“Scent Elimination” products have been around for decades. Over the years, I have hunted with Scentlok, ScentBlocker, and other products that are designed to eliminate human scent. Sprays and washes reduce scent on clothes and gear, but the scent game must be seen as a total program. You can have the best scent reduction program in the world, yet if you stop to buy gas on the way to your stand, all your efforts are in vain.
The Ozone Factor
The advent of the ozone generator has greatly changed the scent elimination process. Ozone doesn’t cover or contain scent, it destroys it. Many hunters use Ozonics generators that are designed to purify the human scent stream of odor. These are ideal for ground blinds and enclosed structures and can be effective from a tree stand, especially if you have a consistent and moderate wind flow which keeps the human scent stream aligned with the Ozonics unit.
Scent Crusher- How It Works
Rather than creating a continuous stream of ozone, the Scent Crusher program works by using a small ozone generator to pump ozone into a containing bag the size of a medium duffle. The beauty of this program is the ability to place most of your gear, possibly all of your gear if you shoot a short bow or crossbow inside the bag. Since we handle our bows and arrows frequently, they are contaminated with human scent, an often overlooked part of scent elimination. After securing all of your gear inside the bag, turn on the generator in units of five-minutes up to half an hour. I usually run the unit once the night before hunting and once again before I leave in the morning.
The Scent that Doesn’t Smell
When you open the bag, you will a very noticeable smell of ozone. Even when you dress, you will smell the odor which I’m sure animals can as well. To deer this must seem like “white noise” and does not alarm them. Showering with hunter’s soap prior to the hunt is always a good idea and will prolong the duration of the ozone treatment.
Was I Invisible?
On a recent hunt in South Dakota, I maxed out in airline weight and only had room for the Scent Crusher generator. The night before hunting I put all of my gear in a large suitcase and ran the generator for an hour. After a quick shower, I put the suitcase in the back of my SUV and dressed in the field, a short walk from my hunting spot. This is my favorite “stand” in the country, even though I sit on the ground against a tree. About an hour after daylight, I spotted a doe that walked toward me and bedded down at five yards. At first, I wondered if I had died. This just doesn’t happen! The doe never looked at me but lay on the ground for several minutes until a small buck came following its trail. The doe left and the buck passed within five yards with narry a glance. Next, I saw movement as a female bobcat and kitten passed by at 15 yards. The cat crawled up a log, searched the area and then went on her way without noticing me. Twenty minutes later a mature buck followed a nearby trail, and I shot it at eight steps.
On this South Dakota hunt, I was uncertain of the wind direction, however, in this cedar-choked creek bottom the wind usually swirls and it’s not uncommon to get busted by the wind. My second and most recent testament was on a day with a strong wind with a consistent direction and similar results. I was hunting from an open ground blind with my grandson on a cold blustery November day. The wind was blowing from our left to right and about 9:00 am a single doe appeared and walked past the blind at 20 yards. My grandson held still as a stone and the deer walked past us without a glance, despite the close range. When she circled to our right, I expected an explosion as she entered our scent stream at 15 yards. Standing directly down wind of us, she stopped, looked around and continued to walk away as if we were ghosts.
Love the Rut
Not surprisingly, a 7-point buck soon came following the doe’s tracks and my grandson bagged his first deer with an accurate 20-yard shot from a trusty Excalibur AXE 360. As on the South Dakota hunt, we put all of our hunting gear in the Scent Crusher bag and ran it for an hour. We had to drive an hour to this spot, so we wore street clothes and then dressed in our hunting garb near the blind. I can’t cite scientific evidence that this process works, yet these two examples are all the proof I need. I use the Scent Crusher program at every opportunity and heartily recommend it. Scent Crusher products can be found at www.Feradyne.com and most outdoor retailers.