Ear/hearing protection while hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by Paulyseggs, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Scout

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    I think i need to start wearing something. My left ear is getting to the point where a slamming door makes it ring .
    Had a few ruptured ear drums in the past. Lots of over exposure. And its becoming an issue .

    I dont really want to wear electronic headphones in the woods but I have them (Howard Leight) I'd prefer to get plugs.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Scout

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  3. svh

    svh Supporter Supporter

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    No need for phones, or plugs ! ;)

    P6080267.JPG
     
  4. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Scout

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    @svh. If I could only hunt with one here in CT:(

    Legal to own .Just cant hunt with it
     
  5. junkpile

    junkpile Scout

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    I've started just carrying foam ear plugs. Not sure what I'll do if I decide to get back into bird hunting, but for deer and squirrels, I usually have time to settle in and get the ear plugs in place. All of the electronic plugs I've seen are way out of my price range, and the electronic muffs make it difficult for me to pinpoint the location of sounds.
     
  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks to an industrial accident I’m deaf in one ear and can barely hear out of the other. I aggressively protect what hearing I have left. I’ve tried the plugs you looking at—I found them very uncomfortable but they seemed to work noise reduction wise.

    On a range I wear both plugs and muffs. I’m considering getting a set of molded plugs except the guy who does them locally is kind of sleazy, demanding payment in full up front in cash when he takes the mold and he will mail the finished product to you later. I’m not comfortable handing a Franklin to someone and not getting something handed back to me. With a credit card I’d have some protection at least. The plugs seem to offer great noise reduction however-- maybe too good for hunting.

    I found a brand of industrial plugs that have a soft skinned foam body with a firm rubber center rod that allows you to get solid push when inserting them but once in they are soft comfortable and seal really well. They are disposable, but I usually get several uses out of them. I clean them with an alcohol wipe and store them in a pill bottle.

    For shooting I’ve recently switched to large industrial muffs with a big noise reduction rating. Too much for hunting, but compared to the lower noise reduction ones sold in the sporting good department they have twice the rating and were half the price.
    plug.jpg plug1.jpg plug2.jpg
     
  7. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    The small electronic plugs you linked may be workable, I may try them myself.

    Ive used foam plugs when hunting for a long time. I have foam plugs in my pocket nearly all the time with more in the glove box, Ive done enough damage to my hearing already and have no desire to do more. No game shot is worth losing any more hearing. If I expect a shot I put them, or one, in. If I cant get plug (s) in, oh well, I wont shoot unless its an emergency of some sort. Its also a reason I tend towards somewhat milder calibers and dislike short barrels and muzzle widgets on rifles. The BRT Covert Comp may be a workable alternative for some rifles, but I havent had a chance to mess with them.

    A couple times Ive needed to shoot a snake before the clueless dogs came over it, I shot with my right arm straight out to the side(classic old school pistol form) and held my right ear with my left hand, keeping the left ear as far from the shot as I could and pointed away. It helps a little, but not something to do unless theres no other choice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  8. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    I grew up shooting high caliber rifles on a very regular basis then joined the Army and had my bell rung more than a few times. Now the pop from even a .22 will make my ears (mostly the right one) ring like crazy. I use cheap foam ear plugs when I practice shooting, should probably wear them hunting too. I just cant shake the feeling like im missing sounds in the woods though with ear plugs. In the thick forest here, you hear animals way before you ever see them so sharp ears are important. Like @Malamute mentioned, no game shot is worth losing more hearing! Wish I would have taken that advice a long time ago!
     
  9. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I’d be all over a can if they were legal in my State. At this point I have a better chance of sprouting wings than seeing the day they are legalized here however.
     
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  10. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    I usually have my earphones in, and am listening to either the Rolling Stones, or Canned Heat via an iPod. (Nothing wrong with harvesting a deer whilst listening to the Harlem Hustle, or the Caterpillar Crawl, plus it helps the time pass...) When I get ready to shoot though, I put on my big Husqvarna ear muffs, the same ones I use when chainsawing firewood.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  11. schapm

    schapm Supporter Supporter

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    I wear those Surefire ones when hunting. I used electronic ear muffs a couple times, but prefer the smaller size of the Surefires.
     
  12. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I use the foam plugs too. I always have a pair in my pocket and truck, because I have no desire to be deaf. In my profession it's way too common.
     
  13. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide

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    I have tinnitus, which presents as a constant ringing in the ears. Basically I hear "cicadas" all day everyday. Contributors for me could be shooting (not nearly as much as some folks), using chainsaw/lawn equipment over the years, woodworking machinery (planers are not kind to the ears) and some music louder than my mother would have approved. I do wear muffs when shooting nowadays. I NEED to keep a pair of muffs on my planer to remind me to use them EVERY TIME. I have a pair of plugs in my bag with my new (to me) super blackhawk for hunting this fall.
    At my day job, we have fire drills (mental health facility) monthly. Interestingly, the fire alarm has the same frequency as the "cicadas" in my ears. I have to rely on co-workers to let me know when the fire alarm is going off. Once the office door is open, I can hear it. With the door closed, I don't.

    THANKS for the reminder that I need to protect the hearing I have left. Dad wears hearing aids in both ears. I suspect many years of professional tree trimming and the noise of chainsaws contributed heavily to his hearing loss.
     
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  14. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    Investigate 'musician' earplugs. For a musician, the biggest problem with foamies is that they do not have flat frequency response. They usually block the higher frequencies more than lower. Overall, that's good for protecting your ears, but it makes everything sound dull and muffled (especially speech).

    Musician plugs try to have a more flat response, so everything sounds more natural, just not as loud. I have some, seems like they were $30 several years ago. They have been well worth it.

    EDIT: Some musicians are particularly stupid on hearing protection, most notably drummers (and cymbals are one of the biggest offenders). When guitar players get bad hearing, their audience can suffer. They lose their high end hearing, and turn up the treble on the amp/guitar so it "sounds good to them". Nothing like an icepick to your head, listening to a deaf Strat/Tele player.

    Long ago I went with a guitar player friend to a Blind Melon (I think) and Rolling Stones concert. We had amazing seats: Section 1, Row 3. This was at stage right, in front the mains of a world-class PA, playing to a large stadium. I offered my guitar player friend foamies. He said "Nah, I want to hear it all". It was ungodly loud. It wasn't just from that, but he says "Huh?" a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  15. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I believe the better head phones are worth it , some even enhance the sounds so they work for you both ways.
    It's not so much the sound but the "concussion" from the blast that hurts your ears.
    These head phones presumably clip that noise as well .
    I haven't bought them yet because I haven't been able to go shooting for a long time now, being a full time care giver . However It is a strong consideration to have such head phones for home protection if in deed gun fire is eminent .
    And I am waiting for the price to drop due to popularity, and letting the public pay for the R&D till I can afford them .
    I am one of those that can't stand having any thing in my ears, and what I do compromise to( in ear) still does not remain with out a lot of pushing back in , even those that have an over the ear loupe.
    I am told tinnitus ( ringing is not the ear but the brain synaptic connections being heard ) I've had it for 40 years .
    Out side the tinnitus my hearing is pretty good surprisingly ,but I've learned to be careful about my hearing none the less, working on big noisy machinery .
     
  16. Oakenhart

    Oakenhart Scout

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    I have a pair of the surefires you linked that have a constant home in my left pocket,the noise reduction is nice,the downside is a lot of active movement can dislodge them fairly easily,at least in my case. Them are more comfortable than the cheap foam ones and work fairly well for shooting,I still double up and add shooting muffs for range sessions, but for hunting or just general noise reduction the surefires work decent enough.
     
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  17. clueless on the delaware

    clueless on the delaware Scout

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    A couple decades ago, my very first job was trap boy at a local gun club. The older guy who ran the trap committee owned a local gun shop, and for xmas bonus one year he gave all the trap boys these really nice plugs. Soft rubber barrel and post, with two baffles on the post. Thing is, they were hollow, and had a metal tube running completely through. Said metal tube had a tiny diaphragm in it; noises above a certain decible level, like a shotgun blast, would close the diaphragm, but conversational level noises would come through just fine. Wish i knew the brand name, because they were the best earpro i ever had, been looking for nearly 20 years for another set.
     
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