Removing scent — and sin

October 16, 2018

Faith Outdoors

My head has been in the ozone recently. Specifically, I have had my mind on ways to remove human scent so as not to spook whitetails when I am out in the woods with my bow or gun. Anyone who has ever had a whitetail blow, flag its tail and bolt understands what I am talking about.

It’s a sick feeling, especially if it’s a deer you want to shoot, and it catches your scent right before you can pull the trigger or release the string. I still remember a time when I saw a doe walking along the edge of a treeline on the opening day of the firearms season. She turned right and cut into the cornfield. I moved my shotgun to my shoulder and looked through the scope, expecting a quick and easy shot. Instead, I could not find the deer in my scope.

I looked around, then saw way off to my left a deer running through a neighbor’s field. Puzzled, I tried to figure out why the doe had bolted so fast. Then, I realized that the south wind was blowing straight to where she was heading. She caught my scent, and took off.

Deer are extrremely sensitive to smell, I learned that day. Ever since then, I have tried to hunt with the wind in my face whenever possible. But, sometimes, we can’t avoid hunting in the “wrong wind.” Thus, my search for the ultimate scent destroyer.

Enter Ozonics. This company has created an ozone generator that pushes a stream of ozone into the air that neutralizes any scent and renders the air clean to a deer’s nose. I bought a unit last week, and can’t wait to hunt with it.

As I pondered the possibility of deer walking by me in a relaxed manner with no clue of my presence, I began to wonder if there is any spiritual equivalent to Ozonics. Is there something that can cover the “scent” of our sin and neutralize it?

Of course there is: the blood of Jesus. It’s the perfect “ozone generator” to destroy the stench of sin. We can be washed clean by repenting of our sin — in the confessional, during Mass in the penitential rite, and in our own personal prayer.

The challenging question — for me, at least — is how much do we want to be clean? I like to go to confession regularly, but sometimes I feel like I wait too long in between visits. It’s not necessarily that I commit serious/mortal sins. But, there clearly are times when I know I have blown it big time (losing my temper, for example), and feel the need to confess. Unfortunately, what I often do is wait so that I can amass a big enough amount of sins so as to make my trip to the confessional worthwhile.

Not a good attitude, I know. So, I need to think more about addressing the sin in my life, and apply the same diligence as I do to keeping myself scent-free in the woods.

I’ll call it: Ozonics of the soul.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek