Check out my Ozonics HR-200 review where I discuss my recent experiences and impressions of the Ozonics HR-200 electronic scent eliminator.
Most deer hunters in the United States are very concerned about controlling their scent, and I’m no exception. There are many products on the market these days that proclaim to eliminate or reduce your scent. But honestly, I’ve always been skeptical of their performance. However, I just had the opportunity to test out an Ozonics HR-200 electronic scent eliminator (courtesy of the good folks at Ozonics) on a recent bear hunt in Washington. After seeing what it did for me on the hunt, I must say that I’m now a true believer in the performance of the machine. So, read on for my complete Ozonics HR-200 review.
Ozonics HR-200 Review: Description
Basically, the Ozonics HR-200 is a portable ozone machine. It transforms oxygen molecules into ozone molecules, which then bond with the scent molecules being constantly produced by you and your equipment. When set up correctly, the machine emits a constant stream of ozone into your scent zone. This dramatically reduces your scent plume and makes it much more difficult for animals to smell you.
The Ozonics HR-200 is battery powered and can be used in either a ground blind or a tree stand. The unit itself is small enough to fit inside a shoebox with plenty of room to spare. It’s also relatively lightweight (less than 2 pounds with the battery attached). The Ozonics HR-200 will fit easily into most regular sized backpacks. There are two different mounting devices for it: one to mount on a tree and one to mount inside a ground blind. Both mounts worked pretty well for me.
It uses a quick detach lithium-ion battery, which has a life dependent upon the mode the machine is being used in and the environmental conditions at the time. The Ozonics HR-200 has two modes: standard mode (for ground blinds) and boost mode (for tree stands). Ozonics advertises that the standard battery will last approximately 5 hours in standard mode and about 4 hours in boost mode. Though the machine only comes with one battery, Ozonics also sells extended life batteries for longer hunts.
My Ozonics HR-200 was running for over five and a half hours in standard mode when I shot my bear. It indicated a battery level between 25 and 50% when I turned it off that night after the hunt. Obviously, your mileage may vary, but I found that a single battery was more than adequate for a single hunt. However, it would be necessary to recharge or switch out batteries in order to hunt for an entire day.
The Ozonics HR-200 uses a small fan in order to circulate air and project the ozone out into your scent plume. I was concerned at first that the fan would alert animals in the area. However, I soon discovered that the fan is actually very quiet. I have relatively good hearing and I could not hear the sound of the fan at all when I was more than about 5 feet from it. Especially when inside a blind, I’m confident no animals can hear it if they’re more than a few feet away.
Ozonics HR-200 Review: My Experience
While you can read about all of the details of my bear hunt in that particular blog post, the important details concerning my Ozonics HR-200 review are below.
In short, I was bear hunting in a ground blind overlooking a clearing containing a bait site. I was not using any special scent eliminating clothing or spray. The wind was blowing from my right to left. I attached my Ozonics HR-200 to the ceiling of the blind and pointed out the left window blowing with the wind in accordance with the operating instructions for the device.
After a few hours, a bear appeared at my left front and moved across the clearing. It sat down in the woods about 15-20 yards directly to the left of my blind and watched the bait site for approximately an hour. In the photo below (looking from the bait site back at the blind), the arrow on the left marks my ground blind and the arrow on the right is the approximate position of the bear.
While the bear was sitting there watching the bait, the wind was blowing directly from me to the bear. At no time did the bear ever give any indication that it thought anything was wrong. Shortly before dark, the bear stood up and walked nonchalantly across the clearing to the bait. I ended up shooting it there a few minutes later.
I filmed the video below of the hunt from the blind. While I did not get the camera started in time to capture the moment the bear comes into the frame, you can still see that the bear was moving generally from left to right. If you watch the end of the video, the smoke from my muzzleloader clearly shows that the wind was blowing from right to left.
I’m 100% convinced the Ozonics HR-200 saved my hunt. Bears have a sense of smell that is even more sensitive than a deer’s. This particular bear came and sat less than 20 yards directly downwind from me for over an hour without ever knowing that I was there. There is no doubt in my mind that the bear would have smelled me and left had I not been using the Ozonics HR-200 to clean my scent plume at the time.
Ozonics HR-200 Review: What I Didn’t Like About It
The Ozonics HR-200 is a machine, and like any machine, it isn’t perfect. The battery life, while adequate, is not ideal. Though the unit comes with a battery charger, it needs 110v electricity to recharge the batteries. Obviously, this isn’t a problem for a hunter with access to electricity (like at home, a hotel, or a camper).
However, a hunter in the back country, even someone who is “car camping”, is out of luck when they exhaust their batteries. I’d love to see Ozonics offer a 12v charger compatible with the power outlet in a car or truck without requiring a power inverter.
Another thing to be cautious about when using the Ozonics HR-200 are the health risks of ozone. I’m sure that Ozonics has done their due diligence and has tried to make it as safe to use as possible, but ozone can still be dangerous if you’re not careful. Also, some people are more sensitive to ozone than others. As long as you follow the instructions, I wouldn’t worry too much about any health hazards. However, exercise caution when using it. Don’t directly inhale air blown out of the Ozonics HR-200. Immediately turn it off if you smell more than an occasional whiff of ozone when using it.
Additionally, the Ozonics HR-200 is not 100% effective under all conditions. It works very well with a steady wind, but it loses effectiveness when the wind is swirling. Because of this, you can’t rely on the machine to bail you out when hunting under really bad conditions.
The final thing that I don’t like about the Ozonics HR-200 is the price. The retail price of the unit varies, but you’re looking at shelling our several hundred dollars to buy one. Obviously, that’s a lot of money for most hunters. Ozonics does offer a 100% money back guarantee, which can really take the sting out of it if you’re not satisfied. That’s still a lot of money to most people no matter how well the machine works.
Ozonics HR-200 Review: Final Thoughts
Obviously, there was more that went into that bear hunt besides using the ozone machine. I also realize that the experience I related above is just an anecdotal observation taken in an uncontrolled environment. However, that bear came in directly from downwind and did not appear to be alarmed at all, so make of it what you will.
I firmly believe that the Ozonics HR-200 allowed me to take advantage of the opportunity that I had when the bear appeared. Honestly, that is all you can realistically ask out of any piece of equipment and the Ozonics HR-200 delivered. Most hunters have limited time and opportunities during hunting season and can’t afford to let any of them slip away. If used properly, the Ozonics HR-200 can help you take advantage of every chance that you get when hunting. I don’t know about you, but I plan on using it as much as possible on all my future hunts.