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Hearing Protection When Hunting

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A lot of years not taking care of my hearing has resulted in a pretty severe hearing loss, these days I try the best I can to preserve what hearing I have left. Been using Honeywell Howard Leight Sport Impacts for the past several years, they are the type that amplifies sound to improve my hearing tremendously but also have a circuit that will shut down the blast of a firearm. I use them all the time and I have nothing but positives for them they work great for hunting and target shooting. The only negative is when using a long gun, when I shoulder the gun the top of the stock comb hits the bottom of the muff and the sound it makes riding on the stock is annoying and loud.

So last fall Powder Valley had a giveaway closeout price on the GS Extreme ear bud type of protection that basically work the same as the Howard Leights. I have to say for hunting this type is the way to go. The muff type edges them out for all around performance but in the field hunting the earbud type works really well, I can hear Turkey talk a long way off.



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Many years ago I tried hunting with a pair of electronic muffs, sitting in the woods with them cranked up. I could hear so much! Then I hear what sounded like a bull moose approaching to stop on me at any second!  Spinning around quick, it was a red squirrel about 15 yards away. "Hmm.... maybe they're turned up too high." lol

That night laying in my bunk, my ears were ringing something awful. Apparently listening to everything all day did a number on my ears. 

I actually ended up with several pair of electronic muffs, and I never use any of them. I don't care for them, they just don't work well enough for me. "muff" wise that is, even turned off.  The only time I'd ever use them was occasionally working matches, doing scoring. 

I've always been protective of my ears, and hate loud noise in general. I carry foam ear plugs in my pocket every day and use them for ANYTHING that makes noise. (Hammer, vacuum, lawn mower, anything and everything)  ANY shooting,  I  shoot with foam plugs and max rated muffs over them. 

I handgun hunted exclusivity  or many years, a lot of it with single shots firing rifle cartridges in 10-16" barrels, some with muzzle brakes on them.  You DO NOT want to shoot them without ear pro under any circumstances. lmao  My usual setup while hunting is an average level foam ear plug in my right ear. Then I will keep a rubber ear plug in the corner of my mouth. It takes a half second to move it from my mouth to my ear, and in 30 some years of doing it this way, I've never missed a chance at a shot because of it. 


Funny thing about hearing and hunting, sometimes it's very important, but other times it's not important at all. Deer in dry leaves, sure. Same spot in decent snow, there's nothing to hear. Windy.. can't hear anything anyway. There's a stream 70 yards away, can't hear anything anyway. Trucks going to down the highway 3 miles away, yet still drowns out everything else. I came to that realization last muzzle loader season, I never realized how much noise airplanes made. There's a jet at 30K feet and I can't hear a damn thing because of it! How is that possible? At home they fly overhead all day long and you never notice them or hear them, drowned out by all the ambient noise that we don't "hear" either. I also didn't realize how frequent they flights were.   I commented turkey hunting that the woods were so loud I couldn't hear anything. between the birds, the spring streams, far away motor vehicles, far away aircraft... it was deafening in a way. 

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About 20 yrs ago I got fitted with some hearing aids, after leaving the Ear Dr's office the wife and I went out to eat. I could not get over the sounds of people talking, dishes and utensils clanking and clattering, about drove me nuts, I took the darn hearing aids out so I could enjoy my meal in peace without the racket.

 My hearing has steadily gone downhill, today those hearing aids hardly help at all, I really should get some new ones but I kind of like things quiet. I do like and use the amplified muffs and earbuds on the range and when hunting and need to hear.


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I got a pair of Walker Game Ears several years ago . Only used them once and didn't care for wearing them . I only use a sound deafening headset  when at the range . 

As for regular hearing , I have a set of hearing aids that I got about 3 months ago . A bit afraid to wear them bow hunting as I would probably lose one or both . The nice thing about them is I can listen and talk through them without picking up my phone . 

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fastedddie- I have the same problem/concern with my regular hearing aids. I strung the  two of them together with  fine cord and I have a clip that goes to my collar. That said, I find them annoying and fairly ineffectual so I seldom wear them. Annoys wife. 

Those Axil GS extremes that Airedale has look like something worth trying. Its annoying to have a bird in front of you that you can see gobble but can't hear them.

Airdale- do they have the safety shut down that protedts you ears when firing a rifle or shotgun?

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