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Old November 11, 2011, 09:05 PM   #1
Big Yac
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Hearing protection while hunting

I have a 454 Casull that I'll be deer hunting with this year. Is there any sort of hearing protection that I could use while hunting deer this year? a 454 fired without ear plugs just plain hurts the ears, I did it once by accident. Also, it will be cold so I'll have a stocking cap on, are the electronic ones ok for this? I also saw some of the Peltors which are two sided, one is yellow, the other olive green. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old November 11, 2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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I never wear hearing protection while hunting. i barely have time to raise my gun and shoot no less put in ear plugs and shoot. yes it sucks shooting without protection but I guess I've always just dealt with it
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Old November 11, 2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Electronic muffs are ideal; most good ones (especially Peltors) actually magnify the low level sounds. They can actually allow you to hear game coming in when you normally could not.

In some cases, you can get away with shooting without ear protection--rifles without brakes, in open country. However, rifles with brakes and ALL hunting caliber handguns should be fired with hearing protection in place.

One word of advice: always take extra batteries with you for the protectors.
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Old November 11, 2011, 10:45 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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I have a pair of Radians electronic muffs that have served me well for several years. They don't seem overly rugged but they got me through several years for about $100. Walker's Game Ear products also work very well but they are an order of magnitude more expensive. The Howard Leight line seems to get good reviews and they're not expensive at all.

As far as protection goes, they're mostly all the same, decibel for decibel anyway. Higher decibel protection is better. Where you pay the big money is for less background noise and higher sound quality. Some people are bothered by a little static, some aren't. I have used the cheapest products and some of the most expensive and I find them all acceptable.

The electronic muffs are fantastic. They keep your ears warm, allow you to hear BETTER and still protect your hearing. I would not hunt without them.

On the subject of batteries, I've never had muffs that won't go at least 2, maybe 3 years, on one set of batteries. The only annoying feature that they all seem to have is "Auto-off", which might be good for batteries but is obnoxious when your hearing goes off every couple hours.

It is foolish to fire virtually any firearm without hearing protection. It doesn't matter if it "bothers you" or not, it bothers your ears.... and you only get one pair of ears.
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Old November 11, 2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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Pro Ears. You could hear a deer fart with 'em and they have a high NRR.
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Old November 12, 2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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I use Pro Ears in addition to plugs, but the plugs are not inserted all the way. My long gun is ported.
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Old November 12, 2011, 03:53 AM   #7
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I'm deaf and wear a couple Phoenix aids that cost me over $5000. They cut off when I shoot.

I'm not deaf from shooting. Always wore muffs. Had to take a drug for a bone disease that had a 1% side affect (lucky me) that it killed the little hairs in your inner ear. Long done taking that stuff now.

I'll soon be followed in my almost deaf little world by many young people who are destroying their hearing playing music so loud even I can hear it a block away. And they've got their windows shut!

And I fired a 454 Casull once. Never again. Hurt my wrist. And if I cover my hearing aids too tightly I get loud feedback. The Walker's etc. will do the same thing.
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Old November 12, 2011, 04:06 AM   #8
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I've used Peltor 6s for hundreds of hours of shooting and am very happy with them.

It's a wonderful thing when they turn a shotguns BOOM into a faraway boom.
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Old November 12, 2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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I wear Peltor Comtac II muffs. I can hear much better with them on and they cut the gun's blast down to a low "pop".

Caution, they aren't cheap. But I've already got all the ringing in my ears I care to have.
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Old November 12, 2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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Good quality electronic muffs may not be cheap, but they are much cheaper than hearing aids. I don't see them as having a hunting advantage but rather a safety advantage. The sounds of a person walking is different than an animal. They also pick up voices and engine or motor noises very well.
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Old November 13, 2011, 07:16 AM   #11
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I have a cheap pair of electronic muffs, don't recall the make, that work great for range use. They can amplify a bit and I thought about using them hunting BUT: The pickups face forward so I would guess they would not work all that well for noises behind and would do a number on determining direction. Any thoughts?
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Old November 13, 2011, 09:21 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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My Radians muffs have only forward facing mikes. Directionality is fine for me.
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Old November 13, 2011, 09:20 PM   #13
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I use the walker's game ear quad muffs. Each muff has 2 microphones (fore & aft on each ear.

I bought mine off Ebay nib for about 60 plus 10 to ship. They were much cheaper than the Peltors. I just checked ebay and there is a set identical to mine on a buy now for 90 plus 10 to ship AND I just noticed they have "make offer" set up so they can probably be bought for less.

I just checked on Peltor Comtac II that someone suggested and they are going for way over $300. I also checked on the Radians and if you don't mind PINK, you can get a set for $65

Hey Peet......... are your radians PINK????????
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Old November 13, 2011, 09:25 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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No, they're not pink.

Mine are camo. I don't think they make the model anymore.
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Old November 14, 2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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All good advice so far.
All I can add is do not get the $15.00 version of the electronic ear plugs. They simply do not work. I tried, saved my receipts. Returned immediately. Completely wuthluss.
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Old November 14, 2011, 12:17 PM   #16
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I wear Peltor Tac-7s when hunting with a handgun. Years ago I took one shot in the field with a ported barrel T/C Contender in .35 Remington and my ears rang for three days; I was terribly afraid I had done permanent damage. That was on a Saturday, and I ordered the Peltors the following Monday.

By God's grace, I seem to have avoided tinnitus thus far, but I wear the Peltors over foam plugs at the range; Peltors alone when hunting with my handguns. They are stereophonic, so you don't lose directionality. And they do a great job of keeping your ears warm!

When hunting with a long gun, I typically have a set of foam plugs on a string hung around my neck. If I see something in the distance and have sufficient time, I'll insert the plugs. Otherwise, no.
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