Hearing protection while hunting


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boogieman
September 6, 2013, 09:06 AM
I have never used any type of protection for hunting. Carbine 30-06 in the deer stand is loud but its only a few shots a year. Also the barrel and blast tend to be mostly outside of the limbs. Planning on shooting my 460xvr this year. Ported 8-1/2" barrel means that all that blast is going to stay inside the hemlock that hold my stand. Just wondering how damaging 1-3 blasts like that a year can effect ones hearing.
I just read a thread about a fella that shoots the same weapon at the range with no ear protection. Seeing as I suck at sign (ASL) language I prefer not to take a chance.
I have a set of electronic ear muffs (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/671923/howard-leight-impact-sport-electronic-earmuffs-nrr-22-db-green). Not sure how they will or wont work for a hunt.

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Art Eatman
September 6, 2013, 09:14 AM
If these had been available back during my serious hunting years, I'd definitely have used them. The amplification factor is a strong selling point, for me. Better-than-normal hearing is a benefit, for sure. :)

buck460XVR
September 6, 2013, 09:28 AM
I always use electronic muffs when hunting with my .460. They don't like rain, nor do they like excessive perspiration. If it is warm and/or you are walking, take them off periodically to get rid of the moisture that builds up inside the cup. In cold weather they make great ear warmers. One shot outta a .460 will damage your ears without protection. In an enclosed space even more.

Doc7
September 6, 2013, 10:39 AM
I double up at the shooting range while using the same set of muffs you have.

I haven't started hunting yet (4 weekends from now! my first trip out for small game!) but I think those muffs would be great if you didn't double up. Sometimes when I don't double up with a set of plugs underneath and just wear those, my head is instantly on a swivel at the outdoor range because I constantly hear EVERYTHING moving out there in the woods.

In fact you need to make sure that electronic muffs would be legal in your state; some have enhanced hearing aid laws and regulations, I believe.

boogieman
September 6, 2013, 11:15 AM
Thanks for the sound advice.:D
The only problem I have with my E muffs is that the amplification is directional. Has anyone had better luck with other systems or E muffs?

Patocazador
September 6, 2013, 11:16 AM
There are kits of putty-like ingredients that you can mix together to custom make form-fitting earplugs for your ears. They are comfortable and unobtrusive unlike a set of muffs while hunting. The problem is you can't hear anything with them in. It doesn't really matter to me because I can barely hear anything without them due to ignorance when I was younger.
The foam OTC plugs are close to useless.

MCgunner
September 6, 2013, 02:17 PM
I don't normally wear hearing protection and I fire a lot of shot from a 20" coach gun during dove season, have hunted ducks and geese and doves most of my life, all of my adult life. I always wear my hearing protection on the range and always in the plant when I was working. I have no measurable hearing loss at the age of 61.

One place I do wear hearing protection while hunting is from a box blind with my TC contender in .30-30. That danged thing HURTS! I don't have the fancy magnifiers, just wear my muffs on top of my head and lower 'em for a shot. I can move like that inside a box blind and not be noticed. I really would like one of those game ear things, though. One could even use 'em at the range when conversing, not have to worry about hearing the conversation. They'd be great on the stand, too, not have to pull 'em down for a shot. I think they're a good idea, just never bought a pair. I still wouldn't use 'em bird hunting, especially wading around in the marsh. Drop 'em in the water and they're done for.

Skoghund
September 6, 2013, 03:26 PM
Back in the 60's i shot alot of wood pigeons, perhaps a couple of hundred shots a day plus years of breaking out concrete when i worked in the concrete repair game. All with out ear protection. I've worn ear protection for all my range, hunting shooting for years now plus at work to stop anymore damage to my hearing. I had hearing aids fitted a couple of weeks ago. Magic, i can hear again:D
Take care of your hearing boys and girls. When its gone its gone.

tahunua001
September 6, 2013, 06:23 PM
I never wear hearing protection.

I only hear a few bangs a year while hunting which does affect your hearing...

but so does:
hammer+nails, power tools, nail guns, slamming doors in large, empty rooms, road construction, any motor sports, and teenager music volumes.

I figure my hearing will probably go from any of those just as much as hearing 3 or 4 gun shots spread throughout a year's time. knowing that, I'd rather be able to hear the slightest sounds while out hunting than protect my hearing.

oneounceload
September 6, 2013, 06:49 PM
Just wondering how damaging 1-3 blasts like that a year can effect ones hearing.

How about permanent deafness Hearing loss does NOT go away, it merely builds ups and exposure to it (and loud machinery, etc) only exacerbates the situation. My ear crickets are the result of listening to Jimi Hendrix in college with headphones on turned to volume level 9..... Hi energy guns need plugs AND muffs to protect not just your immediate ear drum, but also the mastoid bone that surrounds your ear; failure to do that can mean that serious noise vibrations are transmitted to that bone and then to your middle and inner ear resulting in permanent hearing loss. I have had the hissing sound now for almost 40 years, and it really sucks. Too many folks talking (like at a party) or trying to listen to the TV and someone talking means I hear noise but cannot discern what is being said by either party

PROTECT YOUR HEARING! (AND YOUR EYES TOO)

tahunua001
September 6, 2013, 07:12 PM
the day I go hunting with ear muffs and safety glasses is the day I'm kicked out of my hunting group.... there is an extent to overprotecting yourself. people hunted for hundreds of years with questionable firearms that blew clouds of burning powder out as they went off then then for decades after with poorly made and very unsafe metallic cartridges.

I know WWII vets that do not wear hearing aids and can hear better than I can... how many of them wore ear plugs while bombs were going off around them and they slid into a foxhole with 3 other guys blasting away with 30-06s? I am not refuting that gunshots will damage hearing but there is such a thing as being a little paranoid and overly cautious.

perhaps in 50 years when I'm deaf and have been blinded from not wearing eye protection while hunting I will sing a different tune but for now I'm calling hullabaloo on such claims.

Patocazador
September 6, 2013, 07:32 PM
I have well over half of my hearing gone. The last straw was using a sledge hammer on a frozen tractor joint in an enclosed area.
I have excellent eyesight but was stupid enough not to put on glasses while shooting a sick coon that my dog caught. A piece of the bullet wound up embedded in my left eyeball. Immediate trips to an Optometrist, the hospital emergency room, and a good Ophthamologist who performed surgery saved my vision.

Being knowledgeable about such dangers and ignoring them is sheer stupidity.
I admit I was stupid and choose to correct the situation.

tahunua001
September 6, 2013, 07:40 PM
I believe the issue here is hunting with PPE. you are not in an enclosed space while hunting, the sound will not reverberate, you get it once.

you are not shooting at an animal at point blank range you are shooting 15-infinity yards away where anything with the velocity to come back and hit you also has the velocity to penetrate what you are shooting at and get absorbed back into the animal.

if you really think that a bullet is going to glance off an animal and come back in hit you in the eyes then you should stay home where it's safe.

boogieman
September 6, 2013, 08:36 PM
Not really talking eye protection just ear. However if its bright out I dont hesitate to wear my Costa. Especially if there is snow.
After reading all this I am not leaving my e muffs in the truck. At theoutdoor range this handgun will HURT your ears with a set of muffs on. I wear plugs with muffs on top.

TRMIN8R
September 6, 2013, 10:09 PM
I have low profile electronic muffs for the range. Never had any hearing or eye protection while hunting. I don't like how the muffs fit, they're the slim ones and I have problems with them moving when I put my cheek on the stock. That bothers the hell out of me so I usually just put plugs in while at the range. My problem is now I am shooting a 300 win mag with a brake. I don't want to go deaf so I am unsure what to do when I go hunting.

dmazur
September 6, 2013, 10:56 PM
I would do something for ear protection. Earplugs at a minimum. You can't hear as well as the game can, so why try? Learn to move quietly, and learn to glass...

And avoid the rationalizations based on "Well, there are lots of other noisy things..."

Wear hearing protection for those activities as well.

Because the damage is progressive, the unenlightened (usually younger) among us believe it isn't a problem.

But the damage is irreversible. And, unless the unenlightened change their attitude about hearing protection, for all serious noise exposure (85dB is the threshold, not 140dB), they will eventually become believers.

tahunua001
September 7, 2013, 12:59 AM
maybe I'm just an idiot but the way I see it
gun are not getting any less safe
the game isn't getting smarter
the game isn't getting tougher
the wild isn't any less dangerous.

my farther never had to wear safety glasses and earmuffs when he went hunting, neither did my grand father or his grandfather before him.

I don't need cover scent, super duper real tree camo, and 338 lapua to take a deer.

and I certainly don't want anything that can impede my sight and hearing when I'm walking through stubble fields in rattle snake country.

people nowadays put way too much stock into what they read on the internet and though I do not profess to be the end all be all of hunting authorities, I do not put any stock whatsoever in stories of people losing their eyesight from bullets bouncing off game animals and people going deaf after the first unmuffled gunshot.

the OP asked my OPINION, and I gave it.

now I will saunter off to prepare for my season of reckless hunting where I will pay no attention to my safety and well being while flaunting my arrogance and ignorance in the face of internet health essays.

Bassleg
September 7, 2013, 02:09 AM
All I can say is when all is quiet and I am in my bed all I hear is ringing and it ant from having sex!

natman
September 7, 2013, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the sound advice.:D
The only problem I have with my E muffs is that the amplification is directional. Has anyone had better luck with other systems or E muffs?
I've had good luck with a pair of Peltor 6's. I've found that the directional sense works best if the volume is adjusted to match ambient level. It's tempting to turn it up so you can hear "better", but that makes it harder to judge where the sound is coming from.

------------------

And yes, you should wear protection even for those "few shots a year".

I've got tinnitus and believe me - you don't want it!

clutch
September 7, 2013, 03:14 AM
I have hearing damage due to firearms. I use electronic muffs now so I can both hear and communicate and protect my hearing. Dialed up, I can hear better in a hunting situation than I can now and still protect my hearing. Not to mention in winter, my ears are warm.

I currently use a Peletor Tac Pro muff. I like it because when I'm mowing the lawn, I can feed podcasts into my muffs in mono. Properly balanced I have a sense of direction and can listen to external audio.

Trust me. Having a box fan on in the bedroom so you can override the constant noise of tinnitus isn't something you want to sign up for. I'm glad it is only one ear.

Marty183
September 7, 2013, 05:02 AM
Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders well be in my ear this coming gun season...

Sent from my ADR8995 using Tapatalk 2

jwrowland77
September 7, 2013, 07:51 AM
I always wear hearing protection when hunting. I wear the Howard Leight muffs. I also always wear eye protection mainly because I need glasses. What I did for glasses was, I went to my eye doctor, and had a pair of Oakley camo sunglasses and had my prescription put on a pair of the interchangeable yellow shooting lens and just change them out when not needing the prescription sunglasses part. They work great.

When on the range, since my ear muffs sometimes slide up on the side I shoot from, I also wear ear plugs EP3. A 7mm RM is a load gun, and I don't want to hear that again unprotected.

boogieman
September 7, 2013, 09:15 AM
Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders well be in my ear this coming gun season... I wondered how well these things work. For $15 I will be trying them out.
I understand where tahunua001 is coming from. I just dont want to take the chance based upon hunting nostalgia. When I am in the stand and zoned in I can hear a deer walk in wet grass at 100yds (maybe exaggerated slightly) at work I can zone in on machining issues sometimes by sound alone. Its no trouble to pop on a set of e muffs or e plugs so why not.

Patocazador
September 7, 2013, 12:16 PM
at work I can zone in on machining issues sometimes by sound alone.

If your hearing were to turn out like mine, you'ld still be able to hear those machines .. sometimes all the time.
Seriously though, you lose your higher frequency sounds but can hear traffic, machinery, dishes clattering in the kitchen, etc.
However, you have to have subtitles to watch a movie, and women might as well be speaking Russian for all the good it does me.

bison
September 7, 2013, 12:16 PM
When I hunt I have a set of earplugs that are joined by a plastic string around my neck, the kind that look like a plug rather than the sponge ones. Takes just a second to put them in when I see a critter and I always know where they are. I tried hunting with electronic plugs in all the time, but they were a pain.

okiewita40
September 8, 2013, 04:46 AM
I will be buying some e-muffs for hunting this year. At 46 I have a bad ringing in my ears all day, every day. I grew up hunting and shooting. Then the military with every weapon that was in the inventory at the time.

Then for several years after I got out I worked around a lot of heavy machinery. I wish I knew enough growing up to use hearing protection.

Do yourself a favor and use the hearing protection.

nickE10mm
September 9, 2013, 12:50 PM
http://www.earplugstore.com/qb2bandedearplugs.html

ZeroJunk
September 9, 2013, 01:28 PM
I wear plugs every time I mow the grass, run a chainsaw, tractor etc.

I always wear plugs when I shoot at my range.

But, as far as a few shots a year hunting. I don't worry about it.

And, my hearing is excellent for somebody my age.

Now, if I was using a brake or large magnum I would likely change my attitude.

oneounceload
September 9, 2013, 01:39 PM
and I certainly don't want anything that can impede my sight and hearing when I'm walking through stubble fields in rattle snake country

Those electronic ears can not only save your hearing from being destroyed, you can actually hear BETTER with them on and turned up. Buy remaining ignorant AND idiotic is a right we all have in this country and you are free to pursue that course of action, just as I am sure your forefathers didn't ear seat belts or use life jackets, maybe even smoked tobacco products all while living to the ripe old age of 120.......

buck460XVR
September 9, 2013, 03:57 PM
However, you have to have subtitles to watch a movie, and women might as well be speaking Russian for all the good it does me.

I totally can identify with that. I can still hear a turkey gobble off in the distance or spittin' and drummin' @ 20yards, but I had a watch a few years back with an alarm on it. Somehow it accidentally got set and it went off for three years twice a day.........and I never heard it. My co-workers fifteen feet away would tell me it was goin' off, or my wife would tell me it was goin' off while we watched T.V., but since I couldn't hear it, I thought they were nuts. One day in deer stand with my e-muffs on......... I finally heard it. :banghead:

I've got so I wear my e-muffs even when upland bird hunting. With the sound amplification I can now hear the grouse clucking before they take off or woodcock whistling as they fly. Never heard that before. I can get by with a softer bell on the dog too.

22-rimfire
September 9, 2013, 04:17 PM
I keep plugs around my neck on a shoe string all the time deer hunting. I rotate between normal hearing and amplified muffs. I just can't handle the muffs for long periods of time. The sound of the wind really gets on my nerves. But yes, try to use protection if you can. But I wouldn't personally pass up a shot if I don't have time to slip in my plugs.

Outlaw Man
September 9, 2013, 05:10 PM
My typical hunting experience exposes me to very little hearing damage. I don't see anything I can shoot at!

I normally keep some plugs around for deer hunting and such, but honestly, I'm not as judicious as I should be about putting them in. On hunts where I know I'm going to be shooting a lot, I wear one or both.

I just picked up some open box Howard Leight electronic muffs at Bass Pro on the cheap, so I plan on trying those out.

Inebriated
September 9, 2013, 05:18 PM
I always use Howard Leight Impacts. Not only does it dampen the sound of the shot, but it also can enhance the sounds of things around you if you crank them up.

I'll always use ear pro when shooting, if I can help it.

03Shadowbob
September 9, 2013, 08:07 PM
I used to never wear hearing protection when I hunted and it never bothered me at all then one day I had my 357 Blackhawk on me and a deer within 20 yards and let a round rip. since then 3 years ago my ears ring ever so slightly. Point is, if I would have been used to wearing muffs I wouldn't have the ringing I have now at 41.
Don't be macho, get electronic muffs or when that deer comes in sight, slip your other muffs on. Or don't. Don't care either way but constant ringing sucks.

hso
September 9, 2013, 08:33 PM
hammer+nails - Nope

power tools - depends upon the tool and how long it is used (circular saw, chainsaw, sure. drills, jig saw, nope)

nail guns - depends on the power source, but typically not a problem

slamming doors in large, empty rooms - :scrutiny:

road construction - again, depends upon what you're working

any motor sports - more likely than not

Which adds up to, wear hearing protection when engaged in any noisy activity and don't try to be a tough guy.

BTW, modern electronic muffs of good quality will provide a microphone for each cup so you can discriminate the location of the source of sound.

Twig
September 9, 2013, 10:13 PM
Only when I am bow hunting.

Potatohead
September 9, 2013, 10:39 PM
the day I go hunting with ear muffs and safety glasses is the day I'm kicked out of my hunting group.... there is an extent to overprotecting yourself. people hunted for hundreds of years with questionable firearms that blew clouds of burning powder out as they went off then then for decades after with poorly made and very unsafe metallic cartridges.

I know WWII vets that do not wear hearing aids and can hear better than I can... how many of them wore ear plugs while bombs were going off around them and they slid into a foxhole with 3 other guys blasting away with 30-06s? I am not refuting that gunshots will damage hearing but there is such a thing as being a little paranoid and overly cautious.

perhaps in 50 years when I'm deaf and have been blinded from not wearing eye protection while hunting I will sing a different tune but for now I'm calling hullabaloo on such claims.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

buck460XVR
September 10, 2013, 09:59 AM
the day I go hunting with ear muffs and safety glasses is the day I'm kicked out of my hunting group.... there is an extent to overprotecting yourself. people hunted for hundreds of years with questionable firearms

I assume that you have never shot, nor have you ever been within ten feet of someone shooting a .460 revolver. If you had, you would know that the O.P., intending to hunt with a .460 revolver, needs ear protection even if he intends to take only one shot. Not to would be a sign of sheer ignorance. One could hunt their whole life with an ought-six rifle and never suffer the damage to their hearing that one cylinder worth of hunting loads from a compensated .460 would do. Sure, wearing a helmet to push a moped up the driveway into the garage is overkill, but not wearing one to race motocross is stupidity. Same difference here.

ZeroJunk
September 10, 2013, 02:16 PM
The worst I ever hurt my ear was shooting a 357 pistol one time resting on the hood of a truck. The noise came back off of the windshield and my right ear literally hurt for a couple of days. Magnum pistols are a different deal than hunting rifles.

nickE10mm
September 10, 2013, 02:17 PM
ZeroJunk, magnum pistols ARE different, yes. :)

BP Hunter
September 11, 2013, 02:02 PM
I have never worn ear protection when hunting. I can't rely on electronic hearing devices to augment my hearin. I find it too unnatural. I have never fired more than 3 shots when hunting. Once, I fired my muzzleloader in a hunting blind, my hearing was muffled for a few hours after.

surjimmy
September 11, 2013, 02:34 PM
Your playing Russian Roulette with your hearing, and it will affect it down the road. My family and I ALWAYS use hearing protection when hunting. We leave them off until we are getting ready to shoot, then put them on.

NelsErik
September 11, 2013, 04:23 PM
I had an old girlfriend give me a pair of these fancy electronic ear plugs that fit in your ear and had a little plastic "stick" that stuck out so you could remove them. I fell down a small cliff and ended up putting the little stick through my earlobe. Now I just wear the Hickok45 ear protection, the Howard Leight Quiet Band (http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-QB2HYG-1-Quiet-Canada/product-reviews/B000LC63XU). I just put them on before I take a shot.

Paul7
September 12, 2013, 05:52 PM
the day I go hunting with ear muffs and safety glasses is the day I'm kicked out of my hunting group.... there is an extent to overprotecting yourself. people hunted for hundreds of years with questionable firearms that blew clouds of burning powder out as they went off then then for decades after with poorly made and very unsafe metallic cartridges.

I know WWII vets that do not wear hearing aids and can hear better than I can... how many of them wore ear plugs while bombs were going off around them and they slid into a foxhole with 3 other guys blasting away with 30-06s? I am not refuting that gunshots will damage hearing but there is such a thing as being a little paranoid and overly cautious.

perhaps in 50 years when I'm deaf and have been blinded from not wearing eye protection while hunting I will sing a different tune but for now I'm calling hullabaloo on such claims.
Not all WWII vets saw combat. Its like citing the guy who smoked for 50 years and never got cancer.

Muddydogs
September 13, 2013, 12:27 PM
I believe the issue here is hunting with PPE. you are not in an enclosed space while hunting, the sound will not reverberate, you get it once.

you are not shooting at an animal at point blank range you are shooting 15-infinity yards away where anything with the velocity to come back and hit you also has the velocity to penetrate what you are shooting at and get absorbed back into the animal.

if you really think that a bullet is going to glance off an animal and come back in hit you in the eyes then you should stay home where it's safe.

Yep young and dumb, been there done that. I was tough once, didn't wear hearing protection when hunting and shooting a lot. One day in the goose field I popped off a few rounds and started feeling sick to my stomach to the point of wanting to puke. Layed there in my blind for a while and started to feel better, next flight came in I shot off a couple rounds and felt like hell again. Finaly thought maybe its my ears so I put in ear plugs and guess what I was fine. Now a days a child screaming or other sharp noise messes with my left ear. I don't wear plugs when hunting big game as I can't hear anything and a lot of times I only wear the left plug when duck hunting but if the shooting gets hot and heavy I throw in my plugs.

As for safety glasses I don't see how they could cause problems, most the time when I was hunting before glasses I wore sunglasses and now its either my perscription glasses or shades.

Its all fine and good to talk tough but all it takes is losing an eye then all the sorrys and should haves in the world won't make it better.

22-rimfire
September 14, 2013, 01:32 PM
Tahunua001 said....my farther never had to wear safety glasses and earmuffs when he went hunting, neither did my grand father or his grandfather before him.

people nowadays put way too much stock into what they read on the internet and though I do not profess to be the end all be all of hunting authorities, I do not put any stock whatsoever in stories of people losing their eyesight from bullets bouncing off game animals and people going deaf after the first unmuffled gunshot. Ans. History repeats itself unless you learn from past mistakes.

now I will saunter off to prepare for my season of reckless hunting where I will pay no attention to my safety and well being while flaunting my arrogance and ignorance in the face of internet health essays. Ans. I think you need to spend some time talking to a real health & safety person (Hso is one.). You are your own worst enemy when it comes to health and safety issues. One needs to pay attention and you only go around once.

My responses in red.

Monson
September 16, 2013, 01:42 AM
I have to agree with the young and dumb...or young and bulletproof. I've played music for 50 years on stage (read loud) and I shot both hunting and at the range with no hearing protection for a lot of those years and those are sure loud crickets I hear. I can't tell what someone is saying at parties with a lot of people are talking or what my wife is saying when the TV is on. Worse than that I can't understand one grandkid when I have a couple of others making noise too. By the way, you guys need to speak up...I can't hear what your typing!

rondog
September 16, 2013, 02:06 AM
I wish I had a dollar for every round I've fired without ear pro in my life. All that money still wouldn't ease the nonstop ringing in my ears. I bet they'll still ring when I'm dead.

ZeroJunk
September 16, 2013, 10:35 AM
I wouldn't shoot the big ported magnum the OP references even once. But, a few shots a year hunting with a typical non braked hunting rifle is not going to be a huge factor. Repetitive shooting for practice without protection is just crazy.

Ranger Roberts
September 23, 2013, 04:56 PM
I use the Howard Leight muffs when I hunt and I love them! As someone earlier in the thread said, the muffs don't care for moisture so I don't leave them on while I'm walking to my stand. After a few trips over to The Stan while in the Army, my hearing is terrible for someone my age. Heck, my hearing is terrible compared to someone in their 80's! I don't want to give up hunting, and I definitely don't want to let my hearing get any worse. The electronic muffs are worth a shot in my opinion.

bob4
October 4, 2013, 10:48 PM
All I can say on this is that being hard of hearing has a zero fun factor. Not worth the risk in my opinion.

JeffDilla
October 5, 2013, 02:01 PM
Does anyone have experience with the Surefire EP7 plugs?

http://www.surefire.com/ep7-sonic-defenders-ultra.html

I was just checking them out and considered them for hunting this year, now that I'm using my ported Marlin 1895G.

What about you guys who use the EP3 or EP4? Do they really let lower decibel noise in? I'm curious as how they'd be sitting in a stand and listening for movement.

Thanks.

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