Home > Outdoor > Hunt & Fish

Taking Wind Out of the Equation: Ozonics HR500 Ozone Generator Review

I nearly harvested my biggest buck in over 20 years while using this scent-eliminating machine.

Ozonics HR500 Ozone Generator(Photo/Travis Smola)
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

I can totally understand why many hunters won’t look twice at an ozone generator machine for scent control. Admittedly, I was also skeptical of the claims associated with the products. The hunting industry doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for products they call “game changers,” especially for whitetails.

Do you remember “Gum-o-Flage,” the “Acorn Kruncher,” or the “Deerview Mirror?” There’s a reason all those embarrassing products were on clearance racks in short order. I don’t think any made it through their first hunting season on store shelves.

Ozone machines walk a fine line between a must-have product and something you’ll get made fun of for using. The Ozonics HR500 takes established ozone-generating tech and makes it absolutely silent and more efficient, even in windy conditions.

In short: The Ozonics HR500 simply cannot be grouped with the other hunting gimmicks because it’s a rare product that actually operates exactly as advertised. It does something to human scent that made me a ghost in the forest last season. And it nearly helped me harvest the best buck I’ve seen while hunting in almost 20 years.

Ozonics HR 500 Ozone Generator


  • Dimensions 7” x 2.5” x 6.5”
  • Weight 16 oz.
  • Mounting Screw-in swiveling arm


  • Simple operation
  • Great battery life
  • Smartphone app compatible
  • Works great on whitetail deer


  • Weird metallic smell when running
  • Mounting arm feels over-engineered
  • Possible health concerns with ozone

Ozonics HR500 Review

Ozonics HR500 Ozone Generator
The unit’s controls are simple and to the point; (photo/Travis Smola)


This machine is a battery-powered ozone generator. The way it works is that it generates ozone that’s supposed to bond with human scent molecules. According to Ozonics, this renders any human scent entirely unrecognizable for deer. I cannot verify what is happening, but I believe it’s doing something. We’ll get more into the performance and deer reactions in a bit.

Ozonics makes several variations of its machines, but the HR500 is the latest and the cream of the crop. It has the best-advertised battery life of the bunch. I got about 10-12 hours off a fresh charge.

The HR500 also has the most operating modes. The boost and hyper-boost modes are notable here. These are supposed to produce extra ozone to cover the scent during critical hunting times or to counteract things like extreme wind. The unit also has a “Driwash” mode that’s designed to be used with Ozonics’ other products for deodorizing hunting clothing.

The Driwash was the one mode I didn’t test on this unit, and I’m not even sure if it’s necessary. I’ll get more into that later when talking about the performance. The Ozonics HR500 also pairs with a smartphone app via a Bluetooth connection. I like this idea mainly because I can easily adjust the power levels without a lot of excess movement.


Ozonics HR500 Ozone Generator
(Photo/Travis Smola)

Most of my testing occurred in Michigan, but I also tested it during a short deer hunt in Wisconsin. Either way, I was dealing with two highly pressured states during the heart of firearms season. I reasoned that if the Ozonics HR500 could fool whitetails in these two states, it could do it anywhere. I didn’t have to wait long on my first hunt on Michigan’s opening day to find out how well it works.

Less than an hour after sunrise, a mature doe and her two fawns entered my setup. Unfortunately for me, they walked in on the dreaded downwind side. Sure enough, the big doe stopped dead in her tracks 15 yards from my stand. (I measured the distance with a rangefinder later). As her eyes burned a hole into my soul, she raised her nose in the air and curled her lips. It was a classic moment where a deer was trying to catch the scent of danger.

At that moment, the wind was strong out of the south, and the doe stood north of me. Usually, this scenario is a hunter’s worst nightmare. However, this encounter was different. For 15 agonizing minutes, I remained frozen in place as the doe continually tried to wind me. She bobbed her head and stomped her foot. There was no doubt she knew something was up. Amazingly, the deer never busted me.

Eventually, she lowered her tail and walked away, tail flicking casually. Her twin fawns followed, apparently convinced it was a false alarm. They even paused to feed for a few minutes before continuing their original path. Consider me impressed. I never used to win those staredowns with a clever, mature doe.

Other Encounters

In later hunts, I had deer as close as 10 yards with the wind in their faces who never smelled me. Half a dozen mature does were standing directly downwind from my stand at 20 yards during one hunt. None of those deer ever alerted my scent despite higher winds.

I finally encountered my target buck on the last day of Michigan’s regular firearms season. I had never seen this deer in person before this hunt. The HR500 was running full blast on Hyper-boost mode because it was a windy evening. That buck never once looked at me.

Unfortunately, I missed the 90-yard shot opportunity with my 350 Legend. Chalk it up to a little bit of buck fever and bad luck; I was just grateful for the opportunity.

After that encounter, I was fully convinced this product works. In fact, it works so well that I decided to see just how much I could get away with. During the muzzleloader season, I broke every rule about hunting the wind.

I purposely set up on poor winds several times, something I would never dream of doing usually. It didn’t make any difference in the number of deer sightings. I got through the 2023 season without being winded once.

As I mentioned earlier, Driwash was the only mode I didn’t test. My usual strategy was not putting on my outer layers until I arrived at my hunting area. I’d keep them sealed in a scent bag until then. However, curiosity got the better of me.

So, I started wearing those layers on the drive there. It made no difference in the number of deer sightings. The machine functions well enough that I felt like I didn’t need to be such a scent stickler anymore.

Areas of Improvement

Ozonics HR500 Ozone Generator's arm
The arm was a point of contention for me as the season went longer; (photo/Travis Scola)

I’m not a fan of the smart arm mounting system included with the Ozonics HR500. It’s not that it is flawed, but it does feel a little over-engineered. This arm was designed to swivel and pivot to adjust ozone flow into the prevailing winds. It works, but I must admit it sometimes feels a little janky during setup.

I’ve used another generator brand with a more straightforward single-ball joint system that works much better. Ozonics also includes only the screw mount as standard for this machine. That means public land hunters must shell out an additional $20 for a non-damaging ratchet strap bracket. It would be nice if Ozonics could include both options with its most expensive machine.

The HR500 does emit a slight but noticeable odor (ozone). A sharp metallic or burnt electronic smell is the only way to describe it. It’s not super unpleasant, but I didn’t like it when I caught a whiff, either.

Finally, I feel I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t address the elephant in the room. Ozone is a gas often associated with lung and breathing problems. I found countless sites warning against the use of ozone generators.

However, it’s worth noting that all the warnings I saw were for enclosed spaces. Most of these generators are designed to remove the odor from homes or autos. They are often a last resort for auto detailers on stubborn odors. The commercial-grade machines are also much larger and more powerful than what Ozonics has here.

I searched and couldn’t find anything about any health risks associated with using an ozone generator outdoors. For what it’s worth, I did some all-day sits with this thing running for up to 9 hours straight. I never felt any ill effects. Make of that what you will.

Ozonics HR500: Final Thoughts

Ozonics HR500 Ozone generator
(Photo/Travis Smola)

I’ve been hunting skittish Michigan whitetails for 23 years. It’s notoriously hard to see a decent buck here, let alone get a shot at one. In fact, I only saw signs of distress from deer four times during the season.

Twice, it was because coyotes were crashing the party. The other two times were because I shot at a deer. First, I harvested a doe in Wisconsin with the Ozonics HR500 running. I missed my target buck of the last couple of seasons only a week after.

As disappointing as the miss was, the Ozonics unit put me in a position to harvest that deer. That’s really all I ask for with my hunting equipment. Simply put, I saw more than enough evidence to convince me of the HR500’s usefulness. Like it or not, there is something to this technology. There are plenty of gimmicky hunting products out there, but the Ozonics unit is not one of them.


KUIU Proximity Whitetail Gear Review: Performance Fleece Comes to the Treestand

A favorite brand of sheep hunters has spent 2022 trekking into some new territory. The KUIU Proximity line offers whitetail hunters warmth and silence. Read more…

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!