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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hunter Hearing Protection | Hearing Loss | Hearing Loss Prevention



This is a guest blog to Cottage Craft Works on preventing hearing loss from contributor John O’connor.

Hi my name is John O'Connor, I am a father, outdoorsman 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 bloggingwjohno.blogspot.com!

How to Choose Hearing Protection Before Going Hunting

While many hunters just enjoy the fun of the sport, others are more concerned about their hearing and the hearing of their group members.  Hearing loss is common among hunters because of loud gunfire and whistles that a person may use to attract a certain type of animal.  All of these noises can create hearing damage and lead to the loss of someone's hearing later on in life.  Prevention is the best thing for anyone who likes to go hunting and wants to have healthy hearing in the future.

You should first understand why hearing loss is so common for those who tend to go hunting more regularly than other people.  First of all, hunters tend to use loud guns to fire at game.  You may also use whistles and calling signals to get an animal's attention.  Loud gunfire can do an enormous amount of damage to your hearing if you are not too careful.  This is why you need to be wearing the right ear protection all of the time so that you do not have to deal with this level of hearing damage due to gunfire.

The best way to begin using ear protection is to find a product that you are comfortable using.  There are two basic hearing protection products that you can find and buy right in your local area.  You can choose earplugs, which are more discreet or you can choose headphones, which are easier to put on if you are wearing heavy wool gloves.  You will be able to find both of these products in a hunting supply store where you buy your guns and ammunition.  You can even ask a staff member at the store what they recommend for hunters.

When buying hearing protection products, don't just buy something for yourself.  You need to make sure that all of your hunting group members are protected and their hearing preserved.  You should keep a bag of earplugs handy at all times for those who forgot to bring their own hearing protection.  The pack that these earplugs come in is very small and can fit right into a pocket or backpack.  Also, earplugs are normally inexpensive and come in a package that contains dozens of small foam pieces.

It is a shame to think that many hunters will lose their hearing later on in life because they did not put emphasis on protecting their ears while firing guns and using animal calling whistles.  My father is one of those people.  He has been a hunter for many years and often times did not place much emphasis on his hearing protection.  Now in his late 70’s he is affected severely by hearing loss and uses a hearing aid to help increase hearing levels.  

Buying hearing protection products will literally take you no time at all and can be done while you are at the store picking up gun ammunition for your next hunting excursion.  Preventing hearing loss and being safe while hunting is key to being a responsible huntsman.  You should also make sure that your entire group has their own hearing protection products before you actually go out to begin hunting different types of animals.


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