you just can’t afford to make mistakes – and I truly believe my Ozonics helped me minimize those gaffes this year. While I didn’t close the deal on a buck in 2011, I had more encounters with big mature whitetails than ever before and I do believe that was in part due to my Ozonics keeping my scent to a minimum.
If you’re like me and eat/sleep/breath big whitetails, I’d highly recommend an Ozonics as a worthwhile investment and addition to your hunting gear. I’ll certainly never head to the treestand without one again!
For more information, visit the Ozonics website