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GonHuntin

Hearing protection while hunting??

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Shot at a coyote with an AR Saturday morning and felt like my ears would bleed!! It quickly reminded me why I haven't done a lot of calling with an AR.

 

I've been hunting with rifles and shotguns for years without hearing protection and, last time I had my hearing checked I only had slight loss at high frequency. I do know they say one shot can cause permanent damage and I'd like to keep mine!!

 

It's not practical to hunt with ear plugs and electronic muffs drive me nuts when the wind blows, at least the ones I've tried do. I wish I had suppressors for everything but I don't. Hopefully the "hearing protection act" will become law and we can buy them suppressors without paperwork.

 

Until then, have any of you found a good solution??

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Mark-The only thing that worked for me were the soft rubber ear plugs with the internal baffles. I think the brand name is Silencio but may be wrong on that. Years ago they were orange; now they are blue. They fit snug enough that you can leave one partly pulled out of the ear to allow normal hearing, and yet it won't fall out. It just takes quick little push to have it back in place.

 

I never liked muffs in the field but had tried them on numerous occasions. Particularly in this part of the world, where it can be very hot, they just don't work well in terms of ease of use or comfort.

 

I have always been very careful about hearing protection, but a medical condition has cost me most of my hearing anyway. My left ear is close to being completely deaf while the right is somewhere around 50 percent. While I can still hear things, there are lots of frequencies I can't pick up and have a very hard time deciphering direction of the sound. So to those who don't use hearing protection, take it from me: It's no fun to have to ask people to repeat themselves and to not be able to hear game approach. And while I have taught myself multiple languages, I just cannot seem to master the art of lip-reading and have pretty much given up on trying anymore.

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Whether it's practical or not, I always use hearing protection. And unless I'm shooting rimfire I usually double plug----electronic muffs and plugs. As Bobby noted above, it's no fun when your hearing starts to go, not to mention the tinnitus that sets in with hearing loss. I have moderate to severe loss in both ears. I attribute it to a lifetime of lawnmowers, chainsaws, swinging hammers, and unprotected shooting in my younger days so I want to protect what's left of my hearing. And to be honest, when it comes to predator calling and deer hunting at least, I don't think using hearing protection puts me at much of a disadvantage. And remember, even suppressed, ARs are not hearing safe. Sorry to preach, but as noted above hearing loss and tinnitus are no fun and hearing aids aren't cheap. So protect your ears!

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Ahhh....yes...the tinnitus. I forgot about that. You know the cicadas that screech so loudly in the summer? It sounds like I have one 24/7 in the left ear. It never stops. It's enough to drive one bonkers. :wacko:

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I use the soft orange ear plugs that you can squeeze down and get into the ear canal good when using most power equipment as well , my hearing aids also shut down the high frequency levels , which also help . Note hearing aids ! Mostly from explosions exposed to in the Army , several were not so pleasant , one for sure ruptured my ear drums . Protect what you have .

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I have two cans in jail right now. One rimfire and one for all the center fire rifle calibers. Once I get them I don't plan on shooting unsuppressed if I can help it and I will continue to use foam earplugs. Wish I had gone that route years ago.

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Growing up when and how I did, I never heard of hearing protection, and so never used it until the damage had already been done. I suppose the thousands of shots as a kid with the .22 and .410 gradually did their work. To top that off, I helped start a sportsmans' club down around Houston in the early '70s, and we hunted, fished, and held trap shoots at Rohm and Haas in Deer Park twice a month. Only 2 of the members used earmuffs or anything else, and most of us looked at them kind of strangely at the time. Add in 15 years of heavy duck hunting throughout the '70s and early '80s, and the damage was complete. The ringing in the ears crept in unnoticed, until it was too late. Being bull-headed or stupid (no comments, please), I still refused to wear anything while deer hunting, as I have trouble getting my cheek set on the stock with muffs on. As you know, a deer stand is the world's worst place to fire a gun if your ears are a real consideration.

The last rattlesnake I killed with the shotgun a while back, I grabbed the 12 ga. in a hurry before the snake could get away, and never thought about taking the time to get the earmuffs. When the shot went off, the pain in the ears was dramatic. I feel sure it worsened an already bad condition, and it's beginning to sound like people are talking to me through a tin can. If I were of the Hindu religion, in my next life I would wear hearing protection while shooting a BB gun.

For those of you younger ones on here, it can and will happen to you. With all the information around today, you can't claim ignorance as an excuse, as I did. As someone said earlier, hearing aids are expensive, and be aware that they don't stop the constant ringing in the ears. If you have young kids, make them use hearing protectors now, if you don't already. It's too late for some of us, but not for you.

 

OP

 

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I always wear hearing protection; period. Even so, I do have hearing loss of high frequency.

I bought the analog hearing plugs way back in 2001 for my Africa hunt. The digital ones are expensive,but no more so than having to buy hearing aids.

http://espamerica.com/

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. And remember, even suppressed, ARs are not hearing safe.

I'll show my ignorance again, not being an AR owner: Is that true of only an AR, or any high-power rifle? The only reason I ask is that you specifically singled out an AR. Inquiring minds (and me,too) want to know.

 

OP

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Anyone have a recommendation for low profile electronic muffs?? The only ones I've tried drove me nuts when they rubbed against coarse fabric and in the wind. Maybe something with microphones that are less sensitive to wind??

 

I could use a good set for concealed carry classes anyway.

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Old Pro,

 

I'm by no means an expert on any of this stuff, but from what I understand, neither a suppressed bolt gun or a suppressed AR would be hearing safe with prolonged exposure. Prolonged exposure to anything over 90 decibels will cause gradual hearing loss. A suppressed AR produces in the neighborhood of 130 decibels. I can tell you from shooting my son's AR that it at least sounds a good bit louder than my bolt action .223. That could be because of the shorter barrel on the AR and the fact that the action opens and closes with each shot.

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Even wit a suppressed rifle you still get the sonic crack . Only when you are using subsonic loads with a suppressor do you truly have it quieted down . I shoot suppressed loads in my .22 rimfirm and you hear the firing pin drop . Nephew calls it the whisper of death .

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GonHuntin,

 

I have a pair of Peltor Sport Tactical 100s that I find are fairly comfortable and don't really seem to get in the way when shooting a rifle. They go for about 60 bucks. Howard Leight makes some that go for about 40 and they are highly rated and also look to me to be a bit thinner so they might be even better for shooting a rifle or shotgun.

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Remember you can turn the volume down on those. Doesn't have to be max'd out. Maybe that will help in the wind.

If you guys will just wait, you can catch up with me and be really deaf.

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