Question: I have a spot where I would like to put a treestand, but the wind always gives me away. I'm considering buying an Ozonics unit, but I'm skeptical. Do they actually work? — Fred Norris, New York
Answer: First, full disclosure. Ozonics is a sponsor of Bowhunter TV, and an advertiser in Bowhunter Magazine. Some will consider my words here an endorsement motivated only by our relationship with Ozonics, but please understand that my reputation is everything to me, and I would not answer your question dishonestly. Also, Ozonics does not have a competitor as an "in-field" ozone device, so the following commentary is not comparative. It's based only on my experience, and that of others on our staff.
Does Ozonics work? The answer is an unequivocal "yes." You can find those who say it can't work. They say the science doesn't support it. Invariably, those comments come from "desk jockeys" with zero experience with the device.
I won't use space here on the technology or features and accessories, because this is not an Ozonics advertorial. But let me say I don't care about the paper science — I trust my eyes more. I've been using Ozonics in the field since its development, and my real-world experience tells me it is effective.
I have seen things I cannot explain, like whitetail bucks standing in my decoys while the wind carries my scent directly toward them; countless does walking by, raising their noses to the smell of ozone, then going back to what they were doing, unalarmed; and deer that should smell me and snort, simply walking away unaware.
Occasionally, a deer will get nervous. But they almost always calm down, and I can't remember the last time a doe snorted because she smelled me. Others on our staff have spent whole afternoons in ground blinds in the alfalfa fields of Wyoming with mule deer and whitetails surrounding them from midafternoon to dark, without alarming a single deer. I've watched an ultra-sensitive Coues' doe and her fawn browse just six yards from my ground blind, directly downwind, and never twitch her nose. My cameraman and I just looked at each other, shaking our heads in amazement. These scenarios have happened time and again to the point where our only recourse is to believe in the effectiveness of ozone.
As the evidence that it works mounts, the naysayers change their argument to warning of the health risks of breathing ozone, a naturally occurring substance. The overriding truth is if you're smelling ozone, you are using it incorrectly. Ozone is supposed to be flowing away from you with your scent stream. If you get a whiff, change the direction of flow. If you're in a ground blind, aim it out the window so the ozone can flow with your scent.
Is this technology perfect? No. It's not fail-safe. But if I'm in a ground blind, I no longer worry about wind direction other than when moving to and from the blind. In a treestand on a windy day, the effectiveness is lessened. The fan noise can be slightly annoying on an ultra-calm day but the difference in volume from standing up to sitting down is considerable, so deer on the ground will not hear it. These devices are not cheap, and you have to ask yourself how far you want to take technology. That's a personal decision. But if you choose to give Ozonics a try, you will see things that you cannot explain. Someday, when there is a competing device, we'll compare them. But for now, I am confident in stating that using ozone in the field will positively impact your bowhunting. Good luck.