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Old May 18, 2005, 01:33 AM   #1
Big Yac
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Hunting hearing protection

I got a .454 Casull which I am going to use for deer season this year. All I do with it now is target shoot/practice with it and ofcourse I always have hearing protection, actually last month while shooting it I took my left ear plug out to hear a friend say something. I went back and took a shot and wow did my ear hurt, it rang for like an hour or two. Anyways, people tell me to wear hearing protection while hunting too. What kind of hearing protection is good for hunting use? Ofcourse I dont want to be moving around the forest with ear plugs in and not being able to hear. I have seen some plugs that let you hear what people say but automatically tune out loud sounds above a certain dB range. Any suggestions?
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Old May 18, 2005, 08:42 AM   #2
44-40
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I don't wear hearing protection while hunting,you will be losing one of your senses,I don't advicate shooting without hearing protection but one shot isn't going to kill you.I don't recall ever hearing a shot that was fired at game.I did wear ear plugs while shooting praire dogs and damn near stepped on a rattle snake. I now hunt dogs with a 22 hornet and no plugs....
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:49 AM   #3
FirstFreedom
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I disagree. One shot, a whole bunch of different times, can give you hearing loss and tinitus over time - hell even just one shot from a big boomer can do that, as I understand things. I simply wear some of those standard soft rubber plugs, but I wear them only about half-way stuck in, so that I can still hear the sounds of the forest - plenty well actually, but it partially blocks gun blasts - enough to save your ears. Sometimes I will put the plug on my right side (closest to the gun's receiver) in about 3/4ths of the way, so to speak, with the left ear only 1/3 to 1/2 way in, for better picking up sounds of game, etc., with that ear. Another option is to wear electronic muffs that magnify normal sound but muffle blasts over 85 db. The drawback to these however (in addition to expense), is that they become uncomfortable to wear after a couple of hours. So I recommend the plugs, part-way in. Oh, with rimfires outdoors (hunting, not target shooting), I don't wear hearing protection. If you don't use protection for centerfires however, then when you're hunting as an old man, you'll have nearly completely lost one of your senses, with nothing you can do about it - not to mention that your wife, kids and grandkids will get tired of you saying "what?" alla time.
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Old May 18, 2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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I would never hunt while wearing earplugs, especially in any public hunting grounds. I am more worried about getting out of the woods at the end of the day safe and sound rather than worry about what may or may not happen 25 years down the road.
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Old May 18, 2005, 10:56 AM   #5
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There are electronic hearing protection devices which still allow normal (or even enhanced) hearing while blocking noises loud enough to cause damage. Some of these are becoming quite reasonable and can be had on sale for virtually the same price as a pair of quality muffs.
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Old May 18, 2005, 11:54 AM   #6
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I was a Navy Gunner's Mate in the late 60's early 70's and specialized in 5 inch guns. The Navy didn't believe in hearing protection then, and I paid for it. Trust me guys; protect your hearing at all costs.
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Old May 18, 2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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Old May 18, 2005, 12:57 PM   #8
Smokey Joe
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Hunting and hearing protection

Another thought: You MIGHT run into a legal problem re using electronic amplification while hunting. But I too would not think of going hunting with my ears covered--if game doesn't sneak by me I'd worry all the time about being snuck up on by a trigger-happy human.

My solution is to not wear hearing protection while hunting, though always now @ the range--tried the range ONCE w/o protection to see what it was like and couldn't concentrate on my shots due to the noise. And my ears rang for days afterwards.

I've abused my ears for years: Was a soccer referee for several summers, and guess who gets the MOST effect from the ref's Acme Thunderer??? After a Saturday session (2-4 games of soccer) my ears would ring until about the following Thursday. A ref can't have earplugs; wouldn't be able to hear players' comments or captains' questions. (Not to mention snide comments from the sidelines, which I always promptly put a stop to.) And a ref can't be shy when blowing the whistle. Then for a short time was a pyrotechnician for a fireworks company; used hearing protection of course but after several hundred close-range THUMPS and BANGS your ears ring anyhow.

Now I'm past my middle-age crisis, and have developed a well-earned case of tinnitis. It isn't bad, really, just this constant "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" that no one else can hear--but the important thing is that whenever my ears have something real to do, they do that instead of the wheee.

My conclusion would be that protecting your ears is important, and to the best extent you can do so under the circumstances. The younger you are, the more important it is. Note to guys in their 20's: Stay away from the rock concerts, and turn your durn car stereos 'way down! You guys have the most to lose, and the longest to go with the tinnitis if/when it sets in.

Our cave-man ancestors didn't have any loud noises to be concerned with other than the occasional roar from a saber-toothed tiger; therefore we are hard-wired to have our ears bare and listen to our environment.
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Old May 18, 2005, 03:12 PM   #9
USP45usp
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I use my wolf ears.

As for laws about wearing hearing protection while hunting is just pure dumb. The electronic muffs allow for normal (and yes, somewhat enhanced) hearing without losing your hearing.

Wayne
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Old May 18, 2005, 03:48 PM   #10
Terry Twit
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With amplified hearing protection, no one is going to sneak up on you.
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Old May 18, 2005, 07:08 PM   #11
Malamute
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I have serious hearing damage. I don't shoot unless I have at least plugs in, including hunting. No animal is worth losing any more of my hearing. I keep the plugs handy, and put them in if/when I anticipate a shot or see game.

I lost a noticable amount of hearing from one shot while hunting. This, on top of my previous loss, is not something I care to repeat.

I don't seem to be blessed with the "don't hear the shot when hunting" phenomenon. I hear the shot, and DANG!!!! does it hurt!!!!

Norton or Lee used to have some ear plugs that were rubber with small valves in them that were supposed to close when loud noises happened. The theory was you could hear "normally", but have protection when a shot was fired etc. I had some, but they didin't seem to close reliably. I ended up blocking them and using them like regular plugs.
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:10 PM   #12
locked'n'cocked
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ummm nothing? its only one shot if you are deer hunting.
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:21 PM   #13
Terry Twit
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The Aearo combat arms earplug would work for you guys too.
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Old May 18, 2005, 09:52 PM   #14
Dave Haven
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I've taken one shot at a big game animal without ear protection. (A .338 with a muzzle brake) I heard a thump when the rifle went off and a CRACK when the bullet hit the elk. My ears rang for several minutes. I now wear foam ear plugs loosely inserted (or properly inserted with electronic muffs over my ears). You don't get used to the noise; you get DEAF.
When hunting prairie dogs, I always protect my ears.
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Old May 18, 2005, 11:00 PM   #15
FirstFreedom
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Sure seems like those that have BTDT, of a wiser vintage, are recomending use something - I'd listen to them.
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Old May 18, 2005, 11:24 PM   #16
Smokey Joe
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Combat earplug??

Terry--Could you enlighten us further about this Aearo combat ear plug please?
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Old May 19, 2005, 01:21 AM   #17
Big Yac
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well I definately will have some sort of hearing protection while hunting. I'm in my early 20's and have a gift of some really good hearing which I dont want to ruin. I was thinking too of having ear muffs around my neck that when I see my game could then slide on really quick.
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Old May 19, 2005, 06:31 AM   #18
Terry Twit
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http://www.botac.com/aearcomarear.html
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Old May 19, 2005, 12:27 PM   #19
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In a pinch, cigarette filters work well if you smoke. Had to shoot a sick raccoon the other day and didn't have protection with me, so I ripped the filters off of a couple of Marlboro and stuffed 'em in my ears. Worked great!
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Old May 19, 2005, 03:36 PM   #20
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I second those aearo plugs. The only consideration is that the end sticks out so you can't wear muffs over them.
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Old May 20, 2005, 01:50 AM   #21
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My uncle swears by the Walker Quad Muffs. Enhanced hearing with directional sound and a noise reduction rating of 24dB. I just bought a pair and plan to use them this deer season. I have some hearing loss and don't want any more.

Eders has a good price on them.

http://www.eders.com/Walkers-Power-M...691-path0.html
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Old May 20, 2005, 07:14 AM   #22
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Smokey Joe, just exactly what legal problems might folks face while wearing electronic muffs while hunting? What laws say you can't do this?

44-40, I can assure you that if you are not wearing hearing protection while hunting with firearms and you actually do try to shoot animals, you will lose your hearing.
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Old May 20, 2005, 10:16 AM   #23
Smokey Joe
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Electronics

00Spy--I believe some states prohibit the use of electronic amplification while hunting, except prescription hearing aids. I'd check w/my local warden on this.

Re prescription hearing aids, avoiding THAT necessity is what this thread is all about! So far so good in my case.
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Old May 20, 2005, 10:26 AM   #24
artsmom
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I have constant ringing in my ears (tinnatus) from constant ear infections in my youth, as well as profound high frequency hearing loss, so I know the effects of hearing loss.

What I don't know is what it is like to get shot, and I don't intend to find out, so I would be willing to take a little more damage to my ears, rather than miss out on someone with a loaded gun tramping towards me.

I do use hearing protection (plugs and muffs both) when target shooting or prairie dog hunting. You guys have me wondering that plugs might be good in the duck blind or goose pit, as that is a more controlled shooting environment.
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Old May 20, 2005, 03:46 PM   #25
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I just bought a Sordin ear muff: http://www.merchantmanager.com/tacti...aProds=SSP-EHP on the recommendation from another member. Plan on using them for hunting deer. I'll be using a 44 magnum handgun. My hearing is far more important to me than shooting at an animal with a magnum revolver and unprotected ears.
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