Save Your Hunting Hearing

By Randy Wakeman

You know it and I know it: loud noises destroy your ability to hear. The CDC covers it here: . We all know a few old, deaf hunters. This hearing loss can be prevented, The Mayo Clinic discusses it here: . Sound pressure over 140 decibels can instantly, permanently damage your hearing. A shotgun makes 150 decibels or so.

The problem isn't at a range setting, for you often need eye and ear protection to be allowed to enter. From what I've seen over the years, it is far more common when hunting or plinking, where we just can't be bothered. That explains why so many old hunters go around mumbling “Huh?” far more than they should have to.

What I've been using for some time is a very, very economical solution. For a lousy ten dollars, you get two sets of these plugs, one pair “regular” size and one pair “small.” I carry a couple of sets of these in all my vehicles and another set in my range bag. It is easy to hear pheasant wings whooshing from a rooster that gets up ten yards behind you, yet despite the very good hearing for ambient sounds and normal conversation, you get 23 Db of protection. These are the exact same plugs as the far more expensive sets labeled as “Eargasm.” You can get yours right here:

Noise-induced hearing loss can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. You may have difficulty following conversation or communicating with friends and family. This can ultimately lead to an avoidance of social situations.” – Cleveland Clinic

I have many friends with hearing loss of varying degrees, from hunting, shooting, and too many rock concerts. Noise-related hearing loss, according to Cleveland Clinic, affects over 26 million people in the United States, ages 20 – 69, with an additional 5.2 children and young adults from 6 – 19 years of age. Too many people cannot hear birds singing, have tinnitus, or are just plain deaf. This can largely be avoided with simple, comfortable hearing protection that allows you to hear ambient sounds and carry on a normal conversation.

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