hunting ear protection?

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superchicken
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hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

So due to a shooting slump this year, I switched back from my 28" sxs to my old faithful Mossy 500 as my primary upland gun. Its an ugly camo turkey gun that I picked up 20 years ago and have shot everything with from quail to big game. The issue is that its stubby 24" barrel has earned it the nickname 'Eargasplittenloudenboomer'. Perhaps I am getting more sensitive as I get older, but this beastie rings my ears every time I take it out, even with low brass, and I'm out an average of two days a week. Was out yesterday and my left ear is not happy. One of the guys I hunt with cannot hear the tone on my dog's collar. I'm close to 50 and am wanting to save as much of my hearing as possible. I am looking for some solutions that I can wear while hunting that I can still hear the birds get up with. I looked at Walkers Game Ears. Any of you guys use anything like this or have any suggestions?
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Tycer »

I use these in the woods and at the range. I think 6 years now. Haven't changed batteries yet.http://www.cabelas.com/product/IMPACT-S ... lsrc=aw.ds
Last edited by Tycer on Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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superchicken
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

Tycer wrote:I use these in the woods and at the range. I think 6 years now. Haven't changed batteries yet.
Tycer,

Either you forgot a link or picture, or I obviously need better eye protection too. :D

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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Blaine »

I bought a set of "Walker's Power Muffs".....They certainly work as advertised. I'm about half deaf anyway, and they amplify sounds good enough. Sort of a tinny sound, but acceptable. If I'm at the range shooting lots, I use them over a foam rubber plug for a little extra protection. I cannot speak to their reliability in wet weather, though they claim weather resistance. I'd get them again. I think they were about 70 bucks or so at Cabelas. (I had some points...you can prolly find them cheaper someplace else if you don't have points.)
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Tycer
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Tycer »

superchicken wrote:
Tycer wrote:I use these in the woods and at the range. I think 6 years now. Haven't changed batteries yet.
Tycer,

Either you forgot a link or picture, or I obviously need better eye protection too. :D

Sean
http://www.cabelas.com/product/IMPACT-S ... lsrc=aw.ds

Oops
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superchicken
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

Thanks to both of you. How do those muff deal with wind noise? I live out here on the windy prairie.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Blaine »

superchicken wrote:Thanks to both of you. How do those muff deal with wind noise? I live out here on the windy prairie.
I'm sure the wind sounds louder. Like I said, I"m half deaf anyway, and keep them turned up, so I sort of expected the wind noise. Just wondering, now that you asked, if a wind screen could be fashioned from a mic cover designed for that.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Old Ironsights »

superchicken wrote:So due to a shooting slump this year, I switched back from my 28" sxs to my old faithful Mossy 500 as my primary upland gun. Its an ugly camo turkey gun that I picked up 20 years ago and have shot everything with from quail to big game. The issue is that its stubby 24" barrel has earned it the nickname 'Eargasplittenloudenboomer'. Perhaps I am getting more sensitive as I get older, but this beastie rings my ears every time I take it out, even with low brass, and I'm out an average of two days a week. Was out yesterday and my left ear is not happy. One of the guys I hunt with cannot hear the tone on my dog's collar. I'm close to 50 and am wanting to save as much of my hearing as possible. I am looking for some solutions that I can wear while hunting that I can still hear the birds get up with. I looked at Walkers Game Ears. Any of you guys use anything like this or have any suggestions?
Agitate/vote for the "Hearing Protection Amendment"...
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superchicken
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

Old Ironsights wrote:
superchicken wrote:So due to a shooting slump this year, I switched back from my 28" sxs to my old faithful Mossy 500 as my primary upland gun. Its an ugly camo turkey gun that I picked up 20 years ago and have shot everything with from quail to big game. The issue is that its stubby 24" barrel has earned it the nickname 'Eargasplittenloudenboomer'. Perhaps I am getting more sensitive as I get older, but this beastie rings my ears every time I take it out, even with low brass, and I'm out an average of two days a week. Was out yesterday and my left ear is not happy. One of the guys I hunt with cannot hear the tone on my dog's collar. I'm close to 50 and am wanting to save as much of my hearing as possible. I am looking for some solutions that I can wear while hunting that I can still hear the birds get up with. I looked at Walkers Game Ears. Any of you guys use anything like this or have any suggestions?
Agitate/vote for the "Hearing Protection Amendment"...
I'm all behind that, but the one option I've seen for shotguns didn't seem to work too hot. Won't fit on my sxs either.

Any of you ever try the in-the-ear or behind-the-ear options? They are pricey, but I don't aim to quit this and would love to be able to hear any potential grandkids I might be blessed with.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Malamute »

I started about 25 or 30 years ago using foam ear plugs when making a shot hunting. Ive damaged my hearing enough already earlier in life, so didn't want to make it any worse. If I cant get the plugs in, I don't shoot. No game is worth losing any more hearing.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-

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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

Malamute,

I do that for rifle shooting too, but it doesn't work so well for upland hunting. These days I hunt quail about 20:1 over big game. I still love big game, but its working your butt off for one shot, then working your butt off to get the meat out after the shot. When I'm quail hunting the daily bag limit is 15 and I get to take my dogs.

I like your TR quote. He was a little guy who lived a life and had impacts that were both all out of proportion to his stature. Everytime I feel like I am really getting somewhere, I read more TR and realize what a slacker I am.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by AJMD429 »

These are GREAT....I use them every time I hunt or target shoot.

Turn the volume up and you hear MORE deer-footsteps than you'd hear without them... 8)

Green ones on sale for $39.95 at MidwayUSA now.

Image

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/18056 ... -nrr-22-db

The sound is so noise-free and realistic I sometimes forget I have them on.

I also like the fact that in cold weather they keep my ears warm.... :D
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by GunnyMack »

PLUS! Electric muffs keep your ears warmer!keep you hat from blowing off too!
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Malamute »

superchicken wrote:Malamute,

I do that for rifle shooting too, but it doesn't work so well for upland hunting. These days I hunt quail about 20:1 over big game. I still love big game, but its working your butt off for one shot, then working your butt off to get the meat out after the shot. When I'm quail hunting the daily bag limit is 15 and I get to take my dogs.

I like your TR quote. He was a little guy who lived a life and had impacts that were both all out of proportion to his stature. Everytime I feel like I am really getting somewhere, I read more TR and realize what a slacker I am.
I don't shotgun hunt much, but when I have, I just put the plugs in whenever shooting may occur. For grouse I use extra-light loads in a centerfire rifle or a 22 pistol with CB loads or shorts, so not much issue with the noise.

There used to be small ear plugs, Norten or Lee? "Sonic ear plugs", they had a small valve that was supposed to be open to hear conversation, then loud noises would close them. The ones I had didn't work very well. Perhaps with todays technology they may be feasible and workable.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-

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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by EdinCT »

I am pretty deaf and really miss a lot of what my grand children say. So I tried a walkers game ear in the left and plugged the right ear and it worked ok but direction was a issue. I thought I'd buy another walkers but lost the first by seasons end so that ended. Then I took a pair of my old hearing aids that shut off at 85 DB but were open fit (meaning the cone end that goes into the ear didn't plug it) and placed sonic ear valve plugs with the valve removed over them and they worked fair. Once in a while they would just quit.
This year I bought a set of muffs from Cabela's and hunted them hard in all weather and they worked great. I even hunted in a hard rain and they did ok. I used to wear a good felt fedora hat to keep my hearing aides dry might need to go to a larger brim hat with muffs.
But I will say 50 bucks a year is cheap which is about what a pair of muffs is on sale compared to what I miss from my Family. I never believed it would be this bad.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by JerryB »

I am 78 now and like most folks my age by the time I hit my teens I already had a lot of years of shooting without ear protection. Started small game hunting with a Stevens single barrel 20 gauge in the third grade. Ran heavy equipment, worked boilers and around turbines and lots of big bore shooting. I really don't hear much of what is said at home and not much of the preaching, music and singing at church. I know I miss a lot but my wife puts up with all the whats and huhs ??? Take care of what hearing you have left.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

I appreciate all the input, fellas. Y'all have a great Christmas.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by M. M. Wright »

JerryB, The VA fixed me up with a pair of Starkey Muse hearing aids that I just love. I had gotten to where I had to ask the wife to tell me every line of dialogue on the TV, even with it turned up to where it was annoying to the rest of the family. Computer tuned to match what hearing I have left they simply "work". Nothing else did. I went to one of the highly advertised hearing centers and they charged me $2000 for no help 20 years ago. Probably 4K now.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by piller »

At the range I use electronic muffs from Wal-Mart over foam in the ear plugs. I can shoot all day that way without my ears ringing any more than they do all the time anyway. I have not hunted in the rain for years, so I don't know if the Wal-Mart muffs will hold up to wet weather.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by 41 Redhawk »

I use the Impacts previously mentioned for both hunting and weekly summer silhouette matches. A set of batteries last me at least a year and I believe two years. That would be roughly 50 days per year.

That said, another silhouette shooter swears by these Peltor plugs.

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Re: hunting ear protection?

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M. M. Wright, glad that you got some help with your hearing. Getting old just ain't for sissies, but each day does get us closer to the Lord's return. My eight years of National Guard and Army Reserve time was up way before the V.A. started recognizing our service time.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by coyote nose »

I wear foam ear plugs PLUS Silencio ear muffs. I can barely hear in the woods when I wear this but my tinnitus is so bad it almost drives me nutty sometimes. As a result deer often surprise me and I don't get as many as I used to but I just cant chance any more loud noises. Even driving a nail with a hammer will set it off, sometimes even someone clapping or talking loud in a room.
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by superchicken »

Howdy fellas,

I got good advice here and over on the Versatile Hunting Dog Forum, and I wanted to follow up on this post to tell you what I ended up doing.

I'm sure my hearing issues come from a lifetime of shooting, power tools, industrial noise, and a youth of listening to music that makes me really tired now. But I started really having problems last year when a hunting partner swung a gun on a bird and lit off a 12 ga with the muzzle about a foot from my left ear and about as far behind me. Needless to say, I don't hunt with that guy any more. I had problems for a while after that, but it settled down until bird season this year when it started getting a lot worse.

My original post was directed at what you all use for HUNTING because its different than being at the range or recreational shooting. You have to be able to hear. I would classify most of the posts I got into 3 categories: 1) My hearing sucks and I wish I had done something about it earlier. 2) I use plugs, muffs, a combination, or electronic muffs and it sucks, but its better than the alternative. 3) I spent some money on this and it was the best thing I ever did. I got a lot fewer #3s than ones and twos. I wanted to get some comparative information about my options, but it was clear that I probably wouldn't get that on the forums because most of you don't have experience with multiple options.

So for once I did something that was smart... according to my wife. I got an appointment with an audiologist. The appointment was free and so is the hearing screening. The doc was able to give me that information and told me a lot of things I didn't know or understand about hearing loss and shooting. I can get into all that some other time, but I ended up buying a pair of in the ear, electronic plugs from SoundGear.

https://www.soundgearhearing.com/collec ... om-product

They were pretty pricey, but through the audiologist I got them for half what they list for on the web. That made it financially doable. According to the doc, she sells these to police, SWAT, industrial workers, and people like me who just hunt and shoot a lot. I've had them for about a week now and have used them enough to be able to say that it was a great investment. Here are some of my thoughts on them so far.

The in-the-ear option is far and away the best. There's nothing outside to knock with the gunstock or catch on clothing. They are comfortable for long periods. Yesterday, I bird hunted with them in for about about 5 hours and hiked about 7 miles.

These and some other brands also have the mic inside the outer ear, facing forward. This is really important for two reasons. First, I live and hunt out on the windy prairies of the Southern Plains. The placement of the mic really reduces wind noise. Second, the forward facing mic retains the hearing directionality. I can not only hear the quail get up, but I can tell where the sound is coming from.

The programs give you some flexibility and definitely help you hear better while you are out. When I first used them I could hear traffic on the main road 4 blocks from my house and meat sizzling on a closed grill 20 yards away. You will use the volume adjustment on them because that much noise can frankly be too much for the brain to process. The first program increases all frequencies across the range below 90 dB. Program 2 increases the higher frequencies for people who have high end hearing loss. Program 3 allows you to connect to a smart phone which I have not done, but it also increases only the middle frequencies in the range. I find it reduces some of the higher frequency sounds like walking through grass or leaves.

I'm not doing a product endorsement. There are other manufacturers out there who make similar plugs that I don't have direct experience with. But these work for me and my special needs, but I will say that those of you who hunt a lot like I do aught to be using something. I've been doing this for more than 40 years and have a nice band playing a repetitive high-pitched tune in my left ear all the time. Like many others on here, I wish I had done something earlier. I always told myself that I needed to be able to hear for safety's sake when hunting and the options I had for hearing protection just didn't work. After using them for about a week, I'd put my post in category #3. They may be the best money that I've spent on hunting or shooting equipment.

Sean
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by RIHMFIRE »

I use the foam ear plugs.....and I push them in until they touch each other..... :shock:
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Re: hunting ear protection?

Post by Tycer »

NICE SEAN!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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