Friday, January 16, 2009

SHOT Show Day Two

Day two of the SHOT Show was just as eventful as day one. Instead of spending all my time visiting booths, I spent a good deal of my day meeting people. I was able to meet some very fine hunters and writers including Byron South, Jay Nistetter, Bob Robb, Jim Zumbo, Jim Shockey, J. Wayne Fears, and several others that escape my mind at the moment. My goal is to meet Tom Gresham as I am a big Gun talk fan. Hopefully, that will happen soon.

I saw a few more interesting products today. Some of them are niche market products that are useful and interesting but not worth singling out. One product that I have been looking at is the Ozonics HR 100 scent control device. This operated on a basic concept that has been in use for many decades. Scent molecules come into contact with ozone that is created by the machine. Ozone breaks apart the scent molecules resulting in scent elimination. I visited the booth and spoke to everyone in the booth. I was able to do the tech-speak with the right guy to get all the data that I desperately wanted to see. Unfortunately, I was not given any data. Instead, I was given anedotal evidence and a list of famous people in the industry that like the product. Well, I have always been told that famous people are just people. Since I believe that is true and I know that those people are not experts in the science behind the product, I must only trust the data. I was not given data or figures. This tells me that there is some reason that I cannot see the research. It is not IP. It is product effectiveness and claim verification.

Here is my doubt. It is generally thought, and research backs it up, that scent hounds have a 1-2 ppt scent detection limit. For this ozone product to be as effective as claimed, it must break up scent molecules with an almost perfect efficiency. It must not miss many molecules, and it must break the scent molecules it contacts efficiently. This is a tall order for any scent blocker or eliminator, and it is not very probable.

There are other problems as well. the unit must be placed at least 6 inches above your head in order for the ozone to be able to cover your entire scent stream. This is a problem for the coyote hunter who may not be able to hang this device in the open country.

If it is an especially windy day, the ozone will not descend as intended and will be carried roughly parallel to the your scent stream. The wind must be low enough to allow the ozone stream to fall to the ground to cover your entire scent cone.

Something else to consider: have you ever gone to the beach and smelled that wonderful beach smell? Guess what...that smell is ozone. Ozone from the air over the ocean rolls onto the land and can concentrate there under ideal conditions. Coyotes tend to be alerted to unfamiliar scents. If you are hunting beach bum coyotes, this is your product. for those of us who hunt the interior of this country, the beach smell may not be advantageous. If ozone kills your scent, what kills the scent of the ozone?

Don't use this product in an enclosed or limited ventilation area such as a blind. Ozone in large concentrations will kill you. Don't use it in your car on the way to your call stands.

In the end, this product is a gimmick that has a sound scientific basis. It is relatively bulky for a coyote hunter, runs for only four hours per battery charge, and may make you think that it is not necessary to watch the wind. There is no product that will enable you to ignore the wind when you are coyote hunting.


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