Hunting ear protection?
I went to the Republic of South Africa last May on a plains game hunt where I took 5 animals. My plan was to use hearing protection while shooting. To that end I wore some ear plugs around my neck while hunting and did not use them for one animal. As a result my hearing is just now returning to what it was when I left. My thought now is to purchase some high quality electronic ear muffs with the thought in mind that I could wear them constantly and therefore not forget to use them during the excitement of the shot. I have some $50 pairs that I use at the range that work most of the time, but I cannot say that they are all-day-comfortable. What say you? Thanks…
i have some custom molded ear plugs...You can go to your local hearing center and they will make you a custom set...you can get the ones with adapters in them to listen to your I pod or go solid or there are a mix you can use...
I have the following mine are solid...however i am looking at a set that has ear bud in them for cell phone, i pad or radio...plus you can add an outside hearing enhancement devise you clip to your belt..
I used Sonic II's on my trip. My PH asked what I was using so I sent him a couple of sets and when I spoke to him later, he really like them. The good thing is that they're much less expensive than electronic muffs or ear plugs but don't amplify either.
Use the muffs
I take the muffs and fit them 90% of the time.
If there is no wind you can hear better with them on.
Even the game walking.
I hate wearing muffs as I have a problem getting on my stock comfortably. I usually use molded ones which I like but most of the time while hunting I forget to put them in. Unless you are shooting with a muzzle break your hearing should be ok in a few minutes??
Not true. Most rifles (especially magnum calibers) will make enough noise even without a muzzle brake to cause permanent hearing damage with each shot. The ringing will stop after a while, at first you'll think it's 'back to normal' but you never will be. It's cumulative.
Originally Posted by Calhoun
Muzzle brakes can cause enough extra noise to cause permanent damage even through a single set of plugs or muffs, which is why some countries have banned their use for sport hunting.
Hearing loss is unpleasant and permanent. I have a fair bit of it, so I know. Now I always always always wear some kind of hearing protection.
For the first time ever I took along on my Zim trip some Sportsmans Guide brand el cheapo ($18.00) electronic muffs that block the noise of the shot but allow enhanced hearing while wearing. They worked great, no loss of hearing (I cannot afford more loss) and they blocked the shot noise every time. A bit of a pain to carry or wear around in the bush but well worth the effort. And Calhoun even though your hearing appears to be OK in a few minutes, its a false premise. Every shot from a firearm damages unprotected hearing, period.
After having done significant damage to my hearing, I have gradually moved to using earplugs like you see in use by pilots and other people on a tarmac. Generally, it is satisfactory. However, there are drawbacks. Not the least of which is the requirement that I remember to put them in. Also, once in, whispering is not an option.
I have considered some the expensive noise canceling devices that resemble a hearing aid. Some of which are very high quality and come with a commensurate price.
I would appreciate any thoughts you folks might be able to offer.
There are some ear muffs that block the noise and have microphones in them. You can hear someone chatting at twenty yards and a whisper is no issue at all.. Hearing Enhancement.
Search them out. I can not personally shoot with muffs on. Friends swear by them.
Something like these. I do not know which brand they like. This is the concept.
Cabela's: Cabela's Hunting Series Muffs
I have noise cancelling muffs that I use at the range, and in the gopher fields. They are great as they kill the sound of a rifle, but you can still hear people talking from down the range.
Though for Africa I am bringing my custom ear plugs (made from a kit) I would love to get custom noise cancelling plugs, but the cost is out of my range... but they should work well.
Ive got Peltor Pro Tac II at the range its essential to wear ear protection at all times your doing damage with every gun shot if you dont and you will pay for it later on in life. Also use in ear buds out in the field.
My most used phrase? "HUH?" :-) Too many years of jet engines and shooting unprotected. Don't use anything in the field hunting, maybe should though but did use electronic muffs (amplify voices but cancel gun shots) at Front Sight last week for a handgun course. What a nice item to have at the range. Hot and sweaty though after two hours of shooting drills. Will be getting a pair for all my handgun range time.
I have been thinking about a set of Sound Gear hearing protection units. These fit in the ear so they shouldn't affect the cheek weld when shooting. They are reported to be quite comfortable. Batteries supposedly last 7 days and are relatively inexpensive to replace. Another forum I'm a member of has them for sale at $469. Send me a message if you want a link. Bruce
when i started shooting clays in about 1973/4 nobody used ear protectors, and even when they first started to appear they didnt take off that quickly , suppose it was the "this is the way we have always done it", or "dont want to look like wuss " syndromes!! it was probably 4 or 5 years before i became a wuss at the grand old age of about 18 or 19. i now use the electronic full earmuff type ones (which are brilliant) for clays, at the range and when i used to shoot pheasant and ducks in the uk, because as people have said you can still hear talking so its easier to hear range commands, and the whistles /horns on the shoots. i never found them to have any interference with mounting the gun/rifle in anyway. the only time i use them for hunting is checking or sorting out the zero on the rifle, as i would probably end up slinging them as being something annoying to carry . my son does carry his around in the bush and uses them religiously , probably down to me saying what`s that or say it again......:rolleyes:
Mtgoat a friend uses some of these and his are expensive but he says very good. the down side is he has lost i think 3 , and they arent that easy to find in undergrowth or work out exactly where it fell out, so now his insurance company have told him they arent paying for anymore if he looses them.......:nailbiter:
Originally Posted by Mtgoat
Diaphragm Hunters Ear Plugs, are what I use at the range (used them today) and I can people speaking to me without taking them out. I admit I have never hunted with them in, I wouldn't see that there would be a difference really. not if you are concerned about hearing loss.
I have always used hearing protection at the shooting range, but after thousands of hunting shots, my hearing is far from what it used to be..
I have been using hearing protection while hunting Wood Pigeon over decoys for some years now.
I have also tried to use electronic hearing protection while hunting deer, but when stalking I usually forget to put them on before the shot and if I sit still in a stand or something similar, I get totally crazy by all the noise from everything around me.
The electronic hearing protection I have is some years old now and I have been told that the newer ones are much better when it comes to this disturbing noise, giving you a much more natural sound.
Maybe I will try some new ones, but I will test them well before I consider to spend my money on them.
I reduce some of the damage to my ears by having a silencer on some of my rifles.
This is a cure for those lost ear plugs. I had a good in the ear set for many years but lost one without realising so for a while by which time it was not possible to find again and this type with the rim that locks it into the ear and a light lanyard means that they will not be prone to the same loss as previous types. Soft in the ear and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
EARPRO SONIC DEFENDERS | Sinclair Intl
I have this type as well but find them of limited use.
ZEM Sensgard Hearing Protection | Sinclair Intl
Do have a set of level 5 (for airport runway use) muffs but find them anoying with an interupted cheekweld or at the least the hollow noise each time the outside of the muff comes in contact with the stock.
Hearing protection has always been a pain for me, however being a young hunter they have always been the norm for me while shooting. I have a pair of electronic headphones that enhance hearing and block shot sound. I was impressed when i first put them on, i felt like i was hearing my own TV show, interesting sensation. I quickly learned to be annoyed by them though, especially on the 90+ degree days. They also seem to be a bit redundant because if you are walking in dry grass or over any sort of underbrush than that sound is amplified many times more than other noise and actually reduces your effective hearing ability. Perhaps this is not a problem with better, more expensive models but this is a peltor and not lacking in quality. If your heart is set on over ear ear protection, i have found my favorite way of holding them in between shots is to wrap them up with my shirt sleeves. this isnt possible unless im wearing long sleeves and would otherwise wear them over one ear only. I personally prefer the cheap in-ear buds with a string between. I keep on in and the other dangling over my shoulder so i always have one ear protected and one ear catching subtle sounds, like a turkey clucking, or a hoof scraping aside brush. However you do it, ear protection is essential, that said find the way to do it most enjoyably. Happy hunting!
Just ordered from sinclairs, Should be here in a week, I'll let you know what I think....
20 years US Army, guns and helicopters and jumping out of aircraft, my hearing is shot. got ot protect what little I have left.