The hunting market is full of gimmicks. Many of them people swear by and I probably have a couple of them as well. A very highly contested area when it comes to deer hunting is whether or not scent control products or sprays work, as well as whether or not attractants or other scent products work. Here’s a look at a couple products you may have errantly moved into the gimmick category, where performance proves their value.
When I first heard about Ozonics I was a major skeptic. How would a small ozone generator do anything to mask human scent? Then, as they became more popular, more and more people I knew and trusted were using them and raving. It doesn’t take away the need to be smart and hunt the wind but what it does do is cover you down wind just in case. One of the major turning points in my opinion of the Ozonics product was when Field & Stream posted this article. The basics of the article is other scent control regimen only slightly increased a trained dogs time to find the hunter where as Ozonics dramatically increased the time it took to find the hunter. The latest edition of the unit from is the Ozonics HR-300 and through my brief testing I’ve seen more deer and even if they come in downwind as long as they aren’t hanging out there too long they don’t have a clue. I’ve also let several friends borrow the unit to give it a test and they’ve all had similar results. Do you NEED an Ozonics to hunt? Of course not but if you’re looking for that last little edge or are limited in your hunting areas because of challenging winds, it could be the ticket to a successful hunt.
On the flip-side there are deer attractants. There is everything from urine, gland secretions and food to bring a deer in. Many people swear by urine or synthetic urine attractants but in my experience I’ve had mixed results. The attractant I’ve had the most luck with is with food based attractants. I don’t claim to know everything about deer behavior and biology but I do know it’s complex and mimicking deer behavior can have consequences that I don’t expect or want. What I do know is deer like food. Does and bucks both like food and while does may be more worried about food during the rut than bucks, the bucks are more worried about finding does. With that simple logic food based attractants aren’t guaranteed to work but they’re a much safer bet and double as essentially a cover scent. The one line of products I’ve used most successfully is the Big & J line of products starting with BB2 and that continues with their new products like Mineral Meltdown. I’ve used both products for trail cameras as well as hunting where legal. Big & J market their products as ‘long range attractants’ while I have no real way to assess this claim the stuff is very fragrant so I’m certain that smell goes a long way. (Please be certain bating and/or feeding are legal in your area before trying these products. Different states define food, baiting and minerals differently so double or triple check your state and local regulations before using them!).
Whether your strategy is to hide or mask or some mixture of the two the products can definitely help out. The whitetail deer is a complex animal and their senses and instincts much sharper than our own. If you’ve deer hunted any amount of time you know that their sense of smell especially when bowhunting is often the one that ruins shot opportunities. What’s your scent strategy for whitetails?
[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Gander Mountain and the products were provided at no charge. However, all opinions are my own and are not edited or censored in any way by Gander Mountain.]