Thursday, October 18, 2012

Protecting Your Hearing While Hunting

For millions of people, hunting is a major hobby that brings joy and fun to their lives.  There is nothing more fun than being able to spend a day out with friends and family and possibly bringing in that night's dinner. I can remember as a child waking up on those early, chilly mornings, packing up the gear and loading up the truck and heading out hunting with my dad.  We would always double and triple check to see if we had our guns, camouflage, binoculars and radios, but what we often times tended to over look and check for was our hearing protection.  My father who is now in his late 70’s has been affected by hearing loss for many years and now uses a hearing aid to help with his hearing levels. His love for hunting although not the only cause of his hearing loss is a major reason why his hearing levels are where they are today.  Like my father, many hunters put a lot of emphasis onto their guns and the other equipment they will use to catch their game.  What many hunters do not realize is that they also need to put some emphasis onto their hearing and protection that will ensure healthy ears for years to come.

Protecting your ears while hunting is incredibly beneficial.  Nearly 22 million American adults between the ages of 20 to 69 have damaged their hearing due to over exposure to loud sounds.  First of all, it will not only improve your hearing while out in the field but it will also protect your hearing for the future. Hearing protection is generally inexpensive but no matter what type of hearing protection you choose make sure you choose one that your are comfortable with and affords you the greatest amount of protection.  Not everyone is the same so testing out different types of hearing protection and finding the pair that is right for you is your best bet. 

The reason many hunters experience hearing problems is because they use guns without the proper hearing protection or tend to not use any ear protection at all.  It can be very easy to over look your hearing protection when preparing for a hunting outing.  The important thing for you to do is to put a little more emphasis onto your hearing and the protection you will choose to use while out in the woods. After all, once you lose your precious hearing it is gone forever, but hearing loss is completely preventable and making the right choices in terms of hearing protection can help protect your hearing for the future.  In doing the right thing now you will be so glad in the long run that you put a little more time and effort into your hearing protection every single time you go out hunting with friends and loved ones.

There are two major types of hearing protection products that you can use before you go out hunting.  Earplugs are small foam inserts that sit right in the ear canal, protecting your hearing when loud noises are around you.  It is important that you get good quality earplugs that are meant for people who are using firearms.  Certain earplugs just drown out small noises while others are meant specifically for heavy machinery or firearms.  It is a good idea to look closely at labels when you are buying this type of product for yourself.

If you do not want to take the time to put earplugs in your ears while out in the field, you should consider buying protective headphones.  These headphones drown out noise beautifully so that you do not have to worry about hearing damage.  You will be amazed at how beneficial putting an emphasis on your hearing protection can be. 

 My father has suffered the consequences of not using adequate protection while hunting.  I know I always now take my hearing protection extremely serious while out in the woods.  Becoming informed about hearing protection and make the right decisions can protect and preserve your hearing for years to come. 

John O'Connor

 I am a father, outdoors man and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.  Over the past few years I have become more and more interested in hearing loss.  My father and grandfathers, who are and were all hunters, are affected by hearing loss.  I feel that there is a general lack of understanding around the issue and it is our job to spread awareness where we can.  Check out my new blog at!


Henry Mitchel said...

I agree with it. We should also put our health into consideration, having the basic sensory organs on the list.