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How to Protect Your Ears While Hunting

How to Protect Your Ears While Hunting

How to Protect Your Ears While Hunting

According to studies, middle-aged and elderly hunters who regularly hunt with firearms are more likely to develop high-frequency hearing loss. The risk of hearing loss increases by 7% every five years an individual hunts with a gun.

Since sharp ears are crucial to being a successful hunter and living life unrestricted, how can you enjoy hunting without risking your hearing? The simple answer is to protect your ears.

Why Bother with Hearing Protection?

Hunting firearms can be as loud as 140 to 190 decibels. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), continuous exposure to 85 decibels can hurt human ears. The closer a gun is to your ears, the more damage its noise can cause to your hearing, and holding a gun at arm’s length is plenty close enough.

Hearing damage caused by gunfire isn’t always immediate. The damage can accumulate over years until it causes long-term hearing loss. Hearing problems compromise your ability to hunt because finding and stalking prey requires concentration and situational awareness. Besides making you a less effective hunter, losing your hearing can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Balance issues, such as trips and falls
  • Social issues and isolation

The Challenges of Using Hearing Protection While Hunting

Most hunters who want to protect their ears from gunfire damage wear hearing protection, such as ear muffs, ear plugs, or active ear protection. These devices muffle gunfire noise when worn over or inside the ears.

However, while hearing protection devices effectively dull gunfire noise to protect the ears, they are not a perfect solution for hunters for these reasons:

Ear Protection Reduces Situational Awareness

Ear muffs and plugs protect your hearing by reducing the amount of sound that gets into your ears. Unfortunately, these ear protectors do not filter only gunfire noise. They block out every sound around you, impeding your situational awareness.

Hunting with impeded hearing will prevent you from hearing and tracking prey movement. Also, hindered hearing will stop you from hearing approaching predators or other hunters in your vicinity, putting you at risk of avoidable accidents.

Ear Protection Can Be Clunky and Uncomfortable

Ear muffs are typically large devices that go over your ears. The weight of the gear can quickly become uncomfortable, causing pain around your ears. Also, ear muffs may jig around on your head and be a distraction if you have to move fast.

Ear plugs have a smaller and lighter in-ear design. However, the device could fall out of your ears during sudden movement and become lost. Also, constantly fiddling with ear plugs to stop them from falling out of your ears can be distracting.

Suppressors: An Alternative to Traditional Hearing Protection

So, if hearing protection gear is uncomfortable and unideal for hunting, what else can you try? The best answer is firearm suppressors.

A suppressor is an accessory attached to the muzzle of a firearm. It muffles gunfire, leading to a less loud gunshot. Some of the best suppressors can reduce gunfire noise by 35 decibels or more and have the additional benefit of reducing muzzle flash.

The typical suppressor is tubular and contains baffles and a barrel-sized tube with holes. Gunshot noises come from gunpowder igniting and creating pressure. The pressure sends a round out the muzzle, and as the pressure escapes behind the bullet, it generates the loud gunfire noise you know.

Most suppressors work by creating more room for ignited gasses to expand, reducing the pressure with which gasses escape the barrel after a bullet. The reduced pressure leads to a less explosive gunshot sound.

Suppressors Make Most Calibers Hearing-Safe

Several suppressors are available, allowing you to find one that shoots your preferred caliber with less noise. Popular calibers that you can find suppressors for include:

You can also find suppressors for various firearm types, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns. However, unlike the movies, a silencer does not completely mute gunfire. It only makes the sound less explosive and dangerous.

The Benefits of Hunting with a Suppressor

Hunting with a suppressor has several benefits. In fact, users have gone as far as saying:


Source: Reddit

Below is a breakdown of the benefits you can look forward to if you put a high-quality suppressor on your hunting firearm:

Protect Ears

A suppressor reduces gunfire to a safe noise, shielding you against long-term ear damage. Since the attachment goes on your gun, it’s far more convenient than wearing ear muffs or plugs. Also, using it prevents impaired hearing, allowing you to maintain situational awareness to spot prey or danger early.

Easier Communication

Loud gunfire leaves you with ringing ears, making it harder to communicate with the people hunting with you. You will also have trouble communicating if you wear a hearing protector that leaves you deaf to the world.

Reduced Recoil

A suppressor reduces recoil by minimizing the amount of pressure that escapes the muzzle when you shoot. A quality suppressor paired with the right cartridge can lead to 25 to 50% less recoil. With less recoil and muzzle climb, you can look forward to more accurate shooting and better grouping. Also, reducing recoil will put less strain on your arms and shoulders while shooting, keeping you safe from injury.

Considerate Hunting

It’s rare to be the only one hunting in a specific location. A shot from an unsuppressed rifle could scare off prey that nearby hunters are targeting, making you an inconsiderate hunter. With a suppressor, you can make your kill and bag your game without disrupting what other hunters have going on.

Element of Surprise

If you shoot at prey and miss, the gunshot could spook and scare off the animal, taking away your chance of making a follow-up shot. With a suppressor, the prey will struggle to figure out where your shot came from if you miss, giving you a chance to correct your aim and hit your target.

Hunting Doesn’t Have to Cause Hearing Loss

Whether you hunt for sport or survival, the experience should not leave you deaf. Wearing hearing protection while hunting will protect your ears, but it can also impede your hearing and make you a less effective hunter.

Lastly, wearing hearing protection can be distracting if the device needs frequent adjustments to keep it comfortable or from falling off. A better solution for protecting your hearing is using a suppressor. But not just any suppressor. At Silencer Central, we are the go-to brand for reliable suppressors that soften gunfire noise, minimize recoil, and improve shooting comfort and accuracy.

Besides being highly functional, our top-of-the-line suppressors can improve the aesthetics of your firearm. At our store, you can find options for different calibers and firearms, and we offer doorstep delivery in every state that permits suppressors. Visit us today to browse our suppressors and order your favorite one.