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Hearign protection while hunting?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Atroxus, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Atroxus

    Atroxus Marysville, WA Member

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    How do most people address hearing protection while hunting? I am interested in finding an inexpensive way to protect my hearing if I get an opportunity to shoot a game animal, without sacrificing my ability to hear the sounds of the wildlife.
     
  2. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I wear hearing protection when shooting, but not hunting. You can buy some of the items that look like ear muffs and will amplify sounds, then shut down at the sound of gun fire. Game Ear is one of the manufacturers I believe. They work well, but are kind of expensive.

    However, I've noticed that I don't feel recoil or really hear the gun when I'm shooting at game. (I'm not a waterfowler, though) But when I've had to do a "finishing shot" once I've approached a downed animal, my ears are a ringing from that one!
     
  3. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    When hunting your adrenalline kicks in and your ears for some reason are protected from the shock. I'm sure there is some scientific reason that this happens but no one ever called me a rocket scientist.
     
  4. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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  5. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Never had hearing protection when hunting. Only takes one shot. Adrenaline kicks in and you never realize your ears did ring after the one.

    Can't hear the game with earplugs in.
     
  6. coyote223

    coyote223 NW Oregon Stamp Collector,,,

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    Thats what Silencers are for. :D
     
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  7. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    I always carry the cheapy foam orange or yellow ear plugs in my shirt pocket when hunting big game. If the opportunity presents itself, I always put them in, like last year when I shot a black bear which was the first time I've ever taking a second to stop everything and deploy them--which was the first time in about ten years of carrying the things. Otherwise, I just deal with the boom like I always have.

    When hunting upland birds or waterfowl, I use Peltors since the shooting is much more predictable.
     
  8. country boy

    country boy portland area Member

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    I wear hearing protection when I'm shooting, but not when I'm hunting (I don't hunt birds) because it is usually only a couple of shots a year.
     
  9. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yeah, I thought this was B.S. when someone told me that, but it is absolutely true. I forgot to put on my eardefenders once and fired my .270 winchester and thought my ears would never stop ringing, but then when I was in a hunting situation and took a shot, nothing. No problem at all. It's the weirdest thing. I'd like to see a scientific write up about this.
     
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  10. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    The adrenelin makes you feel less pain, so it doesn't hurt, but don't think there's not damage being done.
     
  11. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    There is hearing loss and there is tinnitus, and both are terrible. Tinnitus has an hereditary component, but, exposure to loud noises (rock bands, shots) over the years, exacerbates the problem. I, unfortunately, have 1st hand experience. Tinnitus, at times, drives me absolutely nuts!!

    I'd play it safe and wear, at least, ear plugs. I often wear them but don't push 'em into my ear canal until I am about to shoot. That way you are not messing with them with dirty hands. Push them in with my pinkies. Not a perfect solution but it beats the alternative.
     
  12. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    So true. Just because you don't perceive something doesn't mean that it isn't happening. Protect your ears even when out hunting and later in life maybe you won't need hearing aides.

    This doesn't wrk for selective hearing though.....
     
  13. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    how about something like Howard Leight Impact Sport electronic muffs. Can get them around $59. Hear everything around you but squelch on the big bang.
     
  14. natef

    natef Gresham OR Active Member

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    I bought a pair of mickey mouses (sorry, just what iv alwasy called them since my service days.) that have a small mic on the outside of each ear. they amplify the sound and still allow me to have directional noise but when you fire they go dead silent. i found them at dicks sporting goods. I think i paid somthing like 50 bucks for them. well worth it in my opinion. they are great for the range too. you dont hear the gun but you do hear the shells hit the ground. kinda odd to get used to at first but im sure ill be happy for them when im older.
     
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  15. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    I suffer from tinnitus and high frequency hearing loss (gee I wonder why?)...so I wear Pro Ear's Electronic Ear Muffs even if running a lawn mower, weed wacker or hunting.

    I wore my Pro Ear's two years ago during a week long Muzzleloader only Deer/Elk hunt. The minute I left camp I put them on and never took them off until back at camp after dark. It is no big deal since I do the same thing when I'm teaching at OFA. Not only do they protect my hearing (which I badly need to preserve) but they actually increase my ability to hear better - noises, sounds, snorts, grunts, footsteps. Finally one of the crumudgeons from a neighboring camp site who we saw several times each day finally asked me on the last day of the hunt "what the heck is that on your ears?"

    I laughted...I told him it was a poor man's hearing aid...he just grumbled and walked off talking too himself. I can adjust the internal settings on the Pro Ears to enhance my ability to hear and it makes a huge difference...almost like having a pair of 19 year old bionic ears again.

    I use their streamline OD green models and they are lightweight, battery life is exceptional and they do make a difference. I can hear a whisper with them on...with them off I have to read lips.
     
  16. mrckd4

    mrckd4 Snohomish County, WA Member

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    I use Peltor electronic earmuffs while shooting and most of the time while hunting. Like the other electronic muffs, they amplify the ambient sound but cut out at higher decibel levels to suppress the sound of the shot. They are helpful in hearing game from farther distances but there are two drawbacks: when its windy out, the rustling of trees will drown out all other noise; the other is, you will drive yourself crazy trying to walk quietly because with amplifed hearing you sound like a bulldozer driving through a forest or field. It takes a little getting used to but they sure are nice, especially on cold mornings.
     
  17. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    western safety brand at harbor freight does the same thing for under 20 bucks.
     
  18. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    The nice thing about the Pro Ears is the electronics are sophisticated (and more expensive) they deal with noise, rain and other variables better than some of the lesser expensive brands. They do not cut off sounds after a certain decibel but rather take in all sound regardless of the sound level and reduce it down to a safe db. So there is no clipping or cutting off of sound. Hard to explain but until you experience it you won't believe it.

    So at OFA we can have 16 .308 rifles going off at the same time and you can still hear someone walking up behind you on the gravel or the frogs croaking in the nearby field. All the sounds are present but at a reduced level so it doesn't harm your ears but let's you hear everything regardless of the noise activity or level.

    Amazing technology...but it isn't inexpensive.
     
  19. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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  20. dobeman

    dobeman Hillsboro Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    OFADAN:
    which model pro ears you use? The Gold series is top of line and highest price. Pro ears also has Pro series with same electronics but fewer things than Gold - Pro series 300 can be had under $200 at NRR of 26 which is pretty good.