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Old 06-13-2018, 05:24 PM
northslope northslope is offline
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Default How to protect ears while big game hunting?



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I hunt elk and deer in thick trees. Most of my shots are between 30 and 80 yards. I generally walk through the trees very slowly and listen and watch. Sometimes I see the animal first - other times they smell me first. But most of my shots have to be made very quickly. I hunt with a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. I suffer hearing loss already which was likely from firearms or chainsaws. I don't want to wear ear plugs while hunting and I don't have time to put them on before shooting. I see there are some expensive ear devices with less than positive reviews. Subsonic ammo isn't powerful enough for elk...generally. What can be done?
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:42 PM
minimotos95 minimotos95 is offline
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I don't have much experience with expensive ear pro but Surefire EP7s work pretty good, protection good enough to take the edge off a rifle shot but you should still hear a deer before you see it.

I like them best for highway driving because it helps dull the drone and wind noise but I can still hear nearby vehicles. But wear them shooting too as did the guy I got them from. I'm not sure I could go back to foam plugs or old fashion muffs after wearing better earpro that lets me hear what's going on.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:45 PM
Cowboypapa Cowboypapa is offline
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Suppressors for everyone!!!!
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northslope View Post
I hunt elk and deer in thick trees. Most of my shots are between 30 and 80 yards. I generally walk through the trees very slowly and listen and watch. Sometimes I see the animal first - other times they smell me first. But most of my shots have to be made very quickly. I hunt with a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. I suffer hearing loss already which was likely from firearms or chainsaws. I don't want to wear ear plugs while hunting and I don't have time to put them on before shooting. I see there are some expensive ear devices with less than positive reviews. Subsonic ammo isn't powerful enough for elk...generally. What can be done?


Your using the wrong ear plugs then.


https://www.envirosafetyproducts.com...k-package.html
Have used the above ear plugs via multiple yr long minimum touts in Iraq and Stan.......and use them while hunting, to include elk, bison, bear, and moose. ( Deer antelope, and hogs by the truck loads.)

Note suppressors help, but you still need to protect your hearing when shooting supersonic ammunition.

My hunting rifle in pic below. Other pic shows 3 different hunting loads I use. ( 185gr subsonic means a very close shot at inside 40 yards)

Note: Suppressed subsonic ammo is the only CF rifle fodder that does not require ear pro.

Note: 308 Barnes TTSX is my go to big game load for anything in NA.

Note: The Winchester POWER MAX is fast becoming my favorite deer/ antelope load.

Last pic: A Ruger 22 45 LITE with can and using CCI std velocity ammo. ( Pot stew meat while hunting big critters)
Suppressor never leaves the gun unless Im cleaning it. No ear pro required.

One suggestion. ........Protect your hearing above all else in this case.

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Old 06-13-2018, 06:38 PM
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I have hunted with and fired .22lr, 30-06, 12 gauge, and a couple different BP rifles. Normally it's a one and done, so I didn't even notice the report that much. It's not like at the range with several shots over and over in addition to the other weapons being fired too.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:32 PM
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What about a set of electronic muffs? The Howard Leigh muffs I use amplify over ambient. Only down side is the ear cups are shallow. My ears ache after a few hours of use.

https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight...eight+earmuffs
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:21 AM
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I use electronic ear pro when hunting.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palma View Post
I have hunted with and fired .22lr, 30-06, 12 gauge, and a couple different BP rifles. Normally it's a one and done, so I didn't even notice the report that much. It's not like at the range with several shots over and over in addition to the other weapons being fired too.
I have the same sort of experience -- .22LR, .30/06, 7mm Mag, .44 mag, 12 ga -- and don't notice the report. Maybe it's the adrenaline in your system, the focus on the target, or some other magical mystery thing . . . it just doesn't seem to be a problem compared to target shooting at the range.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:05 AM
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I use earplugs that act as a deadener when a loud sudden noise occurs or as amplifiers when just being worn.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:35 PM
Fenrell Fenrell is offline
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I also recommend the electronic muffs. I can actually turn the volume way up on my bad ear side and hear better than I do without the muffs on!
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:34 PM
Late2Prep Late2Prep is offline
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Given the time, some kind of protection is always used.
I'll ride around with one earplug in and the other hanging ready to go.

My hearing is already screwed up enough to ruin any more when there's an option.

Soon as I can afford a can, one will be added to the hunting gear.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:10 AM
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I have been using the Walker Razors, they amplify the surrounding noises, and block out gun shots. Only bad thing is the batteries only last about 6 hours, but you can charge them on the go with one of those usb chargers
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:31 AM
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WHEN out hunting with something that hurts the ears I wear soft plugs, not tight but just tucked into the ear canal. I can still hear all the woodland sounds and if a shot presents all I have to do is just give a quick push to seal up.

I get so used to them that I have worn them without even noticing them until someone asks or reminds me I have them in.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:15 AM
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Be a bad hunter, make a lot of noise, your ears will be fine.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:41 PM
Dusty Bones Dusty Bones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
Be a bad hunter, make a lot of noise, your ears will be fine.
This right here. Been hunting my whole life and never wore any.

Far worse is being 10 yards from two M240s on each side of you talking it out for 1300 rounds while singing along with a M249 with the short barrel in front of you.

I got some loss but not as much as you’d think. Standing out a hatch making the same M249 sing while a M2 blows up your left ear, now that caused a ring I still got.

You’d be lucky to be exposed in a lifetime to 1300 rounds unprotected, let alone in a few minutes.

Wear them at the range and for practice. Just hunt, you’ll be fine.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:23 PM
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Northslope:

You stated that you suffer from hearing loss already. ( You would be surprised at how many folks who shoot firearms often have hearing loss and do not realize the extent of damage they have already.)

Educate yourself......

https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/...oise-Exposure/

At the very least, talk with your doctor about it.

Nobody here knows what hearing you have left. ( Once it is gone then its gone for good....and there is no combat guru story that is gonna bring it back)

Protect what you have left.

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Old 06-15-2018, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northslope View Post
I hunt elk and deer in thick trees. Most of my shots are between 30 and 80 yards. I generally walk through the trees very slowly and listen and watch. Sometimes I see the animal first - other times they smell me first. But most of my shots have to be made very quickly. I hunt with a bullet in the chamber and the safety on. I suffer hearing loss already which was likely from firearms or chainsaws. I don't want to wear ear plugs while hunting and I don't have time to put them on before shooting. I see there are some expensive ear devices with less than positive reviews. Subsonic ammo isn't powerful enough for elk...generally. What can be done?
I have the same problem. First, do not wear any hearing aids when you're shooting or hunting. Next, I use electronic ear muffs like these: https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...waAiWVEALw_wcB .

They enhance normal sounds, but sudden large noises are reduced.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:27 AM
AK103K AK103K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragout View Post
Northslope:

You stated that you suffer from hearing loss already. ( You would be surprised at how many folks who shoot firearms often have hearing loss and do not realize the extent of damage they have already.)

Educate yourself......

https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/...oise-Exposure/

At the very least, talk with your doctor about it.

Nobody here knows what hearing you have left. ( Once it is gone then its gone for good....and there is no combat guru story that is gonna bring it back)

Protect what you have left.

11B
I think this is the correct direction to go.

We grew up shooting without any real ear protection, pretty much into our teens. Most of that large caliber guns on high volume ranges/outings, and a lot of sustained full auto. Not just your occasional shot here and there.

Add to that, years of heavy construction around a lot of heavy equipment (even with ear protection), and my ears are pretty much gone. Both have a screaming ring and buzz right now as I type.

I was tested in my late teens and already showed considerable loss, especially in the high frequency end. Once you lose it, it's gone. It doesn't recover or come back.

If you've already lost hearing, then you know what's up, and what's already lost, and know it's not going to get better. Do what it takes to keep what's left.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:43 PM
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Invest in a bow and arrow

They used to have a thing called a walkers game ear that would make you hear better while hunting but protect your hearing when you would shoot... I don’t have any experience with it though
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:22 AM
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I run electronic muffs while pheasant hunting. I do not do it while big game hunting but I plan on getting something like these soon so that I can wear them at all times.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-TEP-100-Ta...d909d0fec1805f

I refuse to be one of the "old farts" that is always saying "what!?"
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