I’d waited patiently for the right day to slip in under the cover of darkness and ascend to my rut perch. The problem? The wind wouldn’t cooperate and the rut was slipping away like sand through an hourglass.
I had the scent-free soaps and shampoos and the properly stored and sprayed carbon clothing. Had the wind been east or west, I would’ve pressed my luck long ago, but a stiff southern breeze had settled into the area and that direction was, for this set, horrible.
I’ve always been somewhat of a skeptic on the topic of scent control. Sure, I follow a strict routine. I even wash the towels I shower with in scent-free soap and store them carefully. However, when it comes to human odor, I tend to be super paranoid.
When I woke up on the morning of November 8, I realized the weatherman had been correct for over a week straight. A stiff south wind blew. My trail cams and hands-on recon told me the bucks were chasing. I wanted to hunt this stand. I needed to hunt this stand. How many more days would a shooter or two stroll by before locking down a lady? I had no idea, so I decided to press my luck and go against the grain.
I showered in Wildlife Research Center products, dried with my scent-free towel, pasted my underarms with no-stink deodorant and slid into my scent-treated sweat pants and shirt.
Upon arrival at my hunting grounds, I dressed in my stored-in-a-tote ScentLok clothing, donned my Lacrosse Alphaburly boots and started the long walk toward my stand. I halted my journey often to keep the sweat down and even went as far as misting myself regularly with Wildlife Research Scent Killer Gold.
Dawn hadn’t started to crack when I reached my 20-foot perch. The wind was south — dead south. I shook my head in disgust, but I did have one more “scent weapon” to deploy.
It was my first time using the Ozonics HR-200, and to be honest, I was extremely skeptical. I hung the unit an arm’s length above my head, tilted it slightly downward and pointed it directly into my scent stream. A slight hum and a low glowing blue flame kicked the unit to life and I hunkered back into my seat and waited for dawn.
With the first rays of the glowing November sun came the unmistakable sound of crunching leaves in the distance. It was a plump doe. She was panting hard and kept glancing behind her. He came up on her fast. His neck was stretched out and his gait was long. He was a small buck — a spry two-year-old with visions of passing along his genetics — but the savvy old doe was having none of it.
The entire show lasted less than three minutes, and the duo was soon swallowed up by the cottonwood-dappled river bottom. That’s when it hit me: The pair had been dead in my wind stream and hadn’t so much as batted an eye. It had to be a coincidence — dumb luck mixed with the power of the rut.
An hour passed and the woods grew quiet. I figured my stink had polluted the woods, but then she appeared. She was a lone doe and she moved in and out of my scent stream for several minutes. Unalarmed and without a nagging gentlemen on her tail, the doe simply walked directly under my stand and disappeared. It was working. My hard-core scent regime and the scent-destroying Ozonics unit were keeping me undetected.
Aside from a sack lunch, a few good games of iPhone solitaire and some vocal hen turkeys, my all-day sit was pretty uneventful. I changed the batteries in my Ozonics unit just as the evening shadows started to cast. The fan and blue flame had only been creating ozone for a few minutes when she appeared like a ghost. I recognized the doe. She had only three legs and loved posing for my trail cams. She didn’t look nervous, but a respectable 8-point with a tight, tall rack was right with her. Just as with the previous encounters, the pair was oblivious to my presence.
I grunted the buck to a stop at 30 yards, settled my Montana Black Gold single-pin sight and pulled through my Scott Hex Hunter release. The Easton Full Metal Jacket 6MM was true, and blood from the Rage-induced hole spilled on the ground. His death sprint was short lived; I heard the unmistakable crash. The buck was tangled in a massive tamarack bush when I found him.
I was elated. I had my Ozonics “ah-ha” moment the first time I put the unit to the test. Honestly, I felt somewhat foolish. I’ve penned many articles over the years about stepping outside the norm, being a continual learner, embracing new products and technologies. Yet, I’d grown stubborn in the scent area. Lesson learned. Sometimes you have to press the limits, take a chance and embrace new products and technologies. They just might make the difference between success and failure, or in my case, staying home or hunting a stand I’d waited more than two months to climb into.
How It Works
You might be thinking my Ozonics moment was luck — that the unit is nothing more than snake oil — but I’ve used it several times since and the results have been the same. Have I had deer smell me? Yes, of course. Nothing is foolproof. But when the unit is hung above my head and sending ozone downwind, I’ve watched multiple bucks and does walk right into my scent stream. Sometimes they get a whiff of me, but because the unit is killing the bacteria that causes human odor, I believe the deer are only ingesting a small amount of my stink and believe I’m much farther away than I actually am.
Ozonics features technology that transforms ordinary, ambient oxygen into scent-destroying ozone. Ozone is, by its very nature, highly unstable, so it readily bonds with human scent molecules.
You think I’ll be using it again?