View Full Version : Hearing Protection While Hunting?

October 30, 2009, 06:34 PM
Does anyone here use hearing protection while hunting?I don't right now,but maybe it is a good idea to start,I don't know.Does a single shot from a high powered rifle or handgun pose a risk to my hearing?I mean,I have shot alot of high powered guns in my life,most of the time without hearing protection,but maybe it is a bad habbit to do so.I have started using hearing protection more with rifles than I used to,but what about on the hunt?And especially for handgun hunters,is it a must to wear hearing protection?I haven't handgun hunted yet,but have fired a couple of .357 rounds off without protection,and it hurt,I can't imagine a .44 mag without protection.

October 30, 2009, 06:59 PM
A single shot from a rifle or pistol can indeed cause hearing damage. With that said I never use it while hunting. With the adrenaline pumping as I am shooting at a deer or elk, I never feel or hear the rifle go off.

October 30, 2009, 07:00 PM
Every excessive noise pulse is doing harm, The time between these events can help to offset the affects. But hearing loss is "accumulative". I have never worn much hearing protection under any of the circumstances that lead to my hearing loss. It is extremely noticeable and also causes incessant ringing during quiet times.
Had they had the modern types that close off for hard sound pulses but didn't hamper hearing small sounds, I likely would have done more to protect the ears.

October 30, 2009, 07:06 PM
... and had tinnitus for months in my left ear.

Did something similar with a .30-06, once, although the tinnitus didn't last as long, maybe a few days. Probably had to do with a 22" barrel vs a 2.25" barrel, as far as noise levels and rearward sound travel.

Either way, this does have me debating what to do for hunting purposes. Get some electronic muffs, and hope they don't give me a headache or make my skin sweat too much? Or bring some plugs, and hope to be able to insert them if I spot some game, before the game moves out of position?

I know I'm not looking forward to shooting without ear protection anytime soon, if ever.

October 30, 2009, 07:17 PM
I feel pretty confident on shooting my .444 without protection while hunting,since it really isn't that loud of a gun,surprizingly.But next year,I hope to buy a .357 or .44 mag handgun to hunt with,and I know what a handgun does to the ears.I fired one .357 out of a snub once,and my ear was deaf for 3 hours,and I NEVER fired a .357 ever again without protection,and if I hunt with a handgun,I will find a way to slip plugs in,but for the rifles,I feel like I can get away with it.I grew up with redneck country boys,and we never,ever,used hearing protection,with shotguns,rifles,handguns,It was just a right of passage.Only as I am getting a little older do I start to understand hearing damage,and want to prevent it.

Brian Pfleuger
October 30, 2009, 07:33 PM
I always wear electronic protection while hunting.

Hearing loss can never be predicted. A single loud noise can make a person go deaf the first time they hear it, or could seem to have little or no effect for years on end.

You don't get a second set of ears if you wreck the first ones.

I will not fire a gun, indoors or out, rifle or handgun, without protection. The ONLY exception is 22LR rifles. Even then I only do it if I don't have protection available for some reason.

I wear a pair of muffs from Radians. They work well, but they're not very durable. That said, I only paid about $100 and they're going on the 4th year, so I think I got my moneys worth.

Double Naught Spy
October 30, 2009, 09:22 PM
Yep, I wear Peltor Comtacs. Electronic muffs boost your ability to hear while at the same time providing protection from excessive noise, keep bugs out of your ears (warmer weather), and keep your ears warm in the winter. It is a winning combination, IMHO.

October 30, 2009, 09:32 PM
Do some of the muff types have connects for walkie-talkies ?- that is an advantage not having to wear an earbud.

October 31, 2009, 12:01 AM
I've never worn them while hunting. I hunt with my brother in law quite a bit and he always has the disposable ear plugs on him. I remember he offered a pair to our PH in Africa and the PH looked at him like he was nuts. I can see where the ear plugs in Africa could do more harm than good.

Hog Buster
October 31, 2009, 12:57 AM
I always use my ears as much as my eyes when hunting, maybe even more, so I never wear ear protection. At a range I always wear ear protection. A shot or two in the field isn't anywhere as loud as one on a covered range or indoor one.
As a side note, I never hear the shot or feel the recoil when taking game. Many other hunters tell me the same thing.

Double Naught Spy
October 31, 2009, 06:56 AM
Some will connect to walkie talkies and Peltor makes a set that are walkie talkies. I actually have a set of the walkie talkie versions that I use when operating a Bobcat or on a tractor.

The other option is to go with the ear buds and let them hang loose inside the muffs with the volume turned up. I have done this as well. The muffs provide enough silence to hear the little ear buds just fine, but you don't have to have the sensation of the buds in your ears (which I don't like).

There may be other brands available that do the same thing, but I am not familiar with them...

October 31, 2009, 04:42 PM
No, nothing to block my hearing while hunting. Its one of the senses that I use for the task. Going to the range however is another story.

October 31, 2009, 04:50 PM
When I hunt from a stand, yes. When I hunt from the ground, no. The deer, pig whatever almost never looks up so I can slip the muffs on without keying them into my location. On the ground there really isn't enough time.

Brian Pfleuger
October 31, 2009, 05:49 PM
No, nothing to block my hearing while hunting. Its one of the senses that I use for the task. Going to the range however is another story.

When I hunt from a stand, yes. When I hunt from the ground, no. The deer, pig whatever almost never looks up so I can slip the muffs on without keying them into my location. On the ground there really isn't enough time.

Guys, we're pretty much talking about electronics only. No one I have ever known wears "normal" ear plugs when hunting.

Electronics are the best of all worlds, see Double Naughts post above.

October 31, 2009, 05:55 PM
Sure I wear the ear plugs on the string, keep them around me neck, they are on my preshoot checklist....


Para Bellum
October 31, 2009, 07:25 PM
Peltor SporTac:


Read these links:

"A clap of thunder from a nearby storm (120 dB) or a gunshot (140-190 dB, depending on weapon), can both cause immediate damage."


.25 ACP 155.0 dB
.32 LONG 152.4 dB
.32 ACP 153.5 dB
.380 157.7 dB
9mm 159.8 dB
.38 S&W 153.5 dB
.38 Spl 156.3 dB
.357 Magnum 164.3 dB
.41 Magnum 163.2 dB
.44 Spl 155.9 dB
.45 ACP 157.0 dB
.45 COLT 154.7 dB

October 31, 2009, 08:11 PM
I have chronic tinnitis in both ears, moderate hearing loss in the left ear, and according to the US Army I am legally deaf in the right. All from shooting, I dont wear hearing protection while hunting, when just out shooting I do. If I were to do things again I would wear it more often. One day I was shooting a 357 in my grandfathers hay field at squirrels, got to the house and my grandma looked at me and asked what I did to my ear. I was bleeding out of my right ear, ruptured ear drum. That ear has been hatin' it ever since.

Dr. Strangelove
October 31, 2009, 08:57 PM
Not for deer hunting. If I was going to get back into dove hunting, or something similar where you are firing constantly, I probably would.