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By Dick Scorzafava

All serious bear hunters are aware how critical controlling our human and other odors is if you want to get up close and personal with a bear.  That is especially true on any older mature boar.  Those fantastic bruins that all hunters pursue.  A bear is a predator with a superior nose that is unequalled in the wild.  It is a proven fact their sense of smell is seven times more powerful than a bloodhound, now that is a real sniffer!

Realizing this many years ago, I have become a scent controlling fanatic testing everything that showed up in the industry that would eliminate and control human scent.  This spring, on a bear hunt in Manitoba, I field tested several products that promised to eliminate human scent using ozone gas technology.  I have always been skeptical when it comes to any manufacturer’s claims about neutralizing and eliminating scents that spook big game.  These tests would help me ascertain if the claims from the manufacturers held any merit for a bear hunter.

While doing my initial research I found out that ozone is not something new it was actually first discovered way back in 1840 by Christian Friedrich Schonbein.  Ozone was the first allotrope of a chemical element to be recognized and was proposed as a distinct chemical substance.  Schonbein named it after the Greek verb ozein which means to smell, from the peculiar odor detected during lightning storms.  The formula for Ozone O3’ was not determined until 1865 by Jacques Louis Soret and confirmed by Schonbein in 1867.  Ozone is a pale blue gas.

Ozone has been used in industry for over 100 years safely and effectively.  It has been used to disinfect laundry in hospitals and food factories, disinfect water in place of chlorine, and deodorize air and objects, such as after a fire.  Ozone kills bacteria on food by using it to wash fresh fruits and vegetables for example, or on contact surfaces.  It can be used to sanitize swimming pools and spas, to kill yeast, mold, and bacteria.  One can chemically attack contaminants in water, provide an aid to flocculation, eradicate water borne parasites, and the list goes on.  That is an amazing list of credits.  The one that really got me thinking that ozone technology might actually work effectively for a bear hunter was a Fox News article. This article demonstrated how ozone is so effective in removing odor from explosives that K-9 dogs used to sniff them out cannot detect the explosives.  WOW!

NASA even used ozone to solve the problem of body odor on astronauts in space.  While working in the space shuttle and where they were confined in tight spaces with all those accumulating human odors complicated by not being able to shower in outer space the NASA researchers developed an electronic organic molecular scrubber that effectively killed odors on contact by using an airborne plasma of molecules just like the ozone created during a thunder and lighting storm.  Now this technology has found its way into the hunting industry.  Several manufactures have developed products that hunters can use to eliminate bacteria and odors before and while on a hunt.

The Moxy Scent Elimination system uses a garment bag and handy generation unit to treat your hunting garb.  The unit uses a patented antibiotic, supercharged oxygen molecule that seeks and eliminates all forms of bacteria, fungus, mildew, mold, and other odor causing germs.

The Xterminator simply plugs into any electric outlet and turns a small room or closet into an odor sanitization chamber.  The unit is about the size of a intermediate stereo speaker and uses a patent pending process that tears apart the molecular bonds of organic compounds into their base atomic elements.  Several other products are Purity My Hunt, Jenesco, and Log 6.  All of these products are ozone generators that are joined with ionizers.  These units will eliminate odors because ozone oxidizes most volatiles plus kills bacteria.  The ionizers have a comparable impact on dust and other tiny particles.

These units work.  They will cut down odors that will spook a bear every time they can be used as long as electricity is available.  They will be useful and very effective when the washing of your hunting clothes is not available or convenient.

The Ozonics unit however offers a portable battery-operated product that not only works on your clothing and gear but removes human odor emitted from the body, breath, and surrounding area while you hunt.  When the unit is operating, it is continually scrubbing the air from your scent stream between the hunter and the prey. It is also are very easy to operate, light weight and small enough to fit into your daypack.

The unit features include silent touch switches, ultra quiet delivery system that is undetectable to prey, easy change light weight battery with 4 hours run time on a single charge, an on demand battery level indicator, and easily mounts to a tree or blind with the included mount.

To use, simply hang the unit six inches above your head in a treestand with the unit pitched at a 30° angle.  It is critical to keep the unit pointing directly over your scent stream to be most effective and move as needed to keep the unit facing in the direction of the wind.  In a ground blind hang the unit in the top inside corner of the back of the blind so all the scent coming out of the blind windows will be neutralized.  On a windy day that has 20 mph or more wind speeds the unit will be less effective because your scent stream will be difficult to neutralize completely.

I used an Ozonics HR200 unit in a ground blind while hunting bear this spring in Manitoba and was really impressed how this unit performed.  A cameraman and I were in the blind less than 20 yards from the bait one evening and had a total of seven different bears come into the bait.

During the course of our sit in the blind the wind direction changed several times and not for the good and the bears kept coming.  We had one bear so close to the front window of the blind we could have literally touched him on the back.  Two others walked in front of the blind within five yards, another stood up and rubbed his back on a tree at less than ten yards, and another one lay down on the ground for a rest under fifteen yards and stayed there for a total of over one half hour.

We were filming for our new television show “The Radical Hunter,” and the cameraman Rex Summerfield had so much bear footage he turned the camera off.  It was amazing and I can not remember ever having so much action at a bait location, especially with the wind direction changing not in our favor.

We had other evening in the blind at other bait locations with multiple sighting which made us true believers of how effectively this unit operates to neutralize human and other odors.

The icing on the cake was we both harvested really nice bears and collected some fantastic footage that I’m sure all our viewers will really enjoy when the show airs next season.  Always remember scent elimination is a very critical component to a successful bear hunt take advantage of the latest technology and see how one of these units could definitely tip the odds in your favor.  It did for us this spring!

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