Fast Hearing Protection

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I have seen a lot of mention lately in the forums about the importance of hearing protection. Like most of the older guys here I'm starting to notice that I don't hear as well as I used to from years of shots fired while out hunting.

Although I have always used ear plugs of some sort while at the range I have never taken the time for them in the hunting field until last year. While most of us can't afford the fancy ones that actually amplify sound until the shot and then shut off to save your hearing, or want to take the time to compress and stuff the foam ones in when a game animal is present there is another option.

My whole family has started using the type of ear plugs attached to a hard plastic band that you can leave around your neck until needed. There are some rubber ones made for hunting and some similar ones for construction workers available.

The best ones I have found for hunting use are sold by bass pro shops and consist of a foam ball on each end of the band. They grip snugly around your neck when not in use so they will not catch on anything and once yuu get used to them you don't even notice they are there.

It only takes one second to grab them, pull them up and pop them in your ears. It is not a perfect seal when done quickly but makes a huge difference in the comfort and confidence of the shot.

It may not seem like a big deal when you are young but believe me you will wish you had done it when you get older.


ndemiter's picture

i use those little deals all

i use those little deals all the time. i got turned on to them at work a few years back, then i naturally started taking them hunting. they're so convenient that it's easy to keep using them, and after a while, it becomes habit to wear hearing protection.

it's a painful thing to be 27 now, and not be able to hear my wife across the room.

i hope my son learns from me, but then again, i didn't learn any lesson my dad tried to teach me.

ndemiter's picture

yes, hearing loss is a big

yes, hearing loss is a big deal, i'm 27 now and i'm already having trouble.

i remeber the day i first noticed the damage and that it didn't go away. i was deer hunting in a narrow ravine with sandstone and shale sides. i expected the deer to funnel up that ravine to a hay field. a nice 8-point walked by and my 12-guage slug gun complete with 3" mag shells rang out and the stiging in my ears actually made me nauseated. the next day, i expected for the ringing to stop, or fade, but it didn't. and i didn't learn my lesson that time either. it was another 5 years before i took it seriously.

Deer Slayer's picture

Great tip. I think this

Great tip. I think this is one of those overlooked things alot of people just don't do because we don't think about it ever happening. If you do alot of shooting this should definitely be a priority. Any time a person is around loud noises they should protect their hearing. 

numbnutz's picture

Good tip, i bow hunt now and

Good tip, i bow hunt now and rarely shoot my rifles anymore but i always wore protection when at the range but never in the field. these devices soud good and i'll have to get a set for when i rifle hunt again.Your hearing is something you dont wanna loose. even though my wife says i'm deaf already she doesnt relize its just selective hearing and I'm really tuning her out.LOL

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Good advice.  I wish I had

Good advice.  I wish I had been more concerned when I was young, but heck, those concerts and such were pretty fun. Wink

Never too late to start though.


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. Protect your

Great tip. Protect your hearing if you are young. do what you can to save what you have if you are older. Strictly being a bow hunter I don't worry about this. But, if I do take the guns out and do some target shooting it is always a good idea to protect your ears.

groovy mike's picture

Thanks for the suggestion.

Not a bad idea.  I use hearing protection at the range but never really gave the idea of using it while hunting in the field a thought.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I’ll keep it in mind if I find myself shopping for a new set of ear muffs any time soon. 


jaybe's picture

 What did you say, Hunter - I

 What did you say, Hunter - I couldn't hear you! Can you type louder?

 I have a bad case of Tinnitus - a constant ringing in my ears. I have had it since I worked in a telephone switchroom for 12 years where thousands of relays were clicking all the time. One relay doesn't make much noise, but multiply that little "click" by ten thousand, and well - you get the picture. It was always funny when I would show someone around the office where I worked. They would say, "How do you stand all that noise all the time?" I would say, "What noise?"

 For the past few years I have stared using ear protection at the range where I shoot. I use foam ear plugs plus ear muffs. It really deadens the sound of the shots (mine and those of other shooters), but I can still talk to people around me.

I have never used them in the field, but it might be time to give your suggestion a try.

Thanks for the tip.