What ear protection do you use to hunt?


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glockman19
July 26, 2007, 02:15 AM
What ear protection do you use to hunt? I want to hear my surroundings but don't want to go deaf.

I'm looking for something not a bulky as the Plexor Ultimate 10 Earmuffs Blue by Peltor (NRR 30dB). Has anyone used the, Peltor Tactical PRO Stereo Behind the Head Electronic Earmuffs Black (NRR 25dB), or the Peltor Tactical 6S Behind the Head Stereo Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 19dB)?

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Cosmoline
July 26, 2007, 02:49 AM
And not to hijack this, but while we're on the topic what have folks found works best for sweaty heads and/or rain? I'm leery about putting down c notes on something that's going to make me too hot or get screwed up if it gets wet. And here in the late summer, everything gets wet.

BamBam-31
July 26, 2007, 03:32 AM
I bought a set of Peltors to go hunting with. Think they're the "Tactical Sport" set. Paid a little over a bill for them, IIRC. Wore them over my camo cap, and they worked GREAT! NRR of something like 20, w/ sound amplification that I felt naked without after a while.

They're not super cheap, but they weren't three bills, either. It did rain during our hunt, but it was sporadic showers at most. Didn't affect the muffs at all. I'd say they're worth looking into, at least.

Just my experience. Hope that helps! :)

Nathanael_Greene
July 26, 2007, 07:00 AM
I keep a pair of earplugs on a lanyard around my neck. Usually, I have time to put them in before taking a shot, and if I don't...well, one shot isn't going to make me deaf, I hope.

eliphalet
July 26, 2007, 08:40 AM
What ear protection do you use to hunt?
None.

OH25shooter
July 26, 2007, 08:57 AM
Interesting question. What do you use, rifle, shotgun or handgun? I use a shotgun and have had no problems without ear protectors. Tried handgun hunting and wore ear plugs. For me, it didn't last long. I need to hear the sounds of the woods. I'm curious as well, as to what ear muffs work best.

Skoghund
July 26, 2007, 08:58 AM
For hunting and down the range i use a pair of Peltor Sport Tac. My hearing isn't what it was thanks to Woodpigeon shooting in the 60's and 70's when it was not unusual to shoot 200 cartridges a day.Never gave it a thought to use ear protection. So now i wear ear protection even when i mow the grass.

glockman19
July 26, 2007, 09:58 AM
What do you use, rifle, shotgun or handgun?
Good Question. With a Rifle I shoot a Remington 700 in .30-06, and soon to be owned Marlin 1894 in .44 mag. With a Revolver It's a S&W 686 or S&W 629 so .357 & .44 mag. And of course sometimes a 12 gague Shotgun with slugs

quatin
July 26, 2007, 12:15 PM
This is a pretty well documented situation. There's info everywhere on the web. You have to remember hearing loss is cumulative.

http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/hearingloss.cfm

If you continue his chart:

118db - 15s
121db - 7.5s
124db - 3.7s
127db - 1.8s
130db - .9s
133db - .45s
136db - .225s
139db - .112s
141db - .056s
143db - .028s
146db - .014s
149db - .007s
152db - .003s

Now look at noise figures for rifles,shotguns,pistols:
http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

Then estimate that a gunshot is ~2ms.

The estimate noise for a .357 out of a handgun is 164db. If you wear a 19db attenuator you hear 145db. Take .014s as an estimate maximum worst case exposure time. That means you can be exposed to 7 shots per day.

ArmedBear
July 26, 2007, 12:27 PM
what have folks found works best for sweaty heads and/or rain?

What do you mean? On the gun?

Rem-Oil Wipes in the pocket. Bullfrog Rusthunter spray is good, too, especially back at home. I'm unimpressed with Barricade wipes, because they seem pretty dry compared to Rem-Oil. Not enough oil in the Barricades to displace water from an entire wet long gun, in my unscientific opinion. Wipe down with Rem-Oil wipe each night before hitting the sack, if the gun gets wet and sweaty on a camping trip.

I do find that polished blue guns with something like Rem Oil wiped onto them shed rain and resist sweat better than anything rough or "satin finish." A LOT better.

Stainless doesn't hurt, of course.

Or did you mean something else?

MCgunner
July 26, 2007, 01:25 PM
Well, it ain't PC, but I don't wear hearing protection. I'll take my muffs and put 'em over my head and slip 'em down before the shot when I'm hunting with that LOUD compensated contender, especially out of box blinds, but bird hunting, rifle hunting, I never bothered. I still have good hearing. I never wore hearing protection while racing motorcycles either, just never remembered the ear plugs in my haste at third call for grid. Should have, I know. Now, I wore 'em religiously at work, loud chemical plant equipment, and I wear 'em religiously any time I'm plinking, even with a .22, or target shooting, but not for hunting.

I could wear plugs when bird hunting, do more shooting bird hunting, but I like the hear my environment while stand hunting game. They got all these Walker's Game Ear type ear plugs now. I just haven't wanted to spend the money. Be easier than pulling those muffs down when contender hunting, but they're expensive. I'm 55 now and no hearing loss....yet.

Stainless doesn't hurt, of course.

Or did you mean something else?

Living in Texas when it's sometimes 95 degrees during dove or teal season, yeah, muffs are a PITA. The sweat is very irritating, then there's rainy duck mornings. I just go without, but ear plugs would be the only way to me. I wouldn't want electronics while duck hunting. The rain is one thing, but if I dropped a 100 dollar ear plug in the water, I doubt it'd survive.

That's what he meant, i believe.

Cosmoline
July 26, 2007, 01:31 PM
What do you mean? On the gun?

No, on the expensive electronic ear muffs. How well do they hold up in rough conditions? I have been unwilling to buy them because I'm afraid they'll get ruined quickly.

ArmedBear
July 26, 2007, 01:34 PM
Oh.

A 12 Gauge doesn't bother me at all, when I'm shooting it. Neither does a .22LR. Both can be quite loud when someone shoots the thing next to you, especially near a rock wall or something.

I wouldn't wear muffs in the field unless there's a damn good reason. It's kinda warm here, too. Rubber earplugs should work fine. The ones with string between them can be tucked into a collar for ready use, and they're cheap.

MCgunner
July 26, 2007, 02:57 PM
Where I'm duck hunting, it's open marsh. The only rocks are on the road in, the limestone it's made out of. Not real rocky around here.

One thing about the foam ear plugs (have a ton of 'em here), they take a minute to expand into the ear canal. If you're needing to make a shot, why bother. LOL I don't like 'em at the range, either, rather use muffs. When someone picks up a gun to shoot, I wanna be ready right now. But, if you wanted to use 'em bird hunting, you could just put 'em in and hunt and if they did fall in the water, no big deal. But, they're not the greatest at the range. I keep a few in my range box for guests or if I forget my muffs, though.

trueblue1776
July 26, 2007, 03:03 PM
ear plugs? how many shots do you need?

carnaby
July 26, 2007, 03:52 PM
I wear ordinary Peltors on top of my head, then pull them down if I have a shot. Worked pretty well last year. I'm going to get some ~$100 range stereo muffs this year so I can wear them all day.

ear plugs? how many shots do you need?

When your ears ring as bad as mine, one is too many.

USMC_2674
July 26, 2007, 04:30 PM
I put hearing protection on the end of my hunting guns.

Silencers are wonderful. .22LR for rabbits SUPPRESSED. .233 & 9mm for Humans and Coyotes SUPPRESSED. .300WeatherbyMag for Moose, Elk & Deer... SUPPRESSED.

No more hearing damage.

Best thing you can buy IMO for a firearm accessory.

Semper Fidelis

budney
July 26, 2007, 04:36 PM
Didn't occur to me to use protection hunting--I used to shotgun hunt without any--but it's a great idea. The Peltors (I actually use ProEars) could actually be an asset: they not only amplify sound, but also compress it. In other words, louder sounds become relatively quieter, and quiet sounds become relatively louder.

A bit like using those listening devices, except (1) less directional, (2) hands free, and (3) better protection from louder noises.

carnaby
July 26, 2007, 04:41 PM
I'm with you USMC, but I a) don't have the $$, and b) they aren't legal to use in Washington State (legal to own though, oddly enough).

learningman
July 26, 2007, 05:53 PM
I don't usually use ear plugs when hunting but at the range I have ear plugs that where molded to my ear and only allow sounds of 80 decibles or less to pass through. I worked at a cabinet shop where alot of noisy tool were running all the time. The company paid for them and if I remember correctly they where around $100. They put a mold into my ear and then sent them off. I recieved them about two weeks later and I love them. They are form fitted to each ear so putting them into the wrong ear is impossible. Right away you can feel that they don't belong. I use them at the range and even when mowing the lawn. I can hear a conversation just fine with them in. There is a slight muffling effect from them but that is easy to over come. I wear them all day and they are never a bother to me. I would think that for blind hunting they would be ideal. Never have to worry about gathering a string and finding the ear plug at the end. As for stalking I like to be able to hear every sound in its natural state so I haven't used them for that purpose. I'm not sure where a guy could get ear plugs like mine except for maybe at a hearing store or somethnig similar. Good hunting

tkendrick
July 26, 2007, 05:56 PM
OK...look at me when you're talking...and speak slowly!

Cosmoline
July 26, 2007, 06:50 PM
learningman, do you know where a person could get those outside of a loud job? That sounds ideal.

learningman
July 26, 2007, 08:56 PM
A friend of mine was looking for the same ear plugs. We went to a hearing aid center for help and the doctor said that he could help with those kind of ear plugs. I would suggest calling around to local hearing centers for help. I've had mine for six years and I cannot remember the name of the maker of these plugs. They stick a moldable material in your ear and let it "set up" for about 60 seconds or so. Then they have a perfect mold of you ear. The ones I recieved where sent to somewhere in Texas to be made. I believe they are well worth the money. I use them during all phase's of home construction and they haven't failed me yet. When in an indoor gun range they are great as well. You always have some protection in your ear. I use with a set of ear muffs when shooting at the range, indoor or out. I have a problem with the expandable foam ear plugs as they tend to start hurting my ears. They aren't cheap, but then at what price do we put our hearing at? Good luck with your search.

Cosmoline
July 26, 2007, 09:24 PM
Thanks! If they work, I'm willing to pay. I've learned not to take my hearing lightly. Already exposure to bangs has destroyed some of my very high range hearing, and I don't want to lose any more than I have to.

koja48
July 27, 2007, 08:09 AM
Don't use hearing protection when I'm hunting . . . too many other things I want to hear & it's 1 or 2 shots, not a repetitive volley.

Cosmoline
July 27, 2007, 01:03 PM
Yeah, but every shot with a rifle or shotgun *IS* doing damage, whether you know it or not.

trueblue1776
July 27, 2007, 01:07 PM
I thought only constant noise damaged hearing, I've never heard of hunting harming somebody's hearing.

MCgunner
July 27, 2007, 01:09 PM
Dove hunting is more'n one or two shots, more like one or two boxes. However, shotguns in the open don't bother me. They might slowly work on the ears over time, but as yet, I have no hearing loss, and I've been bird hunting from 11 years old to my present 55. I've never put a decibel meter next to my head when firing a shotgun, don't know the level of noise. For most of my hunting life I've not had the option of "game ears" because the didn't exist. I really don't like muffs when shooting long guns, much less while hunting, but use 'em at the range. And, expensive electronics might not survive in the marsh, so I'll continue to chance it and just wear the muffs at the range.

trueblue1776
July 27, 2007, 01:17 PM
A quick check of CDC's NIOSH program:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-126/images/98-126bb.gif
The above is noise maximums for an 8 hour period. (at a 40hr a week job)
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-126/chap1.html

I totally believe it's up to an individual, but personally I can't see a reason to wear hearing protection for hunting.

EricTheBarbarian
July 27, 2007, 01:27 PM
I do not use hearing protection while hunting. for some reason I rarely hear the shot like I do when target shooting. Im not sure how you would hear stuff in the woods with hearing protection, unless ofcourse you had a pair of those electronic ear muffs.

budney
July 27, 2007, 02:54 PM
I thought only constant noise damaged hearing, I've never heard of hunting harming somebody's hearing.

Depends quite a bit on the noise, acoustics of the area, and the condition of your ears. My uncle drove a tank over a land mine in Vietnam and is now deaf in one ear.

A shotgun blast inside a VW would probably have a similar effect. :D

--Len.

trueblue1776
July 27, 2007, 03:00 PM
Depends quite a bit on the noise, acoustics of the area, and the condition of your ears. My uncle drove a tank over a land mine in Vietnam and is now deaf in one ear.


Would that be because a shock from an explosion is more powerful than sound?

budney
July 27, 2007, 03:07 PM
Would that be because a shock from an explosion is more powerful than sound?

There's no meaningful distinction between a "sound" and a "shock wave." The latter is simply a sound so powerful that it vibrates not only your little ear bones, but your skull, teacup and the floor as well.

My uncle's deafness was caused by the sound, not by trauma such as hitting his head or other secondary effects of the sound--which was, I imagine, powerful enough to be describable as a "shock wave."

--Len.

quatin
July 27, 2007, 03:10 PM
I thought only constant noise damaged hearing, I've never heard of hunting harming somebody's hearing.

I guess no one read my post. It is constant noise. However the time period of exposure before damage is dependent on amplitude. My first post on this thread shows an extended table of exposure time. A wrap up shows that unless you're shooting a long barreled .410, you will experience hearing damage after 1 shot. If you wear a 19db attenuating muff, you can experience hearing damage after 7 shots per day with a .357.

I totally believe it's up to an individual, but personally I can't see a reason to wear hearing protection for hunting.
You listed an incomplete table. Gunshots go well beyond 150db. I listed an extended table in my first post.

koja48
July 27, 2007, 03:13 PM
McG ~ You have obviously never had the misfortune to try hunting doves where I live, lol . . . good point, tho. If the numbers were here, I WOULD wear hearing protection in that case.

Cosmoline
July 27, 2007, 03:20 PM
I totally believe it's up to an individual, but personally I can't see a reason to wear hearing protection for hunting.

?? Your own chart shows exposure to less than a second of dB's over 130 is enough to cause permanent ear damgage. A .308 cranks out dB's over 160!

http://www.guns.connect.fi/rs/308measured.html

I'd say you'd have to be crazy or in a dire emergency to not use some form of protection hunting. Cap off a .338 WM with a break without hearing protection and your hearing WILL be damaged. That ringing and deafness you experience afterwards is the tiny bones inside your ear ceasing to function. Most of the function returns, but some of it never does. If you fire several shots per day you increase that damage more and more.

trueblue1776
July 27, 2007, 03:20 PM
Gunshots go well beyond 150db. I listed an extended table in my first post.

OK, but wouldn't it be much less on the non-firing end? Would the sound wave follow the cone of muzzle blast? Thus rendering the true maximum db an ineffective measure of the sound from shooter position?

quatin
July 27, 2007, 03:24 PM
OK, but wouldn't it be much less on the non-firing end? Would the sound wave follow the cone of muzzle blast? Thus rendering the true maximum db an ineffective measure of the sound from shooter position?

That's true if they measured at the muzzle. For argument's sake let's take off 3db (that's half the power) from the measurement to say you only experience half of the noise from a gunshot at the muzzle. That still leaves you well into the hearing damage zone for the majority of the guns, assuming a gunshot lasts 2ms.

trueblue1776
July 27, 2007, 03:46 PM
I don't mean to be a pain, I have no scientific evidence either way, just bits and pieces I've picked up.

I did my final military physical less than six months ago, after seven years of gas turbines, slow speed diesels, outboards, helicopters, hydraulics, grinders, carbon arcs, and gunfire from all calibers imaginable (many unprotected), I still have above average hearing. The corpsmen laughed when I asked if my hearing was ok.

Maybe I'm special :confused:

eliphalet
July 27, 2007, 07:34 PM
Maybe I'm special
Me too maybe, Been shooting and hunting almost half a century, Never hunted with any hearing protection and no telling the number of shots fired plinking without. Far as I know I can still hear fine.
Mom didn't keep me in a car seat and I didn't wear a helmet on my bike as a kid either. How did I live?

MCgunner
July 27, 2007, 08:44 PM
Remember Jarts, AKA lawn darts? I survived those, too. LOL! Didn't know what a seat belt was until 1966, have ridden the bike without a helmet, but wear one anymore even though there's no longer a helmet law in Texas. I've fallen a lot racing, don't wanna risk it on the street without a helmet. But, I have, before. Heck, I've even gotten sunburned before.

Think ear plugs would help THIS guy?

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=13810772

raginrednek
July 27, 2007, 09:24 PM
i dont wear any hearing protection when hunting and don't know anyone who does.
a 44 mag pistol was the only gun fired during a hunt that left my ears ringing for a while.

MCgunner
July 27, 2007, 09:42 PM
As long as I'm not hunting out of a box blind, I'm on an open tripod stand, my Contender doesn't bother me. BUT, in a box blind, that's the time I do put my muffs on my head and I'll pull 'em down for a shot. I learned this the hard way.

H&Hhunter
July 27, 2007, 11:20 PM
Huhh? What Did You Say??;)

carnaby
July 27, 2007, 11:34 PM
Some folks are lucky and seem to have tough ears. Some are not. If you are not, you won't know until it's too late, like me. Protect your ears.

glockman19
July 28, 2007, 01:10 AM
A thanks to everyone who has answered so far. I'm leaning toward sing some hearing protection but don't know the level I'll be satisfied with yet. I'm sure I'll wear someting.

Aries-
July 28, 2007, 02:09 AM
i agree with Koja48. hunting anything but buck and such with a high kill count where your going to be blasting a lot. i wouldent bother. a single shot here and there isnt going to do a hell of a lot. im 27, and generaly never wear hearing protection shooting. (unless its in a competition then i do) and my hearing is perfect.

if your duck hunting. then im not sure what you need to hear to much. general talk and stuff you can likely hear with protection on. and your going by sight not hearing i think for duck hunting.

Karbon
August 1, 2007, 06:13 PM
Buy yourself some hearing protection as soon as possible. I'm only 30. but I have perm. damage to both ears. I hear the "ring" all day long.

I'm using a set of Walkers now, their camo quads. Well worth the $250.

I'd pay a lot more to make the ringing go away.

Nameless_Hobo
August 5, 2007, 04:36 PM
None. I really think the effects of one or two gunshots at a time is over stated. It probably does you worse to drink a soft drink.

Besides, we'll all be deaf at some point.

S&WKING
August 7, 2007, 11:43 PM
y use ear protection you should only need 1 shot

bensdad
August 8, 2007, 12:02 AM
I don't actually recall seeing anyone use hearing protection during hunting. I know I never have.

carnaby
August 8, 2007, 01:14 AM
Besides, we'll all be deaf at some point.

Later is better than sooner... especially when it comes to the constant ringing in the ears. That is better if it comes never.

H&Hhunter
August 8, 2007, 10:30 AM
My ears are ringing away as I sit here and write this.

If I had it to do all over again I'd buy some of those little EAR electronic plugs and wear them all the time.

My hearing loss comes from a combination of shooting and turbine engine noise both of which have permanent long term consequence even if you try and be careful.

dmftoy1
August 8, 2007, 07:10 PM
The one thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the advantage of wearing hearing protection when hunting. On my Sordin's you can turn up the sensitivity and you hear a bunch more than you could hear otherwise . . I find it also really helps me keep from making unneeded noise as any noises I make are magnified.

The other added benefit is that if I feel the need for a bit of entertainment after sitting in the stand for the last 5-6 hours I can plug in Rush and listen to him blabber while still clearly hearing what's going on around me perfectly well.

In terms of being uncomfortable hot . ..around here deer season is typically cold and the muffs keep my ears warmer than any hat I have. :)

Just my .02

Have a good one,
Dave

MinnMooney
August 9, 2007, 02:40 AM
I've hunted for 52 years and used hearing protection during a season's hunt only one year. I used electronic "game Ears" so i could turn up the sensitivity and hear game approching..... That's the premise, anyway. What I got was a nice deer on a dead, calm day that heard my ear muff (the plastic cover) tap on the gun's cheek piece and he launched into the next county.
haven't used anything since.

carnaby
August 9, 2007, 11:10 AM
Heh, same thing here, but instead of launching into the next county, my deer turned and looked back at me. I shot him in the neck, as his body was facing away from me up hill, and I didn't have a shot till he turned his head back and presented his neck to me. :)

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