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Thread: Has anyone found good hearing protection for hunting?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Has anyone found good hearing protection for hunting?

    I've been trying year after year to find something that actually works to minimize hearing damage from hunting. I have yet to find anything to work. I started off with one ear plug, for the support side ear. The strong side, at least with rifles and shotguns is protected by your arm. This method kind of works. I tried all kinds of those baffle ear plugs. They do work, but you also can't tell which direction a sound is coming from. I've tried a number of ear plugs that have a plastic strap that you wear around your neck. All of them are too tight and uncomfortable, although that can be fixed with heat. The real problem is reaching up to put them in with an animal in front of you. It's not a good system. Last year I tried a decent set of electric ear muffs, walker brand, about $70. They plain suck. I can wear them comfortable for a long time, but they cause all kinds of disorientation. Sounds from the wrong side, and the worst is a deer 20 yards away sounds exactly the same distance as the guy blowing leaves 2 miles away. No sense of distance at all.


    Every year I try something new, and every year I end up throwing them to the side. Another winner I forgot about was a set of what were a hybrid ear plugs/muffs/baffles. They were big tubes with hollow ear plugs on them. Supposed to be able to pick up vibrations to hear. Everything sounds like a swarm of bees through them.

    Just today I was thinking of a new idea. Basically for hunting hearing protection would have to be either on all the time, or be able to be put in with little motion/hands free. I was thinking of trying some ear muffs, the winter kind you got as a kid, and tying a rope to them. You wear them above your ears, and keep the rope within hands reach. When ready to shoot, pull the rope to pull the muffs over. Obviously not as good of protection as real plugs or muffs, but better than nothing. This would probably only work for stand hunting too.



    Lots of guys say "I don't hear the shot at an animal" as if that's some kind of excuse. I guess I don't either, but I sure hear the ringing for days after. It doesn't take a genius to know that isn't good for your hearing. I'm still young enough to do good, so I'd like to find something that works.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Gemtech is what I use. When legal to use hunting best way for me. Note it is a silencer brand.

    For big game in the 50 years I have hunted I never even heard the shot. Small game and varmints is where the cans shine.

  3. #3
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    A good suppressor is the best hearing protection you can get
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Wish I could help as for advice on what's best but I can agree with what you said about those Walker ear muffs, saying they suck is being too kind to them! Don't give up, take it from someone who has suffered with Tinnitus for the last 40+ years and it only gets worse! Don't even think of shooting again without any protection, if you do just think about how you will feel if that ringing NEVER goes away because that's what Tinnitus is and the next shot you take may be the first one that you notice that never completely goes away, once it happens there is no cure and you are just stuck with it! Kudos to you for thinking about it now before it's too late and good luck with your search!
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Myself, and others I have hunted with say they don't hear the shot.

    I do wear those common foam ear plugs if I'm by myself and don't really need, or would be able to hear an animal coming.
    A deer 100 yards away, I can't here it walking anyway, or doves, so the plugs work for me..
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
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    whenever some one says, "All ya gotta do,,,,,,,,,,".

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Wish I could help as for advice on what's best but I can agree with what you said about those Walker ear muffs, saying they suck is being too kind to them! Don't give up, take it from someone who has suffered with Tinnitus for the last 40+ years and it only gets worse! Don't even think of shooting again without any protection, if you do just think about how you will feel if that ringing NEVER goes away because that's what Tinnitus is and the next shot you take may be the first one that you notice that never completely goes away, once it happens there is no cure and you are just stuck with it! Kudos to you for thinking about it now before it's too late and good luck with your search!
    While I do take hearing protection seriously, I feel like this kind of over the top thinking causes more harm than good. I'm not going to stop hunting just because there isn't a good product on the market. I have very mild Tinnitus, I've had it as long as I can remember. I can only tell when it is dead silent thankfully. I don't think it's getting worse, and I'd like to keep it that way. As of now, my yearly hearing tests come back as almost perfect.

    A suppressor is a very good idea, but wouldn't work well for me. I currently only hunt with muzzleloaders, revolvers, and shotguns.

    There is definitely not a one size fits all solution here, but it seems the market has completely ignored hunting hearing protection. Electric muffs might be ok for something like pheasant hunting where communication is vital, but hearing the bird isn't. I haven't found a good solution for duck hunting. You have almost no time, and can't move when birds come in. Communication isn't vital, but hearing the birds is. Stand hunting for deer, coyote, turkey, etc. you have at least a small amount of time you could put something on. Movement is the problem here.

    @Winger Ed, I can hear deer from 100 yards away. I know plenty of older folk who can't, which is why I'd like to find something to protect my ears. I can't tell you how many times I've been taking a nap, and wake up for no apparent reason to find an animal coming in.

  7. #7
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    No not really . Soft foam ear plugs are my best solution like the 3M E-A-R UltraFit , they have a cord so they can be worn around the neck , inserted and removed easily . Not great solution but they are comfortable and convenient .
    I hate to say it but when hunting and listening for game sounds I will remove one ...if time allows I will reinsert it before shooting but every once in a while take a shot like we did in the old days...no ear protection at all .
    This is my best method....ear muffs are just too cumbersome for me to wear hunting in the woods and swamps .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    No not really . Soft foam ear plugs are my best solution like the 3M E-A-R UltraFit , they have a cord so they can be worn around the neck , inserted and removed easily . Not great solution but they are comfortable and convenient .
    I hate to say it but when hunting and listening for game sounds I will remove one ...if time allows I will reinsert it before shooting but every once in a while take a shot like we did in the old days...no ear protection at all .
    This is my best method....ear muffs are just too cumbersome for me to wear hunting in the woods and swamps .
    Gary
    Yep, as of now, the one ear plug on the support side ear is the only method I've found that even kind of work.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    I like my walker's earbud/neckband outfit.

    Rechargeable. Adjustable audio amplification.
    Great help when hunting with the beagle.
    Can hear the dog very well and can shoot the 20ga without worry.

    Very satisfied
    WebMonkey
    Retired 19D
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  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I was wondering about the game ear ( walker )?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rca View Post
    I was wondering about the game ear ( walker )?
    I'm fairly sure that's the one I have. Black colored muffs. Waste of money. They make me dizzy, the sound is so bad.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    I wear the Howard Leight ones for countless hours a year. The sound is pretty good, but it tends to be difficult to tell where it is coming from.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Have you tried the MSA Sordin’s?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    Have you tried the MSA Sordin’s?
    No, that's a little rich for my blood. I'm not convinced any electronic is a good way to go either. Sure they will protect your hearing, but even the best of the best will not be even close to as good as your own ear. That is unless you are already well on the path to being deaf.

    I'm trying to think more on the lines of something mechanical, something that I can have on me, but will only cover my ears when I need them. I've been thinking about this for years, so I don't expect anyone else to have the answer either.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I've had tinitus for over 40+ years. Starting with the navy where I worked in engine rooms,generator rooms and pump rooms. And some 5"54 gunfire. then after that working in a power plant, tank farm (all mostly steam powered pumps except for 4. And a LNG plant where they had a 6000 hp gas turbine. Company ear muffs that fit on a hard hat stunk. Now wear 25 DB rated ear muffs when using either a riding lawn mower or diesel tractor, chain saw, gas trimmer, just any gas powered tool. Have worn ear muffs especially when I go shoot of course. Haven't tried the electronic ear muffs. Check the decibel rating and get the highest ones. The plugs you can get do not really do squat. And yes I wear a hearing aid. Frank

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Brownells has the quietest muzzle loader ever made on sale right now for $719. https://www.brownells.com/firearms/b...rod110309.aspx

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Newboy's Avatar
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    Msa sordin with the gel cups. Waterproof, and comfortable enough that I forget I have them on.

    Put them on when I leave the house. Turn them up and I have super hearing.

    Donít buy cheap and then complain about the sound quality!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I just bought a set of Howard Leigh's for turkey hunting. I thought they worked great. The nrr is only 22, but better than no hearing protection.

  19. #19
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    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Pro Ears Gold. Fully directional with 2 separate mics/circuit boards. They boost game sounds.

    I have 2 pair with the tactical style clipped cups.

    You hear everything including the shot, just the shot volume is reduced. You can hear ricochets too.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  20. #20
    +1 for pro ears gold. Can be a little bulky but love to use them to save what hearing I have left. When target practicing outdoors I wear them along with foam ear plugs.

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