You can protect your hearing from the damage that can come from hunting with a rifle or long gun. The hearing protection you use on the range is designed for repeated, loud firing, so you do not need to be able to hear other noises. When you hunt, though, you need to be able to hear soft footsteps of deer – -or the distinctive gobble of turkeys traveling through the underbrush.
Choosing Hearing Protection for Hunting
Any time you fire a weapon, you risk ear damage; the more frequently you hunt, the more likely you are to experience damage over time. Sounds are measured using decibels (dB); every time you shoot a rifle, shotgun or pistol, your ears are exposed to over 140dB. Since sounds over 100 dB put you at risk of hearing damage, you need protection when you fire a weapon.
Hearing Protection Options For Hunters
You have several options – most people prefer one over the others, but try each to see which works best for you:
Foam Ear Plugs
The most affordable option, ear plugs rated for shooting muffle all sound, not just shooting. While they do protect your hearing, they might make it more difficult for you to communicate with other hunters or hear your prey.
Ear Muffs (Non Electronic)
They may look like the headphones you use to listen to music or games, but non-electronic or passive ear muffs can provide more protection than ear plugs. You won’t be able to hear others speak, but you will fully protect your hearing without having to resort to disposable items or insert foam plugs into your ears.
Ear Muffs (Electronic)
The most expensive but effective option for hunters, electronic ear muffs allow you to communicate with others while you hunt. You can also hear the sounds of movement or prey nearby. Electronic ear muffs selectively muffle sound, so your hearing is protected without dampening your senses. These are an investment piece that will protect your hearing longterm without impacting your ability to hunt.
Protect your Hearing When you Hunt
No matter which version you choose, it is absolutely essential that you use hearing protection every time you hunt. Your hearing is an important part of your overall health and wellness and the damage caused by firearms use. Get in touch to learn more about protecting your hearing while doing the things you enjoy and to learn about the importance of hearing to your overall wellbeing.
Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas’ most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.