I have read a lot of articles - written by handgun hunters - but only two of the articles had something about wearing earprotection in the field. What about you guys? Do you wear earprotection in the field? And if: What kind? Sverre[/quote]
I have plugs that are the style that have the cord connecting them. I look silly but put the plugs in your ears and take the cord and put it over top of your ear (where your glasses rest). Now you can take the plugs out of your ears and let them hang. There are right there handy for you to insert when needed. I have been thinking about the Walker game ear but haven't been able (or jusify ) to spend $300 for a pair. I thought the price of those would have went down. You can buy a set of electronic muffs for the same price as one Walker game ear.
I always wear a set of plug (highest muffling I could find) and magnum muffs together when at the range.
I did have a quick running shot at a doe this fall with my 480. No time for plugs but I never noticed it and I also didn't get any ringing.
Sverre: I always use both plugs and muffs at the range. Shooting the shorter barrelled magnums and heavy autos mandates as much hearing protection as you can put on.
The problem with using hearing protection in the field, especially when either in a stand or a blind when you need to be able to hear if something is moving, is that it may be too restrictive and you don't/won't hear the game approaching.
There are some electronic hearing protectors out there that are advertised as blocking the muzzle blast but still allow you to hear game animals approach. That sounds like the best of both worlds.
Hcliff said he used his 480 on a running deer without hearing protection and did not suffer in the process. If you are using a longer barrelled handgun that might be true. With my GI 45 I am OK without plugs or muffs. But with the Commander I need either or both. With either of my magnum pistols, both with less than a 4" barrel, it is an absolute 'must have'. With rifles I'm OK.
If I'm just using a handgun and in a blind or stand I will usually leave one ear unplugged and then plug it when and if I see the animal I intend to shoot at.
I think you just have to experiment to see what would be best for you - the goal however is to preserve your hearing as much as possible. Either that or we can all go to Canada and say 'Eh?'. Mikey here.
Tomorrow, I go to pick up my two new digital hearing aids that will cost some $5200!!!! Ye Gods....To think I was pretty cavalier as a youngster and thought I didn't need those ear plugs.........Between Rock and Roll as a guitar and bass player, and shooting at the range, I'm livin' proof what it does to you.
Good Post Mike. I was at the range in 8-9 years ago when I just wore plugs. I took them out for some reason while I was fussing around. Well I loaded up some 38 specials in a 357 GP100 6" and fired without plugs unknowing. I was scared to death with the sound :shock: . I thought I over loaded the shells and was scared. They eject ok, primers ok, etc. Confused :? Then I realized not much kick but lots of blast. No plugs!! That is when I became a serious believer in good protection. Since then I use the plug method as I expalined.
We only have one set of ears. Treat them and your eyes well!!!
I always wear hearing protection at the range. In the woods I wear one of the thin bands around my neck. It is a thin band with ear plugs attached. If I have time or hear a deer coming I stick them in my ears but if not for one rare shot, I shoot without them.
I hear as many deer as I see and I could not stand to wear muffs all the time in the stand. Even those high dollar electronic ones would drive me crazy.
It is very important to protect your ears. I made it 40 years working around fighter jets and jet airliners and my hearing is still good. I always wore hearing protection around airplanes.
While at the range I wear both. My military issue plugs in my ears with a set of muffs over the top of those. I had hearing tests earlier in the year and was found to have a severe deficit in my left ear in the high khz range. The audiologist said this was more than likely due to not wearing my protection while I was hunting. I've always been extremely picky on the range with having ear protection. I won't even shoot a .22 without something in my ears. I was told all it takes is one bad experience and you can suffer permanent damage as a result. This is most commonly seen in the left ear of right handed shooters and vice versa. When shooting a long gun your right ear is turned slightly away and is buried some what against your shoulder. This provides some form of protection, however your left ear is now directed toward the muzzle. All it takes is to be near something to create a deflection in muzzle blast back toward you ie. the top of a shooting bench or standing near a tree in the woods, and you have set yourself up for potential damage. I never realized this till I was sitting in a stand over looking a food plot and a deer came out to my extreme left. I raised the contender in .35 rem and squeezed off a shot, I thought the gun and my head had both exploded for a half second. I never noticed the tree about five inches from the side of the barrel. The muzzle blast was directed back into my ear and tree bark was blown into my eyes. My head hurt and my ears rang for about three days. I now carry some of those cheap foam plugs, just something to help save what I have left.
I own three Taurus RBs. Two in .454 and one in .480. (keep in mind that these revolvers have ported barrels.)
I was recently on a deer/hog hunting trip in Texas. To make a long story short, I shot 4 times at a running hog with the .480. Perhaps I was too excited to worry about the muzzle blast, but when it came to the final shot to finally put it down, my ears were ringing. :shock:
It was great to hear the pig grunt and make noises, but I think that next time I'm going to wear some type of hearing protection when shooting these big revolvers in the field.
BTW, I have muzzle brakes on my rifles. The Vais muzzle brake does not require me to use hearing protection on non-magnum rifles. However, I have other types of muzzle brakes on magnum rifles and I absolutely MUST wear hearing protection - even in the field. Even after 1 shot my ears ring like heck.
I didn't use them on my hunt last fall wish I had now.
For the last 20+ years I have always used protection at the range more recently muffs AND plugs though the gain is marginal. Last fall was my first real hand gun hunt and I unloaded a full cylinder of Corbon 41 mags without protection. Wish I hadn't - my ears still ring a little. I WILL be carrying protection in all future hunts. I hope I don't end up like my dad - even the best hearing aids don't help and he's socially isolated, frustrated and a really cranky old man.
GB in your old forum someone posted a truly professional discussion of hearing protection including some additional websites with data and everything. It was an EXCELLENT post and I read every bit of it. Any chance of reviving that post on this new forum. It sure made a believer of me. I ordered some 29 db muffs a few days later. I think the post evaluated some of the electronic muffs and showed they didn't offer as much protection as one might hope.
For those shooters who hunt without protection and think their hearing is still perfect, I doubt it based on a conversation I had with a local audiologist. I know mine suffering but not bad. I can also blame being around heavy equipment, 1000's of hours around commercial and sport fishing boats - but I've been shooting since I was 11 and never used protection until I was about 21.
unless you are already deaf. I have lost a partial amount of hearing from a one time joke that someone played on me while exploding a garbage bag filled with acetylene and oxygen. I have learned since, that my hearing is as important to me as my eyesight. Protect it at every opportunity. And don't think that hunting in the woods does not require hearing protection. You never know when that deflection my happen right into your ear canal.
I use hearing protectors at the range, in the field, with long guns and handguns. You don't need expensive sets. The decibel reduction rating is what's important. The price comes more into play with the comfort level of the headset.
I have an electronic pair of ProEars that I absolutely love. They have one of, if not the best, 5 yr warrenty. Unlike some units, they reduce the sound level when it gets above 80d, but do not shut entierly off. I like this feature because you never have a dead period of silence which I like when I'm hunting. They are comfortable and I wear them all day long when hunting. They run about $200 and if you think that's expensive, just see what it will cost to get your hearing back once it's gone. And don't even think you can talk me out of them...it'll never happen.
Just my 2 pennies.
Hay HUD: When you get the earplugs with the valves in them and try them out, will you please let us know how well, if at all, they work. They sound like a good idea, allowing you to hear normal sounds but blocking the real loud ones. Almost like the best of both worlds.
I didn't know you were an Arthur Godfrey talent type - yee Gods Man, we have more in common than you might think. Arthur Godfrey lived just down the street from us when my family lived in Troy. He his my younger brother's Godfather, and we didn't have to do any singin' or dancin' or nutin. Course we never saw much of him but at least we didn't have to do the talent show. Man, who woulda ever thunk, huh?
1st time I shot my Raging Bull 454 w/o protection was on a nutria in a marsh in Maryland (I hate those buggers). Anyway, I had ringing for 3 days. I would LOVE a Game Ear, but as most of you have said they are EXPENSIVE! I have been wearing my muffs on my neck or head then sliding them on my ears before a shot. It works so far for me, but can be a pain for quick shots on pigs.
Well, I guess it's time for me to make some noise, here...I've been really careful with my hearing for my adolescent and adult life, and it's really paid off...I can still hear stuff that my kids lost the ability to hear years ago. Of course, I started out with excellent hearing on a wide range; TV used to drive me nuts because I could hear the drive coils in the back and it HURT! Fluorescent lights kinda bothered me, and right now my hard drive is a little unpleasant (it rotates at 7200 rpm...I don't know what the pitch of the sound is). I listen to orchestral music and can still hear most of it; I notice that as I get older (I'm 63), I kinda want more "tweet" from my speakers, and less "boom".
I use Pro-Ears electronics, and they're great, EXCEPT that 1) I can't wear a hat (yeah, I know what they tell you, but I can't), 2) my ears sweat like crazy in there. I can crank up the volume and hear guys talking 100 yards away, but muzzle blast doesn't bother me.
I would like to try the new "Woodland Whisper 2" thingies...they go into your ear and supposedly work like muffs, and two of 'em cost about 100 bux. I've been looking for more data on 'em but I can't seem to find any. Any info gratefully received....
The Bilsom 655/656 NST Reusable ear plugs are the ones I was thinking of that reduce loud noise yet let you hear normal noise. I have not tried them but hear they work well. I see they also have disposable ones that work a little differently. They don't list a NRR.
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