Just over a year ago, I wrote an article in Whitetail Journal magazine about the Ozonics HR-200. Wow, did I get a lot of response. The majority of those emails were positive, but I also got a number of emails that read, “How much is Ozonics paying you?” or “Easy to say when you’re on their pro hunting staff,” or “Sure you’re going to say great things about it. You got it for free.” I even got emails that asked, “Have you even used the unit before?”
I only mention these Negative Nancy emails because of how seriously I take my field tests. I don’t come up with these things on a whim, and, as the editor of a national bowhunting magazine, I sure as heck can’t serve on any pro staffs. I put the products I receive through the wringer and never publish a full-blown report on a product until I’ve tested and re-tested every feature and function.
So, just how much do I truly believe in Ozonics and its amazing technology? As a western bowhunter who often ventures far from the beaten path in search of elk, mule deer and pronghorn, I always have this product in my pack unless I’m strictly running a decoy or spotting and stalking. Most recently, I toted the Ozonics HR-300 around the mountains of New Mexico. When a western bowhunter is willing to trek miles across rugged terrain with extra weight in his pack, then that extra weight is something that particular hunter believes will greatly improve his odds of success.
I’ve used the HR-200 for years and have had both mature bucks and those with mama’s milk still on their lips come in from downwind. Last year, while hunting whitetails in my home state of Colorado, I had a beautiful 8-point buck come toward me on a string. What I didn’t see was the doe that was demanding his attention. She had slipped in behind my stand and was standing in my scent stream. There was no question she was getting a hint of me, but it just wasn’t enough for her to stomp and blow. She kept walking left then right, trying to get a better whiff. Had she blown out, that tall-racked 8-point would still be walking the river bottom and not hanging on my wall.
The HR-300, I dare say, is even better. First and foremost, the humming noise of the fan — the one you’ve heard the naysayers say scares game — has been silenced further. I was also impressed with the weight and compact nature of the unit. Plus, the simplicity of the sizable buttons, which are easy to push even when wearing gloves, was appreciated. Simply power the unit on using the circular On/Off button (the unit will automatically kick into Standard Ozone mode), and then use the oval Mode button to switch from Standard to Boost mode. The Boost mode ensures more Ozone output for those moments when you really need to fly under the olfactory radar.
Ozonics claims the unit will run for five full hours on a single lithium ion smart battery in Standard mode and four hours in Boost mode. My testing, with two different batteries, produced an average run time of over six hours in Standard mode and just a shade under five hours in Boost mode. I know what you’re thinking — temperature can affect battery life. The temperature range during the first Standard mode test fluctuated between 32 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit. The second Standard mode test was between 38 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit. The first Boost mode test was conducted between a temperature range of 49 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The second Boost mode test was between 36 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. I credit this longer-than-advertised battery life to the newly designed Smart Charger, which Team Ozonics designed to maintain batter capacity for a greater period of time, thus extending the overall charge longevity of the Smart Battery.
A feature I also tip my hat to, and one I don’t have to control because the unit does it for me, is Pulse Technology. That’s right. The HR-300 balances time and oxidant concentration to ensure the proper amount of ozone is deployed. How awesome is that?
The green battery indicator light lets you know the remaining effective charge, and, like the original Ozonics HR-200, the HR-300 transforms ordinary, ambient oxygen into ozone. A highly unstable molecule, ozone easily bonds with human scent. If the unit is mounted properly above your position in a tree or hanging from the top of a ground blind, the ozone falls through your scent zone because of its heavy nature. Just remember to anchor the easy-to-screw-in attachment above your tree stand or ground blind position. One of the “oh, it’s snake oil” emails I received after my initial review on the HR-200 included a picture attachment of a man sitting in a tree stand with the unit mounted right at the bend in his knees. The unit never had a chance to work.
The other important piece of the Ozonics success puzzle is to face the unit downwind. You want the ozone falling into your wind stream, and, because the swing arm (much like the arm of a bowhanger) is easy and quiet to manipulate and the ball-bearing attachment head tilts and swivels, you can set the unit in virtually any position.
No, I didn’t kill an elk over a wallow on my New Mexico hunt, but I did have several mule deer does come and go. The ladies and their fawns were using the wallow as a waterhole, and multiple times they came in downwind. “Oh, mule deer does on a private ranch can’t smell that well?” Yep, I’ve got that email before. I also had a coyote wander in and out of my scent stream twice before I toggled from Standard to Boost mode. He came 26 yards from my stand and stood in my scent stream for over three minutes. He did finally wind me, but watching him strain his senses to the fullest to detect me was more than enough proof for this bowhunter.
There is one other mode you can toggle to, and to be honest, it’s my favorite. I don’t own the Ozonics DriWash Bag, but I do own several large totes, and I place the HR-300 in these totes that are full of clothing, binos, releases, arrows, bows and the like, and then switch on the 10-minute run cycle in DriWash mode. After 10 minutes, the unit automatically powers off.