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What kind of ear protection do people use while hunting (birds or deer). You need to be able to hear them coming but want to protect your ears.

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I don't. I know I should but I don't. Shotgun blasts don't seem to bother me and deer hunting I only fire one shot so that's my lame excuse.
 

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Pheasant or grouse I'll start with a disposable earplug in my right ear only. It often falls out. But I might only fire 6 rounds or so in an afternoon. If I was doing driven birds I would wear muffs.

Same for deer hunting. A foam plug in my right ear. As sjohnny said, it's only one shot.
 

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I am considering getting some electronic muffs but i'm sceptical. Main problem is I always wear a full brim bucket hat to protect my fair skin.

Right now I use foam ear plugs when upland hunting. Problem is I can't hear my dog's bell or baying when she is far. What i do is don't put them in real snug but then they tend to fall out. Less protection but it takes the edge off and i can still hear the dogs. A couple shots from a 12 ***** and my ears ring the rest of the day.No protection is not an option. I won't make that mistake again. This season if i don't caugh up money for the muffs I might try toilet paper. Yeah that is right, toilet paper. Someone on the net suggested it. The idea is roll up the TP stuff it in your ears like a plug. It takes the edge off but not so much you can't hear your dogs. I sometimes have used TP at work(construction) when i forget my plugs and it does take it down a notch. another possible option is a saw electronic ear plugs at bass pro that are only like 30 bucks. THey might be total just i'm not sure but if they work then i can wear my hat with them easily.

When calling coyote its usualy just one shot so i don't wear plugs but this is the perfect time for either electronic muffs or the TP.
 

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1) For a right handed shooter, the left ear is exposed to the most damaging sound impulse. The stock provides some protection to the right ear.
2)The " it's only one shot" reasoning is actually quite false. When you are at a range hearing multiple shots constantly, your nerve cells in your inner ear actually down adjust their sensitivity. When you are hunting, quietly straining to hear a rustle of leaves etc., your inner ear nerve cells actually become more sensitive and vulnerable. This was dramatically described by an audiologist who noted that Inuit seal hunters, who might fire a single 30-06 round after patiently sitting beside a hole in the ice all day, had profound hearing loss at young ages.

The plugs that allow hearing but at least provide 6-12 db of protection are a good compromise for upland hunting or stalking, and I would recommend electronic muffs for use in a blind or stand.
 

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mitesiw said:
1) For a right handed shooter, the left ear is exposed to the most damaging sound impulse. The stock provides some protection to the right ear.
2)The " it's only one shot" reasoning is actually quite false. When you are at a range hearing multiple shots constantly, your nerve cells in your inner ear actually down adjust their sensitivity. When you are hunting, quietly straining to hear a rustle of leaves etc., your inner ear nerve cells actually become more sensitive and vulnerable. This was dramatically described by an audiologist who noted that Inuit seal hunters, who might fire a single 30-06 round after patiently sitting beside a hole in the ice all day, had profound hearing loss at young ages.

The plugs that allow hearing but at least provide 6-12 db of protection are a good compromise for upland hunting or stalking, and I would recommend electronic muffs for use in a blind or stand.
I don't understand this - the stock is not over any ear whether one shoots right or left-handed.?????

The ear opposite the gun is LEAST affected since the head blocks the sound and diffracted sound doesn't reach the opposite ear.

It's the ear nearest the gun that need most protection.

If the stock is covering your ear then I would think there is something badly amiss with your mount.
 

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The sound impulse is from the muzzle. It has long been established that classic "shooters" hearing loss is more profound in the "off" ear in most cases. Obviously the stock does not cover the ear, but the ear on the side of the mount gets less of the muzzle blast. This is by no means new or controversial information.
 

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I am right handed and my left ear is the deaf one, well, almost. I hear good out of my right ear. After being in the military when ear protection wasn't provided, it is amazing that I can hear at all. Those artillery shells going off a few feet from me and years of jet whine while flying has impaired my hearing quite a bit.

The first time I saw a military guy wearing ear protection, I thought it peculiar. He was mowing grass. I had been out of the service many years before ear protection was required.

I had to wear ear protection while qualifying in LE after 1982, IIRC. I don't wear ear protection unless I am practicing at the clay range. I don't do that often. For deer and uplnds, I don't want the bother of ear muffs, etc. The damage is already done.
 

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If you are a right hand shooter, your left ear gets the blast. It is facing the muzzle. The right ear is facing away. Your head is between the blast and the right ear. I am seventy years old and have been shooting all my life. For the first twenty or so years, I didn't use protection. I had a hearing test at about thirty years old. I had severe damage in my left ear. The right one was good. My left ear was already ringing at that time. When they took the test, they started at a low tone and went higher. When it got to the tone of my ringing, it took a long time to hear it. I finally realized the ringing was getting louder. Now while hunting I plug the left ear to save what I have left. Leave the right open. I still hear a lot better in the right ear.
 

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My right ear sure feels more messed up then my left when i fired rounds without protection. Of course I have right ear damage already because I have a 400 watt subwoofer in my truck on the right side of me.

Where do you get ear plugs that only provide 6-12 db noise reduction? That sounds perfect for me.

hearing loss is cumulative the only 1 shot thing certainly doesn't help over the long term, period.

My ears never stop ringing from construction, loud music, and shooting. I double up on protection at the range with plugs and muffs. The indoor range really kills me i will have a headach for days after 2 hours without double protection.

I would MAYBE consider firing a 22lr with subsonics and a very long barrel like 24-28 inches long without protection only when hunting.

Everyone i work with is too macho to wear protection with the jackhammer. Being macho isn't worth it when you can't hear in 20 years.
 

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There seems to be one good way, and lots of poor ones to protect against hearing loss. The best is to get a custom molded digital plug. Everything else falls short. That said, I haven't ponied up the money for a set. I have taken to using balled up cotton in my ears. It isn't as good as a foam plug, but I can still hear enough to function in the field, and it is better than nothing.

Rob.
 

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When shooting shotgun I don't worry about it. The blast isn't loud enough to bother me. (And yes, I just had a hearing physical for my job the other day... still doing perfectly fine.)

Rifles are a different story... I wear electronic muffs.
 

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Crazy Fingers said:
When shooting shotgun I don't worry about it. The blast isn't loud enough to bother me. (And yes, I just had a hearing physical for my job the other day... still doing perfectly fine.)

Rifles are a different story... I wear electronic muffs.
you have got to be kidding me a 12 ***** sounds like a cannon my ears are ringing for days after that!
 

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I was just at the audiologist a week ago. My hearing is fine but I wear protection amost anytime sound is above 85db (if you have to yell to be heard). The information he showed me said the average shotgun blast was 158db, louder than a jet engine. He was clear hearing damage is cumulative and never comes back. It is a function of decible and duration. A shotgun blast is very loud but very short, however each one adds up.
I look at it this way, have you ever talked to someone who has lost their hearing that has said they would do it the same all over again?
Yes I do wear the foam plugs in the field but put in loosely.
 

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mitesiw said:
The " it's only one shot" reasoning is actually quite false.
I said it was a lame excuse.
When you are hunting, quietly straining to hear a rustle of leaves etc.,
You must hunt differently than I do :wink:

I have been pretty hard on my ears. When I was younger I shot without ear protection at all pretty frequently. I also went to a concert about once a week and rode a motorcycle really fast with a loud pipe. I have noticeable tinnitus now and my hearing isn't what it used to be but it hasn't deteriorated in the past 5 or so years. I know I should probably wear ears when I'm hunting but I also know I shouldn't eat or drink half the crap I do so......
 

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It probably is 158 dB at the muzzle, but what is it at the shooter's ears under normal field conditions? It is certainly nowhere near 158 dB. I know, because when duck hunting in a crowded blind I have had a buddy's muzzle less than a foot from my unprotected ear (and not behind it either)... now THAT was 158 dB! My ears rang for quite awhile after that.

Now I'm not advocating not wearing hearing protection, but when I am bird hunting for a full day it is just not practical to wear it. If I am shooting shotgun games, then of course I wear them. There's no reason not to.
 

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When I practice with shotguns or centerfire I wear plugs, when I hunt I don't. I never wear plugs when I shoot .22 rifles. I've spent pleanty of time at concerts, and on construction sites. The few shots I take while hunting don't hurt (I'm sure it does but I don't feel it). I'm sure I do have some hearing lose, but I just can't hear squat with plugs, and have been to cheap to buy electronic hearing protection.
 

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When I'm hunting, any sort of hunting, I don't wear hearing protection at all. The same is not true when I'm at the range or mowing the lawn.
 

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Interesting thread.

I use electronic ear muffs (Peltor tactical 6.5) for shooting clays and trap, teaching shooting and hunting upland birds and deer. When I practice with a rifle I wear the muffs and foam plugs. I feel that I have to protect what hearing I have left. I cannot hear a female student's voice if she is sitting in a class and not in the first three rows without my hearing aids.

The only time I have found the muffs to be a problem is when it is humid and in the 90s. They really get hot.

I have not found a way to use a call (ducks or turkeys0 and wear ear muffs. it also messes up my ability to judge distances. I have found the value of wearing my earmuffs when I scout for deer, turkeys and ducks. I can even hear change rattle in my pocket with the muffs as I walk.

One time I was scouting a marsh at first light for teal. When I stepped out of my truck all I could hear was thousands of red wing black birds. When I put on the muffs i could also pick out individual b w teal calling in the marsh. I could actually locate them well enough to know that they were strung out in over 150 yards of the marsh in smart weeds. I did not see a single teal in the air until they all got up at once ten minutes later. It was over 600 birds and I would have never know they were there if I did not have the e muffs. I probably woud not have waited around had I not heard them.

Several times I have been able to hear deer walking toward me on a rocky creek bed well before I could see them in low light of early morning. I have become a firm believer of using the muffs when I hunt. i would wear them for ducks and turkeys too if I could call when I wear them.
 
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