Ozonics legalized in PA; here’s how they work

Sometime in November, Ozonics – and all other ozone-generating machines- will be legal for hunters to use in Pennsylvania, making a new tool available in the state with the second-most number of hunters in the country.

Some of you probably are shocked to learn these devices ever were illegal in the Keystone State. It seems Pennsylvania is among the last states – if it’s not THE last one – to lift a ban on ozone generators.


Short of searching each state’s individual list of hunting regulations, it’s difficult to determine if ozone generators are illegal anywhere else in the United States. All Internet discussions regarding the legality of these devices focus on Pennsylvania alone.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, which regulates hunting in the state, on Sept. 26 voted to legalize the use of “electronic devices that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes.”

In Pennsylvania, all electronic devices are considered to be illegal for hunting, unless they are specifically made legal by the commissioners. Ozone generators soon will join a short, but growing, list of legal electronic devices in Pennsylvania, which includes lighted nocks and rangefinders.


The board vote itself didn’t automatically make ozone generators legal. Regulatory changes made by the commissioners do not become effective until they are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin – a weekly publication put out by the state that lists changes to state agency rules and regulations.

Getting a change posted in the Bulletin typically takes six to eight weeks, which means ozone generators in Pennsylvania should be legal for use by late November, 2017, at the latest.

For those Pennsylvania hunters who knew ozone generators were illegal in the state, and therefore stayed away from them, this rule change offers the chance to employ a new hunting tool. And so that begs the questions, “How do ozone generators work, and what do they do?”

Ozone is an oxidant made of highly reactive molecules that chemically react with particles it comes in contact with in the air and on surfaces. While relatively new as a scent killer in the hunting world, ozone has been used for years in cleaning up after fires and sewage spills, and in general, commercial odor elimination.

In the hunting world, ozone generators such as Ozonics are electronic devices that create and emit ozone streams. So in a tree stand, you’d place your ozone generator over your head. The ozone stream would follow air currents and mix with your own human odor, attacking it on a molecular level.


In a ground blind, you will want to create a chimney effect with the natural air flow. Open a window on the upwind side to allow air into the blind. Then open another window on the downwind side, to allow air to escape. Position your ozone generator over the downwind window to kill your human odor as it leaves.

It’s important to note that it’s not good for humans to breathe in ozone. It can damage the lungs and/or give you headaches. Commercially produced ozone generators are designed to meet federal safety limits for ozone consumption, but you still want to avoid directly inhaling it.

You should never use an ozone generator in a totally enclosed space, nor should you set it up to blow ozone directly toward you. You always want your ozone stream passing over you so it attacks the odor stream leaving your body.

So do ozone generators make you effectively scent-free when you’re out hunting in the woods? Well, we can’t ask the deer or other animals what they do or don’t smell, but it’s safe to say there are hunters who swear by it and there are those who are skeptical.

The folks at Ozonics tell us, “If your Ozonics is used correctly, you will see a dramatic reduction in the number of downwind ‘busts’ by game animals…This is a simple acknowledgement that the product is effective, but does have limitations. Remember, ozone must contact the odor for the hunter to be effective at killing scent. Time and concentration will allow the ozone to eliminate, alter or reduce human scent to the point where animals no longer perceive it as a threat.”


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