Looking back, it seems like forever ago when I had bought my first set of charcoal-lined clothes. At the time, it was revolutionary and boy did I feel like the King of the Woods when I climbed up in my stand that deer season. And although I didn't kill a Booner that year, I did feel like I did everything possible to remain scent free throughout the season. As time moved forward and as the seasons began to pass, I'm pretty sure that I've tried nearly every scent elimination spray on the market. At the end of a long day of hunting, I've gone home smelling like apples, dirt, cedar and pine, only to wonder if it really helped my hunt that day.
The truth is, I think sometimes it worked to my advantage and other times it added a sense of cautiousness and confusion to the air around me. I often sat there and wondered if deer who frequented the area would be on alert if they smelled apple cover scent every Saturday morning from 6-10am? The way that I've thought about using cover scent is like when you decide to hunt with a doe lure during the season. Sure, the whole point of hanging a scent wick is to try to spark interest and draw a big buck in that's searching for a hot doe. But on the other hand, if your timing isn't right, all that you'll end up doing is creating a big question mark in a nearby bucks head that may leave him to feel like something is just slightly off. Makes sense, right?
So, instead of smelling like a bucket of acorns this season, I've decided to ditch all of my scent sprays and run one single ozone device. When it came down to it, my decision to make this switch was based on the fact that I was tired of running the risk of alerting deer of my presence. The goal is to be absolutely scent neutral. And in order to achieve this, the assistance of an ozone machine is critical.
Over the summer, I decided to take the plunge into the ozone world and bought an Ozonics Orion unit. After doing my research, I felt like the only way for me to fairly test this approach to scent suppression was to completely ditch any and all cover scent sprays, specialized clothing and other scent free habits(like keeping my clothes in a garbage bag full of leaves). And what I have found over the last 45 days has been beyond shocking.
On my first sit of the season, I positioned my Ozonics unit out the window of my Redneck Blind and wondered if it would do the trick. Honestly, I've hunted for so long with the wind direction in mind, that I questioned whether or not the machine would make a difference. Oddly enough the wind wasn't great on this sit and it blew right toward where I hoped the deer would come from. And as the woods began to come alive, I nearly had a heart attack as an eight point buck walked in front of my blind at 6 yards, and that is no lie. Now, this wasn't the deer that I was after, otherwise he would have been in the back of the truck, however from this point on I felt like my Orion had to be working in my favor. The rest of the morning hunt was filled with a bunch of does and bucks that focused on grazing, very rarely even looking toward my blind. When the wind switched directions, I simply rotated my Orion and kept hunting.
Since that hunt, I felt more and more confident with my Ozonics unit, knowing that it was silently helping me stay undetected on every hunt. In between my morning and afternoon hunts, I decided to run dri-wash cycles with my clothes, just to stay extra scent free. I mean, it probably doesn't make sense to cook a hamburger in your hunting clothes anyway, so it was a good reason to "wash" these clothes for the afternoon hunts.
Since hunting with my new Orion, I have not had one single doe blow at me or any other deer go on alert and that's how I know Ozonics works.
Just this past week, I decided to do an all day sit, something that I rarely do down here in Texas. And the reason for that is that it simply gets too hot. Generally, the mornings are cool with moderate cloud cover, but once noontime hits and the sun emerges, you might as well break out your beach attire. With temperatures soaring, the winds swirling and sweat pouring down my face, remaining confident in staying scent-free is hard to do. However, I pushed on. At 2pm, it hit 84 degrees and my blind felt like an oven. All the way up until about 4:30pm, it felt like there was no way possible to mask my scent. And at 4:45pm, the deer started to pour into the field in front of me. Sitting there with a drenched t-shirt, a sweat soaked cap and some cookies to get me through the afternoon, I was actually shocked. Could it be that they really have no clue that I'm here? Yes, it really can be the case. Not one single deer ever lifted its head, looked in my direction or stomped.
When my target buck walked out of the brush at 5:05pm, I didn't even think about where the heck the wind was blowing. He didn't have a care in the world and had no idea that I was 26 yards away ready to draw my bow back. Having the ability to focus on your shot and target and not the wind is an odd feeling, but one that I can definitely get used to. Instead of worrying about everything else going on around me, I was able to focus on my shot and squeeze my release. The result was my biggest buck to date, a 205 inch South Texas monster!
So here is my two cents. If you're questioning whether Ozonics works or not, it does. And, if you're thinking about adding one to your backpack of stuff, you should. Simply put, it's the best piece of equipment that I've purchased in the last twenty years. I refuse to hunt without my Ozonics machine.
I should also add that I don't miss smelling like a bucket of apples.