Do I were ear protection while hunting? Depends what I'm hunting. I hunt quail and dove in relatively open canyon areas. I use light Wally World loads (6 to 8s) and I find that a don't need to cover my ears. However, while sitting in the duck blind, if I do not at least plug my left ear (I'm a right-handed shooter) after shooting off heavy 3" loads, I get an instant headache
accompanied by a ringing in my ears. Have yet to hunt deer, but my 30.06 and Mosin's are louder than my shotgun, so I will be protecting my eardrums while shooting these rifles.