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Hearing protection while hunting?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by swampcrawler, Jun 23, 2013.

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  1. swampcrawler

    swampcrawler Member

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    Ok guys iv hunted all my life and never considered such nonsense, but i plan to begin handgun hunting this year. I'm thinking that my 10 inch 357 Maximum may have more impact on my already less than perfect hearing than a rifle?

    Would something like the walkers game ear or some form of electronic hearing gadget offer protection without messing with my hearing? I hunt public land, no bait, no stands, very little sit and wait type hunting so I'm kind of fond of my ability to hear things.

    Also would it be worth it to try something like that? I know you don't notice it in the heat of the moment but it seems that the blast from a powerful hunting pistol, even if only 5-10 times per season, might be pretty hard on the ears
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  2. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I wear Peltor and HL electronic muffs. They actually improve hearing while protecting it.
     
  3. swampcrawler

    swampcrawler Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I know that thats the general concept, but having never used them I didn't know If the "improve your hearing" part was actually true
     
  4. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I use electronic earmuffs when hunting. They work really well. At one point when I forgot I had them turned way up, I thought I heard a deer running through the brush towards me. It turned out to be just a squirrel scampering through the leaves and going to a different tree.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Electronic muffs allow you to hear the rustling of the wind through the leaves.
     
  6. 410.bird.shot

    410.bird.shot Member

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    I hunt big game using a rifle with the BOSS system and I would not consider shooting it without the ubiquitous foam plugs. After bursting my drum twice (due to water impact) I am very cautious about my hearing these days. A lot of the guys at a range I frequent all wear Ryobi electronic muffs (http://www.ryobitools.com/catalog/tek4/safety/RP4530). I suppose they are a great buy based on who I see wearing them everytime I shoot indoors. Your mileage may vary, but when I purchase my electronic muffs I will probably get something specifically designed for the shooting sports.
     
  7. natman

    natman Member

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    I've used a set of Peltor 6s for twenty years and have hundreds of hours of use with them. It's true that you can turn them up and hear better than normal, but I tend not to do it because it makes it difficult to judge where a sound is coming from. I also get tired of hearing the CRUNCH CRUNCH when I walk through the woods that way. It only takes a second to adjust them so the level matches ambient and you can judge direction very well when they are so adjusted.

    Your ears don't get a free pass because you're "just hunting". Get some electronic muffs and use them.
     
  8. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    The electronic muffs are great for hunting, and up "nort" here they have an added benifit. In the cold windy weather of the late fall / early winter they keep your ears warm!
     
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Actually, down south they keep your ears warm as well and I am a big fan of that! They also help keep the bugs out. :)

    I tend to alternate between using and not using the muffs when I am in the stand. They provide amplified sound which can help you hear more and even through my Peltors when do a good job conveying the sound, sometimes it is easier to auditorially (if that is even a word) sort out specific subtle sounds from one another without the muffs on. So they can be better, but different, in how they help you to hear better.

    The down side that I discovered is that after the shot, the cutoff that occurs usually does not result in turning back on in time to hear the impact on the animal. There is so much going on with noise fluctuation between hearing everything and then a split second of quiet following by hearing everything loud again that you can miss the THWACK noise. Of course, this isn't a problem if your target goes down. It is a problem if the target runs and you are trying to figure out whether you actually hit it or not. Last time out, I turned off the muffs just before the shot and was able to hear it. It is a satisfying sound.
     
  10. YZ

    YZ member

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    The burst suppressing muffs work. Others have spoken already. My aspect is personal and collective safety, beyond hearing protection. You have people with guns around you, you want to maintain SA. As far as passive protection, electronic muffs are often slightly worse because they are slim, but an improved overall safety makes up for it.
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    410.bird.shot,

    I agree that I'd stick with muffs from a dedicated hearing protection, or at least safety equipment, manufacturer like Howard Leight or Peltor.
     
  12. OpticsPlanet

    OpticsPlanet Member

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  13. kostner

    kostner Member

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    All the hunting I ever did was in Vietnam and we never wore hearing protection. But now I wear TWO hearing aids provided my the V.A. Once your hearing has been damaged it never comes back. Take care.
     
  14. BigN

    BigN Member

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    I always wear hearing protection. Like the electronic earmuffs. Great for the tree stand. You can hear everything even though you're falling asleep :)
     
  15. nyresq

    nyresq Member

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    I use peltor electronic muffs, at the range and at work when doing entries. I can hear footsteps on carpet and sand. If I hear better with them, why not wear them anytime you may expect to fire a gun. The extra amplification cant hurt when you are trying to hear game in the woods, and the protection can't be understated. As some other posts have mentioned, cherish your hearing because once its impaired by loud noise levels, there is very little modern medicine can do to heal and repair the damage.
     
  16. buckhorn_cortez

    buckhorn_cortez Member

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    I bought a pair of "Wolf Ears" in 1983 - they were the first electronically amplified ear muff. Eventually, the amplifiers quit working so I bought a pair of Peltor Tactical Pro electronic muffs and use them every time I shoot at the range. However, for field use, where there are intermittent shots, I find them heavy and difficult to use with most hats that I wear in the field.

    For field use I use Surefire EP7 Sonic Defenders Ultra. They fit inside your ear and are held in-place by a foam covered ear piece. I can wear them all day with any type of hat because the fit inside the ear. They are extremely good with impulse noise created by gunshots. In fact, the louder the noise, the more the filter attenuates it. The foam ear bud tips are replaceable so you can always have a new set for each hunting trip. They cost about $18 and are worth a try if you are looking for a hunting only ear protection solution.
     
  17. El Viejo

    El Viejo Member

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    I wish I had worn some kind of ear protection during the years I've hunted. I have begun doing that now, but it's a little late to get rid of this ringing in my ears.
     
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