Let me preface this post by stating upfront that I do not intend for this post to be a product review. Instead, the product I use as an example in this post is mostly just a prop to frame the question. In fact, you could page through a hunting supplies catalog and pick one of thousands of similar products that this same question could apply.
That being said, I have never used an electronic scent eliminating product that uses ozone as its means of neutralizing human odor in the woods. I have had an employee who distributed on her own these types of units for home use and, after listening to her sales pitch and seeing them in use, albeit for an entirely different use…well, let’s just say I am not sold and highly suspect of the product’s true value.
I believe these ozone devices have been available for hunter purchase now for several years. I’ve heard both pros and cons. I know I will certainly not run out to the store to purchase one at $400. Hell, I would give one a try if someone gave one to me. And therein lies my question.
When a new hunting aid comes along what does it take for you to become a believer?
Do you have to actually try it first hand? Do you watch the product in use and highly promoted by celebs on TV? Does a close personal friend need to be your guinea pig, so to speak? Or does equipment like this just seem so far-fetched that you take one look at it and snicker?
The challenge of controlling human scent in the woods is a prime objective for lots of products touting their value. And I get that. I grew up and I still am a trapper and NOBODY is more keenly aware of human scent than trappers are. Yet, I see successful trappers all over the board when it comes to human scent management. Some go to extremes taking every painstaking precaution to leave no traces of human scent. Others, well…they realize the importance of being careful, but they don’t go overboard when it comes to their practices. Yet, both are still successful.
I often wonder if those of us who are hunters don’t often interpret our experiences the way we hope they exist. By that I mean, if you just plopped $400 down for some electronic scent device or some scent reducing clothing, by default we all want them to work, right? Hard to justify how something costing nearly as much as an inexpensive rifle or bow could possibly not live up to our expectations in every way.
Perhaps the best way to answer this question is this way. Assume one of your hunting companions makes a new equipment purchase making big claims it can be a potential game changer in the outcome of the hunt. Do you feel the pressure to buy because you don’t want them to have an advantage over you? Or do you initially scoff at the notion that any newfangled equipment has such revolutionary value that it will likely change the outcome of the hunt?
As an aside, sometimes I fear those of us in the hunting community put too much credence in the next new gadget that comes along. Oh, sure, many of them are fun to play with and the science behind them can make sense, but is it truly necessary?
It’s sort of like the deer whistles that people mounted on their truck bumpers several decades ago to scare deer away and to avoid collisions and damage. Did they work? Oh, you bet they did…but likely not for the reason you might imagine. They worked because the people who invested in them watched the ditches more closely hoping to see the deer run away by hearing the whistles. The psychology was people like to see their investments paying off. This can be true even if the science behind the product being sold is never actually field-proven.
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